For any business, the website is often the first point of contact with a stakeholder, regardless of its industry or the scale of the operation. Just think about it for a moment. Whether it’s a customer, potential employee, investor, or even a supplier, anyone interested in getting to know your company would turn to your website before anything else.
So, it’s an important communication tool for a modern-day business, and having just another website is not good enough if you want to impress. And with the pandemic driving more and more companies online, there’s even more pressure now to ensure that your website stands out from the rest. This is why getting it professionally designed is essential.
But for many businesses, this is an area that’s out of their comfort zone. Developing a new website or even revamping an existing one is often a sizable project that may seem daunting with your regular responsibilities. And the technical jargon involved could be equally overwhelming. So, you need to ensure that it’s handed over to the right individual or team. This is when you’re faced with that important hiring decision — freelance website designer vs. web design company.
Needless to say, they both offer distinct benefits that could add significant value to your project. But which should you choose? Read on to find out.
What should you consider before hiring a web design partner?
Before you decide between a freelancer web designer and a web design company, there are a few essential things you need to consider.
#1 Project requirement
Understanding your specific project requirements is priority number one. Now, this may seem like a no-brainer to most people. But a surprising number of businesses still start their search for a web design partner without properly grasping their needs first. And the result? Countless revisions, miscommunications, escalating costs, constantly dragging deadlines, and severed relationships.
So, if you want to avoid all that, spend sufficient time to evaluate your business needs.
Start with the project objectives
What do you aim to achieve with your website? Will it simply provide business-related information such as management details and company news? Will it be a brand site for customers to find product and service information before visiting your store or office? Or will it serve as an ecommerce platform for customers to purchase your products?
Also consider the target audience. A corporate website should serve the needs of all key stakeholders. But a site dedicated to sales conversions will focus more on customers.
Understanding these distinctions will also help you determine the complexity of the site you require. Sometimes, what you really need could be a simple two-page website. But you might not recognize this unless you assess your business needs. And without doing that, you could end up wasting budgets on a complex site that looks impressive but doesn’t add much value.
But in case your requirements are more complex, then you can explore those specific needs further. Consider whether you need a custom website design and, if so, what features will add value to your business. For example, with mobile devices driving more than half the web traffic today, a responsive design could be an essential feature to include. Ultimately, all these details will help you narrow down your unique project needs.
Determining when you need the website up and running is critical to avoid disappointment later on. Sometimes, you could be willing to wait a couple of months. But often, a website could be business-critical, too. For example, when market dynamics change, your business needs to respond fast. And failing to do that could mean a lost opportunity or losing ground to the competition.
So, whether it’s five days or five weeks, you need to be clear about your expectations and understand the business impact of not meeting them.
How much you’re willing and able to spend will be a deciding factor when choosing between a freelance website designer and a web design agency. It’ll also determine the caliber of the individual or team you can afford and will help you understand what’s viable and what’s not. Most importantly, it’ll allow you and your web designers to manage expectations from the outset so you can end up with the best possible outcome.