Freelance Web Designer vs Web Design Agency

Want to build a new website for your company but have absolutely no idea how to do so? Even if you did, being unfamiliar with website practices and all, perhaps, it wouldn’t be such a clever idea to tackle the building on your own. Hiring someone experienced would be a much better approach. However, that begs the question – should you hire an independent, freelance web designer, or is it better to hire a professional web design agency? It’s tough to say, as both choices have their respective lists of pros and cons. Nevertheless, we’ve made it our mission to outline freelance web designer vs web design agency differences to help you come to a decision.

What Constitutes a Web Designer?

Before dwelling deeper into what it means to use the services of a freelance web designer vs web design agency services, let’s explain what a web designer, regardless of whether they operate alone or within a team, actually is. In short, a web designer is a person that uses their programming skills in combination with creativity to create unique-looking and easy-to-navigate websites.

Now, you might think the services of web designers are needed only once – before your website has been made. However, their job doesn’t end the second the website becomes operational. Updating the website now and then is necessary, including the design and the performance. Knowing when the right time to do this is essential, and so is knowing whom to hire to handle the website building and maintenance.

freelance web designer vs. web design agency

Pros of Using a Freelance Web Designer

Going with a freelancer rather than the agency might make more sense in many cases. Furthermore, hiring an independent web designer does have its fair share of benefits. With that said, let’s see what they are.

#1 Affordability

Freelance designers almost exclusively charge less than agencies. That fact alone can be enough to convince most people to employ their services. In complete honesty, higher affordability makes sense. After all, you’re hiring only one person for the job – not the whole team. In addition, when you hire an agency, you aren’t paying the personnel only. You’re paying for the software and office space, too.

#2 Dedication

When it’s only you and the designer involved in the website building process, you’ll notice an extremely high level of dedication on their side. In the freelance world, it isn’t uncommon for people to get jobs based on referrals. Furthermore, reviews can drastically impact the amount of work one gets. Therefore, you can expect nothing but dedication and absolute excellence on the web designer’s part, as they’ll do anything they can to get one from you.

A freelance web designer looking at the screen.

#3 Client Involvement

Quality web designers, whether freelancers or part of the agency, always respect client wishes. However, with an independent designer by your side, you get to be slightly more involved in the website building process itself. There aren’t multiple people that have a say in the matter, but rather, only two, thus making it easier to come to an agreement.

Cons of Using a Freelance Web Designer

Nothing is all rainbows and sunshine, and neither are independent web designers. So, let’s see why hiring one might not always be a good idea.

#1 They Aren’t as Reliable

When comparing a freelance web designer vs web design agency, we can fully agree that freelancers are lacking in the reliability factor. The risk of hiring someone who delivers the work past the due date or doesn’t do a good enough job will always exist, regardless of the amount of research you do. The issue can also occur when a designer suddenly falls ill and becomes, thus, incapable of finishing the work in time.

#2 Inferior Quality

Depending on the volume of work a freelance web designer has and how much they are getting paid, you could end up with lower quality work than you were expecting. If you aren’t paying them the top dollar, your assignments might not be their priority.

#3 They Could Have Trouble Handling Large Projects

Independent designers could have trouble tackling larger projects as they are still only one person. Or, at the very least, they could require more time to handle them adequately. Compared to agencies with multiple-person teams capable of completing more tasks at once, this definitely puts them at a disadvantage.

Pros of Using a Web Design Agency

Now that we’ve covered the freelance designer part of the freelance web design vs web design agency debate, it’s time we’ve talked about the advantages hiring an agency brings.

#1 Multi-Talented Team

Agencies employ people with various skill sets and talents. Every single member of a team can contribute something unique to the website. And no, we aren’t talking strictly about the design and functionality. As agencies also consist of copywriters, marketing specialists, SEO experts, and more, they can provide more value than a single independent web designer ever could.

The ever-going battle of a freelance web designer vs web design agency working in favour of the group of agency web designers in the pictures during meeting

#2 Access to Better Tools

Web design agencies have budgets a single person could only dream of having. And with a bigger budget comes access to various excellent tools that make the website building process more straightforward.

#3 Reliability

Having possibly worked with big names and multiple clients, agencies have a certain reputation to uphold. That means they will do everything in their power to remain the best. They won’t risk having negative word spread around, which makes them a reliable choice. Furthermore, even if a team member gets sick, you can rest assured the work will continue as others are still capable of working.

Cons of Using a Web Design Agency

Members of web design agencies have the experience, reliability, tools, and skill set on their side. But there are also certain drawbacks to using their services, as explained below.

#1 Cost

When you’re paying the agency, you’re paying the whole team, plus the tools and office space. That makes hiring an agency much more expensive than hiring a freelance web designer.

#2 No Single Point of Contact

Working with a web design agency means working with multiple people. This might also mean you’ll never get to talk with only one person about the project and might even get to discuss different parts of the project with different people.

#3 Hidden Charges

As no project is the same, determining a ”fixed price” is difficult. This makes it easy for agencies to ”overcharge” or charge extra for some of their services. However, the lack of transparency used to be a bigger issue before. These days, not many agencies use these ”shady” practices.

Hiring a Freelance Web Designer vs Web Design Agency – Last Words

A freelance web designer vs web design agency – who wins the battle? To be completely honest, both and none. Ultimately, the choice of whom to hire comes down to personal preferences. However, as no choice is the wrong one here, in the end, we know that whatever you decide will be the right decision.

Looking for a freelance web designer? I have been selected among the Top Web Design Agencies in Manchester by Designrush, you’re in good hands! Request a quote today.

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Freelance Web Designer

By Tiago Lavis-Fernandes

Tiago is a Portuguese freelance web designer living and working in Manchester for over ten years. Fascinated by WordPress and the Divi Builder, he helps clients achieve success through UX/UI website design and search engine optimisation. If you're looking for someone to help with your online marketing, look no further.

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. This website is run by Tiago Lavis-Fernandes and not associated, or act on behalf of Elegant Themes. Divi is a registered trademark of Elegant Themes, inc.

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