If you have a business, having a website can be a great help. With a website having a user-friendly layout, eye-catching colors, and informative content, you can attract new clients as well as retain the old ones. However, your website requires more of the features because of the increasing competition these days.
You also need SEO, 3D graphics, website support, IT support, a way to follow up on leads, and several other ways to engage your potential audience via your website. The improvements and maintenance of the site, in the long run, is also a considerable matter. That’s why you need a professional to handle all this.
Coming up with the idea of a website and its rough design might be easy enough for any business person. When you want a professional, effective website though, there’s no substitute for calling in the experts. Luckily, we now have a choice in this case as well; namely, should we hire a freelance web designer or a web design agency?
There are pros and cons of each option, along with a host of factors to consider before you make a final decision. Of course, the decision doesn’t have to be absolutely final either; you can always start with one option and then switch to the other if you’re not completely satisfied. To save time, hassle, and money, though, let’s have a thorough look at both choices:
Whether you approach a freelancer or a web design agency for your web design services, make sure that you’re an estimable client in the first place. For instance, you should have clearly defined your objectives and goals for this web design project. If you don’t already have this knowledge, read up a little on the basics of how to write websites. Also, have in mind the time constraints you’ll be giving your agency or freelance employee. Any amendments and/or delays will also be under discussion, so give it all some thought before you sit down for a meeting (in real life or virtual).
After the deadline issues, take a look at the kind of communication and processes for feedback that might work for everyone. There are certain protocols for web design revisions and plans in place for those inevitable roadblocks. Any kind of impact from stakeholders will affect both freelancers and agencies, so such discussions are a must with both choices.
The content management systems, support contacts, SLAs, and details about the website ownership are also mortar factors for discussion. Will you own the design of the website as well as its code and domain, or will the other party also have some share? This is also the time to talk about any possible arrears in taking the website to a freelancer or agency if you’re not satisfied with your first choice. Clearing out these possible injections beforehand will prevent a lot of ugliness and possible lawsuits in the future.
The advantages of hiring a web design agency
An agency providing web design services will have a team of professionals working on each project. Plus, web design agencies usually have individuals who are hungry to outdo each other. If this competition is a healthy one, you’ll be the client reaping the benefits of their passion and hard work.
You’re also more likely to have a dedicated account manager this way. If they’re competent enough, these managers will smooth out the wrinkles before you get to know about them. An agency will also have more resources, so you can rest assured that your projects will go through several practiced hands.
Disadvantages of hiring a web design agency
The biggest disadvantage of hiring a web design agency is that they’re generally the more expensive choice. This is the price you pay for all those resources. However, if you have a large or complex project, it’s generally better in the hands of an agency. Plus, since agencies work on their own site, you may not be able to get much one-on-one time.
The advantages of hiring a freelance web designer
With the ease of working from home and the ubiquity of Wi-Fi, freelancing is a popular career for many folks. They can work without the constraints of a boss or other middlemen, along with fewer overheads. This means that you’ll be able to get quality work from a freelancer in a smaller budget than with a web design agency. This can be great, especially if you’re just looking for a specific type of web design services.
There are also ways to get credible testimonials for a freelancer’s work. The platform where you hire them might also have reviews of their work as well as testimonials from their former employers.
You can even pick more than one freelancer based on their niche; 3D graphics, IT support, and management, website support, SEO, etc. This is a good option if you just want a specific niche covered instead of the whole deal. Many people can generally design their website themselves but the improvements and maintenance of the site are best handled by a professional freelance web designer.
Finally, if you have a website design project that needs some flexibility, it will generally be cheaper and more convenient to go with the freelancer option. Web design agencies usually have quite rigid workflows, so they may not be as flexible. Make sure you hash all this out with any promising freelancer before fixing the deal, though.
The disadvantages of hiring a freelance web designer
Freelance web designers might be a delight to work with. You’d probably be dealing one-on-one with a talented individual who knows his work and is passionate about it. However, this also means that you might not find a decent freelancer available at certain times of the year. Many freelancing web designers have full schedules and can take a long time to come up with something that will satisfy all parties concerned.
It’s unavoidable if you want quality work. A freelancer usually works along; even if they outsource, they have to make sure the work is up to par.
Also, consider the fact that freelancers might face everyday issues such as poor Internet connection, a family emergency, or even unplanned vacation. If they announce any of these, there’s little you can do except wait things out or back out completely.
Before going for a freelancer, also make sure to check their portfolio and the range of their skills. They should be able to work on all aspects of the website, not just a chosen few.
No matter what you’re looking for in web design services, the right freelancer or agency is probably out there. In the process of deciding, make sure to look at your requirements and scope as objectively as possible. Your long-term needs, current and projected resources, budget, and goals should also be determining factors within this decision.
In either case, set your mind towards paying for quality results. That’s how you can get back the investment in no time.