You would not need to be particularly sharp-eyed, over the past couple of years, to notice that we have been both linking to, and working with, a service called Codeable.
I’ve been interviewed on and off tape by the service, in a series of blog posts, articles, videos, and more; and also some of the case studies and reviews you’ll see finding their way onto my Twitter feed, too, when they are particularly nice or remarkable in some way or another!
Disclosures – Biases and Conflicts of Interest
Which leads me to a few bits of opening business. Bias. I’m obviously biased. As is everyone who writes anything about anything, particularly on the internet. Below are some disclosures – so you can understand where I’m coming from with any of my reviews:
- Silicon Dales are Codeable affiliates – this means if and when we link to Codeable, we may be credited with a referral fee for any subsequent purchases you make when you get there. Note, though, that we would only ever earn anything if you post a project, find a developer, are happy with the work, and mark your project as “complete” – therefore, we’ll only be paid if you book work and are happy enough with the delivered product to mark it complete.
- Silicon Dales are Codeable Teams developers – this means we can be booked through the platform (though we are not phenomenally active on the system, as we focus on large WordPress and WooCommerce projects, which, in most cases, approach us directly).
- I am a Codeable developer – this means you could (in theory) book me to complete your WordPress task. I add the words “in theory” as I am currently not available to be directly booked, owing to… Silicon Dales being very busy. I work with a pool of regular clients across there, though, and I will pick up WooCommerce tasks posted to Codeable if these are a really nice fit! If in doubt, post a task…
- We are Clients at Codeable – we use Codeable to book developers, when appropriate. In such cases, I operate as the “go between” or project lead. i.e. I am the person who posts the task and deals with developers. It is always a good idea (in my experience) to have a single point of contact when dealing with clients or developers.
My reviews, therefore, should be considered in these lights. That being said, being all of these things give valuable insight into Codeable – its many great strengths and its few weaknesses (or perhaps more appropriately, things to be aware of when booking developers to work on your tasks at Codeable).
Negative Codeable Reviews
Let’s clean house early. A few days ago, it was pointed out to me that there were one or two negative reviews around relating to Codeable – literally a small handful – so I thought it worth getting into this side of things right off the bat, you know, so you can be aware of some potential pitfalls before we get into it.
Low percentage of bad experiences
First up, its worth bearing in mind that (at the time of writing) there have been something like 70,000 completed projects on Codeable. That’s a huge number. Even if 2% of those 70,000 were “unhappy” with the product or service which was delivered, this would be 1,400 negative reviews. So, think about this for a moment: have you seen 1,400 negative reviews? No? Well, then, you can say that a 98% success rate could easily be an accurate figure.
Personal experience of Codeable projects which “went wrong”
Personally, I’ve helped to pick up after Codeable projects have gone wrong. Codeable are really good at getting tasks finished – even if that means putting it in front of a new developer. Generally, these are stalled tasks or “developer went away” situations (you know, real life stuff, like illnesses, family emergencies, developer “got a job” or something similar! These things do happen, particularly on longer tasks, very occasionally); or there are some very rare cases where an error, human or otherwise, has caused a project to fail – or the relationship between developer and client to break down.
I’ve also passed on a small handful of projects for similar reasons.
Most often, the issue with stalled tasks will be a misunderstanding of “scope” – where the work delivered by the developer is not what the client wanted – and in these cases, the situation can usually be rectified by the developer him or herself, or in some cases Codeable itself, who are often able to pass the project to another developer.
In this way, Codeable provides significant safety nets over booking developers “direct”.
So, any negative review read online should be thought of in this context: clearly things did not go as would be expected. The situation could not be rectified by the developer. The situation could not be rectified by another developer. Nor could Codeable itself fix the issue (and they have some great “in house” expertise). In such cases, we have clearly run into a hard case… what is it about the project or client in question which mean that, this is one of the very low percentage of tasks which go “wrong”? A lot of clues can often be found in the language used by the person making the review itself: perhaps they had unreasonable or unrealistic expectations. This can and does happen, in any business.
