What is better for your business? Should you hire a web design firm or a freelancer? To answer this question properly, you first need to start by defining your project. Make a list of the needs of your website and company.
By defining your needs, you will make the process of communicating with your prospective web designer that much easier. Here are some tips for choosing the right one for you:
In terms of cost, freelancers tend to be cheaper. This is because they do not need infrastructure, a support staff, or support facilities that an agency would need. Therefore, if you own a small business and cost is the main factor, you should consider hiring a freelancer.
However, for most businesses, cost is not the only factor that should be considered. Technology, quality, design, and support are also very important factors. Some businesses start by building a website with the cheapest developers, only to spend more money later on when they need a larger website.
When you want help with larger projects, you should consider hiring a firm as they are more equipped to handle a broader variety of client needs.
These needs include long-term support, ability to support an array of design needs, and the ability to support larger technical requirements.
Of course, freelancers can also produce great work, but you have to look at the bigger picture. When requesting a proposal, you should ask whether the web developer provides launch and post-launch support.
As you interview agencies, you need to consider your immediate website needs as well as your long-term needs.
Getting it right
When working with a freelance designer or an agency, you should explain your needs and intentions clearly from the start. If you are disorganized at the beginning of the project, it will hurt you more than the designer.
According to Chris Wielinski, the owner of Brown Box Branding, “your website is often the first impression that someone sees of your business. Will your website inspire trust and show your business as relevant and trustworthy? A great website is one that is simple, intuitive to use and gives you the information you want quickly and easily, while enabling the user to engage with your brand in a meaningful, measurable way.”
When a web designer understands the needs and purpose of your site, he will be better equipped to give the right solution.
When looking at web design firms, it is always a good idea to ask questions about their team make-up, process, approach, and technical abilities. Will you work with a project manager? Is there a support team that will deal with your long-term needs?
Some web design agencies do not mind working with clients for the long-term. However, some freelancers and agencies prefer to build websites and walk away without providing long-term support.
The ability to communicate will be different with each web design agency and freelancer. You may need to ask each of them how they handle communications. Do they have a clear process of communication?
With freelancers, you might need to enquire about their workload. If he or she is busy, it will be difficult to be responsive. Some agencies usually have processes in place to deal with growth.
Nonetheless, it is vital that you understand the capabilities of the specific freelancer or agency that you are considering.
When dealing with a freelancer, you should ask several questions: which websites have you built in the past? How long will the project take? If we part ways, can I take my website elsewhere?
You should also ask questions when dealing with a web design agency: do you offer long-term support for websites? What is your web design process like? Can you train my staff to use the content management system?
Are you looking for a web design agency? Companies like Brown Box Branding are great for handling big projects that need a lot of work. However, if you only want a simple website, consider using a freelancer.