The main difference between hiring a freelancer versus a web design company is your project goal. Web design trends and best practices are always growing at an incredible pace. According to the Bureau of Labour and Statistics, Employment of web developers are projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030. Much faster than the average for other professions. With increased growth in e-commerce sectors and the expansion of mobile accessibility, web design is an abundant field with countless specialist possibilities.
A quality website can be the key to success for a small business or even an established company. Web presence is a crucial piece of marketing success in today’s world. The value of an effective website has been shown consistently for many years. There are many tools to boost viewer engagement, and many decisions to make along the way towards building a successful website.
There are so many options when it comes to website design. Finding what you need can be a challenge. Building a website can be an enormous undertaking and a large investment of time and money. Choosing how to go about creating a website can be an incredibly important decision for any business. Consider these pros and cons when choosing what’s right for your company.
Calculating Your Web Design Goals
It is important to understand your needs and what a web designer can offer. The term web design can be used to cover many aspects of creating a web presence. There are many facets of a website. Visual design of your web pages might be all you need, but there is much more that could be needed that a seasoned web design professional can offer you. Think along the lines of web pages, social media specialization, accessibility optimization, comprehensive user testing, web application creation, and much more.
When hiring a professional you’ll have the option of choosing between a freelance web designer or a web design company. Read on below to see which is best for your company.
Freelance Web Design
Depending on your needs, a freelancer could fit what your goals are. Generally speaking, working with any freelance worker will run accountability risks. Hiring the right freelancer can be hit or miss. There are certainly benefits when choosing to work with a freelancer, but can the potential advantages be worth the risk? How does this potential stack up to a seasoned web design company?
- Cost efficiency: Available budget and service pricing is one of the key reasons a company may consider hiring a freelancer. Working for themselves, a freelancer can set their own prices. If your company is just starting and you simply need a small website with few features, a freelancer could be an inexpensive avenue to finding what your website needs.
- Templates for quick turnaround and cost efficiency: Most companies will build a custom website. While this can be very advantageous, it also has the potential to require a larger investment and to take longer to complete. Freelancers often offer building a website from a pre-existing template. For a smaller company, a cheaper WordPress template may fill your current needs and offer you a usable website in a shorter time frame.
- Hands on approach: Many freelancers have more time to devote attention solely to your project. Working with a freelancer can offer a more personal working relationship and allow for easy and more direct communication.
- Recommendations: Finding a freelancer that is reliable and effective can be quite tricky. Often the only way to get an idea of their services can be through a testimonial from a client.
- Consistency: when you hire an independent, you are relying on them to complete your project. It is possible that they can’t complete your project and drop the contract. This could leave you to start fresh with a new designer or lead to needing to reassess the entire project from the ground up. Building your website on a common and reliable content management system can help alleviate this potential drawback if encountered. Using a common and well-established platform can be a helpful safeguard to help protect from having to completely reset.
- Limitations in abilities: Figuring out what your website requires will be a very important step. One of the biggest concerns with using a freelancer is knowing if their skillset can achieve everything you need. A web design company can help ensure that you have access to the skills necessary for building your pages.Web design can require many specialized skills. Your website may only require some easily achieved methods, but even simple websites can require vastly varying skills. Finding an individual who can achieve everything is very unlikely, and if you have to hire multiple freelancers who haven’t worked together before, your project can suffer.
- Management and oversight: Agencies can provide a team of specialists, all working together towards your goal as a cohesive unit, often with quality managerial oversight. If you work with multiple freelancers, you will need to manage communication yourself and ensure that everything is on track and under control. Agencies have this communication and direction built into their services.
Web Design Agencies
A web design company can offer many specific advantages. Yes, expenses can be a larger investment, but the old adage, “you get what you pay for,” can ring especially true in web design.
Web Design Company Advantages
- Web strategists: Hiring a company can help ensure that your team is made up of diverse specialists working in every field of web design. Web strategists create a direction for the project and work to tailor your web pages to the needs of your viewers.
- Experience levels: Web design companies have high standards for quality control. Designers with high levels of experience are a safer bet within agencies due to the highly competitive nature of the web design workforce.
- Reliable support for high level functions: If your project requires more premium features such as password protection, membership details, web applications, online shopping, interactive support, or others, an experienced coordinated team can be an essential piece of the puzzle. Some of these types of functions require advanced training, years of experience, and quality team management and communication.
- Reputation: Generally speaking, an agency is going to have a higher public visibility and a greater accountability for the services they offer. Web design agencies rely on their reputation to drive their business. Online reviews, customer testimonials, client history, examples, and rewards, are all often readily available to view and contrast with competitors and other differing options. If you go with a freelancer, finding that kind of information can be much less likely.
- Support and management: Agencies typically offer great customer service in a timely manner. A freelance designer is often going to be moving on to the next contract as quickly as possible. This makes system updates, maintenance, and bug fixes very difficult.
Web Design Company Disadvantages
- Cost efficiency: Working with a web design agency can be a significant investment. An agency will often build your site through stages. Strategy, design, and web development. Each stage will often involve multiple team members and a manager overseeing the project.Strategists can be a crucial part of your design process, but the service can extend your expenses. This can be an invaluable step however to increase traffic and conversion.Custom design work can really help your company’s web presence stand out. You may find custom work stretches out the production time and adds to the overall expense.
- Large team disadvantages: With a freelancer, there is a level of personal interaction and communication built in. You have a one on one point of contact and a personal interaction throughout the project, with a simple and direct command chain. When working with a larger team, this chain of command can be stretched across multiple departments, teams, and managers. There may be times with an agency where it takes longer to approve or implement a request or alteration, due to the scope of those involved in making it happen.Having a reliable project manager can mitigate these struggles. Most established agencies put a strong importance on the role of project managers. Maintaining a schedule, meticulous documentation, and seamless communication can be the difference maker to keep a project flowing smoothly.
Who Wins Our Web Design Showdown?
When it comes right down to it, web design has so many variables and things to manage and consider. Working with an agency is probably the way to go. Certainly, the safest bet. Yes, a freelancer may serve you well, especially if your project is smaller in scale and more straight forward, but the risk overall is much greater.
The accountability and efficiency offered by an agency is well worth the investment and could potentially save you both time and money in achieving the desired results.