Not too long ago being an all encompassing website builder was not only possible, it was pretty common. You could put together a site with just a few scripts and a basic ‘design' and it was job done. These days, with the explosion of ‘Rich Internet Applications', the ‘Web 2.0' movement and the average website vastly increasing in both size and complexity, it is more common to find a large project divided into two; a design project and a programming project. Although the workflow will still include some overlap between areas, this enables each person or each team to concentrate on what they are best at.
Although it is not impossible to be both a great programmer and a great designer, most of us are not so lucky or gifted. Even within the field of web programming, simply trying to keep pace with the rapid evolution of so many different technologies is hard work on its own. Many sites incorporate a mixture of technologies to provide a richer experience for the user, such as Flash, Ajax or Silverlight, interacting with a SQL database via object oriented PHP or ASP.NET. Design is also a demanding field, with aspects of traditional print design making the move to the web, and with users demanding innovative user interfaces, intuitive navigation and a more vibrant and exciting (not to mention accessible and standards compliant) world to explore.
Outsourcing web design and redesign work to a freelancer can free up your time to work on the areas you specialise in and let a design specialist work on his. It can help to alleviate the pressure of a tight deadline and result in you becoming more productive and producing better work for your client. Even if you have both designers and programmers on staff, there may be times when the workload becomes too much to manage as lots of projects arrive at once.
You may find that some freelancers are able to work for extremely competitive rates, so as well as saving you time and stress it can also save you money, and since most freelancer websites utilise some form of review system, it can be really easy to check the reputability of a freelancer you are thinking of hiring. Many freelancers will also have a vast portfolio of work for you to assess before giving them the job, meaning you will know in advance if they can handle your kind of work and how closely their design work matches what you're looking for to fulfil your client's brief.
The benefits of outsourcing work don't stop there. Hiring freelancers can also be a great way to give your company's portfolio a boost and raise its profile as you take on more challenging projects. If your company has not previously been involved in web design work, a freelancer can be used to take care of the occasional web design request from a client, preventing that client from taking his business elsewhere and helping your company to expand into new areas.
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