Single ticket or full-service?
Jamal Dayes talks through the pros and cons of choosing a freelancer or an agency when building a new corporate website.
Investing in a new website can often be a long and complex process and shouldn’t be taken lightly. But before you embark on that journey, you might be questioning if it is a job for an agency or a freelancer?
Here we explore the pros and cons and what factors need to be considered before making a choice.
The speed at which you need to plan, design and build your new website may be a determining factor in which option you choose. Freelancers may prefer to only work on one project at a time and can be flexible, so you might find someone happy to work in your office or exclusively on your website until it’s complete. But the reality for a lot of corporate websites is that they are large complex projects that often involve a lot more than just ‘design’ and ‘build’. This is where agencies can provide an additional service in that they are able to provide scalable teams when required to deliver a solution in a shorter space of time.
Of course, this comes at a price (no pun intended), perhaps not unexpected but there is no doubt a website will cost more when delivered by an agency when compared to a one-person outfit. A freelancer’s overheads are going to be minimal when compared to an agency (Especially those with big offices!) so they are going to be more competitive on their day rate.
But with the higher price tag comes several key benefits….
A complex website is often going to involve a range of technologies and possibly integration with external services. While there are certainly some brilliant freelance coders out there, an agency is simply better equipped to lean on a wider range of coders (frontend, backend etc) to set up an ideal team to deliver a complex solution.
Resources and skillsets
On top of that, a good agency is not just a basement of coders… and websites are far more than the underlying code on which they run. Narrative and messaging, site structure, user experience design and brand deployment all pay their part in delivering a successful website. This is where agencies come into their own, with coders talking to writers, and designers… and well you get my point. You are not just getting a single skillset, you are getting a goody bag full of all the ingredients you need to deliver a successful, long-running site.
Security & ongoing support
Probably the most important factor in making this decision is what happens after the site is launched? Typically, a freelancer will move onto the next job, but it is vital to have someone responsible for the upkeep, maintenance and security of your shiny new website. Code doesn’t standstill and hackers are constantly on the lookout for ways to exploit vulnerable sites. An agency delivering a website should not only focus on the build and deployment, but look to establish a long-term relationship that includes a maintenance contract and service-level agreement that ensures the website is kept up-to-date and that you have a direct point of contact should something go wrong.
Perhaps I’m biased! Yes, there are certainly situations where a freelancer can provide a viable solution, perhaps you have an in-house team and just need someone to come in and deliver a solution… But if you’re looking for more than just a coder, a full-service agency brings a lot to the table.
If you want to talk more about your website needs and plans for 2020 and beyond, please get in contact.