The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Web Design Agency vs. a Freelancer

by | Apr 15, 2019 | Business Feature

Every business needs its own professionally designed website to be able to stand toe-to-toe with its competitors, both locally and internationally. However, it does cost some amount of money to have such a website made and maintained, which could be challenging for smaller-sized businesses with limited resources.

Thankfully, there are more affordable ways for businesses to create their own website, especially when it comes to acquiring the manpower needed. The most common and most popular alternative is to hire a freelancer to do the job. This allows a business to secure the expert help they need without having to worry about the many costs associated with hiring an in-house design team—costs that include salaries, benefits, and added operating costs.

However, there is another alternative that has been growing in popularity, and it involves hiring a web design agency instead. This makes perfect sense, considering that an entire team of professionals gives you access to a greater range of skillsets and expertise, many of which go beyond simple website design and maintenance. Surely, hiring an expert digital design agency is likely going to be a bit more expensive endeavor, but the upside is that businesses stand to gain much more than they originally would if they hired a freelancer instead.

But is that true? Is hiring a professional web design agency really all that better than hiring a freelancer? Find out with us as we explore the pros and cons of doing business with a web design firm.

Pros of Hiring a Web Design Agency over a Freelancer

A web design agency is likely to be more trustworthy and accountable

Web design agencies are legitimate businesses in their own right, and as such, they have their names to protect when they do business. Therefore, you can count on them to honor the terms of the job contract that you’ve signed with them to your satisfaction, seeing as their reputation can be negatively affected if they leave you with a disappointing client experience. On the other hand, a freelancer can simply go with a pseudonym or operate with another identity online to hide from their past work history. This essentially insulates them from negative customer reviews.

A website design agency has more resources available to them

Freelancers typically work alone. This means that you’re basically assigning them a task that is usually handled by an entire team of employees. As such, you can expect that your website will take a longer time to finish, and any changes that you request may take time to accomplish as well. Your freelancer may also be working with different clients on the side, which can create further delays.

This is not the case with design agencies. Being a company with multiple employees, a design agency has the necessary manpower to efficiently and reliably deliver what you need. Even if they do work with multiple clients, they’ll still have enough team members to easily multitask, ensuring that there is a minimal amount of waiting on your end.

A web design agency offers a wider range of expertise

A freelancer may only have web design and website administration in their repertoire of marketable skills. In contrast, a web design agency will not only have staff with those skills, but also those who are experts in other fields like visual and graphic design, user experience, content creation, search engine optimization, and more. They may even have their own photographers, videographers, and sound engineers to give your media materials that added touch of style and sophistication.

Some agencies also offer services that go beyond website design and development. For example, they may offer to do your advertising and marketing assets for you, allowing them to gain a fresh and consistent look. An agency may even help you create your official mobile app, as well as your presentations and pitch decks—tools that can greatly increase your business’s reach and growth if done particularly well.

Overall, hiring a web design agency ensures that you get the best value for your money.

A web design agency can provide better customer support

If something goes wrong with your website, or you simply have concerns with how your website is made, a web design agency will also likely have a support team on call to attend to your needs ASAP. You may even be assigned a dedicated project manager that you can personally contact for any concerns or inquiries. All this ensures that your website will be running as smoothly as possible, and any issues that you may run into will be resolved quickly.

In contrast, a freelancer will not be able to provide this kind of on-call support all the time, even if they are working solely on your project. If they fall ill or go on holiday, there’s not much you can do to get in contact with them but to wait for them to become available. This could result in a lot of downtime.

Cons of Hiring a Web Design Agency over a Freelancer

A web design agency costs more to hire

Obviously, a web design agency will cost a bit more to employ than a freelancer. After all, you’re paying for premium services, and in many cases, you’ll be paying for a lot more than just designing your website and maintaining it. But consider all the added value that you’ll get when you hire a team of professionals compared to just hiring one.

A web design agency involves a lot more chefs in the kitchen

Since agencies work as a team, this means that you’ll have to deal with a lot more people than just one single freelancer. This can be a headache, especially if you’re already managing an entire company to begin with. For example, if you work with a freelancer, any work you request will be going through two sets of hands only—your freelancer’s and your own. As such, your point of contact is only one person. On the other hand, hiring a web design agency may mean that you have to deal with several individuals working on your project. The good news is that there is likely to be a project manager who’ll be your main point of contact in your chosen creative agency.

Conclusion: a web design agency offers better value for money

Hiring freelancers may seem like the economical choice, but to really get the best results for your website while still keeping costs relatively affordable, it’s best to hire a web design agency. You get a lot more resources at your disposal, and you’ll gain peace of mind knowing that you are dealing with an experienced team of professionals. What’s more, their sense of accountability to their work is an added reassurance that you won’t get short-changed in the long and short term.

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