It’s an important question for any business owner to ask before instructing a web development team. There are many different options for you to choose from – freelancers, small agencies and larger more established marketing companies. But which one is right for your project? It can be a challenge to choose the right website designers for your business. The good news is that there are a number of key questions below which you should ask yourself first which can help mitigate risk:
- Is your website the primary source of lead generation for your company?
- Are you providing a product or service which requires a high level of professionalism?
- Do you have time to spend managing the project in depth?
- Can you afford for your website to go down at any point?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then you should consider investing in using a UK-based web design company or an agency local to you. There are many offers of cheap websites, low cost templates and even ‘do it yourself’ style website builders allowing you to create a website in just a few clicks. The issue however is simple – the level of professionalism, the overall finish and the quality and thought put into the design is often seriously lacking. After all, if you designed a car yourself, would it look like something you’d want to be seen driving in? Probably not. A good website designer will have sufficient experience in optimising the content, layout and overall user experience to ensure that visitors receive enough value to want to later enquire. This is a skill which cannot be replicated by cheap, inexperienced web designers. In fact, most business who invest in web design see a positive return on investment very quickly.
What are the pros of working with a freelance web designer?
- Usually cheaper and may have extensive experience
- One to one relationship with the designer which can make communication quicker
- May be a specialist in one particular industry
What are the cons of working with a freelancer?
- Most adopt a churn and burn approach – once your website is built, they are onto the next project to get their next payout
- Support is often very limited or insufficient for a business. As is the nature of a freelancer, there is only one of them. If you have completed your website, then they may have already moved on to the next project, at which point you’re no longer a priority. That means if something breaks or needs tweaking, you could be waiting a long time until the freelancer is available again.
- There is a tendency for freelancers to change industry, for work to dry up and for them to later move into employment. You may then have difficulty accessing your website or getting a copy.
- There are no other supporting staff to cover during times of illness, holiday or busy periods. If your website is important to you, you may find that you are left with problems later on.
- If they are offshore, the time difference may hinder project development times.
What are the benefits of choosing a UK-based web design agency?
- They may have a team of specialists for each different area of your project. From project managers to social media experts, SEOs and digital marketing specialists, you have a full team of professionals who have lots of experience.
- You have the added security that the business is setup to manage and maintain relationships with it’s customers. Edits, updates and improvements to your website will be completed quicker and with a more structured process.
- Additional protection if there was an issue with your project. Working with a company registered at Companies House, provides a brick and mortar address to file a claim, should you ever need to.
- Turnaround times for work are usually much more reliable as a web design agency will have standard operating procedures in place to manage multiple projects concurrently.
- They understand your industry, culture and business ethos better.
What are the negatives of choosing a UK-based web design agency?
- They will most likely be more expensive.
- You may be dealing with multiple members of staff on your project.
- They may have higher workloads which could affect turnaround times.
- There may be less flexibility to work on grey areas in your project and there will be more rigid processes in place to avoid scope creep.
In conclusion, choosing the right web design agency for your business is challenging. You should consider your budget for your website design project and also speak to both freelancers and agencies. There will almost always be a higher level of professionalism with a more established web design agency vs. a freelancer and you should consider how long the freelancer or agency has been running as this will be a good indicator as to how smoothly the business has been running in the past and how well your project will be handled.