Hiring a Web Design Firm vs. Freelance Designer
A web site is more than just a tool for business. It's part of your "brand" image, your storefront and a measure of your professionalism. A good web site is navigable, provides easy access to goods, services or information and effectively serves the purposes of it's owner or owners. As you might imagine, developing sites that meet these criteria is no easy task. While there are thousands of freelance web designers available to choose from, few of them have the experience and skill necessary to tailor a site to fit an individuals specific needs. Many business owners simply use price as a comparison point, which somewhat favors freelance individuals.
Those who are savvy enough to ask for a portfolio of multiple sites, however, usually decide to go with a firm after doing so. It's important to understand that the development of one or two sites is little indication of the ability to know and be able to construct a site that is beneficial for your business. The benefit of going with a firm as opposed to a freelance individual is simple. Firms usually have specialists who work on the a particular part of your web site. The person creating your layout isn't likely to be the person working on HTML or scripting.
When specialists handle individual aspects of a project, those aspects get more individualized attention. Still, unless a web design firm has a fluid production protocol between departments, delays can occur. Looking at a portfolio won't indicate the amount of time or cost overruns that occurred when developing a site. When assembling bids from various firms, it's important to remember to ask for at least a relative time frame for completion so that you can have an idea of when the work will be done. In the grand scheme of things, firms can offer business owners more experience and greater attention to detail than most freelance individuals can. Your business is unlike any other and deserves a team of professionals dedicated to making the most of your web site. While a freelance individual may be adept at building one type of site, who's to say it's the right type of site for what you have to offer?.
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