Website Development – should you hire a freelancer or an agency?

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We are living in a digital age in which customers visit brick and mortar locations less often to shop and find information. People now go to the web to find everything they need – including what your business has to offer. If you don’t have a web presence with a website built to perfection, your business is not going to thrive. 

One of the many things to consider when getting started with building a website is whether you should do it yourself (DIY), find a freelancer, or if you need the help of a website design and development company. Many people turn to freelance web developers and designers as an economical option for getting their idea off the ground. However, your business may require more out of your website than most freelancers can provide. 

Below, we look at the pros and cons of the different options for who to choose to bring your website to life.

What is involved in building a website?

Website design and development is broken down into three areas, known as the hierarchy of development: 

  • Front-end development involves the process of converting data to a graphical interface through the use of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript so that users can view and interact with that data.  
  • Back-end development deals with the server side of an application and everything that communicates between the database and the browser. Back-end development is how the website functions. 
  • Database technology in web development involves gathering information and storing, organizing, and processing it in a way that enables users to go back and find what they are looking for easily. 

The complexity of each of these areas of development depends on what your business needs your website to accomplish. The desired functionality and maintenance requirements will also be a major deciding factor when you hire someone to develop your website.

Do it yourself?

The reason many people decide to try and create their website themselves is that they are budget-conscious and want to save money wherever they can. They might use a DIY website building service like SquareSpace, Wix, or Weebly to create their website. However, many people struggle to complete their website because they don’t have the skills required. 

Often, people come to companies like ours after beginning a DIY website because they are stuck or don’t like what they’ve created, and we’re able to leverage our design and development experts to get them exactly what they want. 

On the other hand, some businesses realize they are unable to build a great website themselves and turn to freelance web developers and designers for help. While there are plenty of freelancers out there who have the skills you need, there are also many things that can go wrong if you go this route. 

Hire a freelancer?

Some businesses turn to freelancers for designing and developing their website because they want to save some money. There are many skilled freelancers out there; however, the problem is you need to know where to look or who to ask to find talented and reliable people.

Think about it like this: You can do a search for website design companies and find a lot of results and reviews for reliable services. You can’t as easily find a freelancer. Most of the time, you find them through word of mouth or some other means, so it’s a lot more difficult to understand their track record, years of experience, or their level of skill. 

Limited design and SEO options

A problem we see with businesses who have worked with freelancers is that many are using DIY tools like SquareSpace to create websites, which means they have limited options for what they can do from a design and search engine optimization standpoint. There is also the problem of freelancers not completing projects they are hired to do.

Another thing to consider with freelance designers and developers is that, more often than not, they don’t have very much search engine optimization experience, which can be detrimental to your digital strategy. If the freelancer doesn’t set up the back end of your website correctly, it’s almost as if you’ve wasted your money because your website is never going to show up when potential customers are looking for the products or services you offer. 

Is it worth it in the end?

If you’re a small business with a limited budget and you find a freelancer that can do it all, then hiring that person may result in some cost savings. But you still run the risk of spending thousands of dollars and ending up with a deficient website, or worse an incomplete website if the freelancer becomes unresponsive. If you choose an agency with a long history and track record of developing websites, you don’t have to worry about that – you have the assurance that you’re going to have a fantastic website at the end of the day. 

What a web development company will do for you

There are many benefits of working with a web design and development company. With a company like ours, you will find experienced and reliable professionals who will put much care into developing the perfect website for your business. Additionally, we can provide a multitude of options and features for your website:

Design and Develop: Whether it’s designing your company’s first website or giving your existing site a face-lift, Bell Media’s custom WordPress websites will be visually engaging and, most importantly, user-friendly. If you don’t currently have brand guidelines, our graphic design department and content marketing department consists of professionals ready to create logos, images, and content if needed. 

SEO: As a web design and digital marketing agency, our team executes every project with search engine optimization in mind. We build our websites to be easily discovered, crawled, and accurately indexed by search engines. Your site deserves to be seen by as many potential customers as possible.

Responsive Design: Your website needs to be compatible with devices of all shapes and sizes. All of our websites are responsive, meaning your website will look great on desktops, mobile phones, and tablets.

Content Management: All of our websites are built using the WordPress CMS, the most widely used content management system on the planet. 

Our process

We make the entire process of building your website a conversation, ensuring you get the website you want and need so your business can thrive. Sometimes customers come to us and know exactly what they want, and sometimes they don’t even know where to start, and we help them with concepts and design elements. We can walk you through the entire process and help you understand what it is you need and create a foundation to help build your website. Here is our website development process: 

  • First, Bell Media’s website development process begins with a thorough Discovery meeting where a website professional takes the time to understand a customer’s specific project and objectives. 
  • Then, we prepare and deliver a Scope of Work and Proposal that includes the project details and price. Should the customer decide to move forward, they are assigned a Website Project Manager who is responsible for collecting the assets needed to develop the website and guiding the customer through the design and development stages. 
  • After the development stage is complete, Bell Media completes a quality assurance check and SEO kickstart, then schedules a training with the customer to teach them how to manage and update the website.
  • Finally, with the customer’s approval, Bell Media launches the website. Following the launch, we offer a 30-day warranty, which covers any issues that may arise, free of charge. Bell Media also staffs a Support Desk that is available to answer questions and assist with updates should the need arise.

In the end, you will have a website you can be proud of in addition to a greater understanding of search engine optimization, marketing strategies, and more. 

If you still aren’t sure who you should hire to build your website, feel free to contact us and ask questions. Our team of website experts and digital consultants are here to guide you toward success in the digital world. 

Partner with Bell Media to build a website or create a digital strategy to reach your business goals.

Bell Media is a leading digital marketing and website design agency in the Southeast, a 5x INC. 5000 Company, and a Google Premier Partner. We serve local companies in competitive markets that have a need or desire to grow. Bell Media is in the business of predictable outcomes, fueling growth by driving customer acquisition and filling open capacity. We work hard to understand what success looks like to our clients and passionately seek to achieve those results through collaboration and education.