The Differences Between Working With A Web Design Freelancer & Working with Proper Noun
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 somewhat similar. But, if you have never worked with creative design agencies 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 is some more information that will help you to make the right decision when choosing a web design company as a vendor.
Relationship with An Agency Partner
One thing many businesses consider when searching for web agencies is the nature of the business relationship and what the web design agency brings to the table.
For example, you will find that a web design company is going to be interested in understanding your business goals, and then helping you to achieve 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 good web design company will have a vested interest in helping your company grow, as this will ensure a successful, long-term relationship for both organizations. A freelancer, on the other hand, is typically more focused on one or two specific web design 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 who will become intricately involved in a brand's 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.
Level of Design Expertise & Experience
A web 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 design, best practice SEO & digital marketing services, and reliable web agency services. 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 person's 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 an agency website portfolio, client list, and client testimonials; a web design agency 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 web design firm or any other business. Top design agencies should have broad internet presences as well as comprehensive portfolios.
A good website design company will have a vested interest in helping your company grow — ensuring success.
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.
How Much Does A Website Cost?
The biggest difference between working with a website 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 the project. This is typically due to a number of factors like lower overhead, less demand for work, less experienced, 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 versus quality.
Typically, a website design agency will have a higher price point for project work than freelancers. 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 web agency 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.
How Long Does It Take To Build A Website?
While every website project is different, most smaller projects usually take about 5 to 6 weeks to complete. For e-commerce websites and medium-sized informational sites, it will usually take about 8-10 weeks to complete. For larger e-commerce websites, custom application projects and other larger projects, it will typically take no less than 10-weeks to 12-weeks, but is really dependent on the scope of the project.
The typical timelines listed above include the time for user experience design, static code creation, CMS integration, debugging and testing as well as on-page optimization and security testing. Unlike many other web design companies, we provide full on-page optimization on all of our projects, absolutely free of charge. Typically, a website design agency can charge anywhere from $1500 to $5000 for this service.
What Website Platforms Do You Support?
When it comes to website development, we pride ourselves on being "multilingual". This means that as a website designer and web development agency we are very comfortable working with a number of content management systems, coding languages, platforms and frameworks.
As a creative design agency, We do the majority of our work on WordPress, Magento and BigCommerce. We also work with a number of clients who use Shopify and WooCommerce to facilitate their e-commerce websites.
What To Look For In A Web Design Company
Choosing the right web design company or web design agency to work with is a lot like choosing any other vendor. You will want to first look at the design company's portfolio, references, and online reviews. Do a thorough Google search to look for any negative reviews or other red flags.
You should also speak with the web design company about other services that they offer. Not all web design companies offer SEO services or digital marketing services. It's always good to work with a company that can handle the design, development, and marketing of your website.
Full Service Web Design Agency
We understand 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 sharpening their skills and continue 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 strategy session or download our digital deck.