The first critical decision you have to make when beginning a web project is whether to hire a freelancer or a web agency.
Making the correct choice is not a straightforward decision. However, there are a few things you can evaluate to reach the solution that best suits your needs and objectives.
There is no doubt that whether you decide to go with a freelancer or with a web agency, you may find highly skilled people who can deliver well-crafted products.
Nevertheless, the size and objective of your project, including how much time you want to commit to it, are all valuable factors that come into play in making the right selection.
Let us, therefore, consider the pros and cons of hiring a freelancer or a web design agency.
Freelancer vs. Agency: The Project Approach
Every successful project starts by laying a solid foundation. What you expect from the final product must be clearly defined from the very beginning.
When this is the case, the project can progress efficiently in the right direction, at full speed, and you will avoid disappointments and unnecessarily wasting time and money.
However, determining how a web product should perform in order to achieve your final goal may be challenging for many and the way in which a web agency or a freelancer will support you in this phase is different.
For instance, big Web media uses the Core Model Process to undertake web projects. The Core Model Process involves analyzing your business model, your main objectives and your possible future developments.
This requires considerable brainstorming by a team of specialists that will define what kind of product will best serve your business and achieve the anticipated results.
In hiring a freelancer, you are the one defining all of the details of the project. A freelancer can give some ideas, but not having a support team to brainstorm together, he will mainly rely on your directives.
Therefore, it is best if you have a clear picture in mind of what you want, otherwise, any change or adjustment to your project will slow down the production process and add to the costs.
What Skills Does Your Project Require?
It will assist you if you contemplate what skills your project will require before making your decision.
As previously mentioned, both a web design agency and a freelancer can be equally skilled and deliver top quality products. However, usually a freelancer is skilled in one specific area, while a web agency is experienced in several fields.
Let’s explain that with a practical example. If you simply need a presentation website for your company with the sole objective of introducing the company to your audience, then either a freelancer or a web agency can work well for you.
On the other hand, if your project involves a shopping cart and mobile apps for Android and iOS, the scenario is different. You likely will not find a freelancer who has all the expertise needed to handle each phase of your project.
For instance, if he is an expert in using Swift and Objective C for iOS mobile apps, he will not have the same skills in using Java language for Android, or C# for Windows.
Therefore, to tackle large projects, a web agency would be the better solution.
For instance, at big web media, we have a team of experts among which you will find all of the skills required to develop whatever project you have in mind.
Whether you need to create a simple website, an E-commerce website, or to build Native or Hybrid mobile apps, we can handle it all.
This will give you the advantage of dealing with a unified team collaborating together for you instead of having several freelancers working independently on your project. This leads to another significant difference between working with a freelancer versus a web agency.
Who Will Be in Charge of Your Project?
One thing you want to make sure of is that your project moves forward quickly and is delivered on time. That requires good organization, planning and excellent problem-solving skills.
big Web media, for instance, uses a Scrum approach to every project. We have a certified Scrum Master who oversees the work of every team working on the project. He ensures that the project moves in the right direction.
If a problem arises, he makes sure it is addressed and solved promptly so as to deliver the final product by the deadline. At each step of the project, he will present the client with what has been accomplished. Therefore, the role of the client is to approve the work and share his feedback.
On the other hand, if you decide to hire a group of freelancers, you must be ready to be the project overseer. You are responsible to coordinate the work of the different freelancers and make sure they communicate with each other.
Since freelancers often work remotely and possibly in different time zones, having them working as a team is challenging and time-consuming. Most likely, your project will exceed its deadline, especially when challenging problems arise.
Other Important Considerations When Deciding Between a Freelancer and a Web Agency
Here are a few more important considerations that can help you decide if you need a freelancer or a web agency for your project.
When dealing with a freelancer you must be ready to handle unexpected events. In the case of illness, emergency, or other unforeseen events, they may not be able to work on your project for a while and you may find yourself stuck.
A web agency, on the other hand, relies on a team of experts and if a team member is dealing with unexpected issues and is unable to work on your project, there is someone else available to care for their tasks. Therefore, a web agency is in the best position to deliver your project on time, no matter what.
An essential aspect of your project is to make sure that it performs well on multiple devices and operating systems.
A web agency is equipped to perform any testing on any device and several operating systems to ensure that the final product works well for every user.
A freelancer, of course, may have at his disposal one, or only a few different devices and operating systems. So, when hiring a freelancer, most of the testing will be on your shoulders.
Freelancers are known to be less expensive than web agencies, and this makes sense since they do not have all of the overhead that a typical company has.
However, you must consider that if you need more than one freelancer, costs can quickly get out of control. This is especially true if the scope of the project is not entirely clear from the very beginning and you need to make adjustments, or fix it along the way.
Moreover, as we mentioned before, your time commitment will be a lot more working with freelancers. You will have to use your own time to take care of the web project, instead of focusing on your business.
What Will You Choose?
Whether you decide to hire a freelancer or a web agency, you may end up with a high-quality product. However, the journey to reach your final destination can either be smooth, or bumpy, depending on the solution you choose.
In general, if your project is anything more than a simple presentation website, or blog, a web agency is most likely the wisest decision.
It will offer all of the support you need — from planning to developing. Most important, you will be dealing with a sole unified team committed to delivering your product on time and according to your expected quality.
If you are still indecisive about which solution is better for you, contact us today and we will explain in detail how we work and what we can do for your business.