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Should You Hire a Freelancer? Find Out if They’re Going to Be a Good Fit

Should You Hire a Freelancer? Find Out if They're Going to Be a Good Fit for Your Team

As your company grows, you may find that your existing team is no longer able to handle all the work necessary to keep things running. This means you’ll need to conduct some hiring – but what kind of workers should you look for? Should you hire a freelancer? To answer that question, it helps to understand the drawbacks and benefits of working with freelancers.

You have a lot of options for adding new members to your team, but freelancers are becoming more and more popular. There are good reasons for that – freelancers offer needed flexibility, and are often a low-cost solution. At the same time, there are also downsides to hiring freelancers, and it can sometimes be more useful to hire a full-time team member.

In this post, we’re going to talk about the different ways you can expand your team. We’ll also discuss the downsides and benefits when you hire a freelancer, and help you decide whether it’s the right choice for your business. Let’s get started!

⚽ Your various options for expanding your team

Knowing when to expand your team is one of the most crucial but tricky parts of running a business. Hire too soon, and you may end up overextending your budget. Hire too late, on the other hand, and you might end up in a situation where there’s no one available to handle key tasks and projects.

That’s why you’ll want to keep a very close eye on your business’ overall workload. You should know how many man-hours worth of work there are to be done on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and how many actual man-hours are available to handle that work. This may be a little tricky if your workload fluctuates, but keeping tabs on these metrics over an extended period of time should help to average out the variations.

Another important detail when doing these calculations is to focus only on the key tasks – the ones that are essential to your business – and not various “admin” or “filler” work. It’s understandable that you always want to keep your employees busy, so you’ll find them work even when a project is on hold. However, this type of work shouldn’t be counted toward all those “man-hours needed” numbers.

With that done, if the two numbers – man-hours available and man-hours needed – have been close to equal for a few months or so, it’s probably time to start looking for extra help. In other words, it’s time to start the hiring process when your existing team is at or near max capacity consistently, and you expect continued steady growth in the future. That way, when the hiring process is complete, there should be work for the new team member to do (without overloading them right out of the gate).

Your hiring options will depend somewhat on your industry. However, there are three main categories of workers you can recruit to your team:

  1. Full-time workers. What counts as ‘full time’ will vary somewhat, but what’s important is that this person will be fully committed to your business. You’ll likely have to provide benefits as well as a salary, and the employee will probably work on-site.
  2. Part-time workers. This is a useful option if you need some help, but don’t have the budget or need for a full-time employee. You’ll likely be responsible for less (if any) benefits. You also have the option of later offering a part-time worker an advancement to full-time employment.
  3. Freelancers. A freelancer or ‘contractor’ does work for your business, but doesn’t count as an employee. That means they’re exempt from most laws regarding benefits. You can hire a freelancer to do anywhere from a few hours of work per week to 40 hours or more, and they may work in-house or remotely (usually the latter).

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably at least considering adding one or more freelancers to your team. With that in mind, let’s look more closely at the pros and cons involved.

👍 The benefits when you hire a freelancer

Freelancers are popular for a reason. In fact, more and more companies are starting to rely heavily on these types of workers. According to recent studies, around 35% of U.S. workers freelance, which adds up to nearly 57 million people overall – a 7% growth over the last five years.

To understand why that is, let’s explore the key benefits of hiring a freelancer:

First and foremost, when you hire a freelancer, it typically involves a lower cost and less financial risk. There are several reasons for this, including:

  • ✅ You aren’t typically required to offer any benefits, such as paid time off or retirement plan co-pays.
  • ✅ Taxes are often lower on your end – in the U.S., for example, you won’t need to pay into social security for your freelance workers. The scenario is similar in other countries as well. You generally don’t have to worry about the freelancer-side taxes – it’s them who have to take care of those.
  • ✅ You won’t have to worry about severance pay, or any other factors that make terminating your relationship with a worker costly or complicated.
  • ✅ The process of hiring a freelancer is often quick and simple – as is ending your contract if necessary.

In addition to the above advantages, freelancers are flexible workers. You can hire a freelancer do to just a few hours of work per week – for instance, if you needed someone to manage your social media channels. This is also useful if you want someone to put in more hours than a part-time employee typically would, but still do less than full-time work.

Plus, many freelancers are willing to work irregular schedules, as and when you need them. As long as you’re clear about your needs upfront, you and your freelancer can craft whatever type of relationship serves both of your needs.

