freelance web designers

Freelance Web Designers – Are They Worth The Risk?

Are you considering using a freelance web designer to help with your website? Freelancing is a growing industry and with so much talent available it can make sense to consider using a freelance web designer. However you need to consider all the advantages and disadvantages of going down the freelancer route.

Advantages

1.1 A Good Price Tag

Using a freelance web designer means that they’re likely to be a lot cheaper than using a professional web design agency.

As freelancers are remote and tend to work from home, they generally don’t have the same overhead costs that large professional organisations have – which means they can afford to charge you cheaper rates. So just because they charge less doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t good at what they do.

A lot of great talent can be found globally and in fact those in different countries may be asking high rates compared to their local competitors. However in your eyes, their rates seem attractively cheap simply because the rates of pay for good talent in your home country are much higher.

Unfortunately, there are some freelance web designers who charge low prices just to undercut other web design freelancers. Meaning that they’ll spread themselves thinly over too many web design projects, just to bring in a minimum wage.

1.2 Easy to Source

There are lots of well-known sites that specialise in freelancing, so you’ll be sure to find a web designer. Here are a few:

  • Upwork
  • Guru
  • PeoplePerHour

Sites like the ones above have thousands of hardworking individuals who are experts in their field. These sites allow web designers to create individual profiles that tell a story about who they are and their skills. As a prospective client, you will be able to access all of this information before choosing the right web designer for you.
Not forgetting, these sites offer their own legally binding contracts that protect you and the freelancer – just in case.

1.3 Reviews

Before you choose a freelancer to work with you should always read what others have said about them. If you use the sites above then reviews are one of the first things you see about the prospective freelancer. Reviews are a quick way of checking that the freelancer is true to their word and to see if they deliver quality work.

It goes without saying the more positive reviews the better. But if you find a mixed bunch of reviews, check a little closer at the reasons behind a bad review. There are occasions when a bad review means they didn’t fulfil their role, but sometimes there were extenuating circumstances.

Nonetheless, if there are multiple negative reviews, just go and find another freelancer to work with.

2. Disadvantages

2.1 Technically Flawed

Having done your research, picked the web design freelancer that you want, they get on with your website project. You end up with a nicely functioning, well-designed website which runs smoothly and you can’t see fault in the freelancer’s work … initially. But sometimes faults occur later, faults like compromised security, difficulties in updating the website easily or the site just crashes.

By using a freelance web designer, unless you worked with them every step of the way, you’re not going to know any of the codes or details they used to get the site performing as you wanted.

You can’t fix these issues yourself and that means you are putting your website at risk unless you get immediate help. In the worst case scenario, someone could hack into your system and take valuable information from your site, compromising your whole business. If you can’t easily update the site, your website visitors won’t see your current promotions or news. If it keeps on crashing, potential website visitors won’t be able to find your business online.

The only way to fix issues like these is to get professional help. Help that can put the errors right to create a robust and secure website to ensure your business remains afloat – quickly.

2.2 Misleading Profiles

Freelancing websites try extremely hard to filter out poor quality freelancers and only bring real experts to you. However some freelancers aren’t all that they seem.

You’ve gone through countless profiles looking for the perfect web designer, and you come to one who stands out. You see a glowing portfolio, bursting with knowledge and expertise. You think you’ve struck gold. However in some cases, these freelancers have concocted their portfolio and have minimal experience.

In other cases, the individual profile is a “cover” for a firm of people working behind the scenes – you may deal with one person, but in fact your web design project is being outsourced to low paid, low quality web design amateurs.

A good way of dealing with this is to request a video chat with the individual in question. A good freelancer could be shy, but generally, they’ll jump at an opportunity to meet you and get work. If someone starts to mess around or saying that their camera isn’t working – walk away, it isn’t worth your time.

2.3 Juggling Clients

Freelance web designers are often working for many clients simultaneously. Not every job is a big job, but if they take on too many clients at once, it can lead to confusion, irritation and poor performance.

If your freelancer is working for multiple clients then he/ she may not be able to give you all the time that you require. There may be lack of communication or even a rushed job done. If you’re set on hiring a freelance web designer, ask them beforehand what are their hours. How long can they spare you a week?

You need someone who works with you and informs you of the goings on, not someone who pops a message in a chat now and again. Commitment is crucial.

2.4 Disappearances

Disappearing freelancers are common in the freelancing world and there’s not much you can do about it. If your freelancer feels overwhelmed by work or that they can’t provide what you need they may just leave you. They won’t even tell you.

This isn’t fair practice and you will have a half-finished project to deal with. The best thing to do is raise it with the freelancer site and you’ll be legally supported. And you can also place a review on the freelancer’s profile to warn others.

The Alternative to a Freelance Web Designer

There is undeniable talent in the freelance web design world but sometimes you can’t beat professional service.

Using a professional web design company is likely to cost you a little more than a freelancer, but you’ll be guaranteed quality help and will avoid the issues mentioned above. Professional organisations have websites which detail exactly how they can help you and normally have testimonials from clients so you can see how they helped someone with similar issues to you. They will also be on social media and potentially on review sites so you can find out exactly what people are saying about them.

If you have used a freelance web designer successfully and are happy with your final website, all is good. However if your freelancer let you down, didn’t complete the project or you have a poorly performing site which isn’t bringing in new business, help is at hand.

Companies such as WP Support Specialists, offer solutions to people whose WordPress websites have problems. We have an emergency support service to get crashed websites up and functioning properly – fast. We can take on the development of your WordPress website to ensure the final site does your company justice. And once your website is perfect, we offer regular maintenance packages to ensure the site is monitored for malware, backed up regularly and all WordPress updates are implemented smoothly.

Whatever the problem with your WordPress website, WP Support Specialists have the expertise to fix it and make it better than ever. Contact us today for a no obligation chat and let’s see how we can help you.