Every company faces the dilemma: it’s time to create (or update) your website and you’re trying to decide who to hire to help bring your digital presence to the world. Where do you start? Should you hire a freelancer or go with a local web design company? Or, should you outsource the whole thing for less? Redesigning your site is a big commitment, and you want to be sure you’re choosing the right path for your needs. Here’s an overview of the three basic web design options:
Pros: There’s a reason outsourcing is so intriguing, and not just for web design services: money. Outsourcing is widely known as the least expensive option when looking to delegate some of your workload. By outsourcing, you’ll be employing a diverse workforce, which offers unique opportunities for increased creativity due to completely different perspectives and aesthetics. You’ll also be building a large network for your business and freeing internal resources to focus on more important aspects of your daily operations.
Source: freedigitalphotos.net/Stuart Miles
Cons: Unless you specify otherwise in your contract, outsourcing your web design services offers the risk of losing creative control entirely to the other party. An outsourced organization is not bound by the same values, goals, or mission statement as your existing company and might not do business the way you do. There is also the challenge of a communication gap, not just in the sense of a language barrier, but also due to the vast difference in time zones and differences in technology levels between countries. If you choose this option, be prepared to spend many late nights working (due to time differences) and acting as a full-time project manager to keep everything on track.
Pros: The biggest benefit with freelancers is flexibility. They have the option of working on your specific project – using their skills and experience. You won’t have to invest in training, offer health care or retirement benefits, or worry about taking on the additional cost for another full-time staffer. Much like outsourcing, hiring a freelancer to take care of your web design services can be a very economical solution as they are focused only on the task at hand.
Cons: Freelancers have a limited capacity, and may not be able to take on the job you need exactly when you need it. Since many work project to project, they may be busy looking for their next gig (rather than focusing on your needs). If they’re in a busy season or recently got an involved assignment, you may have to be willing to wait, or find another freelancer to help you. The other problem is that the freelancer who designed your amazing logo might not have the technical skills to code actual web pages. And typically, developers are not always strong designers. So it may be that you have to find one of each to ensure your site has the right design and development.
Web Design Companies
Pros: You will likely receive the most professional design (and experience) working with a full service firm. You’re building a working relationship together, which gives them time to truly understand the goals and needs of your organization and adjust their designs accordingly. Web design companies also tend to stay on top of the latest technologies and understand how to integrate with other components (such as an inbound marketing lead generation program). Finally, web design and development firms have all skills under one roof: designers, developers and project managers. This helps ensure the process is as pain-free as possible for clients.
Cons: The most obvious con is that professional design firms are likely more expensive than either of the other two options. However, consider how important your website is to you and your business. It’s an important investment and, as it is likely the first impression your new potential customers will have of your company, you need to make sure it’s right. Design firms have invested in the professional resources and technologies to create memorable work that can be showcased to future clients.
Most firms want to build an ongoing business partnership which may make your web design services less costly in the long run than hiring and firing multiple outsourced vendors and freelancers in the attempt to find just the right one.
These are all important considerations when deciding on the best path for your next website project. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation if you’d like to learn more about our effective and economical digital marketing packages for businesses.
Written by David Kaufer
David Kaufer is Founding Partner and Chief Dynamic Office in Kaufer DMC. He’s also a huge Oregon Ducks & Microbrew nut, Dad of awesome 8 year-old twin boys, husband, and big Sustainability and Autism advocate.