Outsourcing WordPress projects is a great way to scale your business. But it could also be a double-edged sword. On one hand, outsourcing can make your business keep up with unexpected work or just provide clients a product/service you aren't able with your in-house resources. And that's awesome. On the other, when done wrong, it could be just a hassle because you're embracing a new kind of work with people you've never met in person.
Many business owners find it hard to fully benefit from outsourcing WordPress web development and/or design projects because they're not used to or have little experience with it.
When done correctly, outsourcing is a powerful and cost-effective way to produce desired outcomes. Problem is, there are no manuals out there for best practices when it comes to WordPress outsourcing.
There's our experience though with thousands of customers who outsource WordPress development and design projects on a daily basis. Specifically, we've been talking with them, asking which issues they encountered the most, how they overcame them and also what they learned after they marked as completed their first outsourced jobs.
With this compound knowledge at our hand, we thought "Hey, let's share it!". And that's what you'll find here below: 7 tips to effectively start outsourcing WordPress projects.
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1. Put some efforts in writing your project description
It all starts with how you write your job description: experienced developers and designer can understand how much of a good client you're just by reading your words. Your description sounds too generic? No budget allocated? You're probably someone they wouldn't work with.
2. Start outsourcing just a task (rather than a project)
If you haven't outsourced anything before, you should get used to it. Just start with something small, like a single task ranging from a 3/4-hour task to a 1-day max to better understand which new dynamics and issues rise. Some outsourcing examples suitable for 1st times are: improving the speed of your website, creating an after the post widgetized area, create a landing page template.
3. Wear the project manager hat
No matter what you decide to outsource (small tasks vs entire project), you'll play an important role in the whole process. Specifically, you'll be in charge of delivering all information, answer questions that would eventually pop up, and give constructive feedback as the job goes by. Getting used to communicating smartly and anticipating questions, together with keeping track of the ongoing flow required, are the first aspects you should invest your time on.
4. Break the work up into small packages
No matter what your outsourced job is about, try to create a bite-sized working flow to better track advancements, bottlenecks and still having the chance to stop the work and move to another expert (if things go like they're not supposed to).
5. Discuss maintenance upfront
One aspect that many first-timers forget to take into account is regular maintenance and updates of something they requested to develop. Once the task or project is marked as completed, who would take care of any upcoming issues? Is this included in the agreement? How about the price? How much the developer will charge you more? These are questions you'd better think ahead before your jump into outsourcing.
6. Discuss hosting
Same story goes for hosting: you should discuss who will take care of the hosting once the project/task gets completed and shipped to you. Will you be in charge for this? Will you able to do this on your own or would you need the developer to take that into account also? And, most importantly, clearly state that if you discontinue your relationship with the developer, he'll provide you with a fully archived backup so that you can move to another hosting service provider.
7. The money-saving questions to ask yourself when outsourcing
If you're starting with outsourcing, there are lots of important new things you should now consider. Many of them will have an impact on your money, the time and the output eventually. That's why I listed some questions you should be able to answer with a "yes", while act accordingly if the answer isn't affirmative. Keep them as a reference for future outsourced projects.
- Is my task/project clearly explained?
- Did I provide additional resources to get the outsourced expert a better idea about the desired outcome (mockup, visual sketches, links)?
- Did I provide the expert with all information needed to complete the project?
- Did I talk about hosting, maintenance, and future updates?
- Did I share the login credentials to access my staging website (or other tools)?
- Did I share one other communication channel other than my email (Skype, Google Hangout, phone number) for emergencies and misunderstandings?
Wrapping things together
Outsourcing is an entrepreneurial practice that can really empower your business but it take some time to be good at it and fully leverage its potential.
Start by getting your hand dirty by outsourcing single tasks and small projects at first. This way you'll more easily get used to the new working paradigm and can keep up with a standard pace so that you don't risk getting overwhelmed.
And remember, quality, timing and experience have all a price so don't be afraid to pay more when all these 3 are provided by your expert. Leave the cheapest solution off your desk. That would be a great business choice, you'll see.