Starting a new website is a very exciting prospect for any business with endless possibilities, but it can also be a very scary one.
Lots of questions will be raised when searching for the best method of website design. Should you choose a freelance web designer or an agency? How can freelancers charge so much less than agencies? What is the best fit for myself? Should I hire a local web designer?
In this blog I’ll answer these questions and many more along the way, to help you make your mind up.
I feel to answer the above questions we first need to look into what a freelancer really is. The Cambridge Dictionary explains that freelance means “doing particular pieces of work for different organizations, rather than working all the time for a single organization”.
So to put it in context, a freelance web designer is someone who is self-employed or might own a small company, who is hired by other organisations to design, create or build websites for them.
The first question and maybe the most important to start off with, the main perception of web design agencies is that you'll get a better service quality, but is this true? As a freelance web designer myself I will attempt to compare and debunk this issue.
This is the most straightforward, a freelance web designer will always charge less.
It stands to reason, a freelance web designer has less costs associated with running a business for example they do not need to rent large offices often working from home.
An agency will have a larger staff bill that needs to be paid even if business is slow.
The level of service can be subjective however, I do everything in my power to provide the level of an agency if not above. Agencies offer a wide range of products and so do I. If a client needs professional Copywriting or Logo Design for example, I know freelancers in the industry who can fit these needs often going above and beyond what an in-house team is capable of.
The in-house team can also have more negatives, with multiple people making changes or design updates a website can quickly lose the initial design idea thus losing its identity.
When I pay for a service I expect to be able to have constant contact as a freelance web designer I can pretty confidently say that I can beat the communication levels of an agency.
As a freelance web designer, Houghton Web Design is my own business and it’s success means more to me than anything I can imagine. I am available to contact at almost any hour, I have set business hours that I try to stick to but I am constantly checking emails or am almost always available by phone.
Not even to mention that I am the one building your website, when you call me, email me or whatsapp me I know instantly where your site is at.
The choice is always up to you, of course my opinion is a biassed one but I hope that I have made some compelling arguments for the freelance web designer. For almost any case I would recommend that a freelancer would be more appropriate, however in some cases agencies may well be better for example the larger staff force would be able to cope better or faster with huge websites.
Why would you pay more for the same website?
Now you may have decided whether you want to use a freelance web designer or a web design agency, should the location worry you?
With everything that has happened in the world recently, long distance working relationships are a normality and something I have embraced. However, I still do appreciate the normality of visiting a client and talking through the project in their surroundings.
By Jordan Houghton
21st March 2022
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