Freelancer vs. Agency: Which is Better?

Freelancer vs. Agency: Which is Better?

When you’re looking to build a website, there are many places you can go to get the design done and website live. There are countless agencies that will help you out, plus various freelancers that may be able to tackle the project for you as well.

What you may not know, is that there’s a big difference between hiring a company, or just a single person, to get that job done. Should you hire a freelancer, or an agency? It all depends on what you’re looking for.

Hiring an Agency

When you hire an agency, you’re hiring a team of people to work on your project for you. The size of the team will vary from agency to agency, but the most basic level will include a project lead (or manager), a designer, and a developer. The larger the agency, the more people will work under each title.

Most agencies you’ll deal with involve a handful of people – a small team you can call your own for the duration of the project.

Pros

Team Experience – You’ll get a team of opinions. All of the input is valuable in making the project as good as it can be.

Specialists – Even in small agencies, each team member will specialize in a task. Designers design. Coders code. They’re good at what they do.

Collective Experience – The agency is usually managed or owned by someone with a lot of experience. They deal with a lot of projects, and have been doing it for a while. They’ll know how to help you.

Support – This is such an important part of every agencies after sale service! It’s not just the design and setup that you’ll need assistance with, it’s the every day running and editing.

Cons

Cost – This really the only major con. You’re going to pay a little more for an agency than a freelancer. It costs money to hire the best talent and to give them great tools to work with.

Hiring a Freelancer

When you hire a freelancer, you’re hiring one person to handle everything for you. This person usually has some experience in the field they’re working in, but check their resume just to be sure. You’ll also want to get references. It’s much easier to fake experience when you’re an unknown person, instead of an agency of record.

The entire experience balances on the individual you hire. Hiring a great person will go better than a poor one. The real danger, even with the best freelancer, is that life happens. When you hire someone to do a project for you, what happens when they get sick? Or have an emergency? Or have financial trouble? Did you pay them up front? Trust is very important.

Freelancers can be cheaper alternatives to an agency, but there are tradeoffs. Are they designing and coding part-time? Do they actually care about you and your business?

Pros

Cost – You’ll save a bit of money, as there’s very little overhead of the freelancer

Hungry – Usually freelancers are hungry for your business. They’ll do anything to get it. This can also be a con, a good service is never dirt cheap. Many have learnt this the hard way by wasting money.

Cons

One Person Show – Small ripples in one person’s life can derail your project.

Many Hats – Jack of all trades, master of none. This person is not only a designer, but a bookkeeper, sales, admin and reception. Not to mention coding your website. How much are they focusing on your design?

Experience – You’re resting your whole project on the heels of one person’s experience.

Failure to deliver – Many customers approach us to continue a freelancers work, we’ve seen delays up-to 1 year! Even then, the design and coding put into place from the freelancer needed to be done again.

Whether you go with a freelancer or agency depends on what you’re comfortable with. Take a look at both, and determine what works for you.


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