As with most entrepreneurs, you may be wondering if you should commission a Web agency to create a website, hire an independent developer or even create it yourself. Obviously, there is no right or wrong answer since it all depends on your needs. However, if you want to create the website of your dreams, there are a number of factors to consider. In this article, the experts at My Little Big Web share their opinions and the feedback of our customers so that you can determine the best solution for your business.
The skills required to create a website
There are several Content Management System (CMS) platforms including WordPress or Wix that will allow you to create and manage a website easily. However, if you want to create the website of your dreams, you will need certain skills that many entrepreneurs are unaware of.
Creating and choosing the design will be a crucial task when it comes to reflecting your brand image online and optimizing the user experience. This requires design knowledge. This is what designers do. These experts need to be proficient with various tools such as Photoshop or Illustrator in order to work with images and layouts to create an interactive and user-friendly website. In order to stand out from the competition, you need to have advanced skills in this area.
You can also use existing themes (free or paid) if you lack web design skills or if your budget prevents you from using professional services. Your site will not be unique since others will have already downloaded the theme before you, but you will still get a workable design.
In addition to the visual aspect, programming skills will be required to create your website. There are two types of developers in this field: front-end developers and back-end developers.
The front-end developer will take care of the visual aspect of a website, i.e. the integration of layouts. They will integrate existing plugins in the case of a platform like WordPress. The back-end developer, on the other hand, will be able to create plugins and modify them to meet your expectations. If you choose to hire an agency to design your website, you should find out if the developer you are working with has back-end skills as well.
Imagine you own a hotel. You will probably be able to develop a booking platform with a CMS that offers plugins for this purpose, which will save you time. You can use a plugin that books guests, conference rooms, etc. However, this plugin will certainly need some adjustments to make it exactly what you expect. This is why it is preferable to hire a back-end developer since this work requires programming skills.
Having a website is good, being well ranked on search engines is better. Another skill that will be required is SEO, which is why it is important to have a good knowledge of it. If you want to optimize your SEO, you will most likely need expert advice. However, very few entrepreneurs or independent developers will be so versatile that they master front-end, back-end and SEO programming all at once, and that’s normal. Whereas an agency has the advantage of bringing together all these skills and offering you a comprehensive service with collaborators who specialize in these different fields of expertise.
Another skill that you don’t necessarily have in mind but that can be essential when creating a website is project management. This is really what will define your experience with the developer or the agency. The project manager is a person whose job is to support you and explain what will be required for the website creation. These will include needs in terms of images and production planning, for example. Having support and knowing when your website will be delivered to you involves a project manager.
For example, at My Little Big Web, a report is made every time a call or meeting takes place and sent to the client in order to have a documented record of what has been said because a website project can be a time-consuming endeavour with many people involved. This is why it is essential that anyone involved in the project can easily find information about the website creation.
Often, our clients who have used a self-employed professional, however competent they may be, tell us that they were sometimes unavailable. Working alone, he will not necessarily have time to answer all his clients’ questions. In addition, availability in terms of after-sales support should also be taken into account. When your website is finished, you may need to make some changes and solve some problems quickly. However, there is no guarantee that an independent developer will be available to assist you in the event of any disputes once the contract is over. A web agency will be able to support you throughout the project, as well as when it is finished.
A web agency will have several employees, each with their own area of expertise. When you have questions, you will have several opinions that will help you build a website that will meet your design, programming and SEO needs. As far as a freelancer is concerned, they will probably specialize in only one of these areas, so you may miss out on important factors in the creation of your website and the user experience. Moreover, an agency often manages more clients than a freelancer and will therefore have more extensive experience and will be able to discuss some of the challenges faced in other projects with you.
Comparing apples to apples can sometimes be difficult. The price of an agency or self-employed worker should, in principle, reflect their level of expertise. The services offered by an agency that invites you to its office, assigns you a project manager, a designer and a programmer are not comparable to an independent who tries to group all these skills into one. The same principle applies between a general contractor for construction work and a team of specialists. Depending on the work to be done, the budget and the expected level of quality, one or the other of the choices will be more suitable and the price will be calculated accordingly.
Why should you work with an agency?
In short, why should you use a web agency to create your site?
A web agency often has more resources to offer than a self-employed professional. They are more knowledgeable thanks to their skilled employees and have more time to devote to you. You will therefore benefit from expert advice and more attractive rates.
Again, we are not questioning the quality of independent developers’ work, but we are giving you our opinion on the benefits that web agencies can bring to the table when creating a website.
Our position is of course slightly biased since we are a web agency. Every day we receive calls from customers who explain that they have gone through a freelancer and no longer want to work with them. However, we believe that there are many highly competent freelancers and agencies with questionable skills and reliability. A careful study of the different companies you consider for your project is essential.
If you have any questions or need help creating your website, don’t hesitate to contact us, the experts at My Little Big Web agency will be happy to help you!