Hiring a Web Designer: Full-time, Freelance, or Agency?

Every company needs a website. So, at some point, every company will need to design and build a website. It’s 2019. If you have no internet presence, you may as well not exist at all. The task of finding the right web designer, however, can seem overwhelming and foreign right off the bat. There are several ways to go about your search. You can hire someone on as a full-time designer, use a freelancer, use a design agency, or use one of the many DIY website-builders out there.

The pros of hiring a web designer are endless and pay for themselves almost instantly. You get a high-quality website, competitive advantage, and dependable design in one fell swoop. You’ll save time and energy, creating an overall more efficient website design. In addition to hiring a web designer to design your website, you’ll also need someone to maintain it.

To decide which method of hiring you should choose, check out this list of pros and cons for each:


When you hire a full-time web designer, you bring the entirety of their experience, expertise, and passion to your company. This option gives you the advantage of training and employing a dedicated in-house staff member without massive overhead costs.


  • Your full-time web designer will always be in-house.
  • You’ll minimize production cost while increasing efficiency.
  • You’ll have someone dedicated to maintaining your website at any given time.


  • You’ll have to consider the cost of salary and benefits, which can amount to a high number depending on the level of expertise your preferred designer has. In the long run though, if you have enough work for an in-house designer, this can be cheaper than hiring a contractor for each project.


In the creative world, freelancers tend to reign supreme. However, web designers utilize not only creativity but also their knowledge of standardized code, as well as potentially SEO and other marketing skills.

If you’re going to choose a freelancer, be sure to do your research and pick the most suitable candidate.


  • A freelancer will likely be the most cost-effective option. You’ll pay only for the work and expertise you need. This is a good fit if you’re just looking for a new website.


  • You aren’t guaranteed to find someone who knows what they’re doing.
  • As opposed to a full-time hire, your freelancer likely isn’t available at the drop of a hat.
  • You aren’t their only client or number one priority.
  • A freelance may not maintain a website as part of the deal. Make sure to figure out who will “own” responsibility when your site has issues.


Web design agencies are full of professional designers who have years of experience creating websites for business and individuals. Agencies are a good option if you’re ready to relinquish control and build a business relationship.


  • You’ll likely work with a designer that has the most experience since they’re employed by a design firm.
  • You and your designer will have access to an abundant amount of resources.


  • Unless otherwise specified beforehand, you may not know if your designer is local or outsourced.
  • You’ll likely end up paying more working with an agency, due to the level of expertise.
  • You’ll have more than one person to communicate with at an agency. This could be the designer and anyone else who is employed by the agency.


Website-builders are growing more common in the era of digital commerce and influencers. The direct, affordable and DIY ease-of-use is an attractive quality to those looking to just start out in the world of having their own website.


  • Website-builders like SquareSpace or Wix are good options for new bloggers just starting out.
  • They’re generally easy to use even if you don’t have any experience with design or development.


  • You’ll lack any originality with this option, as most (if not all) website-builders use templates or designs used by several other users.
  • Help and maintenance aren’t always easily accessible. You’ll have to research and solve problems with very little support.

Hire full-time if you have the budget for an additional salary and lots of projects for a designer to work on. If you only have a project or two, then maybe you outsource to a freelancer or agency. Just ensure that you have someone that can maintain your website to keep it up-to-date.

It’s also wise to vet both freelancers and agencies to ensure they’re able to execute. If you have no or limited budget, you could try a website builder. This ensures you have a web presence, but it will be more cookie cutter than any of the prior options.

We hope this guide helped you determine who to hire to build and design your webpages.


Let us know what you think:

  • Have you ever made or remade your website?
  • Did you do it in-house or hire it out? 
  • What was the most efficient and cost-effective option?



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