So this weeks post is about my first experience using Freelancer.com. I used Freelancer to make some changes to my site, xenosmash.com. I wanted to have a few things changed around like my top navigation my search button and a page layout for my tutorials. I put my project online on Thursday and wanted to spend no more than $250. I mostly wanted to test things out and seeing that this was my first experience using a freelancer (outsourcing in general) I didn’t feel like spending more than $250 just in case things went bad.
So I put up my project online and within minutes I had quite a few bids on my project from all sorts of people. On the first night they had a “Recommended” freelancer who bid on the project for $75. He had some decent reviews but I didn’t want to pick the lowest bidder especially considering I wanted some quality work done on my site not just someone who’s in it to make a quick buck. Still though he had a pretty good track record. On Friday evening I decided to make my decision as I had just gotten paid that day. So I looked at a few, and the newest recommended freelancer was a company that bid on the project for $247 and said it would be done within 15 days. Right underneath the bid price they have the amount of days they say it will take to get done. I didn’t want to wait over two weeks to see these results, especially if I was going to pay near the top of my allocated budget. So I went with another who asked for $125 and said it could be done in two days.
We talked briefly via chat then I decided to “award” him the project which basically means I chose him to complete the project. Mind you this guy was in India which meant it was Saturday morning. I told him I gave him the project to do and he said he would get it done by end of day Monday. I wasn’t sure if he meant end of Monday my time or his but I figured it would be done by end of Monday in the US. After he accepted the job he noted that he didn’t work on Sundays which was fine as long as he would still meet his end of the deal by getting it done in two days as he asked.
I sent him some images of everything I wanted done, which basically entailed screenshots of my site that I edited to contain how I wanted the site to look like. First thing I wanted change was my navigation. The theme I had was the Gigawatt theme and the logo was centered in the middle of the page which didn’t look good with my logo so I wanted it moved to the top along a black navigation bar. I also wanted my pages in my nav at the very top with a nice drop down menu for sub-pages. I also wanted my search bar to be moved to this top nav as well and provided what it would look like. Lastly I wanted my post thumbnails to have a white border around them to make them stand out a bit. I also asked to have a page template edited since the layout for all the video thumbnails for some reason would all show up on the left side of the page.
Looking back on it, it was probably something I should have paid more to get done, but the freelancer said he could do it so I trusted his judgement. So the first day nothing was changed, nor on Monday. Monday evening came around and I could see some very small changes being made. He had access to my FTP account that I created for him and he also had a freelancer account on my WordPress site. I sent him a few emails here and there to make sure he was on track and if he needed time to notify me. He didn’t reply until Wednesday to tell me “Ok I’m done please look over it and tell me if anything needs to be changed”. There were a few things he didn’t do and some things he did that ultimately made it harder to work with on my site. For one he made the top black bar only extend out a short distance rather than span the entire length of the site, so it looks off. Second, the search bar is a small white box that when clicked on expands. I wasn’t a big fan of this but I let it go and lastly the search function was completely messed up. Also he had hard coded things in using HTML and whatever else he used so the flexibility I once had in those areas of my site were now gone. If I try to add a new page it doesn’t show up at all.
It’s not all bad though, after all I only paid $125 to get all this done and I never had any issues with who I hired. He fixed a few of the things I wanted and I eventually paid him after doing so. Another hiccup I had was with the Freelancer.com site itself. I hadn’t logged into the site in some time so I didn’t noticed that they required a phone verification in order to release any funds. Needless to say I ended up having wait a full day since my account was locked out and their customer support just gave me the “sorry that’s our system, you’ll have to wait” response which I thought was pretty ridiculous especially since I could have called THEM to get this resolved.
So in the end would I go through all this again? Yes, but I would be more selective about who I’ve picked. I’m not sure if I’ll go through Freelancer.com anymore, I might try my hand at Elance as I’ve heard they tend to have better quality workers although they are a bit pricier. I want to really add some nice stuff to my site but I think I’ll wait till next month to get any more work done as I’m trying to see which areas need the most work. Most things I want to change I can currently do myself so I’ll do that first. I hope this gives you some good insight into using sites like freelancer.com to get some custom work done!