Hiring an In-House Web Developer vs. Hiring a White Label Web Developer

Let’s say your team has the very best web designers out there. You typically work with clients that only need a design done, and usually go somewhere else for their development. But then your customers ask, “why don’t you do development?” Enter stage left: white-label web development. What is white-label web development? White-label web development […]

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Let’s say your team has the very best web designers out there. You typically work with clients that only need a design done, and usually go somewhere else for their development. But then your customers ask, “why don’t you do development?”

Enter stage left: white-label web development.

What is white-label web development?

White-label web development is essentially subcontracting a part of your business so that you can focus on what you already do best. If you’re really great at web design, but don’t know where to start with development, we can help you out.

Hiring developers can be expensive, and you might be unsure if this business risk will be worthwhile.

That’s where a white-label development partner can help:

  • Expand your services without putting a strain on your team.
  • Allow you to experiment with new revenue streams.
  • Add a new service while allowing you to focus on what you do best.

Many agencies build their entire business model around white-labeled services. These agencies are great at working with clients, setting expectations, and developing effective strategies. Then they choose highly skilled development agencies to build exceptional websites or software.

How do I know if white-label web development is right for me?

Hiring a white-label web development agency is a lot like renting a car. It might not be a permanent solution, but it allows you to try out new ventures without all the risk of the initial investment.

The main question you should be asking yourself is, “What are my priorities?”

The following sections can help you break down what’s most important to your company and help you make the right decision.

Cost

Let’s say you can rent a car for $30 a day, or buy the same car for $25,000.

Renting a car can be inexpensive if you only need it for a road trip. You don’t have to pay for maintenance or worry that it will break down. Buying a car is more cost-effective in the long-term, but ultimately you are responsible for keeping it running.

Similarly, hiring a white-label partner:

  • Can be less expensive in the short term
  • Doesn’t require a substantial up-front investment

Another benefit of white-label development is that your costs tend to be more predictable, which means you have more predictable project margins. In times where the market is volatile, white-label partners can allow agencies to avoid a fixed cost every month and only pay per project.

Hiring an in-house developer requires a significant upfront investment (time to hire, onboard, and train), but may pay off over time if they have consistent work.

Speed

Okay, we’re going to keep with the rental car analogy, but we’re not talking about the speedometer.

Let’s say you need a car this weekend for a trip. You don’t have time to shop around dealerships, but you know you need to get good gas mileage, lots of trunk space, and a sunroof. You call the rental company, and they can have the right car ready to be picked up the evening before your trip. Talk about efficiency!

White-label services often have pre-built products that you can use for a reduced cost or frameworks that can reduce time-to-market. They can be available on short notice (when compared to hiring in-house).

A disadvantage, though, is not necessarily having someone available to your team whenever you need it. In this case, the up-front investment may be a better choice.

The rental company may not have that exact car every time you need it. Deciding to purchase the new car (or hire an in-house developer) means that you ultimately have more freedom and reliability.

One more thing you should consider is what would happen if your car gets stolen – if your developer leaves, they could take the entire development process with them. You’d have to start your search all over again.

Control

Control can be an essential aspect when looking at a project. What if you want your car to have a tighter suspension or snow tires for winter? What if you wanted a racing gauge that should show your car’s vitals as you’re driving?

If you need something specific from your developer or need to have your finger on the pulse at all times, an in-house developer may be the choice for you.

You may consider hiring an in-house developer if:

  • You need a unique solution, and you can’t find a white-label service that meets your needs
  • Your website will require significant technological understanding and know-how to maintain (such as a complicated e-commerce infrastructure)
  • If you anticipate a lot of scaling or functionality improvements over time

In these cases, having more control over your development team will be a defining factor in the project’s success.

Quality and Diversity

Let’s face it, rental cars tend to be nicer than the family minivan. They are maintained by the rental company and replaced as often as needed. Just like the rental company performing routine maintenance, your white-label partner is in charge of managing, training, etc. so you don’t have to.

Another benefit of renting a car is that you can choose what you want: grab a convertible on a sunny day; on a snowy day, you can rent a truck. Having this choice can significantly improve your experience.

The same goes for white-label development services. They likely have experts in diverse fields. You get access to an entire team of developers with a full breadth of abilities, knowledge, and years of experience, compared to hiring one developer with some expertise in a few areas.

Here at Interdev, we are WordPress development experts, but also have experts in SEO and API integrations. Each of these people has expansive knowledge that they use every day. There is no need to dust off college textbooks to find the right solution. Sometimes, your white-label partner can even suggest solutions to problems you otherwise wouldn’t have known about.

Although there are some critics, I don’t believe there is one perfect vehicle for all occasions. In the same way, there is no ideal developer for all programming tasks. Having access to the knowledge of several experts in different areas can improve time-to-market and deliver high-quality results.

On the flip side, it can be important to consider what your customer’s needs are. Do you feel comfortable contracting out a product you are going to resell to your clients? It is essential to vet your potential white-label website development partner to make sure they are capable of providing top-notch websites and software. If you don’t feel comfortable, it likely won’t be a beneficial relationship.

What else you can do

If you’re still not sure, it can help to hire an in-house development manager who maintains a holistic view of all ongoing projects (like an overall project manager) and a white-label partner for individual development projects that require more expertise.

Made Your Decision?

Once you’ve decided which path is right for you, it’s time to start looking around.

Inter is a great place to start. We are a digital agency with a history of working as a white-label partner. Although we can’t share our white-label success out of respect for our clients, our traditional web development services speak for themselves.

Related: Helping First Editing to Increase Goal Completions by 118% through a website redesign

If you’re interested in seeing what we can do for you, give us a shout. We’d love to learn more about how we can help your business grow.

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Hiring an In-House Web Developer vs. Hiring a White Label Web Developer