Freelance Web Designer vs On-Demand Graphic Design: Which is Better?

/ April 6, 2021

Building a website is often compared to building a house. It needs thoughtful attention and careful planning. A Taylor and Francis Online study shows that users take an average of 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about your website. And in his book, The Real Business of Web Design, John Waters says that 94% of the negative feedback a website gets is design-related. 

These data are reasons enough to get the best web design possible. The question is, how? Do you hire a freelance web designer or use an on-demand graphic design service? In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at both of these options to know which one is better.

Freelance Web Designer

Many business owners hire freelance web designers for their web design, and for good reasons. Here are the pros and cons if you’re thinking about going this route:


  • Inexpensive – you won’t have to pay a monthly salary
  • Consistency – only one person handles the project
  • Quality – you choose the designer based on their portfolio


  • Limited skillset – you only get one set of skills 
  • Less attention to your project – most freelance web designers have more than one client
  • Unreliable – worst-case scenario would be freelancers abandoning your project for better-paying clients
  • Not cost-effective – you’d pay for another designer should your website need upgrades

Where to Hire Freelance Web Designers

If you find that hiring a freelance web designer is ideal for your business, here are places you can check out to find one:


Quality is a priority when designing a website. This makes Toptal a top choice when it comes to hiring freelance web designers. They claim to hire only the top 3% in the industry. They vet their candidates so you won’t have to. You won’t even have to go through hundreds of portfolios, the platform will match you with the appropriate designers.


One of the largest freelance marketplaces, Upwork is a solid choice. It has a wide selection of project options and management tools to help you find the best freelancers. It has a structured payment system that ensures project milestones before you pay.


Created specifically for designers, Dribble has a jobs board where you can post your job requirements. Its Dribbble Talent Partner lets you find the best web designer by narrowing down the choices depending on your needs.


With thousands of brilliant portfolios to choose from, Behance is a great resource for web designers. Freelance web designers display their artworks, making it easy for clients to choose. You can find one that can accommodate your requirements and budget.

Why You Should Avoid Hiring a Freelance Web Designer

When asked why business owners hire freelance web designers, most of them will tell you one thing. This is the most inexpensive way they know to get someone to design their website for them. But what most of them aren’t aware of are the many other options out there that are better and more affordable.

If you’re still in the dark about this, here are the reasons hiring a freelance web designer is the worst idea:

They Lack Dedication

Freelance web designers will take on as many clients as they can handle. You can’t expect them to concentrate on your project alone. This can sometimes cause them to pay less attention to your project that can result in getting work that’s not of the highest quality possible.

While professional freelancers usually keep their end of the bargain, most won’t promise to give as much dedication as you deserve. Having a multitude of clients at one time is what keeps them afloat. There’s no chance they’ll give you their undivided attention.

Poor Time Management Skills


And since they handle multiple clients, freelance web designers have a tendency to place your project on the back burner. Although you will find a rare gem in the sea of freelancers, there are still those who would prioritize clients who pay more. It’s a sad but true reality in the world of freelancing.

Because of this, not only will the work’s quality suffer, you may get your work later than you need. Entrusting your website to a freelancer will get you a higher chance of waiting a long time for it to come. Or worse, you may miss your deadline altogether.

Not Cost-Effective 


It’s understandable for some businesses to employ freelance web designers just because they are cheap. They understand the importance of a website, but wouldn’t want to spend too much money on it. What they don’t know is that cutting corners is acceptable but not for a crucial task such as web designing.

Besides, your website will soon need adjustments, especially when you have new products or services you want to offer. A website designed by a freelancer will prove to be more costly in the long run when you hire a new one to make those revisions. A new designer may also be unable to follow through with the style that the first one created. This can result in an uneven look for your site.

Limited Skillset

newbie designer

Unless you’re going to hire more than one freelance web designer, you’ll have access to only one specific experience or skill set. Your primary criteria for hiring a web designer is the skills you need that would perfectly match what you need. When you find that in a freelance web designer, you’re good to go.

However, there will come a time when you will need more than one set of styles. And that’s where your designer will fail you. With only one designer working for you, you’re limited to what this designer can offer, no more, no less.

Some options will give you more than one skill set. This includes a design team such as Penji where we have some of the best web designers who have extensive experiences under their belts. The best part – you only have to pay a fixed amount for all your graphic needs every month.  

Lack of Commitment

Along with a lack of dedication and poor time-management skills, most freelance web designers will also lack commitment. They will not be as reliable as an in-house designer or will not be committed to your project 100%. Website design is an essential part of your business. It would be too risky to have someone provide you with lackluster performance stemming from a flawed sense of commitment.

No Understanding of Your Brand


When a freelance web designer lacks commitment, dedication, and focus on your project, it can only mean one thing. They won’t go the distance in understanding your brand. And this is very important in creating a website that would show who you are as a brand.

A web designer has to convey your brand message before they can start designing your website. Your site should show your core values as well as entice potential customers to do business with you. Unfortunately, a freelancer with multiple clients on their hands won’t have the time to learn about your brand.

On-Demand Graphic Design Service

An on-demand graphic design service such as Penji offers unlimited design for a flat monthly rate. You can send as many design requests as you can. These companies usually have a pool of talents that can cater to any genre or design type you may need.


  • Cost-effective – you pay a single rate for all designs
  • Diverse skillsets – whatever design type you need, they have a team member who can do it
  • No need for recruiting – they will do the hiring for you
  • No more vetting – the designers assigned to you have already been vetted
  • Unlimited revisions – you can have the design edited until you get it exactly right


  • Expensive for one-time projects – can be expensive if you only have a handful of projects per month

Check out Penji’s demo video here to learn more about our unlimited graphic design service.