If there is a golden rule on avoiding stalled tasks, or leaning on dispute resolution processes, then it is this: agree the scope of work before work begins. Don’t change the scope of work during a task. This applies whether you are a client or a developer.
My Codeable Reviews
So onto the “my reviews” part… I’m going to cover the things I have experience of: reviewing Codeable as a developer; reviewing as a Client; and reviewing as an affiliate; later, in a future update to this post, I will attempt to make comparisons with things “outside of Codeable” in order to provide some context for both my reviews and the general landscape.
There is a table of contents at the very top of this post – you can use it to hop around to the sections most relevant or of interest to you, too!
Using Codeable as a client – a personal review
At Silicon Dales, we are approaching the point where we have more open tasks as clients on Codeable than we are providing as developers.
This is because there are lots of great developers on the platform, with whom we have established a good working relationship. We like to outsource specific tasks to experts in their respective fields, and we can find this on Codeable. Without singling any one developer out, here, I could point to 10-20 developers on Codeable who I specifically know to be top of their game in their space for WordPress, through direct experience, or straight up name recognition from other projects.
Successful completions – 100% 5 star strike rate
Every task posted onto Codeable has been successfully completed. Every task I posted I rated as being 5 stars, and I could find little or no fault in the developer, or the quality of the work delivered.
That is my personal review. Our Codeable client account is close to VIP status in terms of tasks posted and completed on the platform – this is almost 10 tasks in the past year.
Client tip – watch out for: the bidding process
If you are posting public (anyone can bid) tasks, you’ll need to be aware of the estimate process – and in particular the idea that all estimates are averaged out to arrive at the price you pay (which is the price you see!). Very simply, if developer A’s price was $110 and developer B’s price was $90, your price will be $100. This can catch you out a little at first, as it causes the price to “jump” (can be up or down) when new developers add their estimate. Expect this. Take your time. Choose the right fit.
Client tip – watch out for: difficult to specify work
Experts are not allowed to bid unless they “know they can do a great job” which is a nice starting point; but be aware that for some tasks this is really, really hard. Like if you have some checkout issue, which comes up once every 30 sales. If you can’t replicate your issue, it will be really hard to know in advance what it is, and how to resolve it. You will need to be flexible in such circumstances.
The more difficult your task, the harder it will be to find a developer who can carry it out, for a fixed price. You’ll most likely need to book a block of hours, and expect potentially to have additional tasks to complete.
Try to encourage discussion of the process with developers – don’t try to dictate the exact route to be taken. You’ll find a good developer will often work best allowed to pick his or her own pathway to your solution. Focus on the goal!
Client tip – Don’t be afraid to reach out to support
The support is there for a reason. Don’t be afraid to ask a question or raise a concern.
Using Codeable as a developer – a personal review
As a WordPress developer, I wish I’d found Codeable about 10 years earlier… except it did not exist! This is because I came in quite late, and would never be able to devote much time to the platform, but I have completed over 100 tasks on there, almost all of which were rated 5 stars, so I can say with some authority what this platform is like as a developer.
I have no issue at all in saying Codeable can support a nice standard of living, full time, for a skilled WordPress developer.
Lots of tasks posted – to suit all tastes
The number of tasks posted is high, and the variety of projects on the platform is broad. Both of which are Good Things.
There is a nice range of tasks, going from little tweaks and CSS fixes up to multi-month full site builds (and multisites builds!), which include both development and design, and everything in between. If there is a “regular” occurence it is that there are quite a lot of “argh something broke!” tasks and also a growing number of optimization and migration tasks (though perhaps the migration tasks are really “something is running badly here” tasks where a migration is just… a wise solution 😉 ).
And also, there’s lots of WooCommerce tasks. Yay!
A LOT of WooCommerce tasks
As a WooCommerce developer, I can say that there are lots of WooCommerce tasks coming onto the system, which is not surprising, as WooCommerce and Codeable have a close partnership in the past few years, which has to be said is on the whole a great thing, as it means WooCommerce store owners meet with good developers who are familiar with the software.
