Today’s site builders have everything to let non-techies create their websites themselves. Still, many business owners prefer to entrust the whole job to professionals.
Your reasons for hiring someone to bring your project into reality may include challenges like a unique design, special functionality, general maintenance of your website after its creation, and so on.
Yet, the bad news is that finding the right ‘someone’ to build a site for you is quite a task. You can assign an individual specialist or order services from a professional web development agency.
Both can be effective, but your choice of this or that expert or studio will be decisive for the final result.
The good news is that you can make the right choice if you know how it all works. So, let’s go over all the aspects of the problem and try to create a workable strategy for finding the solution you need.
What specialist to hire?
Where can you find them?
How much will it cost for you?
In this guide, I’ll give detailed answers to all questions like these.
Who Will Build You the Right Website?
Naturally, it depends. Your exact needs, the project’s complexity, budget, further management of the ready website, etc., are those essentials you should consider when starting your search. Moreover, you may already possess a site but wish to improve its functionality, design, or general usability.
At present, there exist two main solutions for you:
- an individual expert;
- an agency specializing in web development and digital design.
Pay attention that the terms a ‘web designer’ and a ‘web developer’ are not the same professions, more precisely put. A web designer can build a unique design from scratch or rework your site’s look. They can improve its style and supply the necessary buttons, popup menus, other elements, etc. Read more about web designer functions here.
A web developer creates websites and apps. It deals with coding and uses various programs to provide your online project with all the needed features. However, modern web developers may solve design problems, as well as modern web designers may be skillful coders and create multi-functional designs with all features built-in. Here you can read more about web developers.
So, you should know what tasks your chosen specialist should be able to perform. It means you should know for sure what pages and how many of them your site needs. You should clearly understand your future website’s appearance, structure, and add-ons.
The more precise your instructions are, the more chances you’ll get exactly what you want. However, you cannot hire anyone claiming they can build a site for you. It should be a trusted and experienced professional.
I’ll explain how to find them later, but first, let’s get it straight with freelancers and digital development studios. Which method will work better for your project?
Freelancer or Web Design Agency?
You hire a freelancer for a one-time mission. You place a challenge before your hired specialist, and they cope with it. This approach is ideal for simple tasks.
For instance, a freelancer can fix imperfections on your site or expand its functional capacities.
They can solve an urgent problem for you quickly – it’s easier to set up an appointment for a mutually suitable time with an individual expert.
You can assign a freelance developer full-time as well. Among developers working on their own, you are sure to find someone who will be ready to maintain your project on a regular basis.
You can discuss the amount of work at once. This is a nice way for you if your website has plenty of plugins or specific content requiring constant updates and you do not have the time or skills to do the job yourself.
If you plan to build a project from scratch – especially a truly complex one – and plan accurate maintenance of it in the future, digital design agencies are the best options for you.
Here, you can issue any challenge because web development studios unite specialists of all types. So, agencies can accomplish any mission – of course, if the level of their workers’ expertise is really high.Read also: rating of web studios as for October 2023.
This is how you should reason when considering assigning a freelancer (one-time or full-time) or an agency. However, things are more tangled in reality. Some talented freelancers can cope with complicated projects even better than agencies.
On the other hand, you can come across agencies with a cut-and-dry approach that would scarcely fit anything more complex than repairing some errors on your website.
The lack of creative freedom is a possible drawback of agency workers, but they can fulfill the task much faster. Thus, it’s up to you to decide what approach will suit your website more.
What Is Vital for Your Choice?
If you assign the right freelancer or agency, it’ll be a win-win situation. But how to choose them, you may exclaim.
Well, there are certain tips you can use to ensure success. The essential rules for finding an expert for building your project are as follows:
Know your project’s needs well.
Check portfolios and available services.
Bring home the slightest details of your project to the developer(s).
Keep in touch while your website is under construction.
Feel free to ask as many questions as you need.
This rule is trivial, but it works! Having a detailed plan of what your future website should look like is crucial. Indeed, your hired specialist(s) may introduce remarks from a technical point of view. Yet, you should accept or decline them knowingly.
It’s all simple with portfolios – you should like what you see. Visit the sites built by your chosen freelancer or agency and check their performance, design accuracy, and so on. Both freelancers and web development studios may have long lists of services. It’s great when they offer the ones you need.
However, you should be able to choose. This is especially true for agencies. They may fool you into buying unnecessary features. It’s important to deal with developers who can offer much to your project but not too much.
Your web developer should know everything about your project – from the general design plan to every little button on your future website. If you wish to order its further management from pros, be sure to discuss it, too.
The more you talk with the specialist on-steam, the better result you can expect. In this respect, your freelance or agency developer should be open to communication. It is great if you can discuss everything with them. It is hard to expect success if they are unwilling to make suggestions or accept your notes.
It’s not bad if your worker proposes their own ideas or disagrees with yours at once. However, if you need a simple website with a standard set of features, they should build one without cramming it with unnecessary extras. They should be competent and masterful enough to cope with the project if you need something more complex.
The level of communication makes a difference. If you have doubts and simply wish to know how things are going, you can request a little report from your web developer or agency. It is especially reasonable when the project requires time to be implemented. It’s a horrible sign if your worker or team refuses to answer your questions.
You see, in the process of website development, a healthy interaction plays a vital role. Undoubtedly, much depends on the level of competence and even talent of your hired freelancer or web developers from the agency.
