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Should You Hire a Freelancer or a Design Agency?

9 min read

Over the past decade—it has been a hot and never-ending debate: Should I hire a freelancer or a design agency?

Building a simple website or a complicated software system— getting started is never easy. Reaching the right development partner is—indeed—the toughest and most decisive part of the entire procedure.

There may be two options at hand—a cohesive team of experts or independent professionals—and choosing between them requires determining the ideal size of your development team.

Knowing the project needs well helps make a better choice and determine the quality of the final product—the website design. 

Who is a Freelancer?

A freelancer is an independent individual specialized in a specific area of work. A freelancer works on an hourly or short-term project basis. The freelancers focus on a particular part of a project, they’re specialized in. 

Freelance projects have three categories:

  1. Project-based freelancing
  2. Contract work
  3. A combination of the two

Freelancing is on the surge. A study shows that 34 percent of the American workforce consists of freelancers. This makes up 53 million of the workforce. This percentage is only going to swell up to 54% by 2025

What is a Design Agency?

An agency has a team of full-time professionals with diverse skill sets. An agency operates as a one-stop shop by providing its clients with a network of specialists.

The agency employees are part of a larger company who works in close coordination. They have extensive work experience to deal with projects that demand a high level of expertise.

Antoine Boquen, CEO and co-founder of Horizons recommends “Hiring an agency is more suitable to complete complicated projects that also need ongoing support.

It is also a reliable choice for fast-paced high-quality solutions that need a broad area of expertise within a medium to high budget. 

Freelancer vs Design Agency: Pros and Cons

The debate about hiring a freelancer or a design agency is complex and can be a challenging decision to make. Here is a list of some pros and cons of hiring freelancers and professional design agencies.

Hiring a Freelancer and Design Agency

Freelancer

Pros Cons
Low cost 1 Person
Flexible for revisions Different work ethics
Fresh perspective Lack of commitment
High level of engagement Contingency-caused delays
Limited skillset 
High-risk
Accountability is hard
Specialized work
Limited work handling capacity
Strong work ehics
Low level of engagement

 

Agency

Pros Cons
1 team High cost
One-stop shop Less flexibility
High credibility Run out of budget for small projects
High work handling capacity
Low maintenance
Teamwork
Broad expertise
Low-risk
Backup of staff
Post-service support
Reliability

Determine the Objectives and Outcomes of the Work

The nature of work determines a lot about who to choose—an independent freelancer or a design agency. There are some tasks that freelancers do better.

While others that the agencies are good at. It requires determining the nature of the task first to figure out what to choose between both. 

The Best Types of Jobs for Agencies

For agencies, there are many types of tasks to choose from. These could be long-term projects having high stakes. Or requiring creativity and project-specific skills development. Following are a few of the hundreds of projects that agencies can handle better:

  • SEO
  • Website Design
  • Conversion Optimization
  • Content Writing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Lead Generation
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Brand Management

What to Consider When Hiring an Agency or Freelancer?

When it comes to choosing between working with freelancers or design agencies—both have their own merits and demerits. We may make the right decision by studying the nature of the project.

A few factors that help one study the nature of the project are as follows. Using them allows finding out whom to hire.

  • Project outcomes  
  • Complexity of work
  • Timeline
  • Size of project
  • Post-completion services
  • Budget constraints 

The decision becomes easier by determining the project objectives and services required.

How Design Agency is best?

A business is something beyond making money. It is about your company and its reputation. Passion and dedication are a must to bring value to any business. Thus, hiring the most reliable resource is of inordinate importance. 

Alex Savy, Co-Founder, and Editor-in-Chief at ComfyNorth recommend “When it comes to choosing between a freelancer or a design agency—the latter is more reliable.

The agencies work best in comparison to the freelancers—in many ways. The employer and the agency must have a similarity of mindset and work ethics.”

Multi-Faceted Team

“The biggest perk of hiring a design agency is the access to the panel of a multi-faceted team, capable of accommodating all of your design, development, and marketing needs.

It helps get the most refined end product as the entire process of website development and design is run by the same team.

There is more potential for cooperation and coordination that is necessary to improve the quality of work that cannot be achieved by hiring multiple freelancers to do the projects in chunks”

says Tia Campbell, Director of Marketing at Practice Reasoning Tests.

Timeliness, Experience, and Efficiency

According to Jake Smith Managing Director of Absolute Reg says

“Professional agencies have the accumulative experience to deliver high-quality and all-inclusive projects for their clients sharply following the said timelines.

They maintain a smooth workflow to predict the necessity of time and resources required to achieve your goals. A professional agency can deal with contingencies and promptly delivers your projects with excellence.” 

Post Service Support

“Ongoing service support is highly crucial in today’s world where digital and mobile projects have become increasingly complex,” says Alex Popa, Founder & CEO of Whizcase.

Some projects require ongoing post-service support to troubleshoot any prospective issues. Agencies ensure post-service support for projects like web design, SEO, marketing, and examining user feedback for future versions.

How to Choose a Web Design Company?

Today, about 87 percent of shoppers prefer buying online—making it one of the toughest and essential steps for many business owners—launching a user-friendly website.

There are many critical factors to consider when choosing a website design company to market your business.

Many proprietors are fortunate enough to value the luxury of experience and the peace of mind offered by a team of professionals. They prefer a professional agency over freelancers and go stress-free as they know how to choose a web design company. 

Aimi Davis, Chief Editor at Online Mediums says “A disappointing user experience caused by an imperfect web design is a common challenge for many businesses across the internet.”

An aesthetically appealing and user-friendly website design can turn into a powerful online marketing tool for your business.

