In-house Team vs. Development Agency- Which to Choose?

Many who embark on entrepreneurial ventures often find themselves stuck in a confusing and difficult conundrum when it comes to the question of building an In-house team or hiring a web development agency for their established or emerging business. Where a Google search on the topic may lead to an outright concoction of results with varied responses, one is less than likely to unearth a clear verdict on the case. As it happens to be the story with most things on the cyberspace, internet forums are likely to be territorially divided into two very contrasting schools of thought; where some may swoon at the merits of outsourcing development work, others may cringe at the very thought of it and rather prefer an In-house team to get the job done. But luckily (& unknowingly so) you’ve done your self quite a favor. And in your pursuits of an answer, have wandered to just the right place. Without further ado and in the ensuing lines, we’ll break down the case for each option and try deriving the most pragmatic conclusion to help you decide for yourself.


1- Budget

Building an In-House web development team to manage your website and infrastructure, helps set your budget for the year, since you would be paying an annual salary instead of paying for each request and project that comes up. Furthermore, a cost that’s often overlooked is perhaps the cost of communication. With an In-house development team, you don’t have to, set appointments, travel across towns, make international phone calls or deal with the hassles of a Skype Call to communicate a simple amendment. Also, you don’t have to fret about fluctuating web development costs or the markedly varied quotations given by external developers, every time. This may help you stay on track and maintain your annual budget.

2- Company Knowledge & Relevance

In-house developers are usually more apt to understand your business. By spending time in your office, and being a part of the day-to-day narrative, they may be more responsive and in tune to your current business needs. Moreover, an In-house Web Development team will have easy access to internal data as well as better office coordination, which allows for easy cooperation with your business intelligence team and customer information databases. Also, being well aware of your company’s values and being a part of it will certainly help developers iterate the product better and more relevant to your audience.

3- Aligned Interests

A team of In-house web developers working with you is more likely to treat your business like their own and may share a sense of ownership towards your cause. Free-lancers or external agencies on the other hand may treat your business like they treat ten other businesses on their client list. For them, success may translate into securing multiple clients, working on a number of projects and delivering them within the quoted deadline. Your own team however may share a similar interest and therefore be more dedicated to the cause and rather focus on expanding your company’s business and generating greater revenue as you go.


1- Cost

While having an In-house team may help you set and maintain a budget, you are likely to end-up spending more than you expected in the long-run; given the tens and thousands that go in providing health-insurance, (which is ridiculously expensive) Education, PTO, nonproductive time and a bunch of other employee benefits to each and every developer that you hire to take up an office seat. And not to mention, you most likely will need to hire an outside vendor to cover the areas in which your team might be weak or lacking in- ending up paying more than what you may’ve bargained for whilst planning your business venture. What you save on employee related cost can be better spent on building a bigger, more feature-rich website or application.

2- Short-Term Commitment

Perhaps the most underrated benefit of hiring an external agency to manage your website and digital infrastructure is bringing in an expert on a project basis without committing long-term. Also, you may really need someone with one skill set now but need someone with a totally different skill set in a few months. Thus seeking the services of an external agency allows you greater flexibility without spending on hoards of associated employee costs. Furthermore, lesser employees mean much less employee related issues. Not only do you save on employee benefits, you also have lesser people and their work issues to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

3- Quick Results

Developers at an external agency tend to work on a number of websites and have greater experience when it comes to different situations and approaches. Having worked on a variety of projects, they are likely to come up with a solution to meet your needs much quicker compared to an in-house development team. Furthermore, going through piles of resumes in pursuits of finding the most apt developers, convincing them to join your company and fully commit to its morals and value, may be more time consuming than you think. Whereas, a development agency for the long-term or even a project-to-project basis takes such worries off your mind and allow you to focus on things that are more significant to your business’ growth.


Having read so far, you now have some idea about each of the two options and what exactly do they bring to your business. However, you may still have some qualms and unanswered questions gnawing in your head and itching for a verdict. To put your troubling queries to rest, the choice pretty much depends on the type of business that you may own. Hiring a development agency to manage your website and digital infrastructure may be the right option for people with startups, small-scale or emerging businesses; given their need for quicker results and lack of finances and resources to fund employees and their associated costs. However, for a big-name or established business that can afford the long-term costs, building an in-house development team may be the most convenient option. Not only does it help maintain and stabilize an annual budget, it also adds to the company’s functionality and productivity. They need not to depend on external agencies and can progress steadily on their own.

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