When you try to grow your business and decide to go online, because a website is one of the most effective marketing tools today, you will most certainly ask yourself, “How exactly should I do this? Should I hire a web design agency, or should I try and build an in-house design team?” The answer will depend on your particular business, budget, goals, and how much time and money are you willing to invest in this undertaking. In short, if you only need to launch a company website with a CMS and all the necessary features, it will serve you well in hiring a web design agency.
But, let’s take a closer look at some of the critical aspects of why you might need an in-house team and why you might need to hire a web design agency.
Factor #1. Expertise
When comparing the knowledge of agencies to that of in-house designers, there are a lot of things to consider. And while it largely depends on individual experiences, there are still several general aspects you should know.
The designers, SEO specialists, and copywriters you hire on your staff will have a particular skill set and will be able to provide services corollary to their skills. It will be challenging to make a newly built in-house web design team to launch a website since its members still have to learn about and get used to your business goals, strategy and everything else.
When you hire a web design agency, you may have all kinds of ideas and take advantage of its services to pretty much any extent, because agencies live for challenges. When you deal with a web design company and work through an issue, you get its collective experience and wisdom. Experienced and trustworthy web design agencies go through all the different kinds of scenarios and situations and have an opportunity to test various techniques, solutions, and approaches.
In other words, hiring an agency is the absolute best option in terms of services.
Industry and Brand Knowledge
One thing for sure, no one understands your business the way your staff does. Even though design agencies may avow their imminent commitment upon signing the contract, they can’t match your core staff in terms of grasping your firm’s services, goals, vision, history, and other things exclusively related to your company.
Your team knows your company in and out, and the lack of background knowledge is any web design agency’s considerable disadvantage. Depending on how niche your business’s industry is, an agency might require some time to get up to date with it, and still, your in-house team will have a better understanding of what your company needs.
From the perspective of brand and industry knowledge, the in-house team is at a definite advantage.
Have you ever thought about why so many companies end up generating content that seems excessively promotional? It’s all because of tunnel vision. At times, in-house design teams have a hard time stepping back to take a broader look at their brand and can’t get through to their audience, instead bringing out designs that don’t convert. Such solutions speak to the brand’s goals, but not to the audience’s needs.
This is where a reputed web design agency, that can supply an external perspective on the target audience’s design interests is useful. Companies don’t constrain biases that could affect the result. Moreover, reliable design companies can define on their own what to emphasize to provide a better conveyance of your brand’s message.
Ability to get an outside perspective sets web design agencies at an advantage.
Even though a web design agency only devotes a fraction of the time compared to what a full-time in-house designer could dedicate every month, the time it does dedicate is magnified. Qualified agencies have direct knowledge of design trends for decades.
At the same time, in-house web design teams have their understanding and experience, which isn’t nearly the same as what agencies can provide after dealing with countless clients from various niches for years.
So, when it comes to trends, it’s pretty much impossible for in-house teams to outpace web design agencies.
Factor #2. Effectiveness
The speed of work is another critical metric. How quickly can a design team deliver a project? Who reacts to changes quicker, the in-house team, or the agency?
Web design agencies have well-developed processes they follow through with each customer. They work hard to keep each project on schedule, reduce time expenses and cost excesses, and help get new ideas in order to generate actual and practical designs. Design processes allow agencies to dig deep into the client’s niche and understand what target audiences need, so when they finally get to mockups and prototyping, they already have an idea of what the design is going to look like. A reliable agency will always stay focused on the project and comply with the set schedule.
As for in-house web design teams, they frequently rely on other priorities and departments that can affect the schedule, approach, and, consequently, results.
Web design agencies leap far ahead of in-house teams with their design processes.
Quick turnaround and communication is essential to a successful web design project. An in-house team allows collaboration, meeting, and exchange of ideas on the go instead of trying to navigate conflicting schedules when working with an agency.
Although web design agencies do their best to collaborate with their clients, they are not nearly as effective as in-house teams working in the same workspace.
The in-house web design team gets the point for accessibility.
Factor #3. Cost
It’s time to take a look at things you’ve been waiting for since the beginning of this article. Will the agency or the in-house take the trophy for the best ROI?
Think of all the expenses involved in building a full-time in-house web design team. You will have to deal with recruitment, basic salary, benefits, professional tool purchases, ongoing training, project management systems, and many other things (even additional tea & cookies!). Plus, there’s always a massive risk that someone will not blend in with the team, and you’re back to looking for a new employee (maybe even more than one).