I am working with a team right now. They spent time to build a website for me. But it seems that they do not have strong skills. I am not sure whether they can deliver me a quality website or not. On one hand, I do not feel comfortable now to withdraw without paying. On the other hand, I do not feel comfortable to pay the freelancer if the website they build is not functioning . How do you evaluate the skills of the freelancer before entering the contract?
Upwork encourages freelancers to provide detailed information on their profiles. This can be helpful for clients to determine that the freelancer is qualified for the task they need help with. As a client, you also have the option to post a fixed-price contract for the purpose of testing the freelancer's skills. You might also want to check the resources we have compiled here designed to help clients in hiring.
re: "How do you evaluate the skills of the freelancer before entering the contract?"
You can't REALLY evaluate a freelancer's web development skills before hiring him.
Hire a bunch of people. See who among them provides you with the best value. Then continue working with the best freelancer or freelancers that you find.
One of the best things you can do for yourself - to save time and money - is to pay freelancers for work that you can't actually use. That will help you find the feeelancers who will really help you save and make money.
What do I mean when I say that a great way to save money is to pay freelancers for work that you can't really use? I will give an example:
Tom hired a freelancer to work on a website. The freelancer was not very good at doing this. And it took a lot longer then expected. It cost a lot more than expected. But eventually the results were sort of okay, although costly.
Nancy hired six different freelancers to work on a website. She ended up firing four of the freelancers after she saw the work that they did and saw how much they charged. She threw all of the work that they did away.
The freelancers that she stopped working with logged a total of 15 hours of work.
The two freelancers that she continued working with did great work and were a great value. They redid the work that the other freelancers had done. They did it better and at less cost.
Nancy ended up paying four freelancers for work that she ended up not using. But in the end she paid less then half what Tom paid for the entire website.
Tom and Nancy had projects that were identical in size and complexity.
So how did Nancy save so much money?
She saved money because she hired multiple people and fired all of them quickly except for the very best ones. And she did not try to get money back from the people she fired. That would have wasted time and money.
I would recommend breaking the project into smaller tasks. In your case, perhaps ask a few designers for the Homepage design and implementation only. After evaluating the initial delivery from all freelancers, chose the best professional to work on the full website. I'm sure that by then, you'll have a better view of each candidate and their skills.
A portfolio will only give you some idea of past projects, but unless the freelancer is really specific about their role in the project, it will be impossible to determine if they will be a good fit to the project.
And finally, we should also consider that sometimes, especially this year, something unexpected can happen that will impact the service provided.
Consider this approach as paying for a test-drive, before buying a car. Hope this helps and good luck with your project.
Excellent tips from Joao.
I understand the desire to know a freelancer's skills.
But ultimately that may not be what is important.
If you find a freelancer who TRULY IS EXTREMELY SKILLED, that is good. But what if he does not spend time on your project?
What if he does what he feels like on your project instead of doing the things you want?
What if he is simply too expensive, while another freelancer could do the same work for half the cost?
What if he is very skilled but only works on weekends and you need support on weekdays?
Beyond knowing if a freelancer is skilled, you need to know how the freelancer will work out for you. There is no way to know that for certain before hiring a freelancer.