5 Risks You Need to Know When Hiring Freelance Web Designers
Article by Henry Ng & Cyd Cruz
Graphics Design by Ryan Rivera
Where do we find the best freelance web designer?
Who is the best freelance web designer out there and where can this person be found? We don’t have the answer to that question, unfortunately. However, since we are in the web design business and have worked with thousands of clients, we’ve heard enough stories from the experiences that they’ve encountered to be able to share our opinion on engaging freelance web designers. So before you try and find the best freelance web designer, it may be useful for you to read this article.
Who are the people looking for the best freelance web designers?
All over the world, there are millions of people each year with amazing ideas who would want to set up their own businesses. The majority of these trailblazers, while full of innovative ideas, lack the budget to hire multitudes of specialists in order to get their idea of a website to work. This is where freelancers come in. According to many, they charge cheaper than web design agencies, effectively giving websites like Upwork and Guru the opportunities to grow their businesses, due to them acting as the internet’s go-to websites for freelance work. Due to said freelancers operating from another country, their services can be offered for even lower than what was expected, due to differences in the cost of living.
You’re probably here because you’re one of those innovators who came looking for the best web design freelancers available. While we aren’t against hard-workers who take up part-time work, we feel, as a reputable and responsible web agency, that it’s necessary for us to share some of the potential risks and problems that you might encounter when engaging with freelancers.
5 Risks in Hiring a Freelance Web Designer
1. Unacceptable web design and layout quality
More often than not, when business owners are looking to kick off their online presence, they have the tendency to go for whatever route that offers the least amount of expenses.
This is where freelancers come in. Individuals who offer their services and experience in the field for a one-time project are usually less pricey than hiring web design agencies. The problem is, most people who charge less usually show no guarantee on the quality of their work, leaving you with no references as to how the final product of their work will turn out.
Sure, a portfolio of their previous projects can and will most likely be provided, especially when you ask for one. But one of the biggest risks with this practice is the possibility of portfolios that are heavily embellished, altered, or outright fake. We have heard that some online freelancers provide unlimited revisions, but the problem is that working with someone who doesn’t have a flair in design can be a painful process, and after a number of revisions, the client usually just gives up on the project.
2. Lost in domain and hosting ownership
It’s rather common for business owners, especially ones with little to no experience with web design, to allow the freelancer a certain degree of liberty when handling the development of the website. Usually, for an additional cost to the client, they’ll handle the domain and hosting setup.
This is where the problem starts, because those business owners may fail to understand that they need to take ownership of the domain registration. If they do not get this domain transferred to their own registrar account, they could end up not being able to renew the domain in the future. Likewise, some clients suffer from a similar problem in not having the account to renew their hosting. Should the freelancer no longer be in their service, then there’s a chance that they wouldn’t inform the client about their hosting renewal.
3. Additional service that is not included in the agreed fees
One of the most enticing aspects of hiring a freelancer for your web design needs is their price offers, which are significantly lower than what the majority of web design agencies charge. While this may seem appealing at first glance, it fails to take into account the extra charges that may surface during your website’s developmental process.
One example of this is every website’s need for stock photos. Freelancers often have no stock photos at their disposal and will charge their clients should they agree upon the purchase of some. On the other hand, most web design agencies worth their salt will have stock photos already on hand and will gladly use them for your website’s development.
4. Lack of future support in maintaining the website
When it comes to after-sales support, a web design agency is arguably better in this regard than a freelancer. After a project finishes, freelancers usually start to work on another project for another website owner who have availed of their services, which means any and all ongoing support and website fixes will probably end up on the last bullet point of their to-do-list, whereas web design agencies usually have enough resources to assign one of their personnel to apply the necessary changes as soon as possible, along with any other changes you would want to add.
Additionally, should Google’s search engine algorithms change, which it does at least 500 to 600 times a year, some website owners might find it difficult to keep up with the constantly-shifting tides, especially if they aren’t in contact with the freelancer who built their website in the first place.
5. Lack of knowledge in every aspect of web development
If you’ve somehow managed to find a freelancer that specialises in every facet of web development, then you’ve hit the jackpot. Most of the time though, that isn’t the case since finding an individual who knows the ins and outs of web copywriting, designing web graphics, program HTML codes, utilise the correct Content Management System, and specialise in Search Engine Optimization is already a rarity in and of itself.
What this means is that you could be having a website with little to no SEO work done on it, and this is because even the freelancer might not have an idea that he is supposed to provide such a service in the first place. Or it could mean that your WordPress website will end up lacking some plugins that can enhance its security.
Questions you need to ask freelance web designers
As a business owner who’s forking out their hard-earned money for exemplary service, what are the questions that you should ask a freelancer before signing up for their services?
Obviously, one should try to find out how long a freelancer has been in this industry and the amount of experience they’ve garnered through the years that can help your entrance into the online world easier, smoother, and most importantly, profitable. Additionally, you can also ask for their three most recent web designs and any Photoshop or other photo editing files they’ve used for those projects in order to verify that the designs are really theirs. Testimonials from reputable clients will help you too since confirming if these reviews are fairly simple.
To avoid being blindsided by additional costs and problems, you should also ask for specific details that come with their services. For example:
- Are stock photos and extra security measures for the website included or will they be charged separately?
- Are future revisions free? Unlimited revisions aren’t ideal for me, so will refunds be given should the product end up to not be what I was expecting?
- I’ve heard that malware is common after a website finishes its launch. Do you have any experience handling malware and if so, what are the steps you usually take in order to prevent them?
Your best alternative to freelance web designers – Verz Design
While we simply can’t match or compete with the fees of freelancers, we at Verz Design can guarantee a higher quality work as well as value for your investment. We have handled thousands of websites, from simple corporate content management websites to websites with eCommerce capabilities and others with unique and customized programming requirements.
Also Read: 5 Reasons Web Design Agencies Are Better by Gotafflair
Still having doubts on whether or not we’ve got better offers than a freelance web designer? Give us a ring 6841 1680 or link up with us via email at [email protected] for a free consultation!