I've recently started using Freelancer.com to complete small programming projects and was pleasantly surprised when I first started using the site after several years of using Scriptlance.com which they acquired. My first project went amazing! The code shop I worked with in India did a spectacular job on a clone site I had them develop...I thought I found a group of programmers that I could start to develop a long-term business relationship with, but it crashed and burned. After coming up with a second round of project for them the bid on first, they vanished for over a week. After presenting them with the new projects, they promised quotes, but never delivered and then they just stopped communicating with me.
Freelancer.com Review Continued
With six more projects to complete, I developed the project specs, diagrams, etc. to help articulate what I had in mind and put them to bid on Freelancer.com - Before selecting a programmer, I always ask if they completely understand the project requirements and if they have any additional questions before I award the project. Most say no...we completely understand your specifications...we are ready to go!
After two weeks of working with five programmers on 6 projects, it appears three are going to crash and burn...I'll have lost some project development time, money from a few released milestones, and will have to then re-post my projects and again select another programmer. I believe their are some great programmers on Freelancer.com, but there are many dead beats as well which ruins the whole experience of working with virtual help.
Freelancer.com Review Summary
I believe I've found one programmer here in the US through Freelancer.com who I hope will turn out to be someone I can work with and count on long-term to help with my specific programming requirements. Here are a few of my personal recommendations for selecting and working with Freelancers. These same ideas can apply to any of the other outsourcing websites as well:
- Make sure you articulate specific requirements for project. Don't leave anything vague or to the imagination....unless you are looking for someone to have creative license on your project(s)
- Never, Never, Never release a milestone until you have something tangible to show for. Make milestone release very specific (ex: rough draft of website template, screen shot of db design, etc.)
- Ask for references that you can call or email with regard to specific projects
- Make sure programmer(s) portfolio has specific examples similar to what you are looking for and belong to some of the references they provide. I've checked many portfolios and projects that were concepts for the programmer and were deleted or had an expired domain when I went to look at them.
- If you find a good programmer, don't abuse them by asking for unlimited modifications or changes....they need to make a living as well.
Freelancer.com Review Conclusion:
Freelancer.com can be a great place to find resources for project outsourcing. Put in the extra time to articulate everything to the T and use your due diligence to thoroughly review bidders before making your final decision. Don't be afraid to to ask about project completion rates or negative comments. In the same fashion, don't accept at face value a programmer's rave reviews.
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