Dedicated Front-end Developers VS Freelance Front-end Developers

If there is one quandary that most IT business owners are likely to face in their corporate lives, it is this: 

Whether to hire freelance developers or dedicated developers?

The problem with this choice intensifies when you have to hire front-end developers. 

Why?

Because a front-end developer is someone who brings to the table a mix of design, technology, and programming to create the visual interface with which your (or your client’s) end-users interact with the business. 

The job is by no means a joke. And you need the absolute best talent that you can rely on. 

While the call ultimately remains yours, here is a quick guide that can help you decide what’s right for you. No bias or propaganda involved. Just pure facts. 

Let’s take a look.

Dedicated front-end developers vs. freelance front-end developers – A 5-point comparison

5 points of difference between the two choices for onboarding a front-end developer. 

FactorFreelance front-end developersDedicated front-end developers
Level of expertiseTough to validateEasier to ensure
Sense of securityLowHigh
CommitmentAverageHigher
Use of tools and technologyPossibility of misuseNo possibility of misuse
Support and assistanceUnlikely to be availableLong-term support and assistance are available

1. The level of expertise

Whether you are hiring a freelancer or a dedicated front-end developer, their level of expertise depends on

  • Years of experience
  • Number of projects worked on
  • Education and training received

A developer’s resume will tell you all of this. But according to a 2020 survey, 78% of applicants lie on their resumes.

With freelance front-end developers it is tough to find out how much of their resume is factually correct. 

With dedicated developers, you know the background checks and verifications are rigorously done. Talent connect agencies  – the number 1 platform to onboard dedicated developers – will also offer to replace the candidates if you are not satisfied with their performance

2. Sense of security

Ideas and concepts are the real wealth in the digital world. Say you share your website’s vision with a freelance front-end developer. And before your site goes live, you see a competitor’s website with the same idea. 

Don’t be shocked. 70% of freelancers work on 2-4 projects at once. And because you cannot stop them, you cannot even secure your business idea. 

Dedicated developers work exclusively on your project. Plus, they are legally bound by contracts to keep your intellectual property safe.

Of course, you can file a suit against the wrongdoing freelancers. 

But consider this: 

  • Your competitor already has your idea. 
  • You’ll bear several costs to drag the defaulting freelancer to court. 
  • And even if your claims get approved, you still cannot leverage your idea anyway. 

It’s simply not worth risking security, to be honest.

3. Commitment

Freelancers have commitment issues. 

If you think that’s what we are going to get at, it is not true.

There are not one but multiple freelancers who have shown with their impeccable work that their commitment to the client’s project is utmost and absolute. 

But finding those freelancers requires a lot of effort. [To be honest, you need a pinch of luck too.]

Does that automatically mean dedicated developers are 100% committed to the job? Not really. 

But here’s the deal.

If you hire a dedicated developer via an agency, you can keep your front-end development going even if the developer vanishes into thin air. 

How? 

The agency makes sure you have another dedicated front-end professional to fill in the shoes of the previous one. 

Now, there’s no difference between those who work as dedicated developers and freelancers.  Yet, the final result is that you can get a higher commitment with the dedicated engagement model. 

1. Use of tools and technologies 

A vast majority of front-end tools and technologies are available for free. (Thank God for open-source!)

But a lot of them still need to be paid for. And you’ve to be one swiping the card. 

Now, you will be yielding profits for your own business and your clients with the use of those resources. So paying for them is justified.

But what if someone else is able to get the benefit of those tools at your expense? 

You don’t want that now, do you?

With freelancers it is possible. Harsh but true.

Dedicated front-end developers have access to the tools only while working with you. And while working with you, they aren’t working on any other project. So it is unlikely, if not impossible, that they’d misuse your business resources. 

2. Support and assistance

Freelancers are free birds. You cannot expect them to sit around until after the website and app launch. And forget about any long-term support and maintenance. 

Dedicated developers, more often than not, can be retained till you are completely satisfied with the project they have designed and developed. 

Hire freelance front-end developers when

Even with everything being said about freelancers, here are 3 situations where you should, in fact, hire freelancer front-end developers

1. You don’t mind sharing attention 

The project is small. The work is routine. And you don’t mind someone who is just giving a couple of hours to the front end of your project. If that’s indeed the case, save the bucks and hire freelancers.

2. You are okay with patchwork

You got a website developed. A couple of years down the line, there’s a tiny glitch that you want to get fixed. Or a small update. Freelancers can work on that just fine. 

3. You need specialization in one specific skill or technology

Some front-end technologies may not be as popular as others. That, of course, means there are fewer developers with expertise in those technologies. 

So if you have looked high and low and are unable to find a dedicated developer specializing in that skill or technology, hire freelancers. At least you’ll be able to get the job done. 

Hire dedicated front-end developers when:

Here are the top 3 situations when dedicated front-end developers are not a choice but a necessity.

1. Your project dedication

Duh! This one’s pretty obvious. If your project is huge, requires zip-tight security, and 100% dedication, no one can beat dedicated front-end developers. 

  1. You need long-term support and services

  • An app that you want to keep updating. 
  • A website that you wish to continue using for a long time and revamping along the way. 
  • A software solution that you want to keep modifying based on the latest customer feedback. 

All these are situations when you need ongoing front-end support. Dedicated developers all the way

2. There is a set of tools that you want the developer to use

If you are investing in specific front-end software or tools, make sure you don’t encourage misuse by giving it away to freelancers. Dedicated developers will be better equipped to use those tools and will also be a safer option.

It is your turn to call the shots now

A report from Harvard Business Review claimed that dedicated development teams can help to boost productivity by 10%. They are also much more likely to stick to the budget. 

So if you want to boost productivity and stick to the budget, hire a front-end developer.

If you have specific needs that can be best met with freelancers, don’t hesitate from doing that either. 

Just remember, websites, mobile apps, software solutions, etc. are available a dime a dozen today. If you want yours to stand out, the front end needs to be flawless. Don’t compromise on that and hire experts you can trust and depend on.

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