If you are a business owner you are bound to have met your fair share of web designers. It may seem like there is a web designer on every street corner, which can make it difficult for you to choose a web designer to create your company website.
The demand for websites is high, and people from different backgrounds are throwing their hat into the web design ring. Most of the time web designers are coming from either a graphic design or web developer background. Working with either type of freelance web designer can have its' pitfalls. A graphic designer may be able to create and program a beautiful website, but it can be challenging for them to make it fully functional for both the consumer and search engines. It may also be hard for them to add additional functions to your website such as blogs, eCommerce, forms, etc. A web developer turned web designer may be able to program a website all the functions you want on the back end (forums, reporting, etc.), but the website may look clunky and out dated. Both graphic designers and web developers (turned web designer) tend to have little understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This lack of SEO experience makes both 'freelancer' options dangerous for small business owners to hand over the reigns of their website to.
Hiring a web design firm or web design team is a safer move than hiring a freelance web designer. Web design firms have a pool of talent to pull from, and the experience to back it up. With a web design team you have access to numerous resources such as graphic designers, web designers, web developers and search engine optimization specialists. While web design firms may cost more up front, they are a lot less likely to leave you stranded with half a website, or be unreachable down the road as some freelance web designers are, especially when you need to make changes to your website.