Hiring Freelancers v/s Hiring a Dev Agency

Choose between hiring freelancers or working with dev agency to develop your next startup, SaaS app or web app.


Harish Deivanayagam

3 minutes to read


The moment you want to build a SaaS startup you need to hire skilled people to get the job done.

Your time is best spent on crafting the business plan, market research, user research, and Go-To-Market.

The two paths

If you’re planning to develop software there are two approaches.

  • Hire Freelancers from Marketplace or your connections

  • Hiring a Dev Agency or Dev shop

There are advantages and disadvantages when choosing either one of the paths.

We will discuss various parameters including cost, technical skills, and management.



The cost of hiring freelancers might vary. Some freelancers charge from $10/hr and to $100/hr.

Dev Agency

The cost of hiring a dev agency is around $200/hr.


From these — we can say that hiring freelancers would be a cheaper option. But one cannot simply discount other parameters just by looking at the cost.

Technical Skills


Finding quality freelancers is hard. Mostly freelancers over-promise on what they can deliver. Don’t get me wrong. There are quality freelancers out there. It’s just expensive and time-consuming to find them.

Some websites to discover top developers,

Dev Agency

Most dev agencies are structured businesses. You can easily discover their ability by reviewing their previous work.


One way to figure out technical expertise is by verifying their ability to conduct a session with someone you know (who has technical knowledge). This is similar to asking your mechanic to vet the used car.



This is where hiring the freelancers part tends to fall apart. Even if you’re able to find and vet the technical expertise, managing freelancers is way harder than hiring a dev agency.

One single freelancer won’t get your job done. You need to hire several freelancers to get the job done.

Each freelancer might be working on different projects. This will huge headache.

To solve this you can hire a Fractional CTO (who does the job of a CTO or manager but you hire them as an independent consultant). Even then it's hard to assure whether your team will be productive churning out code.

Dev Agency

Since it's a structured business, most of the agencies have a business consultant, project manager, technical lead, and developers for each project.

They will make sure your project is done and delivered on time. Even if a developer leaves the company, they will recruit new hires and fill the positions.


Ultimately, hiring a dev agency makes management less of an issue even if it's a little bit on the expensive side compared to hiring freelancers.


You need to analyze the understanding of your level of technical expertise, and whether you can manage a project yourself or have someone to entirely manage the project. You need also to consider the kind of budget. Choosing the wrong path might be a costly affair.

Our decision matrix

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