Web Design: Should You Hire An Agency, Freelancer, or Staff?

It’s time to design your business website. Or, maybe it’s time for a redesign. Here is what you need to know about staffing the web design for your next project.

First, as a business owner, you have 4 options when it comes to managing your online presence:

  1. Hire web and marketing resources in-house.
  2. Hire a variety of specialized freelancers.
  3. Hire a web agency.
  4. Do it yourself.

We can immediately eliminate #4. As a business owner, you should be spending time strategizing, networking with clients, and managing the business- not maintaining an online presence.

So, now we’re down to 3 options

Option 1: Hire web and marketing resources in-house.

hiring web design staff

Hiring in-house staff is a great option for a large business who can afford the budget to hire dedicated individuals. We caution against hiring one person that can “do it all”; this is a “unicorn”. The complexity of skillsets required to successfully manage an online business can’t be embodied in just one or two in-house staff members. We have found that an in-house marketing manager (or web manager), however, can be the ideal interface between the business and an external digital agency. We’ve laid out the steps to plan your web design and listed the qualities you’ll need in a great project manager here.


Pros Cons
Dedicated team focused on your business Payroll
Hires become part of your culture Benefits / Insurance
Availability Team management required
Responsive Equipment purchases / Overhead


Option 2: Hire a variety of freelancers/contractors.

Hiring design freelancers

Hiring freelancers is very tempting and many businesses go this route. Unfortunately, 80% of the businesses that try this will also be burned by freelancer availability, response time, and quality. Like hiring an in-house staff member, no single freelancer will be the holistic solution for your online needs. Additionally, for larger marketing and development efforts, these samurai-like freelancers can be difficult to coordinate since they operate individually and have their own methods of execution.

Positives Negatives
Hire what/who you need when you need it Availability
Control costs Response times
No taxes Quality control
Extra management required
Lack of unified vision


Option 3: Hire a digital agency.

Hiring digital agency

A design agency, like Executionists, is a one-stop solution for efficiency and unified effort towards your business goals. Your web agency should have all of the resources you need: marketing, branding, copywriting, design, programming, strategy, and maintenance. An agency should also have the tools and processes to deliver what you need when you need it. Although the agencies hourly rates may be higher than internal staff or freelancers upfront, the benefits of having the right resources who understand your brand and business all outweigh the potential extra cost. When designed strategically with an agency, we believe your site will ultimately pay for itself. This Entrepreneur Magazine article provides additional data on the cost-effectiveness of agency rates.

For an extensive article on this subject, visit Freelancer vs Agency Review.

Positives Negatives
A team focused on your business Not a part of your culture
Multi-disciplinary resources Some project management required by the business
Pay for what you need when you need it
Leverage assets and knowledge within the team
Tools and processes
No taxes / insurance / overhead


Digital design agencies will create a flexible schedule so that you only pay for the resources you need to keep your business running. If you would like to brainstorm solutions for your design project, or need an estimate, use our inquiry form. You can also email us at info@executionists.com.



Richard Parr
by Richard Parr
Posted: January 16, 2018