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How to Choose Between a Freelancer and an Agency for Your Website Development

This article will provide an assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a freelancer versus an agency to develop your website. This comparison can help you decide which option is best suited to your individual needs.

The project and capacity

Freelancers can be a great choice for simple, short-term projects such as basic websites. For complicated projects that involve a deep understanding of various elements, such as design, UX, SEO etc., it’s often better to have a team of expert specialists working together. This will ensure your project is built with the knowledge and experience necessary to fully understand the requirements and deliver maximum results.


A successful website will require the development of a thorough strategy. Working with an agency is often the most efficient way to guarantee success. With agencies, you have access to experts from multiple disciplines such as UX design and competitive analysis, who can collaborate and build on one another’s ideas. Hiring a freelancer is also an option, but leveraging the collective know-how of an entire team provides a significant advantage.


Before deciding on whom to hire for your project, it’s important to consider what you can afford. If you have a low budget, then freelancers are often the most cost-effective option since you’ll be paying for only one person to fulfil your requirements instead of an entire team. Overall, exploring your budget before selecting a service provider is essential for ensuring financial efficiency.

The pros and cons when you pick an agency

Flexible hours – Agencies have teams available and can offer more support after hours. Many of the larger agencies will have offices in different locations around the world or will have subcontractors in different time zones so you can get an emergency dealt with immediately.

Quick process time –Agencies are suited for complex web design and development projects due to their multidisciplinary teams of experienced specialists. With agencies, you can trust that your project will be managed by several people from start to finish, providing quick turnaround times. Hiring an agency is a great way to ensure the quality and efficiency of a given project.

Website aftercare – Web agencies can offer packages that include hosting, maintenance, health checks, reporting, security checks, SSL renewals and so on. The peace of mind knowing that these tasks are taken care of in one place is a big plus.

Higher prices – Rates are generally higher than if you hired individual freelancers. As you will be relying on a whole team to deliver in their specialist area. Each of those expenses must be factored in.

Offering too much – Agencies can sometimes offer too many services to be good at all of them. While they might be great at web design, they might not be as skilled at SEO (search engine optimisation) or copywriting but feel they need to offer a lot of tick boxes to be competitive. Larger agencies can have the capacity to cover all the services needed for your project but if you have a particular focus for your website look for an agency that understands its strengths and specialist area.

Pros and cons to working with a Freelancer

Affordable rates – Freelancers set their own rates which are often competitive. Fees are based on the type of project and the length of the tasks you give them. Freelancers have lower overhead costs compared to web design agencies.

Specialised services – Freelancers often specialise in a particular field and focus on it. When you need additional services, a good freelance web designer will have trusted partners to refer you to.

Collaboration – As you have direct contact with your freelancer, you participate as much or as little as you like in the entire process. This can reduce future problems and unsatisfactory outcomes. Direct, personal communication is key in the process of creating a website.

Limited hours – Freelancers have flexible schedules and can work anywhere. However, they cannot offer you 24/7 service. They should have good systems in place to deal with unexpected and emergency situations, but their call centre is usually their own phone and voicemail.

Longer process time – A solo freelancer works for many clients and will need juggles many projects at once. This means they are not a good fit if you are looking to get a website live in a tight deadline. However, freelancers will not have to manage or work as part of a team so this means if they are not juggling too much they can turn a website around pretty quickly. Be sure to ask any freelancer or agency what the availability to start is and how long it usually takes to build a website.

More than one freelancer might be needed – If you need many services for your project, you’ll need a team of freelancers. If, for example, you need a copywriter, a web designer, and a graphic designer for your project, then you need to hire three people. Communicating your needs to three different creatives all at once can be difficult and time consuming.

After weighing the pros and cons, hiring an individual freelancer is a better option if:

  • The project is relatively small and simple
  • You have a tight budget
  • Participation in the creative process is important to you
  • You enjoy building a personal relationship with your service providers
  • Managing two or more freelancers is possible for you

When weighing the pros and cons, hiring an agency makes more sense if:

  • You have a good-sized budget
  • The website is complex and requires custom backend development
  • You want many services provided in one package and don’t want to work with multiple providers
  • Your deadline is yesterday and you need a quick turnaround
  • You want a dive dive into your projects strategy

There are advantages and disadvantages to both options. It all depends on the length, requirements, and budget of your project. It depends on your preferences in communication and often the size of your company. If you are interviewing freelancers and agencies for your website design project, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you feel like you are making a genuine connection when you visit their website?
  • When you look at their case studies, do you see websites that you like?
  • Their reviews and testimonials mirror the qualities you are looking for?
  • How did your consultation go?
  • Are your communication styles similar?
  • Did they listen to your needs and ask enough questions to understand your requirements?
  • Were they transparent on their delivery time, cost and process?


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