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Freelancer or a Web Design Company-Which One Should I Opt for ?

Many people are unsure whether a freelance web designer or a web design company would best suit their needs in designing their website. There is no definitive answer to that question, where you can say in this situation use a freelancer and in that situation use an established design company.

Once you have made the decision that you need a website to help promote your business, whether you sell products or offer services, you have the option of doing it yourself. Many people running a small business try to set up their own website and a few do so successfully. However, to do so you must have a good knowledge of the internet and web and how they work.

You must also be able to choose the best web hosting service to suit your needs. You must then understand how to set up your website and then be able to design the graphics that attract visitors long enough for them to read the text on your landing page. Then comes the functionality of your site - the sales pages, payment processors and email autoresponders. After that comes promoting your site, an integrating it with social media to maximize your traffic.

Once they have taken all this in, most businesses will decide to outsource their website construction and design. The question then comes down to whether they opt for a freelance web designer or a design company. So what are the pros and cons of each of these, and why should you choose one above the other?

Each of these options is likely capable of providing you with a good-looking functional website, although there are significant differences between them. Freelancers will say they are best, pointing at price advantages, and companies will do the same, pointing to flexibility and breadth of experience. In fact, there can be very little difference to the end result - your website. Here are the pros and cons of each:

Website Design Company

Pros: A web design company will likely have a high volume of clients, and have a number of designers, each working on their own job. A larger company will be able to offer you a larger portfolio, showing you what is possible. This firm may also employ people with diverse individual skills, so that any specific functionality you may request might easier be met than if you use a freelance web designer.

If you have a specific deadline, a company might be able to redirect resources to your project to ensure that your deadline is met. Another benefit of using a design company is that it likely meets its clients' needs, or it would not still be in existence.

Cons: One problem may be price, since good web design firms tend to charge high prices for their services. Yes, you get a fantastic design for your website, but keep in mind that design does not sell products. Many beautiful websites get lots of visitors - who stay on the landing page for the 30 seconds needed to admire the design and then go!

Some companies work using templates, and clients must choose one of the templates available. Yes, there might be a good choice, but can be sure that the templates meet your needs regarding layout and functionality?

If a design company has spare staff to make sure your deadlines are met, then why is this? Are they over-employing to make up for deficiencies, in which case their prices are artificially high? Are they short of orders, in which case perhaps their quality is not high enough?

Web Design Freelancer

Pros: You are working on a personal basis with the person designing your website, and not with a company representative. You can discuss your needs directly, and remain in contact throughout the design process. Freelancers are not restricted to a firm's templates or style, and can adapt to meet your needs.

You get more flexibility with a freelance web designer than one who is constricted by company policies, and your designer will have a personal interest in the success of your site. He or she stands or falls by their work, whereas a company designer is one of many. Freelancers can offer lower prices than firms, and also better guarantees and service.

Cons: Many freelance web designers are hopeless, particularly those that work for online agencies such as Elance and getfreelancer.com where quality is poorly monitored. If you use a freelance web design service, select from an online freelancer with his or her own website, and check out their testimonials - you can also check them out on forums.

Availability might also be a problem, since if an individual is working on several projects at once then they might not be available when you need them to solve a problem. A company might have one of their designers available to deal with your problem.

Freelancers might not have the experience in all aspects of web design and functionality, but if you choose a freelancer with experience, they have likely seen it all and can do it all - unlike specialist working for design companies, freelancers have to be very versatile.

Which to Choose?

A lot depends on your needs and your budget. A freelancer will likely give you the same standard of workmanship as a company for less money. However, when it comes to personal involvement and collaboration in getting a website exactly as you want it you cannot beat freelancers who know their stuff! They tend to be experts in website functionality, SEO and social media for example. Otherwise, they would never have gone into business for themselves.

If you want the security of a large company, and are willing to sacrifice ingenuity and customization to get that, then choose a web design company. Sure, many companies also offer highly qualified and experience web engineers, but you will find that many freelance web designers do a better job at a lower price and with a higher level of customer service should things go wrong. That is because they are not restricted by company rules and policy.

However, the choice is yours. When selecting a web design service make sure that you:

  • Get the look and feel for your website that you want
  • Have a site that loads quickly into any browser
  • Have a site that looks good in any screen resolution
  • Get a website with a common template for all pages
  • Get the functionality you want: internal navigation, ecommerce, autoresponder email services, squeeze pages and list-building forms
  • Have a website where each page is properly optimized for search engines including proper use of meta data, keyword density and an optimized internal linking strategy
  • Have a website that is integrated into social networking
  • Receive a free updating service at least twice yearly
And much more.

This is the service that we can provide to you. If you prefer a web design company, then that is your choice, but don't hesitate to return to us if it doesn't work out for you. You will always be welcome.

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