Not all websites are created equal. Each has their own story, and their own path from concept to launch. Most significantly, who builds a website can have a big impact on its ultimate character – its style and functionality, its technological basis and aesthetic qualities.
For many businesses, outsourcing development is the best way forward: they may lack internal capacity, or appreciate the input of external professionals with an objective eye. But even having made this decision, there is a further step to take before engaging a developer: whether to hire an agency or a freelancer.
There are arguments for each. We’re an agency, so you’d expect us to advocate for organisations like ours – and in many cases, we do indeed think an agency is best. But if your site is likely to be small, and you already have a relationship with a freelancer; if the job doesn’t require many skill-sets to bring to fruition, then a freelancer can make sense. There are some excellent ones at work.
On the other hand, an agency gives you an extra level of expertise to call on. Think of your web developer like a sports team: the freelancer really only has their first team, out on the field hoping not to get injured; an agency also has a number of players on the bench, ready to jump up and provide their particular skills as needed.
That depth and breadth of expertise mean that an agency can provide expert developers, designers, writers, and artists; a freelancer usually majors in only one area. Likewise, if your freelancer falls sick you may have to wait a while; an agency can carry on regardless of staff illness or leave.
Questions of competencies and continuities are thus key. Likewise, consider how your project will be managed. Agencies are able to consult with clients at every stage in a very structured way: from initial conversation to final implementation, often specialist account managers will be in place to keep in touch with the client on a daily basis. If you hire one or more freelancers, it’s most likely going to be you doing the project management.
In other words, agencies have strength in breadth – and will usually be able to deliver complex projects more quickly, and more efficiently, as a result. A freelancer can be very mobile and responsive, and often for a relatively low cost – but that agility can come at the cost of reliability and even expertise.
The old saying that two heads are better than one holds very true when it comes to making this sort of choice: a freelancer is only even an individual; an agency can call on many brains at once. And ultimately that might be the deciding factor in choosing between a freelancer and a web agency.
If you need web design or development, then speak to our friendly experts. Our web developers are based in Coventry, Warwickshire and are always ready to help. Please feel free to contact us and speak to one of our website design specialists.
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