Agency vs Freelancer: What’s the Difference?

by | Jul 14, 2023 | Advice | 0 comments

For most businesses looking to build a new or update an existing website, one of the very first things to decide on is who is going to be trusted to carry out the work. As of 2023, there are almost 2,000 registered web agencies in the UK, and approximately 180,000 freelance web developers – a quite staggering number that is going to result in massive gulf in quality.

Of course, pointers such as experience, past work, price and reputation need to be considered, but one of the more fundamental factors is whether to go with an agency or a freelancer.

Now, we know that there are undoubtedly some very talented and experienced freelance web designers out there. However, there are several reasons why we, as an experienced digital agency, feel that choosing to work with an agency gives the client more freedom, more security and, once the project is completed, greater access to support than if working with a freelancer.

Here is why we think why…

1. Limited Skill Sets –

As freelancers generally work alone, their pot of knowledge is unlikely to be the same as an agencies. For example, when a client wants a new site, we generally find additional services are required, including work like logo design and copywriting.

A freelancer may be able to design a great website, but if they are only designing a few logos per year and are out of practise, this isn’t going to be up to the standards of a well-oiled, professional graphic designer who designs, say, 20 logos a year.

The beauty of an agency is that all the work required can be carried out by professionals who specialise in each area – making the all-important end product likely to be of a higher quality.

2. Contact Availability

A key component when designing and completing websites is ongoing contact with the client. One issue that comes to light with freelancers is, if the only person building a website happens to go on holiday, or fall ill, then there is nobody to ensure that the work continues. This can result is websites taking longer than they should to complete.

Likewise, if urgent support is needed, and the individual who built the site is away, a website can be offline or faulty for entire weeks. This can have particularly bad consequences if the site in question is an e-commerce site that relies on sales, as the longer the site is down, the greater the financial cost.

This same issue can be encountered with the working hours of freelancers, who very often work evenings and weekends alongside another day job. If the freelancer is only available on evenings and weekends, and the site goes down during a weekday, you may as well be in another time zone.

3. Industry Nous

With agencies having the ability to produce more high-quality sites each year, it is far more likely that they will have developed and designed sites within certain industries. This may not sound like something overly important, however each industry tends to have similar design trends, whether it is certain font styles, colours or something else.

Not only is an agency more likely to have developed a website in a certain industry more recently – therefore knowing what is trending in that industry – they are more likely to have built a greater number of websites in that industry overall.

Remember, a potential client is going to use the internet to compare several organisations, likely using the aesthetics of the website – consciously or not – to help make that decision.

To give some context, we produce around 30 high-quality websites across various industries every year. This is typically more than your average freelancer.

4. Overlapping Skill Sets (saving time)

As agencies have several employees working, rather than an individual, there are generally lots of overlapping skill sets among the staff.

So, once a request to update or change something is made, rather than waiting for that one person to be available as with a freelancer, an agency has a wealth of employees who have the capabilities to make these changes. This generally means changes are able to be made much faster.

At WADEDIGITAL, we have a ticketing system that comes through from our support email. The whole team is able to see a request when it comes in, and whoever is free picks up the next ticket.

5. Flexible Payments

It isn’t news that, financially, it is a tough time to be running a business. Because we are normally managing several projects simultaneously, and are fortunate enough to have a good, consistent cashflow, we are able to offer more flexibility to our clients when it comes to payment.

We have clients, for example, we have created a bespoke payment plan for, that extend beyond the two- or three-month website build timeline. This means that businesses can have the benefits of a new website with new features and functionality, without having to pay for everything up front.

This is something that a freelancer is highly unlikely to offer.

Peace of Mind

As mentioned, there are freelancers out there capable of producing fantastic websites that are highly functional and up to date in terms of user interface and design.
However, an agency offers all of the above benefits to a business, which, first and foremost, give the business owner peace of mind. Not to mention, at WADEDIGITAL we offer hosting services which means everything is in one place.

With businesses spending an average of 7-8% of turnover on marketing, an under-par website can demonstrate a lack of investment to potential clients.

So, please get in touch with us at WADEDIGITAL if we can help you and your business build your next website, or update something existing.

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