Apples To Oranges? Freelancers & Outsourcing are NOT like a Web Agency

As of late, I’m beginning to notice that something is missing in the web industry. There are no real pricing standards when it comes to website projects. At WDG, we receive numerous leads weekly, and only a handful which are qualified to follow up with by our Biz Dev team.

We find that unrelated leads (not referred to us by clients) for web development services are often hit or miss for the type of project WDG looks to take on. Because it is a rather competitive market, pricing for any particular web project can very easily reach both ends of a wide range. It gets more competitive when we, as a DC-based web agency, must compete with not only other local firms, but also freelancers, AND overseas agencies. Without a standard in place, local agencies either lose to freelancers, outsourced development, or they’re forced to lower their pricing in an effort to stay competitive.

Seeing quality work that we set at $75k – which includes discovery and research, mobile & desktop design, and Drupal or WordPress content management system implementation – being priced at $15k by competitors causes serious confusion for prospects. Why would someone pay $50k more for a project if the promised deliverables are the same? What makes a local web agency like WDG different from the freelancers and overseas corporations that offer cheaper rates? How can you, as the prospective client, justify that price difference?


You’ve heard the saying and probably have the experience to prove it. You do get the quality of work you actually pay for. If you’re a brand that banks heavily on your website as the primary gateway to your target audiences, you know it is not an aspect of your business to take lightly.  Your website – and web presence in general – can easily become a primary chunk of your organization’s marketing strength… and budget. If you’re considering hiring an agency or freelancer with your organization’s budget as the primary decision-maker, you need to be fully aware that you may not be getting the same quality or experience as you would with a more realistic bidding agency.

Another key thing for companies to consider when reviewing bids is the hours of work that would be wholly dedicated to you as their client. With a low-balling agency or freelancer, would you be getting the same amount of work as with a local agency? Will you get to place a face to the name you’re writing checks out to? Probably not. This can be detrimental to your project and business.

Let’s go back to that example of a $75k project vs. a freelancer’s $15k project.  At our rate here at WDG, $75k breaks down to over 500 hours of actual blended billable work dedicated to you. That is not something a freelancer or overseas agency can promise AND deliver on for $15k. So, when considering low-balling bids, always, ALWAYS, ask yourself, “Does this sound too good to be true?”. Do your homework. If it does sound too good to be true, it generally is.


Freelancers are typically 1-2 folks that can provide easy, inexpensive services, while quickly moving through clients. Typically, there isn’t set support or a guarantee for what they deliver. Again, do your homework when reviewing freelancers. If you weren’t referred to them by a peer, check them out even more so before considering hiring them. Time differences (they won’t always be local, if ever), communication barriers (most are based overseas), and the lack of a discovery phase with your organization’s goals can hinder the progress and success of your future messaging.


Here at WDG, each of our web design clients receives dedicated specialists to offer you tailored solutions for your brand. Our strategists, designers, and developers all focus on you, as the client, to help solve your web needs and the problems faced with having an online presence for your business.  Through marketing strategies, design techniques, exceptional development, and team transparency, WDG caters to the specific needs of each client.

By setting standards for web services, your brand is not only protected from errors and under-delivered results, you also have more focus and experience dedicated to moving you in the right direction for a stronger online presence. Don’t let those low dollar figures fool you. When you’re in the market to rebuild your brand’s web presence, do your homework and look for the quality. The results will be worth it.

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