When it’s time for your website to get an overhaul, the consideration of design and development is an important one. You want to make the right decision since your website is such a crucial tool for you to get new leads and customers. Unfortunately, it’s challenging since there are so many alternatives. You can hire freelancers. You can hire a full-time web developer to your business. Or you could hire a web development agency.
On the surface, all the options promise the same outcome: a website. Once you look a little deeper, however, the choices become more complicated. There are many components to balance – from your needs and goals to budget and timeline to the kind of resources you have at your disposal (people, time, dollars, etc.).
In this article, we will compare the three options to help you decide the best direction for your website design and development so that you can get the best result from your investment.
In-house web developers
Hiring an employee means you get a dedicated, formal member of your team who will be absolutely aligned with your company’s interests and vision. If you get the right person on board, they can be a valuable asset to your business and will be heavily invested in the success of your website.
That said, hiring a full-time employee is a big commitment – it involves a considerable time investment to craft a job description and go through the hiring process. It requires lengthy diligence to identify and then “sell” the best candidate on your position. Once you’ve onboarded the new hire, it involves considerable staff time and effort to train a new employee and just as long for them to learn your company and adapt to their new role.
In addition, your web developer requires ongoing management and direction. They also become a payroll expense with the accompanying benefit costs and legal implications such as workers’ compensation, tax liabilities, unemployment insurance, and so on. A single person also puts your website at risk – if he or she were to leave for another job or a family crisis, you are left high and dry.
In our experience, hiring an in-house web developer is best for large businesses with websites that require constant updates. And – even in this case – many of these companies still choose to bring in a web development partner in order to initially program complex websites because their in-house developer needs assistance due to the complex code and scope required.
Freelance web developers
The biggest pros to hiring a freelancer are that they don’t tie up your payroll, you don’t have to worry about benefits or employment liabilities, you can start and stop projects as needed, and they are usually more flexible than employees. In general, most companies find freelancers a good option for smaller websites with simple programming requirements. They charge by the hour or by the project.
There are several key drawbacks of working with freelancers that you should know. Specifically, they may lack the all-around expertise to handle all aspects of complex projects. And depending on the freelancer, their expertise might be limited to only a few websites and clients with similar requirements. As a result, they do not know all of the challenges and pitfalls that can come up with more complex programming requirements.
In addition, hiring a freelance web developer comes with the inherent risk that they do not complete your website because they find a full-time job or get mired in their other clients’ needs. They may not have standard processes, which can lead to messy source code. And after the website is complete, freelancers do not typically have the time or resources to provide ongoing support for the websites they’ve built leaving them at risk for hacks and viruses.
Web development agency
Hiring a web development agency has the same benefits as hiring freelancers, plus a few more. One big benefit is the high quality of work since the company has vetted expert development professionals who follow industry-recognized best practices ensuring an effective website with clean code. Agencies have ample resources to deal with large and complex web projects. They also have dedicated customer support, project management, technical guidance, training, and ongoing security updates even after website is launched.
Furthermore, a web development agency would have dedicated experts for many specialties. They are highly experienced in many industries due to vast client base for business in all niches. And, unlike many freelancers and in-house web developers, agencies have the resources to keep their people in the “fast lane” when it comes to adapting the latest website technologies and trends, ensuring you stay ahead of your competitors. Finally, agencies ensure that they go through a pre-set series of stringent quality checks and testing before website launches.
Solution to your website development needs
We would love to talk with you about your website – Computer Courage is a web development agency with many years of experience building unique, feature-rich websites, and understand how to implement the latest and greatest in ways that are fast, user-friendly, and secure. We provide quality maintenance and support to ensure all of your websites are secure with ongoing support for you or your client. Changes, updates, revisions, new features, and even training are all no problem!
Working with Computer Courage will not only alleviate your web development problems, we’ll actually save your company time and money. You get access to our entire company including developers, UX experts, coding practices, and project managers, as well as our well-honed processes for moving your website development project forward on time and on budget. We cost less than a dedicated employee and we are headache free, guaranteed!