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Why Do WordPress Agencies Charge More Than Freelancers?

Why Do WordPress Agencies Charge More Than Freelancers?

As a WordPress agency, we often receive work inquiries that get questioned in terms of total website project cost or plan values. Small business owners and individual clients reply with freelance web developer hourly rates and ask us why our average cost of website development is higher than that of a freelancer.

So let’s find out!

WordPress Agencies Are Not for Everyone

First off, hiring a WordPress development agency may not be the right choice for your business. There is a certain additional overhead when hiring a whole company that is significantly higher as compared to that of a freelance web developer hourly rate and this should be taken into account. We’ve covered some of the differences in our Employee vs. Freelancer vs. Agency article, and where we discuss the pros and cons of each option.

Freelancers are a good fit for minor customizations, as well as longer projects that don’t require active development (such as 200-600 hours a month), helping out a team with a specific module, or building a new component for a system. Most freelancers can afford to work from home, a co-working space, or a coffee shop. They don’t invest in marketing and don’t have the expenses that larger teams have.

WordPress Agencies Are Not for Everyone

Hiring a WordPress agency with 10, 20, or 50 people on staff means a very different workflow that creates additional expenses that may increase the average cost of website development.

For example, at DevriX, we have several employees responsible for office management, business development and research, and other activities that are not directly billable for us. We invest in marketing and sales in order to fill up our pipeline with regular projects. We have office costs, taxes and insurance expenses for employees, as well as other fees that we need to cover for different purposes.

Additionally, since our technical, creative, and marketing teams are growing, we need team leaders and project managers who can oversee the work. They make sure that tasks are implemented effectively, distribute responsibilities to team members who are familiar with a certain technology or stack, coordinate code reviews, and navigate the quality assurance process with our testers.

However, while the average cost of website development may increase when hiring an agency as opposed to a freelance web developer hourly rate, so do the benefits.

Working with an agency delivers much better quality and higher security, because a) you have more people able to tackle an assignment and a project manager in charge, and b) the quality of code significantly improves when several people perform code reviews. This process includes automated testing (or other goodies) and ongoing scalability given the diverse expertise of our WordPress developers.

That said, small businesses – non-profitable sites, businesses that just started up or marketing portfolios – may not yet be in need of a professional solution that performs better and scales. However, a poorly coded solution may have a massive impact on your SEO, user experience or general marketing strategy. Therefore, you should still consider hiring a professional, be it an agency or a freelancer.

Technical Expertise and Professional Development of WordPress Agency Vs. Freelancers

Freelancers who have been working solo for several years have to wear multiple hats – dealing with negotiations, writing proposals for new projects, working on a couple or more projects at a time, deal with accounting, some personal marketing, and so forth. Meanwhile, new technologies emerge, and new tools are being developed that could improve the quality of work of a developer. Furthermore, WordPress gets three major updates a year.

This may become overwhelming for a single person to handle, and can, thus, affect the quality of their work.

Technical Expertise

Agencies invest – directly and indirectly – in the ongoing professional development of front-end and back-end developers in the WordPress field. We implement several different strategies that improve the skills and the code quality of our staff in multiple ways, such as:

  • Several people working together on a project, helping each other and discussing different strategies to solve a problem.
  • We offer training courses, seminars, books, and other educational materials that our team can use to advance their skills– some of that happens during business hours.
  • Our technical leads follow different sources and spend time researching innovative technologies, libraries, and tools that could improve our process – we test these for our internal projects first in order to gain expertise and refine our skills.
  • Working closely with other experts who are experienced in different verticals allows our team to solve a variety of problems, and share knowledge across the group.

These may not directly affect the average cost of website development in an agency, but add up to the expenses of the company. However, as they improve the proficiency of the team and influence the quality of their work, the do play a part in the overall price.

How Teamwork Promotes Effective Use of Skills for Problem Solving

The web industry is ever-growing and nowadays consists of dozens of high-end qualifications, each one having a large group of specific skills that a single human being cannot understand and implement efficiently at all times.

For example, a site includes a design that should be usable, i.e. implementing user experience best practices. That same design should be converted to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript – being three different technologies and be mobile friendly as well. That design is to be incorporated into a WordPress theme whereas all dynamic components such as menus, sidebars, footer widgets, and general content areas must be connected properly and coordinated with the backend.

Furthermore, a number of features should be built as custom plugins by a back-end developer. The back-end developer should be aware of the front-end specifics and business needs. They should communicate closely with project manager, who can navigate the implementation details to match the client requirements and the target audience.

The Website Development Team

That final product is bundled together and hosted on a specific server environment. One that’s well optimized for speed and security, in order to improve the user experience and overall quality of the product.

This positively affects the website’s digital marketing team’s efforts. SEO experts and marketers can build a strategy and work on it before, during, and after the completion of the development process. The strategy includes custom landing pages for products or services sold by the business owner, social media strategy, affiliate campaigns, email automation sequences, planning content marketing efforts, building partnerships, and monitoring analytics while adjusting creative, technical, and marketing forces.

This, naturally, increases the average cost of website development but provides additional value that a single person can not. And that’s why agencies charge more than your standard freelance web developer hourly rate.

Furthermore, if all tasks involved in building a top-notch website are delegated to different freelancers, the final project will lack consistency, the quality will suffer, and, at the end, the price will be even higher.

Bottom Line

Working with a WordPress agency that employs creative staff, developers, marketing experts, and other professionals could offer a complete solution for a profitable business that wants to bring its venture to the next level. If you are interested in learning more about our work process and how we work, fill out this questionnaire and let’s talk.

2 Comments

  1. James Hipkin says:

    I get asked this question almost every week. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    While I agree with everything you’ve said, there is one fact that I find resonates with prospective customers. While Fred the Freelancer may be as capable as our guys on a good chunk of the project, say half, he won’t have the experience and expertise that the other half requires, he will have to figure it out. Whereas our team has a broad range of experience, we put the right people on the tasks rather than asking one person to figure it out.

    1. mpeshev says:

      Absolutely, thanks for the follow-up, James! I did try to cover that bit in the article, probably not too explicit, so definitely worth clarifying here.

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