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Do I need a web development firm or web design company?

The web design services you need depends on the goals and objectives of your website. There are basically three options: do it yourself, hire a professional designer or let an experienced development company build your site.

It’s not so much about how capable you are at creating a website, it’s about the kind of goals you have for it. If you want to build something quickly and cheaply and don’t care so much about its appearance, then go with a DIY off the shelf website, perhaps with WordPress, Wix or Shopify – unless you really know what you’re doing. If beauty is more important than content, then hire a designer – but keep in mind that he or she might specialise in making sites that look great, but do not perform particularly well. The best option is of course hiring a web development company if you have the budget to do so!

What does a web development agency do?

Web development agencies create websites and applications for clients. They typically have a team of full-time designers, coders, and other pros on staff to make things happen. What does a web design company do? Web design companies create beautiful sites with an artistic touch. They typically hire freelance web designers when clients require someone to work on their site. Do you need either one? The short answer is no. It all depends on your business’s needs. Essentially there are two kinds of website owners: those who want to engage in ongoing maintenance without much tech know-how, and those who plan to manage their own tech support (and lack budget).

If you’re not sure where you fit it, follow this breakdown which outlines the differences between the two. Who likely needs a web design company? A business that wants to focus its energy on building an audience and attracting new customers, not learning HTML or searching for images, likely requires the help of a professional website designer or development firm. For this kind of client, it makes sense to hire companies who are able to create beautiful custom sites that are easy-to-use, fast loading and customer-focused. This is especially important if your site will be handling transactions or providing users with private information. If you don’t have time to devote to the technical aspects of running a website but want something functional, they can provide you with all the tools necessary to manage your online presence at an affordable monthly rate, with a focus on maximising ROI.

With this in mind, many web development firms also deliver website marketing solutions (or team up with partner agencies to do so). In short, a web development company is the “getting it done” aspect of your website. By comparison, a web design company is likely better suited to making sure you have the best chance for success with your site in terms of user experience and inbound marketing.