Finally, freelancers are also excellent when you’re in need of a specialized skill set. When bringing in a full-time employee, you’re probably looking for a well-rounded person who can handle a variety of tasks. You may also invest in someone who lacks key skills currently, but shows the potential to learn them over time.

However, what if you’re specifically in need of a programmer skilled in a particular language, a blog content writer, or someone with strong graphic design skills? That’s where the benefits when you hire a freelancer really become apparent. With a little searching, you should be able to find someone who specializes in the exact skills you need – meaning that they can hit the ground running and will need little to no training.

👎 The drawbacks of working with freelancers

As you can see, there are many reasons to consider working with a freelancer. The benefits of hiring a freelancer are certainly impressive. At the same time, there are certain cons you’ll want to consider before opting for a freelancer over an employee.

The primary downsides of hiring a freelancer include:

  • Split focus. A freelancer will almost certainly be working for other businesses – possibly many of them. These external demands on their time can pull focus away from their work for you. They may have decreased capacity or even become unavailable for periods of time.
  • Less commitment. For the same reasons explained above, a freelancer is less committed to your business. This increases the odds that they will be slow to respond, prioritize other work, or even fall out of contact completely.
  • Decreased control/supervision. You don’t have the same level of control over a freelancer that you do with an employee. You can tell them what work to do, but it’s largely up to them to decide how, where, and when to do that work. As freelancers typically operate remotely, it’s also harder to verify whether they’re being honest about the number of hours they’re working.
  • Lowered potential for training and advancement. Most freelancers won’t be interested in going through a long training process, and it’s often not advisable to invest that level of effort in a contract worker. This can cause issues if you have very specific requirements, or are hiring someone to do a complex job. Plus, if you decide you do need an in-house employee or someone willing to work longer hours, there’s a good chance you’ll have to start the hiring process over from scratch.

These are some significant drawbacks, so they’re worth bearing in mind. Freelancers may be a simpler option, but they do come with a certain level of risk attached.

🤔 How to decide whether a freelancer is the right fit

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer to the question of whether you should opt for a freelancer or an employee. You’ll have to look at the drawbacks and benefits of hiring a freelancer, and consider how they relate to your business’ needs.

In general, hiring a freelancer is a good idea if:

  • ✅ The hours you’ll need will likely vary from week to week or month to month.
  • ✅ You need someone with a specialized skill set who can start helping out immediately.
  • ✅ You’re looking to decrease costs, or simply can’t afford the salary and benefits of a full-time worker.
  • ✅ You’re happy for the new hire to work remotely, on their own schedule.

In the other hand, you’d probably be better off with a traditional employee if:

  • ⚠️ You require consistent, full-time hours on a set schedule.
  • ⚠️ You need someone to work on location.
  • ⚠️ You’re looking to train the new worker in a particular (and rigid) set of process, requirements, etc.
  • ⚠️ You’re not willing to take on the risks involved in working with someone who isn’t committed to your business, and has many other clients.
  • ⚠️ The new hire needs the capacity to advance in your business and take on greater responsibilities over time.

If you do decide to hire a freelancer, there are many places to find them online. Just make sure to vet them carefully – ask for samples of their previous work, see if you can speak with prior clients, and conduct an interview just as you would for an employee.

It’s also a good idea to create a contract, so the relationship between your business and the freelancer is very clear. Finally, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the laws relevant to what can and can’t be considered freelance work. It’s very common for businesses to confuse the distinction between freelancers and employees – being aware ahead of time will keep you from inadvertently crossing any lines.

🏁 Conclusion

If your current team is struggling to keep up with your business’ workload, it may be time to expand. For companies that operate online, freelancers can be a particularly attractive option. At the same time, they aren’t without associated risks.

There are many benefits of hiring a freelancer – it’s a smart choice if you need a flexible, remote worker with a specialized skill set. If you require someone you can train and cultivate over time, however, and you want them to be fully committed to your business, a more traditional employee relationship may be preferable. The good news is that if you decide to try hiring a freelancer, finding excellent options online is simple.

Do you have any questions about the process or benefits of hiring a freelancer? Let us know in the comments section below!

Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. With some simple fixes, you can reduce your loading time by even 50-80%:

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WordPress’ Birthday, Elementor Theme, Trusted Authors Program 🗞️ June 2019 WordPress News w/ wordpressupload

Introducing the Distributed Podcast

Meanwhile, Matt Mullenweg started podcasting about ‘the future of work’, aka remote work. The first episode is a conversation with Upwork’s CEO, Stephanie Kasriel, about their internal distributed culture and how flexible schedules will influence companies.

WordCamp US 2019 Tickets Now on Sale

The first big WordCamp of the year is coming in less than one month but, meanwhile, you can buy tickets to WordCamp US 2019. One ticket costs $50 and gives you full access to the event, plus other surprises and a lot of fun. Here’s the timeline to help you organize your year in advance.

How a link in our themes almost ruined our business (and how we fixed it)

Sometimes, an innocent mistake can lead to a disaster. Here’s how the guys at WPZoom erased their company from the Google search index because of a link put in the wrong place. They solved the problem eventually.

Follow Marcel on His Epic 465 mi. Trek on Foot to WordCamp Europe

Marcel Bootsman (a fitting name, right?) started another trekking campaign from Berkel en Rodenrijs to Berlin. The purpose is to raise money for DonateWC, which is helping financially unstable people attend a big WordCamp. Check Marcel’s route and join the challenge if you meet him.

The Non-Developers Guide to Git and GitHub

Usually, only developers spend time on Git. But sometimes, we, the non-devs, need to interact with the platform too. At first sight, it might look complicated but you can get familiar with it pretty quickly. Here’s a guide to learn what Git is and how to navigate it.

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5 of the Best Reseller Hosting Providers for WordPress Compared 2019

🧰 Account management:

User-friendly features, including WHMCS access, WHM, or custom dashboards, will enable you to easily create, manage, and automate all aspects of your clients’ hosting. In other words, you don’t want to be forced to interact with the servers on a source-code or unix level.

🗄️ Resources:

Check out the bandwidth and web space provided by each host and how these can be resold. Can you create your own custom plans for your clients? How many websites can you host? And what other features can you offer – email, domains, SSL certificates?

👐 Client interfaces:

Depending on the type of hosting you want to offer, some of your clients might want to do certain administrative tasks on their own. The host should allow this and deliver some standard UI to make that possible. At the very least, each client account should have access to their own cPanel.

🏳️ White label:

Find out if you can add your own branding to client dashboards, cPanels, emails, and any other user-facing material.

🚑 Support:

Find out how the support works for yourself and your clients. Are you responsible for providing support directly to your customers? And what type of support is available to you as the reseller?

💰 Pricing:

Reseller hosting differs greatly in price, depending on the host and package you choose. Look carefully at the prices and features offered, consider the price points of your hosting services, and see if the numbers work. For instance, some plans that may seem expensive at first, can actually add up quite well once you consider how many client accounts you can create on them. At the same time, other, more affordable plans might come with heavy limitations.

Taking the above into account, here are the best reseller hosting providers in the market currently:

🤝 Best reseller hosting providers compared

Here are the hosts that have made the top five:

  1. SiteGround (www.siteground.com)
  2. InMotion Hosting (www.inmotionhosting.com)
  3. Flywheel (getflywheel.com)
  4. Liquid Web (www.liquidweb.com)
  5. Bluehost (www.bluehost.com)

Here’s what makes each one a great reseller hosting provider:

1. SiteGround (www.siteground.com)

SiteGround - perhaps the top option among the best reseller hosting providers

SiteGround hosting is ideal for web designers and developers looking to host their clients’ websites on a long term basis. As a hosting provider, SiteGround has much to offer, including four server locations around the globe, access to Cloudflare CDN, advanced security, and a track record of 99.99%-100% uptime (according to our tests). But what about reseller features? Let’s take a look:

  • Easy management – All reseller tools can be accessed from one dashboard, enabling easy management of all hosting accounts.
  • One-click account launch – Resellers will find account set up for new clients extremely quick and easy with SiteGround’s one-click account launch feature.
  • Account features – Every user receives 10GB of web space, unlimited bandwidth, FTP accounts, and MySQL databases, as well as free email accounts and daily backups.
  • White label options – SiteGround provides non-branded cPanels, enabling resellers to brand their own hosting service.
  • 24/7 reseller support – SiteGround experts are available around the clock to provide technical support to the reseller.

