Outsource Your Website or Project

Graphic design, copyrighting, web programming, and database work can all be easily outsourced. There are hundreds of thousands of affordable and knowledgeable consultants available online through trusted websites like eLance and GETaFREELANCER.com.

Whether you're outsourcing a small portion of your website, or the entire project, you can save a lot of time and money by hiring an expert. If you lack the skills or experience to develop a professional website, or just need help with a particular task, it makes more sense to use a qualified professional than to try and figure it out on your own.

No matter how big or small your project is you can find somebody anxious to do the work. To quote eLance's website: "If you can describe it, you can get it done." Prices range by project and provider. Most of the affiliate websites and projects I have had developed range from a few hundred dollars for a basic website, up to a thousand dollars for more complicated projects. eLance also posts average pricing for projects on their website (updated in 2005).

If you are going to outsource any of your web-related projects, I suggest following these outsourcing tips below:

• Take advantage of eLance's free project consultation. If you're new to outsourcing web projects recruit the help of an expert to help you get started.

• Start with a small project or task. This will allow you to minimize your risks and costs if the consultant doesn't work out. If they do a great job, you can feel more comfortable giving them bigger projects.

• Don't post detailed information about your project in public view. Be somewhat vague in your title and description. You can always provide more details to consultants when they contact you through a private message board. This will help prevent competitors from scanning the listings and taking your ideas.

• Read the eLance tips on posting projects before you get started.

• Don't necessarily select the consultant with the cheapest bid. Sometimes you get what you pay for. It's more important for you to focus on their quality (portfolio) and feedback.

• Give exact details to your consultant about what you want done. The more details you provide the consultant, the less likely they will make mistakes or misinterpret what you want.

• Use the free standard forms offered on eLance's website. These include a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) and a service provider agreement. Keep in mind that these agreements may be hard to enforce if you're working with somebody in a foreign country, due to the complexity of international law. However, it's better to have some type of agreement in place than nothing at all.

• Avoid paying for work in advance. Consider breaking your project up into smaller pieces and paying as each milestone as achieved. This is a good way to keep you and the consultant happy.

• If you find somebody that you like, keep them happy. It's much easier to continue working with somebody that has a proven track record with you than to take a risk on a new consultant.

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