Freelance vs.
In-House Developers: Which Should You Choose?

Table of Contents

Freelance vs. In-House Developers: Which Should You Choose?

Learn about factors such as balancing cost and quality, evaluating available talent and hybrid teams, and taking your business web development and sales to the next level!

Source: LinkedIn

In the ever-evolving tech world, web development has carved out a colossal place for itself. Web development or website development refers to creating and maintaining websites and web applications. In businesses, web development can help you generate long-term customer relationships as it provides you with a platform to connect with your customers. 

For this process to be successful, choosing the right development team is crucial. Brands can use their skills and expertise to create a highly functional website or web application, which further helps boost sales. 

However, as traditional business models are changing, there is a significant increase in the hiring of freelancers. Both freelancers and in-house employees have their advantages and disadvantages, and a business needs to be aware of those before taking the crucial step of hiring a web developer. 

Does your business need a web developer? Do you need clarification on choosing a freelancer and an in-house employee? Read this article to understand the critical aspects and take your brand website to the next level!

Freelance Developers: Pros and Cons

  • Pros of hiring freelancers: The advantages of hiring freelance developers are:
  • Less salary
  • Huge specialists pool
  • High knowledge and expertise
  • More flexibility and more incredible speed
  • Little legal involvements
  • Cons of hiring freelancers: The disadvantages of hiring freelance developers are:
  • Lack of reliability and seriousness
  • Less quality control monitoring
  • Data privacy and security issues

In-House Developers: Pros and Cons

  • Pros of in-house development teams: The advantages of hiring in-house development teams are:
  • Access to full-time dedicated employees
  • Better teamwork, collaboration, and communication
  • Increased control over the web development project
  • Better compatibility with the goals and culture of the company
  • Cons of in-house development teams: The disadvantages of hiring in-house development teams are:
  • More expenditure related to recruitment, training, and maintenance
  • Limited knowledge and expertise
  • Resource and scalability issues 
  • More management and administrative responsibilities for the company

Critical Considerations for Your Business

  • Project scope and duration: It is vital to assess the scope and time of your project before hiring web developers. Your project scope should determine the list of requirements that have to be met, the templates that have to be designed, and the technologies that need to be implemented in a given period.

  • Budget constraints: Budget constraints often lead businesses to hire an inexpensive web developer team. While this option may seem convenient, it might affect the quality of web development. 

  • Specific skill requirements: Assess the skills of web developers before hiring them. Some of the required skills include HTML/CSS skills, analytical skills, responsive design skills, JavaScript skills, interpersonal skills, and testing and debugging skills.

  • Communication and collaboration need: Collaboration encourages communication between team members, which can produce higher-quality work. By having regular conversations, a web developer can convey ideas and technical problems with greater ease.

  • Long-term vs. short-term goals: Setting goals will remind you of your needs. Short-term goals are required for immediate results, whereas long-term goals are achieved after a long period of time. Hence, you must know your requirements, set realistic standards, and employ skillful strategies.

Making the Decision: Factors to Weigh 

  • Balancing cost and quality: Cost-effective talent acquisition should be the primary focus while hiring web developers. Brands should focus on saving on operational costs without compromising on the quality of the developer and his skills. 

  • Assessing project complexity: Assessing the complexity is another crucial step to consider during this process. This complexity depends on many factors, such as website size, prior developer experience, the nature of algorithms, multiple inputs, reporting of collated data from different sources, and lack of documentation.

  • Evaluating available talent: During the hiring process, it is crucial to assess the talent of the web developers. Their skills can be divided into two types:
  • Hard Skills – These include skills in programming languages, databases, and web frameworks.
  • Soft Skills – These include general approaches and attitudes towards work, as well as communication and leadership qualities.

Source: Careers Blog

  • Factoring in time constraints: The hiring process can be lengthy. Therefore, it is important to hire someone who you know will work well within your budget and with your company. This can be done by scanning your networks, finding developers, and contacting them personally to save time. 

Case Studies: Success Stories

  1. Examples of successful freelance development projects include:
  • WordPress: It relies heavily on substantial contributions from freelance web developers. They have helped with WordPress core, themes, and plugins, making it one of the best content management systems on the web.

