When it comes to hiring someone to build your website, cost is one of the biggest factors that clients face.
Everyone has their own idea about how much they think web design and development should cost. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand why the cost is typically higher than they expect it to be for a good website — one that actually functions properly and is easy for them to manage.
The reason that agencies are more expensive than a freelancer is because they have the resources and the knowledge to be able to charge a higher rate. Hiring a freelancer isn’t a bad thing, but it just can be risky depending on your wants and needs for your website.
Top 5 things to consider or questions to ask when deciding between an agency or a freelancer to build your website:
1. Functionality and ease of use
People that know how to configure websites will make you a website that works – but will they make a website that is easy to manage? Make sure you ask them if they are going to provide training for you to be able to update content or manage your event calendar, etc.
If you want to be able to change colors or any styling on the website, will they going to be able to do that for you or will they only be able to provide you with what is pre-built in the theme they are using?
Can the person you are hiring provide you with the features that you need for your website? Do research. Make sure if they say they can provide you with an online form for your patients to fill out, then make sure they can actually do this. Or if they say they can provide you with a website that integrates your real estate listings directly from an MLS database, make sure they actually can do that.
4. Mobile Responsiveness
Is the person you are hiring equipped to make your website mobile responsive? If you want your sidebar to show up on desktop but not mobile, can they make that happen? These are things to consider.
5. UX/UI Design
Are they using a pre-built theme? Or are they designing and developing the site from scratch? If they are building from a pre-built theme can they make customizations to it? Do they know how to change features from how they are pre-built?
We have had clients come to us that have been burned badly by people claiming to be web developers. What happens is the ‘Web Developer’ turns out to be more of a ‘Configurer.’ What I mean is they know how to configure a website using a pre-built theme with instructions provided to them by the developer who actually built that theme. So what they do, is make the website look exactly like the theme they purchased by following directions. However, when it comes down to making changes to the placement of elements on the website, or changing styling many don’t know what they are doing.
Granted, not all freelancers are like this – some freelancers do know what they are doing and can built you a very intuitive and user-friendly website. But, those freelancers are hard to come by. So if you are going to hire a freelancer, make sure you ‘vet’ them first to find out if they can meet your needs.