Working with a freelance web design may feel like a sound investment. After all, this person looks like he knows what they are doing. Plus, his services are a lot cheaper than that other company you have been eyeing. You will save up to 50 percent. It is sounding more and more like a great deal.
In most cases, web design companies are still a safer choice than freelance web designers. Why? Working with freelance web designers can be a risky investment, especially if you have never worked with this individual before. Read on to find out more about the risks of going freelance.
The first issue you may face is lack of qualifications or expertise. A freelancer may present themselves on paper as an expert in many different things, but this can translate differently when the website goes live. To avoid this, remember to ask for portfolios or sample work.
Some freelancers, unlike designers who work for established web companies, "beef" up their programming languages or skills to land jobs, but are unable to create quality work that matches up to the competition. Remember, familiar with Adobe Photoshop is not the same as an expert in Adobe Photoshop.
Communication and consultation is one main reason. Many freelancers work multiple jobs at a time and are often more deadline-oriented than quality oriented. This is because they need to turn over a project as quickly as possible to accumulate more work and earn more money. So, you may have visions in your head of having your freelancer at your beck and call when you want to make design decisions. Chances are, you will end up frustrated and on the tail end of receiving one sentence emails and waiting endlessly for your freelancer to go online.
Lack of consultation can also affect turnaround time. Many freelancers offer a period of testing and redesign, but in most cases you are working with an individual who needs to manually reprogram parts of the website that you are unhappy with or areas of the site that do not work. Many web design companies can do this quickly simply because they have testers on staff who can work on the problem for you.
Scheduling may be another issue. Many freelancers work regularly but keep to their own hours -- so do not be surprised if you receive an email that was send at 3 AM. If you choose to outsource your work, then you will be dealing with big time differences. At the very least, your freelancer in California will always be a few hours behind. If your freelancer works somewhere in Asia, then you have to resign yourself to a waiting a day for everything.
When it comes to websites, testing is the key. This gives you and the programmer an idea of how functional the website will be when it goes live and how the user experience will be. When you work with freelancers, there may be testing limitations that you (and even the freelancer) may not be aware of.
Freelancers often work alone and write their own code. Although they will and can test their web design, they can lack the resources to test. This can be in terms of equipment, software or even labour. This results in a website that looks great, but does not work well across all platforms. They may not be able to test for the Mac platform or Apple IOs, for example, simple because they do not own a Mac or prefer to work with a different operating system, like Linux or Android.
Another risk you face when hiring a freelancer is that your project will not have a backup. If your freelancer goes out of town or falls ill, no one will help him or her pick up the slack. Lacking a backup can be disastrous if you are on a tight deadline and need the site up pronto. It can mean delays for your business.
Freelancers are often talented and hardworking individuals who carve out a niche for themselves in a highly competitive market. But hiring them can be a risk you may not be willing to take. Established web design companies can give you quality work for less, with less risk.