Freelance Web Designer vs Web Design Agency – Which Is Best?
So, you’re looking to build a brand new website for your company but don’t have the first clue where to start.
We get it. Creating a website can be difficult, especially if you not very tech-savvy. Outsourcing your web design to an expert is usually a smart option since you’ll get a custom-built site that fits your needs and looks professional. There are two main options to choose from when it comes to doing this: hiring a freelance web designer or using a web design agency.
Each of these options has benefits and drawbacks. Let’s make the decision easier for you by comparing the pros and cons of both.
Using a freelance web designer
A web designer ( also known as a front-end developer) is someone who combines programming skills with creativity to build easy-to-use websites for companies like yours.
When you hire a web designer, you will typically need to prepare a brief of what you want your website to look like. Then, they will build it for you for a pre-determined price. More often then not, if there is a part of the design that you don’t like, they will alter it until you are satisfied.
Pros of hiring a freelance web designer
There are many benefits to hiring a freelance web designer to create a custom website for your business. Here are some of the reasons why it might be a good option for you:
1) It can be cheaper than using an agency
Hiring a freelancer to work with you directly is generally cheaper than going through an agency. This is because you are only hiring a single professional to do all the work for you.
With an agency, you are paying for a whole team of experts, as well as office space and software that are typically factored into the price.
2) You get a highly specialised individual
You will be paying for an expert web designer that understands the intricacies of site-building and has a high level of experience.
A freelance web designer understands all the factors that go into a good website, such as the design, usability and functionality. They will build the site to your specification.
3) Dedication to your project
New freelancers that have not made a name for themselves usually depend on good reviews and word of mouth to generate business.
You can be sure that they will be putting in a high amount of effort in your website in the hope that they will potentially get a referral from you.
4) More personal experience
If you choose to hire a freelance web designer, you will likely get a more personable one-to-one experience than if you were to hire an agency.
Freelancers are usually the only points of contact that you will be communicating with, meaning that your message will be delivered faster and potentially received more clearly.
Cons of hiring a freelance web designer
Although freelance web designers bring a lot of experience to the table, there are likely to be some negatives. Here are some of the reasons why it may not be a good idea for you:
1) You only get a single skillset
Usually, a freelancer will only have a single skillset, such as web development using code. This means they may have limited knowledge of other key skills such as design, writing web-copy and marketing.
2) Less reliability
There will always be freelancers who deliver work late or to an unacceptable standard. This risk will be present, especially if this is the first time you are hiring them or if they don’t have any testimonials on their website.
Problems may also arise if they were to fall sick since they are the only one in charge of completing your work. This could result in you missing deadlines or having no one to complete the work.
3) Lower quality of work
Freelancers might be running multiple projects at a time. The likelihood of this increases depending on the relationship they have built with their other clients or the amount they are getting paid. This means your project may not always be their number one priority.
4) Inability to handle larger projects
With a freelance website developer, only one person is doing the work, so it may take longer than if you outsourced to an agency. This can become a problem, especially if you have paid for them to complete a large project.
Using a web design agency
Web design agencies tend to have varied teams of specialists that work together on projects. These companies will likely have worked for some well-known brand names, which means you may pay a higher price for the experience they have.
Pros of hiring a web design agency
There are many benefits to hiring a web design agency to create a custom website. Here are some of the reasons why it might be a good choice:
1) Multi-skilled team
With an agency, you have an entire team of experts at your disposal, each with their own skillset. The great thing about this is that each element on your website will be designed to a high standard and will come together collectively for a great final result.
Typical specialists within an agency include writers, editors, graphic designers, marketing experts, SEO experts, project managers and customer service staff.
2) Better tools
Agencies tend to have bigger budgets to invest in technology and good software. This will help them get the job done much more efficiently than freelancer working alone.
3) Highly experienced
Agencies will have worked on many more websites combined than a freelancer typically would. It means that they will have much more experience when it comes to creating websites will have developed a workflow that allows them to be much more efficient.
These agencies will likely have worked with well-known brands and therefore have a name that they need to uphold.
To keep their credibility, they will be more likely to maintain a higher standard of work and will not stop working on your project even if a team member is on holiday or off sick.
Cons of hiring a web design agency
Although web design agencies are a great option for many businesses, there are always drawbacks:
1) More expensive
Not only are you paying for a team of specialists, but you are also paying for the sheer amount of experience that they have and their reputation. This may not work for new or smaller businesses that do not have the budget to foot a higher bill.
It is worth noting that not all agencies come with a higher price tag and some offer web design services at an affordable price.
2) Not a singular point of contact
Some agencies have processes that they abide by when it comes to the delivery of work or points of contact. That means that every stage of website development will be taken care of by a different person that you will need to be in contact with.
Larger agencies tend to mitigate this factor with the use of a project manager that acts as the primary point of contact throughout the web development process.
3) Juggling multiple projects at once
Just like freelancers, agencies also work on many clients at a single time, meaning that you may not be a priority. It might also reduce the one-to-one factor that you might get from working with a freelancer.
4) Extra charges
Transparency and the lack of fixed prices tend to be common among agencies. You might find that there some agencies charge for ‘extras’ or are not completely upfront with the exact amount you will be paying in fees. This is not always the case and some affordable agencies value transparency within their pricing structure.
Choosing the right option for you
If you want a professional website created for you but do not have the money to spend on an expensive agency, you might want to hire a freelance website developer.
If on the other hand you are looking for a very high-quality website and are willing to pay a premium price, an agency might be the right option for you.
There is a middle ground, however. If you want the experience that a team can provide without the hefty price tag, then hiring an affordable agency like Greener Media can offer you the best of both worlds. We can create a state of the art website for you that doesn’t break the bank. Use our free online quote builder or get in touch for a great price today.