View Full Version : Sub-Contracting vs Self-Coding?

01-03-2011, 04:16 AM
I'm really curious about this: if someone has a website idea, what are some of the tell-tale signs that someone would have to sub-contract a good amount of the coding vs whether they would be able to do it themselves?

One part of me feels that if I were doing a simple website that I could learn the coding and do most of it myself BUT with new languages popping up left and right, and updates/new features constantly being added to older languages... can one coder really stay up-to-date enough to maintain a good website capable of garnering large amounts of users?

Tell me if I'm wrong but it seems like if I want to have a state-of-the-art site without spending too much money initially that I would have to do most of the coding myself at first until the website can start providing enough revenue to start hiring or sub-contracting coders.

Any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated. Also, are most free-lancing coders used to part-time jobs and contracts vs full-time employment? I am not a professional coder but am learning a lot of languages myself, and I'm wondering if I will want to save some money on the side from my primary full-time job (Construction Management/Civil Engineering) so that I can hire coders/web designers once the time comes.

Any advice or personal experience would be appreciated.

01-03-2011, 02:48 PM
If your doing a simple website I would save the money and learn it yourself..I learned CSS in a matter of weeks but I had a small background with HTML from prior years and made my first website in just a couple months after learning CSS. On the other hand if its a complex idea that requires server side programming I would hire someone because programming languages are very difficult to learn quickly, unless there isn't a time crunch on your project.

but I would also ask yourself if the time it takes you to learn it is worth it? or would you rather just pay someone off and get it over with..If you only plan on learning enough to get your project started and then hire a freelancer for further development then I my advice is to learn the basics of html/css so that way you can at least make minor changes to the look of the website and hire someone to do the back end that way you dont spend alot of time learning something your really not going to use a whole lot..

as for the last part of your question I'm not a freelance designer/devloper so I'm not a reliable reference sorry..hope i helped a little

01-03-2011, 03:28 PM
Also, are most free-lancing coders used to part-time jobs and contracts vs full-time employment?

I canít speak for all freelancers but I can say from my own experience that itís common for me to have ďpart-timeĒ jobs, i. e. different projects with different clients. After all, if it was a fulltime job the freelancers wouldnít be freelancers but rather employees (which could have tax or social security relevant differences, depending on where you live).

Basically it works like this:

You post an offer on some job board (e. g. the web projects (http://www.codingforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=47) section on this forum, AuthenticJobs (http://www.authenticjobs.com/), http://programmermeetdesigner.com/, or similar) stating in detail what you want and maybe what your budget is if you have one.
A person contacts you telling you about themselves and their conditions.
If youíre intrigued you agree to work together in whatever way you want (one well defined project only/on-demand service/fulltime employment).
Youíre either happy with the work and ask them again some time in future or youíre not happy and ask someone else.

There are a lot of freelancer job boards out there and not all of them are serious or of quality. Iím always suspicious of these freelancer bidding websites as there are a lot of people from India, Ukraine, and whatever offering their services for almost nothing but often almost nothing is what you also get. So be careful who youíre hiring. Above Iíve linked the ones I deem serious. Almost always the rule of thumb is: you get what you pay for.

01-03-2011, 05:06 PM
I'm a bit confused on the question. If you have an idea for a site, and you know a little html and css, then design it yourself. However, if the site is going to be dynamic(most sites now are) and or ecommerce, and you dont know how to write code in a server-side language, then definately you're going to need some experienced coders.

As Stephan said, be wary of online sites that present coders to bid on work. Many are fake, or many dont have the skill required for most jobs, and will wind up costing you more in the long run. Take a site to a good qualified web designer/programmer that someone has completely messed up, and they will have to charge you time just to correct the mess already created by the hack you hired in the first place.

01-03-2011, 11:43 PM
Some web hosts have website building aps, where you can build a "stock" site not knowing much about html or css. Same goes for e-commerce web hosts. However, if you want a custom site you're better off hiring someone. It's more than just the design. Code validation, cross-browser compatibility and SEO need to be thought about as well. If you're serious about your site, you probably want to get a professional.

01-04-2011, 05:21 AM
Okay cool, thanks for the responses. As you guys have mentioned it seems the more serious or large I want my site to be, the more likely it is that I'll have to hire some people at some point. Until then I'm going to do as much coding as I can. I already learned HTML and CSS a while ago (although I need to practice a bit before I actual start designing the website for my main idea), and am currently reading a book on PHP and SQL. I won't lie I'm pretty impressed as how easy it can be to learn a language if the resource used to learn it is well-written.

I think I'm going to do as much coding as I can (won't quite my day job!) and by the time I am ready to hire some extra help I will have saved enough. Also I'll keep an eye out for able-bodied programmers who might share an interest in my idea... even though I don't like the idea of having to split ownership of the website.

Thanks for all the help! I guess the million dollar question is how quickly I want to get my website up and running. The longer I wait the more I will be able to code it myself but unfortunately the more likely it is that someone else will beat me to the punch.

01-04-2011, 08:04 PM
The longer I wait the more I will be able to code it myself but unfortunately the more likely it is that someone else will beat me to the punch.

Couple of points...

1) Most successful companies aren't successful because of some amazing never-before-thought-of idea they developed. Most are successful because they develop a good product (whether or not it's unique is not important as long as patents/copyrights are not violated) and then MARKET THE HELL out of that product, and have the hard work to follow up and deliver the product, thereby generating repeat customers.

If you have to rely on the fact that you don't have any competition, you won't be successful.

2) Be prepared for the first few "great idea" websites you create to be learning experiences (in other words, not ready for primetime). Don't be discouraged when the ideals in your head don't quite make it to the browser; just keep coding.