It is not impossible to staff up for web development. There are many marketing agencies with full-service, in-house dev-ops teams. That’s what they do.
And even if certain situations may call for additional expertise… some specialized security protocol, or unique ADA compliance consideration, for example… they know they can supplement that with a consultant or freelancer.
For them, the resources are on board. And for the few experts that are not physically needed in the same space, they are kept close at hand as outsources.
But those dev-op agencies know it takes a lot of experts. One developer can’t do a whole complex website.
There’s a joke about how the HR department at an ad agency wants just one web developer with Java, PHP, HTML, Python, C++, and Assembly experience… but three people show up to do the job.
(Not all HR people LOL at this joke)
So, like the little joke described above, it’s not just an expert or two. Complex website projects require a diversified team of specialists. And whenever one can, it’s nice to corral some unicorns within that team who are adept at multiple platforms, applications, disciplines, or oversight.
Web-dev Team Members
Any one particular agency and its team line-up will vary, and there are many wild cards to consider. But here’s an extremely high-altitude overview of what a web-dev team might look like…
This includes front-end developers (the functional, client-facing interface) and back-end developers (the server side of the equation; and secure, stable data transfer to the front end). For the data portion, a specialized database developer may also be needed in addition to the back-end person.
Simplifying, this is the blueprint of the website from the onset and is overseen throughout. Design and structure of the pages, web-app decisions, and how it all relates.
The project-manager portion of the work. Interacts with clients, coordinates and ensures personnel and schedules, and resources. Typically a good communicator and multi-tasker.
User Interface and User Experience design, or UI/UX. The visuals, the icons, and the buttons, plus the proposed interaction the user has with the site. Developers then make it function.
Ensuring the site’s business objectives are met. [Extremely simplified example]: If the core goal is to generate sales presentations, and to do that, users fill out a form and make an appointment, a web business analyst ensures that the function is accommodated. But also that it truly fulfills the goals of obtaining a presentation (is this feeding into our CRM or Salesforce properly? ). And ensuring that every related site experience contributes to a successful presentation.
QA Specialists check the entire site, log in, click everything, fill out forms, check reply emails (firewall issues), and check and sort data. These QAs ensure the site works and the user experience is fulfilled.
System administrators, or sysadmins, ensure the site is kept up and runs properly and reliably, meaning it performs well and optimizes uptime. Includes interaction with data and security.
That’s a snapshot of who and what can be part of an in-house team. Supplemental outsourced help may be peppered in… on-site or as consultants. For example, SMEs in ADA and security compliance (as mentioned above), animators and 3D renders to help with visuals, or maybe even videographers, photographers, or content developers.
And just like there isn’t one developer for front-end and back-end and data, there can be multiple team members in any of the overarching roles. Today’s complex websites include things such as personalized shopping carts, product configurators, tie-ins to enterprise software and Salesforce, dealer locators… or features including AI, VR, Voice, Geo, Chat, and others.
Specialized sites require specialists.
- Some agencies have full, in-house dev ops. They may just turn to an outsourcing partner for specialized consultants or SMEs.
- Some agencies have a unicorn or more than one unicorn on staff. Maybe those individuals can already oversee a development project… understand the scope and the design, and can possibly handle some plugins and CSS. An outsource partner for them is going to be whatever combination of missing links is needed, while the unicorn still heads up the project internally.
- And then some agencies have little or no in-house web-dev. For them, outsourcing with a dependable partner brings all of those skills… multiplied by as many specialists as needed.
No matter the situation above, outsourcing is a variable, transparent, pass-along cost. No hassles nor fixed costs related to hiring and firing. No guessing at how many of this skill set or that skill set is needed. No salaries. No benefits. No problems related to an ever-changing cast of miscellaneous contractors and characters.
And then, that white-label partner handles all of the ongoing management of what might be a combo of up to 70 different technical experts and developers and business analysts and SMEs that result… collectively delivering the success of that very project.
And today’s outsourcing costs can average about $39 to $69 per hour, depending.
- †Glassdoor.com base pay plus additional pay and ZipRecruiter.com, national average salaries (combined), data pulled April 2022.