SiteGround enables resellers to purchase plans (credits) in small numbers. That said, due to the nature of SiteGround’s credit scheme, you need to purchase a minimum of five credits to begin with, which will cost you an initial output of $225. However, SiteGround allows you to purchase as many hosting plans and domains as you have clients, so you can scale your hosting service as your business grows.

Overall, one credit is $42.00. You need that one credit for one activation.

👉 Go to SiteGround reseller hosting

2. InMotion Hosting (www.inmotionhosting.com)

InMotion Hosting

InMotion Hosting offers a wide range of reseller plans and features. So whatever your reseller hosting needs are, there will be something that works for you. InMotion Hosting has servers located on the east and west coasts of the US, top security features are provided by Correro and Patchman alongside daily backups, and uptime is at around 99.98%-99.99%.

Now, let’s check out some of the reseller features (these are available on all plans):

  • Account management – InMotion Hosting provides access to WHMCS, enabling you to automate management, billing, and support for your clients from one central dashboard. You can also easily manage your clients’ accounts via SSH, private unbranded nameservers, and unlimited FTP accounts.
  • Domains – InMotion Hosting allows resellers an unlimited number of domains for free, as well as add-on, sub, and parked domains. All plans come with a free eNom domain reseller account, allowing you to register top-level domains for your customers.
  • Customer resources – Resellers have complete control over the amount of resources each client receives. You can assign as much disk space, bandwidth, domains, etc., as you wish, limited only by your own reseller package resources.
  • White label – The anonymous name servers and unlimited cPanels that can be custom branded mean that you can easily brand your hosting service and provide your own custom hosting packages for your clients.
  • Support – 24/7 support is provided to the reseller, via email, live chat, and phone. However, as the reseller, you are responsible for providing support to your customers.

Resellers can choose from one of six plans, with shared hosting starting at just $13.99 a month, and packages using virtual private servers from $41.64 a month. Disk space, bandwidth, and the number of IP addresses provided are all plan dependent.

👉 Go to InMotion reseller hosting

3. Flywheel (getflywheel.com)

FlyWheel

Another in our collection of best reseller hosting providers is Flywheel. This managed WordPress hosting solution provides a reseller program that is a perfect fit with agencies wanting to offer WordPress hosting as part of their services. Flywheel will take care of your clients’ WordPress updates, backups, caching and malware monitoring. All client websites are also hosted on VPS, and you can select from seven server locations.

Here are Flywheel’s other top features:

  • Simple dashboard – Say goodbye to cPannel, as Flywheel uses its own custom dashboard. Access all your clients’ website hosting settings and stats via this purpose-built all-in-one management system.
  • White label – You can easily white label the Flywheel dashboard so that all client-facing material displays your branding. Upload your logo and select your color scheme, so your clients will never know you are using Flywheel hosting.
  • Automated payments – Clients can set up automated subscription payments via your dashboard (using Stripe). Flywheel will then send out automated billing emails using your branding.
  • Free SSL certificates – All websites get a free SSL certificate from Flywheel, helping to keep them safe and secure.
  • Support – A team of experts is ready to help you with any issue or question, enabling you to provide top support to your clients.

To take advantage of the Flywheel reseller program, you will need to sign up with one of the Flywheel Bulk plans. Prices start at $92 a month, which translates into up to ten sites and includes 40GB disk and 4TB bandwidth. You can then divide the resources as appropriate, creating your own custom services and prices.

👉 Go to Flywheel reseller hosting

4. Liquid Web (www.liquidweb.com)

Liquid Web

Liquid Web is a managed hosting company that offers an impressive selection of reseller options, including dedicated servers and VPS, as well as cloud-based hosting. Liquid Web also offers servers in one EU zone and two US zones, CloudFlare CDN, DDoS protection, and 100% uptime.

Here are the top features for resellers:

  • Custom plans – Create your own custom plans to sell. Divide up the resources, select services and add-ons, and choose features to fit with your clients’ needs.
  • White label – Whatever plan you choose, you will be able to white label your service. Brand your clients’ dashboards, or make customizations within WHMCS to ensure your customers receive a fully branded service.
  • WHMCS – Oversee every aspect of your hosting service from just one interface. Manage accounts, generate professional invoices, provide comprehensive support, automate emails, and much more. Liquid Web has also created its own WHMCS plugin for selling cloud products.
  • SSL certificates – Liquid Web offers free standard SSL certificates to ensure your customers are protected.
  • Support – Liquid Web is known for its first class customer support. Whatever the question, the reseller can contact the support team 24/7.

