Do you need professional help to build and develop your website? Recognising that working with a professional is the right thing to do is a great first step. However, your next thought might be regarding who exactly you should get to help. A freelance web designer perhaps seems like the logical choice, especially if you have found some options with budget prices. However, before you rush into starting a project with a freelance web designer, you should be sure to really think about it. There are some excellent reasons to avoid hiring a freelancer at all costs if you want to get the best results for your website.
1) Anyone Can Say They’re a Designer
Your first hurdle to overcome when you’re looking for a freelance web designer is that you have to find the right person to work with. This is where it can immediately get tricky because just about anyone can say that they are a web designer. Of course, you can ask to see some evidence of past projects that they have worked on, but even that may not be enough for you to judge their skills.
Separating the good from the bad when you’re looking for a freelance web designer can really be a struggle. One of the problems is that there can be many more poor designers than talented ones, leaving you trying to wade through all of the bad choices to try and find one that meets your needs. Some designers might make themselves look good when they market their services, but the reality is that they might not be able to do even the most simple of tasks.
2) A Freelance Web Designer Is Just One Person
When you hire a freelance web designer, they’re usually just a one-man or one-woman band. It’s just one person and whatever tools that they have available. There can sometimes be advantages to this, such as being able to get to know your designer well. However, there are also many downsides to working with a designer who can only deliver the power of one person. One person can only do so much at once, and this can cause problems for you. If the designer dedicates their time to you alone, you might benefit from what they have to offer you. But it’s more likely that they will be balancing you with their other clients.
A solo freelance web designer can end up flaking out on you, leaving you to pick up the pieces. You could waste your time and money working with someone who can’t afford to dedicate all of their time to you. Either they are charging more, making them more expensive, or they are charging on the lower end of the scale and having to work with multiple clients simultaneously.
3) Working with a Freelance Developer Is a Hassle
You know you need to have a successful website to form a crucial part of your marketing strategy. It’s not something you want to rush into, and you’re aware it’s going to take some time to get your site up and running. But the process doesn’t have to be any more difficult than strictly necessary. Working with a freelance web designer can be a headache, especially when they’re someone who doesn’t really know what they’re doing.
Even when a freelance web designer has the design and development skills necessary to build your site, it doesn’t mean they have the other necessary skills. Too many freelancers overlook the fact that being a freelancer means running a business. They need to meet deadlines, stick to budgets, and provide excellent customer service alongside their web design services. Unfortunately, finding a freelance web designer who can do all of these things definitely isn’t easy.
4) Freelance Developers Often Don’t Have the Capacity to Meet Your Needs
As mentioned above, freelance web designers are usually working alone. Not only do they not have the time to meet all of your needs, but they often don’t have the tools to give you what you want. They might be able to help you get your website up and running. However, a modern website can’t just sit there and act as a static advertisement for your business. It needs to be dynamic, constantly changing and updating to meet the needs of your business and its customers.
You need to have someone who is ready to provide maintenance for your website. They need to deal with any issues that arise and keep your site updated. If nothing else, this is essential to do to ensure your website is always secure, protecting your business and site visitors. A freelancer will often not have the time or the dedication to be ready and willing to do these things. Even if they say they will, they could leave you in the lurch.
5) It’s Hard to Hold a Freelancer to Account
What do you do when your freelance web designer isn’t responding to your emails or calls? You’re trying to get in touch, and they’re not responding. They don’t have a boss you can contact, and you have no other way of contacting them. On top of that, maybe they haven’t given you access to your website, or they’ve even left the job incomplete. When you work with a freelance website designer, they could just choose to stop working on your project and ghost you. Even when there are no money issues to deal with, this is something of an inconvenience, to say the least.
Looking for a new freelancer who meets your standards is tough enough. But on top of that, you may need someone who is experienced with the same platforms and frameworks your first freelancer started with. A new freelancer taking on your project might slow you down because they need to learn something new before they can even begin to get started.
