Microlancer, an Envato owned company has recently added a WordPress category for users needing work done to their WordPress site. The site has been in private beta since April of 2013 and helps build a bridge between freelancers and clients. The site currently has three different WordPress service categories available, Website to WordPress, WordPress Customization, WordPress Plug-ins. Service Providers (freelancers who list their services and provide them for buyers) can choose a fixed price for their services, as well as a turnaround time that suits them. Buyers pay upfront. Any disputes are resolved fairly by Microlancer staff. Skellie was nice enough to answer two questions I had concerning the site.
What’s the biggest difference between using a job board and something like Microlancer?
You can find someone great much more quickly and with much less back and forth than you can using a job board. On Microlancer, prices are fixed and clearly visible, and each job states a turnaround time that the service provider must meet. Every listing includes visual examples of previous work, and a description of what is included in the service. There’s no time spent on trawling through copy and paste job bids, endless back and forth communication, trying to get a clear quote. Everything you need to know is stated upfront before you’ve paid a cent.
How will consumers be protected from people trying to rip them off?
When a buyer purchases a service on Microlancer, the funds don’t go straight to the service provider. Instead, they are kept in holding and only released when a job is successfully completed. If at any point during the job the client is unhappy with the work, they can start a dispute. Disputes are fairly resolved by Microlancer staff. A client will never be forced to pay for bad quality work, or bad service.
One thing I noticed on their How It Works page is that clients receive a set number of revisions so you better know what you want before doing business. When asked who controls the number of revisions clients/customers receive, I was told that the seller controls the number of revisions as well as the turnaround time but the revisions were capped at 3. I was also curious to know whether customers can provide feedback through ratings or reviews and yes they can. Although not all services have reviews as they are optional from the buyer, here is an example of a service that has both a recommendation percentage on the right-hand side and at least one review below the service description.
A Service Providers Perspective:
Microlancer is in its infancy but I was able to get in touch with at least one service provider to try to get their thoughts on using the service. They have only used it for a week or so but this is what they had to say:
I’ve had one project so far but I don’t see myself using it in the future unless I really spend some time prepackaging everything I do into little one-off services.
The whole interface just doesn’t fit into a good mechanism for working with code. Perhaps my viewpoint is skewed as I do so much freelancing for WordPress on Codeable.io (which is amazing for WordPress freelancing).
How would you rate the experience of dealing with clients via Microlancer?
Poor. No live chat so the back and forth is slow. My single experience with a project so far has been that the client didn’t actually read the description of the service and instead just read the title and went off that. So while my description said ‘12 specific style changes‘, what he wanted was something different. As of right now the project status is unknown to me. We had a bit of back and forth to clarify what he wanted, I agreed and now have not heard anything. The project was “started” but I assume I’ll need to contact support to have the project cancelled.
What is your general observation of the service?
Very mixed feelings. It’s nice to have another option for freelancing and one at which I can just list my services and wait for clients to pick them is enticing. However it doesn’t seem to have a good mechanism in place for scope creep, additional feature/service requests or a good client interaction.
Cruising around the site looking over the various services being provided, I think Microlancer is a great idea. There seems to be a WordPress service for everything such as customizing the WordPress login screen to modifying an existing design into a responsive layout. However, it will only be as good as the work clients receive. Collis Ta’eed CEO of Envato has had an abundant amount of success with the likes of ThemeForest and CodeCanyon. Will Microlancer be another feather in his cap?
If you have any questions, concerns, or general feedback for Microlancer, feel free to share it in the comments as representatives will be monitoring the comment section.