Outsourcing service has become popular thanks to multiple benefits it brings to business. It is especially the case for small and medium businesses since you can’t do all the jobs by yourself. Freelance websites have raised as a platform connecting project owners and skillful freelancers.
If you’re planning to develop a freelance website offering this kind of service but haven’t determined yet what features are needed, take a look at this article. There are 2 parts in this series; in part 1 I will go over core features to get your site up and running, then part 2 will introduce other additional features to help you build an advanced freelance website.
What are the key features in a Freelance Site?
Key features in a freelance website are the most basic ones to make your site considered a freelance platform. Take some time to put yourself in freelancer’s or project owner’s shoes and think about their expectation of a freelance website. For example, freelancers would want to have profiles to advertize themselves, while employers expect a project submission form in the front-end. And both would love to have project bidding function so that freelancers can bid for projects they love and employers can invite their favorite freelancers to bid. Considering the business side, a freelance website has to integrate monetization plans together with multiple payment gateways. Also, easy customization, responsive design, and SEO friendly are important features you should consider.
To trigger project owners to submit their projects, a submission form should be well designed and available in the front-end. In the form, employers should be able to input project name, the category it belongs to, its budget, project description, and spaces to attach any necessary files.
In an online world where anyone can go anonymous, a profile with basic information about a person is preferred. Likewise, in a freelance website, a public profile for freelancers is a must-have feature to help project owners have the very first image about the freelancer they will work with. On the other hand, a vivid profile is a strong supporting tool to help freelancers with personal branding. So, what to expect in a profile? Besides information about name, nationality, skills, self description, freelancers should be able to upload their portfolio which is the most convincing evidence to showcase their professional expertise.
This is surely one of the most desired feature in a freelance website. Unlike micro services, projects are bigger in scale, outsourcing fee is higher, so employers need to consider and choose which freelancer to assign the task to. To do this, it is recommended that each project have the Bid button to let many freelancers bid for it. After that, project owner will choose the most appropriate candidate for the job. Moreover, project owners could also invite their favorite freelancers to bid for the projects.
To help employers choose a good freelancer, reverse bid is applied where multiple freelancers will bid for a project and employers will pick the most suitable one. Any freelancers can bid for the project and could know the bid values of each other. Employers will rely not only on bid price to choose a freelancer but also on other factors like freelancer portfolio, experience and skills.
Revenue generating methods are a vital part of every business. In a freelance website connecting project owners and freelancers, which plans can you use to earn money from your users? When looking for a freelance WordPress theme, check if multiple monetization packages are supported. There are several ways to charge your users, such as collecting commission fee per project on your website, charging freelancers for every bid they make, and making project owners to pay when they want to list their projects on your site.
Have a thorough research of the business model you will pursue and then pick up the theme that offers monetization plans that meet your strategy.
Different payment gateways
Flexibility in payment gateways help trigger your users to take on more transactions. Popular gateways like PayPal, 2Checkout or Stripe have wide coverage over many countries in different continents, which create utmost convenience for more users to join your platform. In case the majority of your users reside in locals where these payment gateways are not available yet, local methods should be integrated into your payment system.
Responsive design is the current trend and it is certain that your site will lose many traffic if it fails to meet this expectation. People are going mobile more and more these days, making it extremely important to have a fully responsive site which runs seamlessly on every device not only desktop but also mobile phone, tablet, etc. Having all elements on your site run fast and are adaptable on any screen size is truly an advantage.
Intuitive page builder
For a businessman who hardly has any coding skill and is on tight budget, drag & drop feature to customize the website is a great solution.
Check if any page builder tool (Visual Composer for example) is comes together with the theme, a front-end customizer is even greater. With this advantage, you can easily create, drag & drop blocks and widgets to the positions you want to put them in page. This feature efficiently saves your time and effort since it requires no specific coding knowledge.
Last but not least, an issue that every business cares about is how to bring more traffic to site. The last core feature has something to do with this which is being SEO friendly. A theme that is built with SEO friendly structure could significantly support your site in increasing rank in search results. Schema structure helps define your contents to communicate with search engines and social networks.
FreelanceEngine theme is developed with all these features in mind to deliver a premium freelance platform for your business.
Writing this post, I hope to help you determine important features for your freelance website. To choose a theme that is appropriate and meets all demands of your business model can be a daunting task. At first stage, try not to be amazed by tons of supplementary features but to focus on these core functionalities. Once your site is setup with these fundamental functions, add other cool stuffs later. The next part of this series will list out some additional features for a competitive freelance site.