Chris Owen

Written by Chris Owen

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Freelance or Agency? What’s Best for Your Website?

  • Thinking about having a new website designed?
  • Want to put some pep into an online project?
  • Need some help climbing search engine rankings?

All sound and sensible reasons why you should be looking for a freelancer, a small team or a larger company that will take your hand and lead you to the orchard of online awesomeness.

So, what are you waiting for?

Oh, no one’s told you which professional provider would best suit your business.

I see.

Nobody mentioned that there’s an abundance of similar web design and development companies that are all posing as perfect for your personal project.

Right, gotcha!

Well, that’s no good is it. Let’s see whether we can remedy the above by providing some information as to who deserves your business.

For starters, it’s only fair to point out that the cheapest offer is not always going to be the best. Hey, it might be. But nine times out of ten, you get what you pay for.

*Also, *bear in mind that whoever you choose to develop and design your site should be able to tackle the project as a whole rather than outsourcing to other parties. If they can’t, then it’s up to you to find out how they intend to do so and what will the additional costs amount to.

And finally, whoever you pick, be sure they can demonstrate the following before you even consider giving them your business:

  • A proven track record
  • No hidden costs
  • Competitive rates
  • The ability to handle the whole project
  • A friendly and positive personality
  • Your best interests at heart.

The points below will allow you more of an insight into which sort of professional outfit will be best suited for your online business or web project.

Just remember that your website is your baby and ensuring you leave her in the hands of someone that you trust is the only way to give her the best care and attention that she deserves.

Now, get out there and pour yourself a gin because you deserve it, Mummy of the Year!

Should I hire a freelancer to handle my website design project?

  • As freelancers generally work for themselves you pretty much know who they are and how to get hold of them as a first point of contact. This can be very important for some website owners as it helps to form a level of trust as you build a professional relationship.
  • Although most freelancers will be committed to web design on a full time basis there are some who work only in their spare time so it’s worth finding out availability prior to getting started.
  • Freelancers often have few or no overheads which equates to lower rates however, if they’ve got more than one client you might find that you’re not the only project that’s currently occupying their time and energy.
  • Most freelancers will be skilled in one specific area so don’t be surprised if there are certain aspects to a project that they might not be able to assist with under their own steam.
  • If a freelancer does need to bring in someone else, maybe for technical or design issues, make sure both parties are working on your project as a team and that all costs have been specified and agreed with you in advance.

Freelance web design benefits in a nutshell: freelancers can be flexible, focused and affordable but they can also need to call in outside help if they’re faced with an issue that they don’t fully understand.

Is a studio team the best website service provider for my online business?

  • Where a studio outfit differs from a sole freelancer is that they operate as a team and therefore have more scope for tackling online projects as a whole.
  • You’ll usually find anything up to ten professionals occupying one smallish studio space with a range of abilities spread across the online design and development mix.
  • Marketing strategists, digital designers and technical wizards will all be part of a studio team. Be aware: the SEO guy might also be the social guru as well as the Friday doughnut delivery dude. Just because a studio team wear different hats doesn’t mean that the work will be any less accomplished.
  • Studio firms will normally have more than one client. This can mean that your project might take longer to accomplish, especially in terms of pecking order.
  • Finally, costs might be higher due to the overheads such as studio space, staff wages and Friday doughnuts.

*Studio web development benefits in a nutshell: *hiring a studio team can allow you to see your site built, designed and developed without having to go anywhere else. Costs can be higher and project completion times can often be longer than first anticipated due to other clients taking precedence.

Should I employ a web design agency to look after my site?

  • From digital marketing to website design there are numerous agencies that are eagerly waiting to help place your website up there with the best of them.
  • Full service agencies offer exactly what you’d expect with everyone from content writers and SEO experts, to photographers and animators, available to assist in making all of your website dreams come true.
  • Once you’re onboard with an agency you’ll usually be attributed a project manager who will provide one point of contact throughout the process.
  • Whereas a studio may struggle to meet your deadlines, an agency should have the capabilities to deal with numerous clients at any one time with dedicated specialists providing the very best in technical, business and creative juice.
  • You’ll get what you pay for and if you’re going full-service this might well be reflected in the price.
  • Most agencies are able to offer several different tiers when it comes to budget and project sizes. It’s always worth finding out whether you can have a scaled down version of what’s being offered to a larger brand before you open up your purse strings.

*Web design agency benefits in a nutshell: *agencies will be able to provide you with the very best in expertise and assistance whilst also taking into consideration deadlines and time constraints.

A few final pearls of wisdom

Best advice, no matter who you’re thinking of working with, is to do your research. Ask questions, look at case studies, check to see whether any businesses similar to yours are part of a provider’s portfolio. Making sure costs, personnel and previous clients can all be reached and understood is the key to ensuring you’re comfortable with what’s on the table.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you who you leave your baby with so make sure you always put trust above cost in order to achieve the best outcome possible. For more information as to how you can get the best of both worlds for your website design project get in touch with TKStarley who provide an affordable range of services as well as plenty of practical tips and advice.

*More about the author: Chris Owen is a freelance copywriter specialising in digital marketing and creative content. *