This is the reason why the selection of a web design company has to potential to either magnify or darken the future of your business.

Therefore, choosing the best service providers by reaching out to a perfect web design company is decisive in establishing your website.

7-Steps Guide to Finding the Best Website Design Company

Know Your Design Requirements Well!

A website design must include all the deliverables to facilitate the end users. It must also reflect a specific business and its ethos. Therefore, it is highly important to know your web design requirements before reaching out to a web design company.

There must be close coordination between the owner and the designers about the functions and appearance of the website design. 

Andrew Priobrazhenskyi, CEO of DiscountReactor says “The requirements of every business vary when it comes to the design of a website. Being the owner of a business, one must have a clear picture of an ideal website in their mind.

Once they know what they’re looking for—it becomes easier to communicate their design requirements. It results in getting the most accurate design that is closer to the expectations. “

Google it!

Mike Thompson, President, and CEO of Hyperlend say

“Search engines are a service to assist in searching for anything from the comfort of a home. Searching and landing on the right web design company—just requires a thorough search.”

All you need to do is to put the right search titles such as, “best web design company”, “top web design company”, or maybe “affordable web design company” and there it is.

Usually, the first pages include several options of web design companies to pick from. This also proves to be a test as the ranking of most efficient web design companies is highest. Mostly, on the first pages through search engine optimization.

Abdul Saboor, Full Stack Developer at The Stock Dork says

“Google searches also place the web agencies to blog posts listing the best web companies with prominent names that may be offering the best services in their domain. Local web designers are also available to offer the best design services at the most affordable prices.” 

Go Through Reviews and Create a Shortlist

Some of the finest or most valued advice on selecting the best web design company is to consider what their existing customers say about their work.

Brian Case, Director of eCommerce & Retail at Selkirk adds

“The reviews from real customers provide a clear insight into the excellence and quality of a web design company’s products and services. It also speaks a lot about their professionalism and their level of commitment to designing your desired website.” 

Moreover, go to the URLs provided with the review, and touch the businesses that have already used the services of the web design company to get real-time feedback.

It will also help one understand how the company operates and what and how much they may expect from a certain web design company. 

Ellie Shippey. E-commerce Growth Specialist, EZContacts further adds

“Now that the evaluation of reviews is complete—it’s time to shortlist them based on perfection, experience, professionalism, and timeliness. One may have other factors for evaluation in mind too, such as price, level of engagement, customization, or more.

The shortlisting of potential web design companies is necessary to move forward.”

Look ar Their Portfolios for Top Picks

“Take out time to explore the portfolios of the shortlisted web design companies to narrow it down further. It is one of the most reliable approaches to making the right decision about choosing a web design company.

Pre-select 4-5 top web design companies, review their portfolios, and rank them accordingly”

says Adam Fard, Founder & Head of Design at Adam Fard UX Agency.

Just view their past work examples, how efficient they were, how much time did they take, and much more. It’s smart to pick a company that has already worked with your industry as they can serve even better.

Be a rational judgment of the previous work and look for the following aspects:

  • Is it responsive?
  • Is the content easy to read?
  • Is the navigation intuitive and natural?
  • How do the visual and text-based components overlap?
  • Is the theme of visual storytelling consistent with that of the business?

A top web design company ensures a great user experience and design aesthetics. 

Analyze the Depth of their Knowledge from their Blog Posts

According to Mike Owens, Digital Marketing & Growth Director at Web Hosting Advices 

“Every web design agency owns a blog to keep in touch with the stakeholders including its previous customers, potential clients, business partners, and team members.

It also offers ample leads about the projects the web design company may be working on or planning to work on.” 

These blogs depict the depth of knowledge that they have about certain areas of expertise and ongoing design trends.

See the Value They’re Offering Through Content

“Professional web design companies can design any website that their client may dream of and offer them value through creative content. It may include explainer videos, infographics, or animated graphics.

The value provided in the visual storing telling says a lot about the quality of the work that the client may expect from them”

says Gerrid Smith, Chief Marketing Officer at Joy Organics

It also depicts their commitment to the visual branding strategy of your business. It provides you clues about how well they would comprehend your business, its mission and objectives, target audience, and demographics to offer the best user experience. 

Interview the Shortlisted Web Design Agencies

All that glitters is not gold! And so could be the case—making it important to communicate for a better understanding of who they are, what they may offer, and what one expects from them. 

A professional web design company would go above and beyond to understand the vision and requirements of its clients before actually agreeing to the work. 

Steve Theunissen Qualified nutritionist and Personal trainer at Smart Fitness Results said

“Make sure, there must be enough transparency in the communication to gauge the level of commitment to your work.

There must not be any loopholes in the communication to prevent any design failures. As it may lead to the wastage of resources—time, money, and effort.”

What to ask from a web design company 

What to ask from a web design company to certify it is a perfect choice?

  • How does their design process work?
  • What design platforms (WordPress, Shopify, etc.) do they use? 
  • What is their pricing method?
  • How many revisions do they offer?
  • How do they assign project management?
  • What is the availability status to work on your website?
  • Do they also offer SEO or value-added content?

The Final Word 

A design agency is a better choice to design the website of a business as compared to an independent freelancer. What makes them so, is the diversity of their professionals’ experiences.

Their team spirit, strong work ethics, high credibility, and work handling capacity. It takes time to choose the best web design company that can offer the best design for your business.

Robert Warner, Head of Marketing, VirtualValley concludes by saying

“the future of your brand depends much on the user-friendly design of the website and how well it goes with the ethos of a business.”

Don’t hesitate to ask questions and be selective while choosing the best web design company. As it will ensure to materialize your business goals!

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