Number One - Skills
“You know, like nunchuku skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills... Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.” - Napolean Dynamite
A web application development company will bring with it a diverse set of skills that an application with a varied set of features will benefit from. When using a freelancer the skill levels tend to be focused and vertical. That means when your requirements go outside their comfort level you are paying for their education either in time (project delays), money (extra time spent on the project to get up to speed that gets charged through), or customer satisfaction (post launch bug fixes).
Number Two - Communication
“Two monologues do not make a dialogue.” -Jeff Daly
A Web development company has people whose job it is to speak to the client at the client’s level, the project manager. The ability of the project manager to speak “geek” and “non-geek” will make sure that the client’s needs are correctly translated to the programmers. Plus their job is to represent the client to the development company. Most freelancers don’t have the benefit of being “bilingual” and once immersed in the project it is a difficult task to be able to objectively look at an issue from a client’s perspective. And if you decide to use an offshore freelancer, you are dealing with additional language and time barriers in communications
Number Three - The Schedule
Frodo: “You’re Late”
Gandalf: “A wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to” -Lord of the Rings
Freelancers are very limited in how they can address deadline deficiencies. There are only so many hours in the day and one person can only work within them (24 hours can only mean 24 man hours). A web development company has the flexibility of re-allocating resources to turn that same 24 hour period into as many man hours as needed to get a project back on track. Often, web development company contracts have penalties for self inflicted time delays, but it is difficult to enforce deadlines on freelancers especially offshore ones.
Number Four - The “Done and Run” Syndrome
“Brave Sir Robin ran away...bravely ran away away...When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled.” -Monty Python and the Holy Grail Minstrels
Our experience has shown us that most freelancer’s interest lasts as long as the application launch. They make their money while working on a project not supporting a project. As the production starts to wind down more often than not they are already thinking about their next job. A web development company lives off of their reputation its not something that can be hidden or easily changed. At Contensive our job doesn't end when the project is finished, we provide ongoing support, training and maintenance to support your application’s life-cycle not just it’s birth.