As I perused the GetACoder site in preparation for this fine GetACoder review, I noticed a couple of things about the money counter. Since just about every freelance-related web site has a live counter of the amount of money it’s processed over the years, it’s not exactly a foreign or innovative idea. But as the amount of dollars ticked slowly upward – always a fun little feature, by the way – I saw this:
They’re counting the estimate value of jobs that have been posted on their site since 2004, but really that online contraption could easily read “number of days without changing our site’s layout.”
Okay, you guessed it. Yes, I’m fancy when I come to the look and feel of a website, particularly freelance websites where you need to place your financial well-being in their functionality’s hands. GetACoder.com advertises itself as a place to find and provide quality web-related services. You’d think they’d ditch the stock image of a glowing blue globe and join the rest of us in the Web 2.0 world with a clean, shinier sheen than the one they’ve currently opted for.
If I sound smug about such things, it’s because I am. Who better to be your loyal GetACoder reviewer than someone with a few arbitrarily high standards here and there? Just take a look at GetACoder yourself and tell me if you agree with me:
Fair enough; I’ll get over the layout. Let’s get to the important stuff – things like price, functionality, amount of work available. If GetACoder delivers on all counts, that’s reason enough to forget about the layout and just imagine the attractive work you can get through GetACoder, if not from it.
Better for the Buyer or a Provider?
With a name like GetACoder, you might imagine that GetACoder.com actually tailors itself to the people who need to hire. If you need to get a coder, you need programming/web work done. Sure, programmers are smart enough to realize that their services belong on GetACoder even if it’s not known as “GiveACode.com,” but let’s focus on this issue for a moment.
GetACoder really does seem tailored to the hirer and not the provider. This is often a reverse from the traditional position, when at least an equal balance of buyer/provider is sought after. GetACoder doesn’t look to snaz up its layout for someone who plans on spending a lot of their freelancing time there. Instead, it’s a simple site with a simple signup and a simple way to post your jobs quickly and easily.
Since it’s free to sign up for, you won’t find any major gripes from me on that front. And it’s hard to argue with the simplicity of the job posting and job finding sections. And with some 50,000 active jobs at the time of this writing, there’s plenty for a “Coder” to do on this site, as long as they’re focusing on work and not ornamenting their online GetACoder profile. (Hey, I like that stuff.)
Of course, even in the job browsing section, things seem a little more tailored to the buyer than the provider. For example, consider that you can click to browse jobs – but then the tabs made available to you actually focus on getting more details about the coders and work providers! That’s a little disingenuous, to say the least, but hey – if coders are finding the work, they don’t have a lot to complain about, especially in today’s economy.
It’s also important to note that I come from the prospective of a work provider. Though I’ve paid for projects on sites like Elance, I’m more often looking for projects myself. If you really want to “GetACoder,” then this site is – of course – for you. I can’t knock a site for doing exactly what it advertises.
Pricing Structures: Is GettingACoder Worth It?
Presumably, many people turn to online freelancers because they want a quick, relatively cheap, and easy way to get their work done without making a full-time hire. That’s the whole premise of hiring a freelancer in the first place. So if GetACoder doesn’t deliver in this department, it simply doesn’t deliver.
As already mentioned, the pricing structure starts out well with a free account sign-up – hardly an innovation in the freelance world, to be sure. From there, you can then post a job for free. Did I tell you that this site was tailored for the work buyer?
Once two people agree on a project via GetACoder, they’re then free to use services like escrow payment to handle the actual transaction of the money. As a proponent of escrow payments, I have to say that I do enjoy this feature whenever it’s made available.
As for the actual pay rate once you’re earning money, GetACoder employs a similar strategy to ScriptLance.com. Here’s GetACoder’s explanation:
When it comes to fixed-price jobs (project or question), Normal Providers are charged a 10% commission of the total bid amount, plus a $5 fixed fee, while Premium Providers are not charged the $5 fixed fee. In hourly jobs there is a 10% pay rate which is applied to each payment sent by the Buyer, plus a $5 fixed fee applied to Normal Providers, while Premium Providers are exempted from paying the fixed fee.
It’s an entirely reasonable fee that won’t make you feel like you’re paying all of your money over to someone who didn’t do any of the work – that’s Uncle Sam’s job.
Conclusions? Get A Coder!
Although not flashy, interesting, or even all that fun, it’s hard to deny GetACoder’s raw get-it-done appeal. You can find programmers here and programmers can find work here – and what’s better, neither party will have to shell out a ton of dough for GetACoder’s role in the whole thing. In today’s economy, that’s about all you can ask for from a job site.
Still, I can’t get over a simple question: if GetACoder is really doing so well, why can’t it spring for a more professional and user-friendly layout? I guess it will have to remain a site like PlentyofFish – functional and unattractive. Hey, it’s a formula that works.