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What's Better: Hiring Internally or Using a Web Design Agency?

Hire an employee or a design agency?


As a business owner, you're faced with challenges that other people may never experience. You've learned when and who to hire a new employee, how to manage your business, and how to make sure you're on track. But what happens when you need something that none of your employees can provide, like a website redesign?

With all the daily hustle and bustle of running a business, your website often falls by the wayside. Even if you were lucky enough to hire one of those Millennials who knows computers to update your Facebook and change the copyright every year on your site, you may still not have enough marketing power to solidify your digital presence. So what should you do? Should you hire another employee to handle your website efforts or utilize a web design company

There are pro's and con's to both depending on what your ultimate goals are. 

Cons of hiring internally

Hiring internally is an exhaustive process. You have training, salary, benefits, limited skill and capacity, etc. In addition, you are limited to that one person (or however many you need to hire which multiplies all the previous aforementioned).  In fact, according to an article in Training Industry Quarterly, it takes at least 1 to 2 years before an employee is “fully productive.” That is valuable time spent when you need results now. 

Cons of hiring an outside agency

On the opposite side, hiring an agency partner is not as personal and may not be as immediately available as someone who is right there in your office. This can often result in longer communication periods because you have to wait for a back and forth between the teams. On top of that, if your agency is in another timezone, (or half way around the world) you may have even greater trouble aligning a communication cadence.

Even more, agencies have many clients that they serve. This is especially important to understand in the setting of expectations. Your agency has the ability to be flexible and meet your needs, but they can be slower than an in-office employee. If you expect the response time of someone in your office, you will be disappointed working with an outside agency. 

Pros of hiring internally

On the other hand, there can be benefits toward each approach as well. For example, hiring someone internally will ensure that you have a dedicated member to that specific task. There will be more face time so you can make sure that your ideas are communicated clearly and effectively. They're always available in proximity and they are a member of your own team. They will understand your culture, your mission and can convey this through your website.  

Pros of hiring an agency

Working with  an agency partner does have its benefits too. For around the cost of 1 employee salary you typically get a team of individuals working for your business. Because of this, you get a varied area of expertise and can solve for a wider range of needs than a single person could. You also get the benefit of working with experts in their field. Although hiring a designer/developer internally still brings on additional skills, hiring a reputable agency gives more horsepower to your efforts and allows you to get work completed faster. This way you can make sure your resource knows the proper methodology for website development. 

So which one is right for you? 

You'll need to consider what your ultimate goals are. If it's simply to maintain your website and update a photo here and there, you will probably be ok hiring someone internally. However, if you're looking toward the web as a viable revenue stream and your website as a working lead generation machine, then you probably want to invest a little more into it. Hiring a custom website design company will give you the expertise, manpower, and flexibility to have a holistic solution toward your digital marketing. Finding the right agency can even help with other areas of your business like digital marketing and sales enablement.

You'll also want to consider what CMS your site is using. Is it very elaborate with a lot of expertise needed to make full use of what you're paying for? Or is it a pretty basic out-of-the-box system any savvy user could work with? 

Ultimately it comes down to how serious you are about your website. There have been numerous studies showing how important a website is to your business. Even if you haven't invested previously in your website, the industry is changing and to keep up with the pace of your competition, you better start now. For what you might save by hiring internally, you could be missing out on that much if not more by hiring a reputable agency with a proven track record of results. 

If you are facing an upcoming website design or redesign, consider the benefit of having a whole team working for you for the cost of a single employee. We are happy to discuss what options you might have and figure out a plan to handle your website while you handle your business.  

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