Deciding to use a third party at all to help you design your website will be your first decision when embarking on launching your web presence, given that there are plenty of template DIY site platforms out there. Deciding you need to bring in help can be based on such factors as – how good are you (when you have to do it from scratch) at graphic design and writing copy? How long will it take you to make the site look and function as you wish it to – ie the cost in terms of your hourly rate of dedicating yourself to do something that stops you earning that hourly rate? And last, but by no means least, are you prepared to take the time to learn about and monitor your SEO, to learn about the latest trends, to write blogs, utilize all marketing opportunities etc?
For an SME, which finds that any of the above factors will be a hurdle, the use of a freelance web-designer is a good solution. You will be speaking to someone who does these kinds of things for a living and who will be up to speed with all the latest developments in his or her craft. You can get, up front, accurate estimates of how much designing, developing and maintaining your site – and making it work to its optimum performance for you – will cost. You can discuss your vision for the site at the outset and allow the designer to use their visual skills to realize your idea. You can explain what you want the site to do and discuss options (and their costs) of how this can be achieved. You can learn about the on-line marketing available and decide on the strategies you wish your website designer to employ and prepare yourself for your campaigns.
The use of a freelance designer gives you all the skills but for less of an outlay than if you went to a large agency. The reason for this is not because of a lack of quality, but rather because a one-person band does not have many employees’ wages to cover or an expensive studio to lease and maintain. Additionally, it is a fact that sometimes, well known design studios, having worked for large prestigious organisations will then trade on the kudos of working with household names and this may, inevitably, push their prices up and they may not even be interested in ‘small-fry’ anymore.