What kinds of experiences have you had with hiring web developers on Freelancer.com?

We’ve been having a really bad experience overall. We wanted to develop a mobile app with PhoneGap with 4 screens, so something not overly complex. Here are some issues with freelancer:

– The first issue inherent to all platforms: you get a lot of low bids from India and China, and average bids from the US and UK. Obviously you’re there to get the job done inexpensively so you’ll go for the Indian/Chinese bid. It’s very hard to tell whether or not the developer is good because (particularly on freelancer), the ratings are completely unreliable.

– Now the issues with freelancer in particular: our first developer told us his parents were sick and needed some money before starting his job. We refused and he stopped communicating. Our $150 initial milestone was held by freelancer, stuck in limbo. You have to go through a complicated dispute process to get it back and at that point your developer will do anything to get some money. Our second developer also told us his parents were sick and needed the first milestone to be released right away. You get the idea.

– Support on freelancer is poor. Basically their promise that you “only pay if you are happy with the performance of your developer” is a lie. Going through their dispute process, which they charge you for, is a pain.

So now we’re basically stuck with a highly-rated developer from China who over-promised and is unable to complete our project. I highly recommend that you find a local developer to help you with your project. Unless it’s something extremely basic (you’re a restaurant and need to set up a simple site), I would stay away from freelancer or other similar platforms.

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