Elance, Web Freelance Marketplace

freelance web designIf anyone is wondering about using Elance, here are some tips to help you choose the right elance web freelancer. (I’m on elance as both a coder and a buyer of other people’s coding so I guess I’m in a fortunate position that I’m able to share these tips with you from both perspectives).

Elance is a lot cheaper than hiring a big local web development firm, there’s no doubt about it. You can get a coder from a developing economy (like Pakistan or India) and pay significantly less than what you’d pay for an Australian web developer. However, there are downsides too. You’ll need a bit of experience in software development to use the service because the onus is on you, the buyer, to get the brief right from the start. You can’t change your mind halfway through the project and expect to get your changes done as part of the original price. What’s more, once your job is done, it’s done. You don’t normally have an ongoing relationship with your coder.

So my top elance tips are as follows:

  1. Create a thorough brief that includes everything you want.
  2. Carefully scrutinise each bidder. Hey, you want to make sure they’re good don’t you?
  3. Read their reviews – what do others say about them?
  4. Pay the extra and get your project featured. There are so many projects, yours will get lost otherwise.

Alternately, if you don’t want to use elance, but want to use a web freelancer, do this:

  1. Make sure their experience and references stack up.
  2. Make sure they use a reputable escrow service that offers YOU buyer protection, such as escrow.com (be careful, some escrow services are scammers)
  3. If you want ongoing support, ask for it upfront. (That includes training and maintenance.)

You can check out my elance profile, but before you go spare some time to watch this video by the Elance team.



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