Yet, if you do not discuss every little aspect of your website beforehand, you may feel frustrated with the final outcome.
How Much Is to Hire a Freelancer?
When I speak about ‘knowing your website’s needs,’ I also include its price in the notion. Of course, you need a strong professional, but its services should match your budget by all means.
So, how much will the services of a freelancer cost for you? Expect the broadest range of prices since the whole thing is absolutely individual.
Yet, you can make some rough calculations. Pay attention that some specialists prefer hourly pay, while others charge fixed prices. When dealing with a freelance web developer, chances are high that the way to pay will be discussable. (Many modern agencies also tend to offer a flexible pricing system).
Consider the difference between the two pricing models. Knowing it may be vital for your budget:
- An hourly pay will only fit you if you need to build a small website or make small changes to the existing one.
- A fixed price is a good option for large projects that require much time and effort.
Your freelancer may offer you a weekly price, and it is also reasonable to accept it if your project can be realized quickly enough. If you wish to launch a simple business site or eCommerce, be ready to pay at least $1,000-$2,500 per week. It is definitely cheaper than most web marketing agencies can offer. Take a look at the example of a web designer’s hourly rate.
However, the more features you need, the higher the price. The price of a medium-sized professional website may reach up to $10,000. Also, remember that one and the same services may cost differently with different freelance developers. So, it’s crucial to discuss the project in every detail and fix a suitable price for both parties beforehand.
How Much Is a Web Design Agency?
It is believed web design agencies are more expensive than freelancers, and in most cases, it is true. Hiring an entire studio may be superfluous and too expensive for a small company or someone with a ready-made website that requires a few changes.
Yet, this variant may pay for complex projects in the future. Your agency will calculate the cost of the whole work at once. Again, prices vary dramatically from agency to agency. If you need an average price of a medium-complexity website ordered from a web development studio, prepare yourself for a range of $10,000-$30,000.
Complex websites supplied with all the necessary functionality (SEO, advanced marketing, intelligent analytics, etc.) will cost you at least $50,000. Expect the same price if you plan to order further maintenance services from your agency together with the creation of the website itself.
So, to pick a suitable solution for your project, you need to shop around for a while. It’s good to know the price of each component on your must-have list. For instance, you can check how much your targeted freelancer or agency charges for a domain, security equipment, SEO tools, eCommerce features, etc.
Include the Factor of Time
Again, it all depends on the website, on the one hand, and the developer, on the other. It’s difficult to speak about average times even if your site requires ‘some changes,’ let alone massive projects that need to be developed from scratch. The main reason why I cannot give you precise time spans is that it is difficult to foretell any in the creative industry.
Let’s list the factors that you should bear in mind when trying to fix the time frame needed for bringing your project into reality:
- The size of the project itself. The more you need, the more you wait.
- An agency or a freelancer? The agency can cope much faster with a standard website since it may assign several specialists simultaneously.
- Web development method. There are different techniques for creating websites. Your hired specialist can write your project from scratch using a particular programming language. They can also employ a CMS like Drupal or WordPress.
- Personal possibilities of a developer or a studio. It concerns individual developers more. They may spend a certain amount of time working on your website daily. The number of available hours differs from freelancer to freelancer, and I recommend discussing this option, too.
- Experience. Also, remember that the level of proficiency of your chosen specialist may affect the speed of their work. They will need more time to cope if they have little experience in tasks like yours.
Yet, you should consider the factor of time anyway. Every freelancer and agency must determine certain terms but be realistic. Unexpected issues happen too often in the creative process, and chances are high that you’ll need to wait more than it was planned initially.
Where Can You Find the Right Digital Developer(s)?
Well, it’s all simple. The best place to find a web developer is the Internet. You can find many reviews, top lists of best freelance developers, or ratings of the best web design studios online. The only problem is that the Internet is now overloaded with supply to such an extent that searching and comparing may consume too much time.
Yet, you must inquire and compare several options to choose the optimal one. Search for a balanced solution that meets the following requirements:
- The project’s needs.
- Sufficient skills.
- A high level of interaction with the developer.
- An affordable price.
- A suitable term of delivery.
You can use specific forums or websites like the one you’re reading now. However, prepare a list of must-have options and compare the most suitable candidates knowingly. There also exist freelance platforms where you can pick the solution you need. I’ll leave some top-effective marketplaces for finding web creatives:
An excellent way to find the proper professionals is through your colleagues or friends with great experience with the recommended freelancer or a web developer studio. However, in my practice, this method works only for small projects.
A Word about Website Builders
The number of Do-It-Yourself platforms is immense. These site builders promise a smooth web development process without coding thanks to such options as AI and drag-and-drop technology.
Surely, this option will only fit a tiny project with minimum requirements. However, here are the best site builders you can use with the help of a professional and achieve quite workable results:
For example, in the case of Wix, you can use its built-in Marketplace and find a quality developer specializing in this platform. However, site builders’ capacities may soon become insufficient for a growing business. To ensure enough scalability for your project, you should opt for more powerful CMS platforms, like WordPress or Joomla.
Conclusion: Make Decisions Knowingly
Now, you know that finding a developer requires certain skills, too. Nope, you don’t need to master coding or get into the subtleties of web design. Yet, a clear understanding of your project needs, what specialist can meet them, and what time and cost it will take to deal with them.
You are one step from success when you know who you need and where to search for them. You can use all the available information from professional sites like ours, friends, and colleagues. The only rule is to be attentive, rigorous, and patient.