So you’re looking to build a website for your business, or maybe redesign your current one. Should you go with a solo freelance designer? Or are you better served taking the agency route?
It may seem simpler, more efficient, and in some cases more cost-effective, to go with a solo designer. But the reality is that you gain a number of advantages when taking the agency/team approach – especially when building a large or complex website with a lot of bells and whistles.
The advantages of using an agency can often make the difference between a good website and a great one. And any difference in cost is almost invariably covered by the quality of service and the end product. Here are some key points to consider when deciding which is the right direction for you:
Specialized expertise. Designing a web site and developing it are two very different skills. While there are many talented freelancers in today’s market, it’s extremely difficult for one person to truly master both design and development. A team that has an expert in design and an expert in development allows each person to focus on the area where they display the most talent. Which means the people working on your website truly excel in their area rather than being a “jack of all trades, master of none.”
Diversity of opinion. When it comes to generating new ideas or solving problems, the old saying is that two heads are better than one. The same holds true in design work. Working with a team that has multiple designers puts more creative energy into the mix, resulting in more diverse options. If your design aesthetic doesn’t match up with one of the designers, chances are that another one will. Having multiple inputs can also lead to more creative solutions when problems arise during the project.
Effective oversight. An agency will assign a project manager to keep everyone on track. This person manages the work of the team while providing you with one point of contact to simplify the feedback process and reduce the chances of communication errors. You don’t have to worry about talking to the designer, developer, copywriter, or someone else. Instead, you tell everything to the project manager, and he or she communicates it to the proper person on the team.
Speed and efficiency. If only one person is doing the designing, developing, and writing the content, the project will invariably take longer. With a team of specialists, the whole process is faster and more efficient. For example, the copywriter can work on the content while the developer is building out the website, significantly reducing the time to completion. Having a team also increases the odds that someone will notice a mistake that others have overlooked.
No crisis situations. What happens if your solo designer becomes ill or suffers an injury that prevents them from working? Most agencies, unless they are very small, will invariably have people who can step in and take over the project. There may be a short delay in order to bring them up to speed on the project. But it won’t come close to the time, aggravation and expense of finding a new designer who can take over the project when a crisis occurs.
With website design, the formula for success is simple: great design + great development + great content = a great website. Your odds of getting “great” on all three of these essential elements significantly increase when you employ a team approach.