Website Design Agency vs. Freelancer: Which is Best for Your Business?
Updated: Jan 6
Do I hire a design agency or a freelancer to build my website?
This is often one of the first questions to arise during the website design process for any kind of business owner. Picking between an agency and a freelancer can be difficult, primarily because both will offer the same final product: a professional and functional website. However, the way an agency provides its design services can be quite different from a freelancer and vice versa. Cost, expertise, client involvement, and turnaround time are all key factors to consider before committing to one service provider over the other. To help your business work through that decision, this blog outlines some of the most important pros and cons of using design agencies and using freelance designers.
✔ Pros – Freelancer
Lower rates and flexibility with pricing or billing are some of the more attractive features of hiring a freelancer to build your business’ website. Freelancers typically work with less overhead costs than a design agency; they aren’t responsible for paying other staff salaries or building rent and maintenance, so they are able to charge more affordable fees. Bigger and extensive long-term projects also present the opportunity to negotiate pricing with a freelancer, especially if your business will be providing them with a steady stream of income for the next few months or years. However, your business should be aware that freelancers often charge hourly rates rather than a flat rate per project.
Freelancers in all industries usually have specialized skills and expertise, which can be beneficial for your business if you have a particular vision for your new website and want some complex features. Specialized expertise also comes in handy when your business may need to make small tweaks or adjustments to your website down the road. Instead of reaching back out to a design agency and waiting for a designer to become available, a freelancer can quickly jump in and get the job done. Many freelancers also have extensive professional networks, so they can make a credible recommendation if you need other services outside their specialty.
✘ Cons – Freelancer
Difficult to Manage
Freelancers can be difficult to manage for a number of reasons. Freelancers work on their own, so your business’ needs will be subject to their schedule and availability. If an emergency arises or they have multiple active projects, it could be difficult to communicate with the freelancer in charge of your website. You might also need multiple freelancers to work on your website if they have very niche specialties; with so many hands working on one project, it can be difficult to coordinate with everyone. The collaboration of your freelancers is also worth thinking about. If one person doesn’t mesh well with the rest, you may need to find a replacement, which costs your business even more time and money.
Slow Turnaround Time
As mentioned, freelancers are often working on multiple projects at the same time, so turnaround for your website might be slower than you would normally expect. If you happen to be taking a collaborative approach with a team of specialized freelancers, they will need to wait for each person to finish their portion of the project, which also slows things down. When it really comes down to it, using a freelancer takes longer than an agency, so your business should plan accordingly.
✔ Pros – Design Agency
Reputation and credibility are important traits of a design agency, and the only way to build up these positive attributes is through high-quality work. Design agencies often have online reviews that emphasize previous successful projects, and they may post client testimonials or case studies on their website as well. Agencies also retain certified experts in a variety of specialties, which shows potential clients that they have access to all the necessary resources to successfully complete their project. At CodeMasters Inc., we have a diverse team of experts ready to meet your business’ needs and provide high-quality results throughout each stage of designing your website. Our 5.0 stars on Google Reviews further confirm our commitment to our clients and our previous successful projects.
Quick Turnaround Time
Unlike freelancers, design agencies usually have quick turnaround time and can adhere to your business’ timelines. Having a cohesive team work on your project rather than one individual makes the process much faster, and your business can often have more of an active role in determining the next steps. Skilled project managers ensure that all members of the team stay on schedule (and budget), and they strategically delegate tasks to maximize efficiency. At CodeMasters Inc., you can contact our team directly and quickly set up a consultation with us so we can get working on your project right away.
✘ Cons – Design Agency
Of course, with multiple experts working on every design project, agency service rates will be higher in comparison with a freelancer. While freelancers don’t have many overhead costs to worry about, agencies have to pay for a physical office space, digital equipment for all staff members, and staff wages and benefits. At the same time, agencies often recognize that not all businesses can pay the same high fees, and they may provide multiple price points depending on the scope of work or invite business owners to outline their budget before beginning a project. At CodeMasters Inc., we look for ways to be creative with limited budgets, and we are happy to discuss options with clients during a consultation and via email or phone.
Less Direct Communication
Sometimes it can be difficult to communicate with a design agency, especially when all the components of your website have been delegated to separate team members. Freelancers can speak with their clients directly, but agencies often put clients in touch with a project manager rather than the developers and designers actually doing the work on their project. It might even be difficult to get a hold of your project manager at a bigger agency if they are managing multiple projects. Thankfully, smaller agencies, like CodeMasters Inc., overcome the difficulties of communication with more personable, one-on-one services and quick response times during business hours.
So, who do you choose? A freelancer or an agency?
While we’ve outlined several of the major pros and cons of both freelancers and design agencies in this blog post, the decision, as always, is up to your business and how you would like to go about completing your website project. Even as a design agency, CodeMasters Inc. recognizes the high-quality work that many freelancers can produce in this field, and that the choice to go with a freelancer may very well be the best initial path for your business. However, we encourage you to explore all your options in detail and take your time as you make your decision. We are always here to provide credible advice and listen to your vision, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.