A web design agency team meeting to discuss design and development

Whether you want to create a new website for your brand or business or you want to redesign your old one, the first step is to choose who you should hire to manage this important project.

You can hire a freelancing individual, an agency, or you can even do it yourself with the right knowledge, experience, and tools. If you’re not sure where to start or which approach to take, here are a few things to consider to help you make the best choice for your website needs…

What is the scope of the website?

Before you can determine what skills and experience are required to design and develop your website, it is important to assess how large or how extensive the project will be.

  • Are you redesigning a website by reusing the content and simply giving it a refreshing facelift? Or, are you building a new website from the wireframe up that requires content to be outlined, written, placed, and optimized?
  • Is it a three page site with minimal design and standard modules, or does the site require more pages and in-depth HTML or CSS customization? Will you need additional landing pages for ad campaigns?
  • Will you be selling products or offering services directly through the website, requiring features such as a shopping cart or scheduling calendar?

When you evaluate your website needs and goals, you can realistically assess what it will take to achieve them, which can help you determine who can achieve them.

What skill is required?

Once you have determined what your goals are for your website, how many pages it will be, and what features it will include, you can determine what level of skill is required to achieve those goals and make those things happen.

There are various DIY platforms (such as Wix or Squarespace) where you can either use and customize a pre-built template or use their drag and drop functions to build your website. These platforms are a great budget-friendly option for start-ups or individuals who have the time to invest in the design and development process, and require little technical knowledge or development skills.

However, if you are unable to fully execute your vision for your site through the basic templates or drag and drop features, you can hire a web designer (a freelancer, an agency team, or, in some cases, a professional who has partnered with the platform) to complete the project for you. Depending on the work required of the hired designer, this could be counterproductive to your attempts to create your site on a minimal budget.

Knowing the scope of the site and the skill required ahead of time will help you determine whether or not this is something you can fully take on yourself. If a portion or feature of the site requires the skill of a professional web designer and developer, it may be in the best interest of your time and budget to outsource the project altogether.

What experience is needed?

In-depth knowledge, thorough understanding, and sharpened skills are all essential tools of a professional web designer and developer. But there is one thing that can’t be taught in courses or learned through tutorials, something that only comes with time and seasoning: experience.

As with any industry, profession, or project, unexpected obstacles and challenges can arise that standard procedures and textbook knowledge doesn’t cover. With web design and development, this can include minor issues with mobile responsive design, code, or optimization that can have a major impact on the overall UI/UX (user interface or user experience).

Professional web designers and developers gain extensive experience over time that allows them to fine-tune their approaches to research, troubleshooting, and problem solving. They also stay up-to-date and ahead of current trends and platform updates, and know how to adapt their procedures to accommodate such changes. This level of experience ensures that projects stay on track and on time, no matter what unexpected challenges arise.

What is the best solution?

Doing it yourself…

At first glance and in many cases, designing and developing a website yourself appears to be the most cost-effective approach. If you have sufficient skill and experience, you can handle the project yourself on a flexible schedule and without the fees charged by a freelancer or agency.

However, depending on the scope of the project, it can cost you more in time and energy. A standard website can take a professional agency several weeks to design, develop, and launch—if this project is taken on by a single individual, this can result in several months’ worth of work that could have been invested into other areas of the business.

Hiring a freelancer…

For standard small-scale websites, a freelance professional is a great option. They have the skills and experience required to design and develop a stellar website in a reasonable timeframe and within your budget. Outsourcing the project to a freelancer allows you to focus your time and energy on the business itself and know that your website is being designed and developed professionally and efficiently.

Hiring an agency…

For larger and more unique websites that require further customization and coding, hiring a professional agency is proven to be the best approach. A professional agency will assign a team of design and development experts to your project, ensuring a broader variety of skill, knowledge, and experience is involved in the making of your website. Professional agencies also build each site with marketing in mind, and will design and develop your site based on the intended marketing objectives (brand awareness, traffic, conversions, transactions, etc).

Still unsure of where to start or what approach is best for your business? Contact us today so we can discuss your vision for your site and help you determine what direction is best for you and your business!