So you’ve decided that it’s time to ditch your old website and get a shiny new one? Brilliant! That’s one of the most important decisions in the entire process. However, after accepting your quest to get a new website you are immediately greeted with another very important choice, “do I use a Freelance Web Designer or an Agency”?
A website is an important investment so making that your choice is the right fit for your business is vital. This article will aim to help you choose whether to use a freelancer or an agency and as a bonus I’ll even throw in some GIF’s of Captain Kirk showing off some of his best moves.
Round One: Costs – FIGHT!
Pretty one sided this one, but a freelancer should always be cheaper than an agency, if you find your freelancer has quoted you more than your agency then one of them is making a horrible mistake and you should be wary. When you hire a freelancer they are usually singular, lone wolves, champions of the web, you get the idea. They usually work from a home office or a small rented office space which means one thing, low overheads, which in turn means cheaper prices but in no way a compromise in quality or results.
Slow out of the gate comes the agency trudging along behind, being weighed down by their overheads as the freelancer speeds pass them like an inspired hound. When you pay an agency price you are not only paying for your website you are also paying for all their employees salaries, their office rent, their insurance, their office supplies and don’t forget, Barbara’s lunch. These extra overheads means that an agency will never be able to price match a freelancer and if you ever find one that offers to. Run.
Round 2: Services – FIGHT!
Now usually a freelancer would be on the back foot in this round, as working alone can be a double edged sword in that if you want to offer services across multiple disciplines you often end up stuck a jack-of-all-trades. I avoid this by making sure that my primary services are equally developed and any skills that don’t make the cut aren’t offered it’s as simple as that. Luckily I’m friends with some of the most creative and brilliant freelancers across the UK and we all share work on a regular basis as our skills complement each others perfectly.
This is where having more overheads pays off, as an agency will usually have creatives from multiple fields working on a single project meaning that work can be delegated more efficiently. They also usually offer more services than your run of the mill freelancer.
Round 3: Communication – FIGHT!
Again this one is pretty one sided in my opinion, a freelancer will heed your every beck and call and will always be available at the end of the phone or via email. This means that any decisions are reached quickly and executively (unless you’ve hired a freelancer with multiple personality disorder) and you’ll avoid having to spend time on hold while the agency account handler has to find the person whose best able to answer your questions.
Bigger isn’t always better and trying to get answers to your questions quickly in an agency is like Godzilla trying to find his dropped contact lens in Shibuya at lunch time. Account handlers may seem like your best buddies but they usually have little to no technical knowledge so you’ll have to wait for them to pass on all your questions and hope you don’t end up playing a game of Chinese Whispers.
There are lots of things to consider when deciding whether to go with a freelance web designer or an agency but I believe that more often or not you will be better off going with a freelancer as you will always pay less for the same level of quality and service.
Here’s one more gif for funsies.
Have I inspired you’re decision to hire a freelancer? Brilliant why not reward me by sending me an email with your requirements!