  • Ruby on Rails: Many freelance contributions to Ruby on Rails have played a crucial role in making it a robust web application framework.

  • Drupal: It is a robust content management system, and freelancer contributions have improved its functionality and performance.
  1. Instances, where in-house teams excelled, are:
  • Google Search Engine: It is one of the most iconic web development projects ever, and Google’s in-house team developed it. It revolutionized how people access information on the internet.
  • Facebook: Facebook is one of the most famous social media platforms where its in-house team of developers have continuously worked on its website and mobile app, transforming the way people connect online.


  • Amazon: This e-commerce platform is the project of an in-house team that reshaped online retail. They created an efficient and user-friendly online marketplace that serves many customers worldwide.

The Hybrid Approach: Combining Freelance and In-House Talent

A hybrid team, consisting of both freelancers and in-house web developers, is a concept that has been in the works for quite some time. Leveraging the best of both worlds can help the brand keep up with changes in the business environment. A hybrid team allows its employees to work both online and offline flexibly. It also enables the company to hire expert web development freelancers for specific projects. For effective management of hybrid teams:

  • Create a team calendar to track progress
  • Encourage collaboration and work management
  • Be clear and communicate well
  • Be prepared for any type of management situations 
  • Make sure that your freelancers are following a balanced working style to avoid burnout.
  • Leverage and automate efficient tools

Source: Training Industry

Navigating the Hiring Process 

A freelance web developer can be hired by following the steps below:

  • Understand  the type of developer you need
  • Write a project description

  • Review your budget

  • Post your project

  • Find the right candidate by reviewing portfolios 

  • Agree on contracts


On the other hand, recruiting in-house developers can be done by:

  • Create a Job Description

  • Advertise the Job

  • Review Resumes and Portfolios

  • Conduct Interviews

  • Check References

  • Make a Job Offer

  • Onboard the New Hire

  • Provide Ongoing Support and Feedback

While interviewing and evaluating the candidates, brands should focus on the web developer’s technical expertise, skills in addressing issues, communication skills, and compatibility with the project and the team.

Ensuring Quality and Accountability 

While hiring a web developer, it is essential to be clear about your expectations from the candidate and the web development project. This may include the required work hours, realistic goals and objectives, timelines, and a clear description of all the primary duties. 

For the best work output, some of the best project management and monitoring tools include Nifty, ProofHub, Trello, Teamwork, Jira, and ClickUp.

Source: Trello

In addition to this, a web developer must be able to communicate well, and this can be done by:

  • Effective listening
  • Avoiding technical jargon while talking to non-technical people
  • Using analogies
  • Enhancing visual communication
  • Maintaining confidentiality

Future Trends in Web Development Talent 

As remote working is not easy, before hiring a developer, look for qualities like discipline, excellent communication, time management, and self-motivation. It is also essential to upskill and reskill web developers for finer output. Upskilling aims to teach the hires new skills to optimize their performance while reskilling trains the hires to adapt to a different post within the same company.

In addition, brands also need to focus on the emerging technologies in web development. Some examples include:

  • Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
  • AI Chatbots
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages
  • Single-Page Application
  • Optimized Voice Search
  • WordPress Development
  • Motion UI
  • Serverless Architecture
  • Responsive Site Design
  • Dark Mode Standardization
  • Improved Native Cybersecurity”

Source: Verloop

Choosing the right type of developer can make a huge difference in the success of your brand. As web development helps you create long-term customer relationships that, in turn, boost sales, it is crucial to hire a developer who is compatible with your business goals and does the job well.

If you need clarification about whether to hire freelance developers or in-house developers for your company, follow the given tips in the article and take your web development process to the heights of success! 

How do you decide: freelance or in-house? Let us know on Linkedin, Facebook & Twitter!


  1. What is a freelance app developer’s cost?
  • A freelance app developer charges an average of $61-80/hr. However, the charge may vary depending on location and task requirements.
  1. How much time does freelance software development take?
  • Freelance software development may take around 20 to 30 hours per week.
  1. How do freelance programmers market themselves?
  • To market yourself as a freelance programmer, create a project-oriented resume, use social media, build online professional connections, increase your experience, and get feedback about your work.

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