As mentioned, Liquid Web provides numerous reseller plans and options, with prices starting at $99 a month. However, you will need to apply to their reseller program to qualify to sell any of their services or products. You will also need to have hosting with Liquid Web to receive the WHMCS benefits.

👉 Go to Liquid Web reseller hosting

5. Bluehost (www.bluehost.com)

Bluehost

Last but not least in this collection of the best reseller hosting providers is Bluehost, which offers its reseller hosting packages via ResellerClub. The companies announced their partnership back in 2014 when Bluehost first recommended ResellerClub as the perfect place for all your reseller hosting needs.

Let’s take a look at the features that ResellerClub offers:

  • Four reseller hosting plans – ResellerClub has four plans for resellers to choose from. Prices start from $10.99 including 40GB of disk space and 800GB of data transfer. At the other end of the scale, the top plan for $25.49 a month offers 200GB of disk space and 4,000GB of data transfer.
  • Flexible plans – Resellers can create an unlimited number of websites and distribute the resources of their plan in any way they want. This enables you to create custom hosting plans and pricing for your customers.
  • WHM and WHMCS – Easily create, manage, and administer web hosting accounts and plans via WHM to suit your customers’ needs. WHMCS is also available for resellers on the top three ResellerClub plans – enabling you to easily automate billing, ticket support, and other client management functions.
  • White label – The control panel provided by ResellerClub is fully customizable and can be branded to suit your style.
  • Support – Resellers are the first line of support for their clients. You can then contact the 24/7 support team via phone, email, or live chat, to discuss any issues your customers may have.

Other features include CloudFlare CDN, unlimited email accounts, access to 400+ Softaculous apps, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

👉 Go to Bluehost / ResellerClub hosting

🏆 Final thoughts on the best reseller hosting providers

As you can see, this list of the top reseller hosting providers has some impressive solutions to select from. However, the reseller provider you choose should be solely based on the needs of your business and clients. Before committing to a reseller program, do your research, read reviews, and speak directly to the hosting providers. This will help ensure you pick a reseller hosting provider that is the best fit with your business.

That being said, if you’re a new player in the game of hosting reselling, you’ll probably do well with SiteGround. First off, their hosting packages have been known for their top quality and great support, so you can be sure that your clients will be well taken care of. Apart from that, the pricing model of SiteGround’s reseller plans is very clear, so you can easily estimate what it’s going to cost you and how much you’ll earn reselling.

Any of these top reseller hosting providers appeal to you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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What’s the Best Cloud IDE in 2019? Here Are 9 of the Top Options

You can use stylesheets and scripts hosted externally on your CodePen demo. Additionally, CodePen gives you access to a JavaScript console to debug your code if you are creating an element within the platform.

CodePen demos can be embedded in your website too. Embedded pens have previews of the code, which makes them ideal for technical writers while creating tutorials for front-end technologies.

CodePen allows you to fork the work of other developers and build upon it. Various views of your code are provided, but some are only available on the pro version, starting at $8/month billed annually.

While the strength of CodePen is creating and sharing pens, it introduced Projects in 2017, which allow you to create entire front-end projects on the site, making it a complete IDE.

jsfiddle - a cloud IDE for JS

JSFiddle is an early IDE that originated as a code playground, influencing many other competitors today. It allows you to create front-end elements and render them live in the browser.

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15 of the Best WordPress Podcast Themes

There’s no doubting that the audience for podcasts is increasing steadily. Podcasts have become a convenient way for people to catch up on their favorite shows, listen to music or stay in touch with current news while on the go. Creating content for podcasting websites is a full time job by itself. That’s why it’s important to have a theme that takes care of all the technical details of your website. This collection of best WordPress podcast themes can help you find just the theme you need.

There are certain features that are quite necessary in WordPress podcast themes.

For instance, you’ll need an audio / video player for your audience to tune in. You’ll need sections where fans can check on artist bios, scan the latest episodes and seasons, or get information / tickets for live shows or events. Selling tracks, tickets or access to premium content will all matter if you’re in it for the money. Sharing and other social media features can help build and increase your fan base. Moreover, you can improve your content marketing by writing about episodes or adding a blog section.

So, go ahead and check if any of these WordPress podcast themes fit your requirements.