Those in the market for an Umbraco website are presented with an often mind-boggling number of options when shopping around for providers: the most common being sole developers and large agencies. Each comes with its own pros and cons, so it’s essential that those looking to source services have the inside track on what to look for and the right questions to ask at the procurement stage.
There are plenty of great sole developers out there, in fact, some of the highest profile and most competent Umbraco Developers in the community fall into that category. We think that working with a sole developer can bring great opportunities, but there are some risks that need to be well understood by buyers.
Issues to be Aware of When Working with a Sole Umbraco Developer
On several occasions, Carbon Six Digital have been asked to pick up a website or project that was developed by a sole developer. Despite having lower overheads than a large agency, and thus charging at lower rates, this can come with a catch or two.
Firstly the obvious, what happens when they’re sick, on holiday, away from their desk or busy on another project? Of course, even large agencies can struggle to resource urgent requests, but the problem is more acute where the work depends on a single person. Some sole developers solve this by partnering up with other sole developers to cover leave. As a buyer, you should be aware of these arrangements before work starts of informed if this happens during the course of your project.
Secondly, over time there is sometimes a tendency for sole developers to become isolated resulting in slippage in best practice and the development of bad habits. This is less likely in large agencies where developers work in teams with others and therefore hold each other to account.
The impact of these little bad habits can be insidious, slowly creeping up on you, weighing down your system and making it hard to change the site or resulting in mounting costs when it comes to moving to a different agency.
Fortunately, in the Umbraco world, there are ways to mitigate these issue. Look for Certified Developers or Certified Partners. Neither is a cast iron guarantee that your solution will be well built, but they are evidence that the developer or agency has been trained in best practice techniques. For more complex projects where the solution is unusual, you may like to consider working with an Umbraco Gold Partner. These top-level Partners take an active part and interest in the development of Umbraco and can call on the architectural advice service from Umbraco HQ.
As an Umbraco Gold Partner Carbon Six Digital rigorously manage issues with resourcing like holidays and sickness to deliver a consistent service and ensure that every project we deliver is overseen by an Umbraco Certified Master meaning that best practice is followed throughout from project development to delivery.
Get Support for Your Umbraco Website
Does your Umbraco website need an MOT? Maybe it’s misbehaving, seems buggy or is just simply not performing as expected? Fear not, help is at hand. Carbon Six Digital offer an Umbraco Health Check that goes under the hood to audit every aspect of your Umbraco site, reporting back on what’s right and what’s not.