So your company is considering starting a new web design or web application project, and it's trying to decide between hiring a freelancer or going with a creative web agency for the job. To those unfamiliar with the design process, you may consider the two to be fairly similar. But, if you have never worked with a web design agency before, you may be surprised at just how different it can be than working with a freelancer. However, there are a few key differences between the two, here's some more information so you can make the right decision for your company.
One thing many businesses consider when searching for a web design partner is the nature of the business relationship and what the vendor brings to the table. For example, you will find that a web agency is typically interested in understanding your business goals, and then helping you to achive these goals through creative design, messaging and digital media. This will be typically be reflected in the design and messaging of your website, as well as any digital advertising materials and content that is created. A web design studio will have a vested interest in helping your company grow, as this will ensure a succesful, long-term relationship for both organizations.
A freelancer on the otherhand is typically more focused on one or two specific services, for example website design. This means their primary goal is creating as many websites as possible, and typically any given client will only represent "1 website". While there are definitely many freelancers out there who become intricately involved in a brands messaging, most are more interested in receiving specific instructions, brand guidelines or designs and executing the project. Depending on your company, whether you have an internal design and marketing team, and just how comfortable that team is spearheading a website design project, going with a freelancer could be the right option for your company. It's always best to start by considering the ideal business relationship you envision for your business and going from there. Here are a few more things to consider.
Scope of Services
When you hire an experienced web design agency or web design studio, you are hiring a company that can support your business with a wide range of creative and digital marketing services. For example, once the web design team is finished building your website, the digital marketing team can then begin working on an SEO content strategy or a digital marketing campaign on Facebook.
This allows your company to continue working seamlessly with an experienced team that you have already vetted, and is already familiar with your branding, design, target audience, your goals and your story.
While there are some extremely talented freelancers out there, it is atypical that even an expert web design freelancer would also be an expert with SEO and digital marketing. Ultimately, this means that once you've completed your web design project, you will need to go through the process of searching for and vetting another reliable freelancer for your next goals.
Working with a small creative agency like Proper Noun has it's advantages when it comes to things like the type of teamwork and creative focus that will go in to your project. As every member of our team is one that excels in their area of expertise, our clients know that they are not only receiving our top talent, but that they will receive outstanding results. Smaller agencies also have a lot less red tape, beauracracy, and overhead. This means we can be much more flexible with budgets, costs, and overtime work than some of the larger agencies can be.
Level of Expertise
A website design agency also provides you with the peace of mind that your design project will be done right the first time. As every member of our team is an expert in their respective field, our clients know that they are receiving a top of the line website, cutting edge digital marketing services, and creative design and branding services with an eye for detail. Our team has the level of expertise needed to handle every aspect of a web design or web development project, from wireframing, to development on to digital marketing, content creation and so much more.
When you work with a web design freelancer, you are taking a bit more of risk when it comes to that persons experience level. Almost every freelancer will have a portfolio, a client list, and maybe even some testimonials, however, this can oftentimes be difficult to properly vet, especially with web design freelancers that work on larger projects. Businesses also run the risk of working with someone that has inflated their skillset, or bitten off a bit more than they can chew, and becomes overwhelmed by the project. In these situations, many freelancers will simply disappear on the company, leaving them with a half finished project, and a lot of lost time and money.
Working with a web design agency also means you are working with an established, licensed business. This means in addition to a portfolio, client list, and client testimonials, a website design studio is also a registered legal entity with a verifiable corporate history. This provides your company with considerably more protection against a "disappearing designer" situation.
As a business owner, you can also rely on a much wider set of vetting parameters including Google Reviews, Yelp, Google Business Listings, the Better Business Bureau and a number of other professional services and organizations to learn about a website design agency or any other business. Even if you use a platform like Upwork to find someone with good reviews and a lengthy history, this still is only one source and open to manipulation. Building a business reputation and corporate web presence takes a considerable amount of time and effort, which should give your business confidence that it has a partner that will be around for the long-term.
The biggest difference between working with a web agency and working with a freelancer will of course be the cost. To start, a freelancer will almost always have a lower price point when it comes to quoting project. This is typically due to a number of factors like lower overhead, less demand for work, less experience, or simply just the desire to close a deal. However, this can sometimes result in a company paying quite a bit of money when it comes to comparing costs verses quality.
Web design agencies will typically have a higher price point for any given project, but this is due to both the number of people that will be working on the project as well as the level of expertise these people have. Other factors will also come in to play like the current demand for work, project requirements and project timelines. If you're interested in learning more about the differences that a website design agency like Proper Noun can bring to your brand or business, contact us today to schedule a strategy session.
Web design agencies can typically be hired either on a retainer basis or on a per project basis. If you have a direct and detailed understanding of what is required for your website project, it may be best for you to start by engaging an agency for a single project. However, if you need assistance in formalizing your idea or business strategy, would like to utilize the agency for a variety of services, or think you may simply want to take a more hands on approach to your web design project, a retainer may be a better option for you.
Working With A Web Design Studio
We understsand that every project is different and every company has different needs when it comes to web design and digital marketing. Our services cover a wide range of platforms and capabilities including custom Wordpress web design, custom Magento web development, e-commerce development, BigCommerce web design, SEO, Facebook Advertising, Digital marketing and so much more. Our team members are also constantly shaprening their skills and continuously learning the latest techniques in their respective fields. This ensures that each and every project and campaign we work on is done to industry standards and best practices.
As an agency, we love to work closely with brands and businesses to create powerful branding, visual messaging, design and marketing campaigns that help them achieve goals. We also understand that a creative agency may not be the best fit for every brand or business. If you'd like to learn more about Proper Noun, or our web design and digital marketing services, feel free to schedule a startegy session or download our digital deck.