When you evaluated what you wanted from your website, did you also think about who you wanted to build it? If you did you’d be faced with two main options, freelance web developer or an agency.
As a freelance developer in Bristol, let’s make one thing clear. If you’re expecting me to tell you to always go with freelancers you’re going to be surprised! Like anything, there are pros and cons to working with each. Depending on your needs you may find going with one or the other better for your specific needs.
In the end, making sure my customers get what’s best for their specific needs is what I care most about. Even if that means they don’t become my customers in the first place.
Many freelancers stay just that, free. Others decide to grow and become agencies. Freelancer Vs Agency is a common question. Sometimes an agency is, in fact, a group of freelancers banded together.
Let’s look at some of the elements to getting a website built, hosted, and maintained and see how each approach stacks up.
Sitting down and talking about what you want the site to be is the first step. It’s here you’ll get to see the first differences. A freelancer is likely to be more responsive to questions simply because they have to wear more hats and are able to say “yes” or “no” without checking further up the chain. An agency may have a wider offering across the board, but a freelancer is likely to have more personal depth in skills. If your project covers a vast array of skill areas, an agency may be able to bring in 3 or 4 people to the meeting to cover all areas.
With an agency, as the design phase gathers pace, more differences can appear. As work is passed around an agency you may find yourself dealing with a few different people. Conversely, with a freelancer, it’ll remain consistent for the most part. However, if the freelancer becomes unavailable, communication is likely to drop off. This is the single biggest difference between the two approaches and needs you to carefully consider your specific project timeline. If you simply cannot afford missed work days then check with a freelancer about their contingency plans before you hire them.
Build and delivery
Freelancers tend to work quickly and are able to deliver work with more fluidity than an agency. In addition, they can often respond quicker because most work on a “timeslice” basis, setting aside two or three days (or more) for a particular project at a time. This means they can change the order of what they are working on to accommodate changes in priority. Agencies are likely to be more rigid in their approach but will more often hit deadlines. Unexpected problems with the build may be resolved quickly by an agency because of the extra heads to find a solution.
Cost, so close to the heart of so many buyers, nearly always comes out lower with a freelancer. No fancy glass panelled office or £2000 coffee machine means lower overheads. Conversely, expect a home office and filter coffee when you visit a freelancer.
When it comes down to it, a good freelancer and good agency want the same thing - to make you happy with your new website. I work tirelessly day in and day out to ensure my clients are overjoyed with the sites I create for them. If you want a freelancer who cares, get in touch.