But are they for you?
When you are thinking about making your own company website, eschewing all the readymade options (good for you!), then the obvious question is, who is going to do it? You may have heard of success stories developed by freelancers, yet others designed by any boutique website design agency. No one is saying that freelancers can’t get the job done. In fact, in many cases freelancers are a great option.
- Your business type: If your service or product range is limited and not subject to frequent changes, and your website serves to bring your customers to your establishment, freelancers are an efficient way of getting up your website quickly.
- The size of your project: For short turnarounds, small graphic work, freelancers are the best option. A boutique website design agency may not be able to bring down their operational budget to accommodate these, whereas freelancers typically can accommodate lower pricing (they don’t have the overheads we do!).
- Tight budgets: If your budget is really limited go ahead and get freelancers in. Although it may be time consuming. By the time you identify all the people you need to get your project started. Because it is rare indeed if a freelance web designer has a multiple array of services.
- Scope of work: If the work is limited to a certain aspect of design, freelancers again may work for you. After all most of them want to work with a wide variety of clients for a niche product.
- Tight schedules: Freelancers may be an option if you really have no flexibility for your project. Having no overheads, freelancers have more flexibility in terms of engaging with you at any time and their schedules can accommodate your quick turnaround requests.
- Quality over quantity: This may be surprising, but it actually makes sense. Freelancers work with you until you are satisfied with the quality of the product. Since their portfolio is limited and their expertise is niche, quality is almost an automatic byproduct.
But there are times when freelancers won’t make the cut. Not because they can’t do it, but because of what all will be involved in your website.
Multi platform, multiple tasks
Very rarely will a freelancer have all the cross platform expertise required to complete your project. A boutique website design agency whether in India, USA, UK or Australia, will have resident teams of people who can work on your project simultaneously. There are experts in User Experience, others in programming, yet others in branding.
Keeping your budget on track
With freelancers you might actually go overboard on budget if the project is large and you have to get many people to work on it. It also means you end up managing all the separate people, ensuring that they communicate and execute well. You become project manager at the expense of your business. If you need to get someone to manage for you, your administrative overhead goes up.
Experience and expertise
Both are in abundance when it comes to a boutique web design agency. Experience brings familiarity to industry practices. Proficiency means that the overall quality is always accounted for. However, the one thing you need to understand is that you have to look through the agency’s portfolio carefully. A large portfolio does not necessarily have uniform quality.
Boutique website design companies can deliver faster because of their larger teams and dedicated project managers. Agencies manage delivery schedules better because are not impacted by causes like employee’s leave of absence due to sickness etc.
Agencies also offer you longer term service. Apart from just delivering your website, they will stay with you for website maintenance and Monthly SEO Maintenance. These activities help build your customer base. The added advantage is that the agency gets to know your company better, therefore future output becomes more aligned to your company’s sensitivities.
So is it all win-win with agencies?
Not necessarily, because cost is a major element of choosing agencies. There is a certain margin below which agencies cannot operate. For specific services, one-time services, agencies may be too steep. But for multiple services, there is more value for money when you choose an agency. Flexibility is also sometimes an issue in terms of travelling to client’s site, emergency meetings and sometimes schedule and cost flexibility as well. Plus, even agencies hire freelancers for specific expertise and short term work.
How to decide?
It depends on the size of your business, the type of business and the kind of dynamic you are looking for with the designer. Small, first time companies can take the freelancer route and go with agencies as they grow. Larger organizations are more likely benefited from the broad range and expertise of boutique website design agencies.
If you are looking for advice on how to choose or are looking for a website to be designed, ColorWhistle can help you with either or both. We are a leading boutique website design agency in India. A review of your requirements and we can tell you the best way to get your company and its services online.