6) Freelance Designers Just Do One Job
Building a website isn’t just about the initial design and development of the site. There’s a lot more to be done, including SEO and other marketing tactics. Some freelance web designers might be multi-skilled, but it’s much more likely that they only have one area of expertise – and some of them barely have that. If you need someone to help you with marketing and advertising, you’re going to need to look for someone else to help you.
A freelance web designer can design and build your website but, for the most part, forget about expecting them to know anything about traffic, conversions or any other essential digital marketing knowledge that you need for your site. The thing to remember is that your website is a marketing tool. Its aim is to help drive sales for your business, and that’s something that you need to think about before you start building it. You can’t create your site and then add in the sales-focused elements later.
7) Some Designers Won’t Even Be Working to the Same Clock as You
You’ve likely seen plenty of freelance web designers who are offering low prices. This probably all looks great at first but, like many things, it’s unlikely to be as good as it seems. One big obstacle is that many of these people offering lower prices are likely to be on the other side of the world, or at least not in the same time zone as you. Trying to work with someone who is on a different clock to you isn’t easy, even if you can overcome other potential issues like inadequate skills in English.
Working with freelancers in different parts of the world is certainly not a problem in principle. It doesn’t stop them having the right skills, both in web design and the English language. However, the practicalities of working with someone who is in a different time zone can be difficult to deal with. If your working hours are completely opposite or even just off by a few hours, it makes staying in touch slow and awkward.
8) You Might Need to Sort Out the Legal Stuff
Protecting yourself and your business is vital whenever you’re using any service. That means having the right legal protections in place before you start working with anyone. When it comes to working with freelancers, this can mean some hit and miss. Some freelancers are proactive and have their own contracts for you to sign, which can protect both you and them. However, many freelance web designers are nowhere near as prepared. Instead, they may leave it up to you to draft a contract, or they might not provide you with one at all.
If you’re not given a contract by your freelancer, which has terms you’re happy to agree to, you will need to take action to create one. This can be time-consuming, and you may need to seek legal help to make sure you are properly protected. You need to define everything from deadlines to budgets and ownership to get everything right.
9) A Freelance Web Designer May Not Be Able to Protect Your Site
What happens when your website is down, or you think it might have been hacked? It’s likely you will want to contact your web developer to find out what’s going on and get your site back online as soon as possible. But what if you can’t get in touch with them, or even they don’t seem to know what to do? It could turn out that your freelance designer is no better able to protect your site than you are.
If your freelance web designer is not able to help, where can you turn? You only have them to rely on, so you could be left on your own with no assistance.
10) You Don’t Know What You Want
A lot of freelance web designers will simply act on your instructions. They might have the skills to take your ideas and turn them into a website, but that doesn’t mean they can really give you the help that you need. If you’re not really sure what you’re doing and what you need from your website, hiring a freelancer is probably not going to help you. They are less likely to offer you their professional advice on how to create a website that sells. They can make design suggestions and perhaps help you understand what they’re doing, but they could still only do half of the job.
When you need help building a website, you need people who don’t just carry out the technical part. You also need someone who can lay the foundations and ensure the finished product will be a website that meets the marketing requirements of your business. Whether you know something about digital marketing already or you’re a complete beginner, having someone on your side to help you makes sense.
11) Why You Should Work with an Agency Instead
So if you shouldn’t work with a freelance web designer, who should you be working with? A pay monthly agency makes a lot more sense for your business. It not only gets your website up and running but ensures the maintenance of your site at all times too. When you choose to work with an agency, you get a plethora of benefits that you won’t get from working with a freelancer. Firstly, you have complete control over what’s on your site and what services you receive, with set prices to make it easy to control your budget.
Working with an agency and choosing a monthly package ensures the continual maintenance of your site. Instead of relying on just one person, you have a whole team of talented and experienced people who know what they’re doing. In addition to providing the fundamentals of website design, you also benefit from other skills within the team, such as SEO and help with other types of marketing, including paid advertising and social media marketing. You get an affordable solution, all of the support that you need and ongoing help with your site as you grow your business.