Apply and forget about it!
On the whole, if you are a developer, and you sometimes develop WordPress sites, or you are a 100% WordPress-focused developer (these are different things in my experience – and there’s projects for all) I would recommend you to apply to be a part of Codeable… and then forget all about it.
Why forget about it? Because a) you may not at first succeed; and b) there’s a definite lag between applying and being accepted and getting started on the system. Even if you do get through the process. Which you may not. At least not at first…
If you don’t succeed, try again
If you aren’t successful the first time, or if you used to use Codeable before, then always I would recommend to try again in future. The platform changed a lot in the 2 years I have been there, and no doubt it will be worth having another crack at it, if you have room for more WordPress work!
Developer Tip – Watch out for bidding process
The bidding process, and indeed the workroom process, pre-hire, takes some getting used to.
The bids are averaged out among all bidders, so sometimes this has positive and negative consequences. There’s heaps of trust between developers on the system, which is a good thing, but sometimes you’ll need to step out of tasks you would have liked to have bid on because the estimates and scope of work in the chat went a different way to what you were thinking (more, this is process, not price!).
Developer Tip – Get involved with the Community
As with everything in life, you get out what you put in. Codeable is no exception. I have made friends for life there, and I would recommend any new developer to dive in and get involved with the community side of things from day one.
Using Codeable as an affiliate – a personal review
The final way in which we – at Silicon Dales – interact with Codeable is as “affiliates” where we refer clients to Codeable from our website. This also applies with direct referrals, when the nature of projects – or, more often, the timeframe – don’t match so well with us; in these cases, we make a referral to Codeable. In a lot of cases, we will directly refer to a specific developer or developers who we recommend on the platform, who we know (and sometimes we actually ask!) can get your task completed.
We really like doing this. Not just because we are paid a small %age fee for going the extra mile; but because we like to know that clients who reach out to us, here, at Silicon Dales, are going to get a great end result, even when we are unable to deliver that ourselves.
As soon as the project is marked complete, we are notified, and also paid a percentage of the Codeable fee, for making the referral. This is, I think, where a lot of Codeable’s strength comes from. Because everybody in this relationship is winning: the client gets what they wanted; the developer gets paid; Codeable makes its fees; we get paid for making the effort of making the referral.
I have to say: it is a great feeling to be able to do this.
Obviously, not all affiliates will be able to make personal recommendations of developers, but, I guess that’s our edge. And its why we deliver a great experience here, at Silicon Dales, to our clients, or even just people who hit us on our contact form.
But I’ve seen affiliates get great service from Codeable, including WP Engine, WooCommerce, Cloudways and a variety of businesses who ship popular WordPress plugins and themes. If you are in this boat – where you have clients who need WP development, and you don’t have time to service all their needs, then I would say, explore becoming an affiliate of Codeable, and sending your overloaded work that way.
It tracks, and you get paid
As a battle worn affiliate marketer since 2003, I can say the tracking works, and payments are prompt. Actually, the Codeable affiliate program is in many respects better than many affiliate networks (at least, there’s no 3 month lag here 😉 ).
Thinking about alternatives to Codeable? It is WordPress only, so maybe you have other, legacy, or new code you’d like help with, or wider needs, like UX. Obviously, we’d like you to contact us at Silicon Dales, but as a freelancer, or larger business client outside of our core competencies, we have no problem with recommending Toptal for “non WordPress” services. They have a strong business focus, and vetting process. Click here to visit Toptal.
I tried to get my disclosures and biases out there, front and centre, because, as you can tell, I like Codeable. I have had some bad experiences on the platform, but they can all broadly be categorised as situations in which the task itself has ballooned in some way from that which was originally presented.
As a client, I’ve not had a bad experience. That said, I’ve been scoping WordPress tasks for a long time.
In future, I shall return to this post and draw some comparisons with other freelancing and outsourcing platforms I (and my colleagues at Silicon Dales) have experience using, but for now, please feel free to leave a comment with your own experiences of the Codeable platform!