Why Freelance Web Designers can’t build Results Generating Websites

June 13, 2012 at 11:18 AM

webdesign_freelancer.pngMost people think the design and build of a website is a pretty straight forward, one person job. Almost as if you just throw together a design and press the “website button,” and there you have it. This is a dangerous perception for small New Zealand businesses looking to get a website that generates real results.

There are around 200,000 .co.nz websites in New Zealand. If you've been surfing around the internet lately, I’m sure you’ll agree that the vast majority are not the kinds of websites that will prompt you to pick up the phone and enquire, or hit the buy now and make a purchase. So why is this?

I’m obviously generalising here, but most of the websites that make you hit the back button weren't designed and built by professional web designed companies. That is, web design companies with specialist project managers, graphic designers , web developers, product developers, online marketing specialists and customer support staff working together with the client to create an exceptional, results generating website. They were designed by a freelance web designer who was trying to be exceptional at all these roles. And let’s face it, no matter how good a freelance web designer may be, there’s no way they can be an expert at all these areas.

So why do businesses opt for a freelance web designer? Well, they have tight budgets, and freelance web designers are cheap. So the business entrusts the most vital component of their lead generation strategy (their website), to one person who is a jack of all trades, and a master of none.

The result is a website that doesn’t generate new business. What’s the point spending any money at all, no matter how little, if it doesn’t provide an exceptional return on investment?

So how does having specialists in these  key roles actually produce a website that generates results? Let’s take a look…

Project Manager

These guys are your one point of contact throughout the website design and build process. They’re experts at how to structure your website to convert visitors into customers. They’re also exceptional communicators and keep you in the loop, every step of the way, and work with all the other departments to make sure the job’s done right.

Graphic Designer

A graphic designer has one objective – make your website’s design pop. Graphic design is a full time discipline. They come up with a design that stands out from your competitors, and connects with your target market.

Web Developer

Developers spend their days immersed in computer code. This is the programming language that makes you’re design into a working, functioning website. Computer code looks like gibberish to most people, but the result is a website that functions perfectly.

Product Developers

These guys are responsible for building and upgrading the Content Management System (CMS) that you use to update your website yourself. If a company has a dedicated product development team, chances are that the technology behind your website will be market leading. This means your website will be more search engine friendly, and updates to your website will be easy to make saving you time.

Customer Support Staff

What happens if you need help or something goes wrong with your website, and your freelance designer is busy, takes a holiday, or just goes MIA? In sort, you’re screwed. A web design company with dedicated customer support staff means you know you’ve got someone there for you to look after the most important aspect of your businesses lead generation strategy – your website.

Online Marketing Specialists

After you’ve got a website that converts visitors into customers, the next question, is how to get people to it in the first place. Online marketing consultants make sure your website is being found by your target customers. They’re experts in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Google Adwords pay per click advertising, email marketing and social media. Doesn’t make sense to have a fantastic website that your target customers can’t find, right?

Sounding like a lot of work for one person?

As you can see, there’s a lot more to getting a results generating website than a freelance web designer can handle, no matter how good they are.

Here’s the good news. Professional web design is becoming more affordable. Although there aren’t many, there are a few web design companies coming though who have figured out how to streamline the design and build process of a results generating website. It’s now becoming easier and more affordable for small businesses get the job done right. It’s vital this happens. After all, our economy is strong when our small businesses are strong, and growing.

Tags: website web design
Category: Web Design Blog


Posted by Mike on
What a cheap shot at freelance designers. It's companies like this that ruin this trade, and offer their 'expertise' on something they are amateurs at themselves. I have worked in this industry for a very long time and yes their are Freelancers who do know a heck of a lot about each of those topics including myself. It's not rocket science and I can tell that obviously you guys aren't rocket scientists by your portfolio. I'd also note that Freelancers can create a talented network of people who have these skills when required cutting the costs down again. You should be advocating 'You get what you pay for' not 'Freelancers can't create results..' but then again dog eat dog world right?
Posted by superuser on
Hi Mike,

Thanks for your comments. Although there are freelancers who do a great job at some of these areas, they key point the post makes is that it's a big ask for one person to be exceptional at all of these areas.

Good point about freelancers being able to form networks to cover all bases, but I'd say in general, engaging a team who works together on projects week in, week out would get a generate a better outcome for the client by harnessing that level of synergy.
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