Elance - Web Site Design, Features, Interfaces and Ease of Use
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I have always found Elance’s website to be very quick and responsive; no complaints here.
I cannot recall Elance’s site crashing or becoming inaccessible for noticeable periods of time. Bugs are also rare; while I may complain about the development team’s design priorities, their quality assurance is very good.
Elance takes the site down for maintenance usually on a weekly basis; this is most often done late in the evening Pacific Time (US) on Wednesdays.
The development team at Elance seems to perform wholesale redesigns of large portions of the site on about an annual basis. These are announced with much fanfare by Elance management, but usually get a mixed reception. The changes usually do introduce new features, many of which are important, but also annoy many established customers for three reasons. First, any time changes are made to a site, this moves users out of their “comfort zone” and they must spend time getting familiar with how the site now operates. Second, as described above under “Form Versus Function”, it is common for the “enhancements” to be anything but. Finally, many users feel that Elance is spending too much time on “putting up new wallpaper” and not enough dealing with issues like policy violations.
Elance had a very high-profile security breach during the summer of 2009; hackers were able to exploit a security hole and gain access to a large amount of customer data. To make matters worse, much of that information was then used by the thieves to populate a competing site called “OutsourcingRoom.com”, leading to a great deal of confusion on the part of freelancers who received email from that site.
To its credit, Elance acted very quickly to plug the breach, and instituted enhanced security measures. They also took legal action to have the pirate site shut down, which appears to have worked. I’m not aware of any other security issues since this incident, nor of any similar events before it.
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Last Site Update: October 21, 2011
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