Are Freelance Web Designers a Dying Breed?

May 3, 2016

11:19 am

Freelance web designers do still exist. Some take work on the side and work for a development company. There is no better way to have complete customization than by hiring a freelance web designer. When considering candidates, view the available portfolio samples and customer testimonials before making a decision. You can also opt to use an online service with a database of qualified freelance web designers with portfolios readily available as well.

Major Industry Competition

The freelance web design industry has a massive amount of competition from trending designers to corporate companies and template services. Freelancers also have a great deal of competition among themselves. Some will compete with a strong proposal and promise to meet your budget. Others will compete simply by beating all of the other quoted prices.

It is important to select the candidate that has the qualities, design style, and experience that you prefer. The cheapest price is not always the right choice. Viewing the different aspects of previously created websites gives you a good idea of their ability to adjust to each individual client’s needs.

Free Template Service Availability

The ability to download simple templates for free is taking some work away from freelance web designers. These templates are basic, are difficult to update and are likely to be lacking necessary functions for your needs. In most cases, it is difficult to install and use outside plugins with free or cheap template services.

Most cheap or free template options are customizable only minimally such as moving display blocks to a different location and selecting colors. Most do not allow for customized banners, customizable navigational menus or archives. All of these features are important in order to operate a proper and well-functioning website.

Reduced Price Website Builders

Companies use standard web design layouts, with simple copy and paste code, to offer web design customers low rates. The idea is to input the code, customize the colors and plugin the client’s content. For some of these projects, a company may give a two or three days to completion quote.

One of the disadvantages of using a mass website production company is the lack of uniqueness of your site to the hundreds of other customers they have. Full customization with a mass website production company is quite costly, and for roughly the same price, you could hire a talented freelancer instead.

Full Customization

If you work in a specific industry and a generalized template is not for you, a freelance web designer would be the appropriate option. Freelancers design directly for the customer with their vision in mind. You can give ideas to the freelancer, while keeping your industry in mind, and ask for options to decide from. This is something that most major companies do not offer.

For example, if you are involved in the agriculture industry, you will want a website designed for your specific sector such as farming or private livestock growth. A website for this industry requires a specific aesthetic without being tacky, which is something that a freelancer is likely to achieve better.

Social Media Networks

Consumers are following brands on social media networks rather than brand websites. The biggest competition of freelance web designers, other than agencies, are social media networks.   It is more convenient and is easier for society to stay up-to-date with brand updates and new product releases. A majority of consumers tend to only visit brand websites when a purchase is required.

Social media networks like Facebook, offer businesses the option to display business hours, contact phone numbers and links to a company website. The benefits of using social media as a business are real-time marketing works better, building a good online reputation is important and interaction with consumers in a relaxed environment makes the brand appear approachable.

Freelancers Work Harder

Freelancers do work harder than web designers working for mass website production companies. They only get paid when a client is satisfied. Freelancers have to take the time to learn new skills to remain competitive and keep up on trends to remain competitive and in-demand.

Freelance designers are taking a hit as automation, templates, and drag/drop services become more readily available. The industry is not, however, dying out. Freelance web designers work in a more relaxed environment and have the ability to be more creative. Working in comfortable surroundings helps their concentration to be focused on the design.

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Victoria Heckstall is a professional writer who specializes in internet marketing and business topics.

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