Elance Experiment

Over the past few months we’ve been working on revamping our current website CharSOLgrill.com. We outran what we could reasonable do with DreamWeaver and so we looked for a web developer.

As with any startup, we were looking to keep the website development costs low and so we decided to give the ever popular Elance a try. We received a number of low cost bids for the development work. Each had good references and seemingly solid website portfolios. But the results so far have been mixed.

Please see my review of the Elance work to date:

Pros
1. Extremely Cheap
2. Fairly prompt response and turn-around-times

Cons
1. You never know what you are going to get.
2. Complex ideas will never get done

Conclusion
I would suggest Elance for someone looking to do a very basic website or to get the backbone of a complicated website done. Anything beyond the very basics are just a waste of time.

Please make sure to check back to www.charsolgrill.com in the near future to see how the Elance changes came out.

As always please remember to follow us on twitter @SolarGrill.

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2 Responses to Elance Experiment

  1. tjenterim says:

    Pro #1 is why Con #2 happens. I’ve been doing software development for 30 years, I’ve just been on Elance for a few months. What I’ve found is that a lot of the customers on Elance are not used to talking in terms of technical requirements. Which leaves the developer guessing much of the time. Then add in the fact that the payments for work are very low, the developer is not inclined to spend much time and effort gathering the requirements. Thus as you say, complex projects have difficulty.
    My advice, once you find someone that does a good job for you keep using them.

    • patrickduggan says:

      Great comment. I’ve actually had much better service and results the 2nd and 3rd time around on eLance. The key is to be very specific and include screen shots when possible. I think learning how to specify the requirements as you’ve stated is crucial, and only can come with experience.

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