The Alternatives

If by now you still haven’t decided which option to choose, here are alternatives that may fit your business:

In-House Designer

graphic designer

One of the best advantages of hiring an in-house graphic designer is that you can have a working relationship with them on a more personal level. This means that they will have a deeper understanding of your brand and what message you want to convey. This can help them design a website that would speak your brand’s personality in full clarity.

Unfortunately, hiring an in-house graphic designer also has its flaws. When you hire one or two designers, there is a high chance that they won’t be able to cope with a high workload should crunch time comes. This brings us to what we don’t like about a freelance web designer. They may not have as much focus and dedication to the work in front of them.

Hiring an Agency


Having an entire team work on your website design is a dream. You have people with different ideas, concepts, and skillsets working for you. This means efficiency and availability are combined to help you get the most effective website you can have.

However, a design agency can be expensive. For startups and small businesses, this can be a problem with their limited budget. While a freelancer will only have themselves to pay for, an agency has to pay for their power costs, taxes, and other overhead expenses.

Hiring an Intern


An affordable way to get website design is hiring an intern. They are willing to learn and can quickly adapt to any situation that requires graphic design. Their fresh perspectives and ideas more than make up for their lack of experience. Plus, they won’t charge high fees like a freelance web designer.

It may seem the best way to get excellent web design, but that is if you have graphic design knowledge yourself. An intern will only be useful if you need assistance, and not totally rely on them for the whole site. You risk the probability of getting web design that looks unprofessional and unpolished.  

On-Demand Graphic Design Services


Among the alternatives mentioned above, this is the best. An on-demand graphic design is a subscription-based service that provides excellent design when you need it. It has a team of professional graphic designers, much like an agency does. It’s like having an in-house designer, an intern, a freelance web designer all rolled into one.

You get all the benefits and less of the disadvantages that go with the options mentioned earlier. The only setback you’ll face with an on-demand graphic design service is when you have a very light workload. But since it’s on a monthly subscription basis, you can cancel the service anytime you want and renew it once you have a ton of work waiting.

Not only are you allowed to request for website design, but you can also ask for a variety of graphic design. Plus, you’ll have a variety of skill set and styles you can choose from. Whether it’s a logo or social media graphics, an on-demand graphic design service can do them for you—all for a flat monthly rate. 

Use Penji to Design Your Website 

Penji is one of the leading graphic design services online. This could be attributed to the quality of our work and our efficient process. We’ve already created effective websites for different companies, and all our clients are grateful for the output. If you want to experience a hassle-free transaction that will deliver the best graphic design, we are here to help. Now, going back to the process, let us share why more businesses enjoy working with us. 

Start by Sending Your Web Design Request 

penji platform

Once you’ve signed up with us, you will have personal access to our app. It’s highly intuitive and you can understand how to use it right away. But of course, you can reach out to us if you have concerns. 

penji platform

Upon seeing the dashboard, look for the New Project button and click it. The button is located at the right top corner of your page and should be impossible to miss. You will be taken to a new page where you need to supply all the information needed by our designer when creating a web page. You will be guided accordingly so that you won’t miss any detail that could be helpful for our team. 

Requesting a new website design is easy with our app. You will be asked which specific web page our designers have to work on. Is it your homepage, contact page, or services page? You need to identify what exactly your company needs. 

Please request separate designs for different web projects. If you have an existing web page, insert the link as well so that our designers can use the same theme. 

But what if you don’t have an idea what to include in your project request? Don’t worry. There is a checklist provided for you. If you have images that need to be included or font style we have to use, you may upload these files before submitting the request. 

The rule of thumb is that you give as much information when you request a web design. This way, our designers can already have an idea of exactly what you want and they can start it right away.  

Send your request and wait for a designer to be assigned. This should be really fast as well. Just in case the designer has questions about your project, they will send the questions using the same thread. 

Now, this is another advantage of using Penji. When you request a new project, it will have its own thread where you and our designer can exchange messages. It’s the same thread where you will receive the output as well. With this, everything is highly efficient and easier to organize. You don’t have to check separate threads to review your communication.

Check and Ask for Revision  

penji platform

Our designer will immediately work on your request and will provide you updates accordingly. We encourage you to check your Penji app from time to time. And even if you don’t, we will still send notifications to your email so that you’d know if there is a new message for you in the app. 

Wait for our designer to send the first draft. This should be made within 24 – 48 hours after your request. Take note though that the submission is also dependent on how simple or complex your request is and is not the same across all design projects. 

Again, we made it easy for you to give feedback. Just enlarge the image, click on areas that do not sit well with you, and type the comments directly. You will see a comment box that will pop up if you click any part of the design.  This will be easier for our designer to identify the changes to be made. As always, make your feedback as specific as possible. This is another feature that won the hearts of our current clients.

Once you sent your feedback, the designer will work on it as soon as possible. As for you, just wait for the final output and continue with your core responsibilities in the business. 

Download and Start Publishing Your Website 

penji platform

Now that you are satisfied with your web design, you can use it commercially. The ownership and all rights will be yours, and that’s the agreement for all our clients. 

Downloading the source files is easy and can be done even without sending a separate request to our team. You will see the download button at that same project thread, and everything will be ready at your disposal. 

Easy, isn’t it? But don’t take our word for it. Why don’t you check our website and the best design plan perfect for your needs. 

We have three plans to choose from. These are the Pro, Team, and Agency. If you have minimal needs and you only need one access, then we recommend signing for the Pro plan for only $399 per month. But for small and medium enterprises, we recommend either the Team or Agency design packages. And to take advantage of the discounts, choose the quarterly or annual plans. With the quarterly plan, you will enjoy a 10% discount. And for the yearly or annual plan, we’d slash 15% off the total price.  

Sign up now and enjoy the benefits of using Penji.

Updated April 6, 2021

About the author

Cel is a traditional animator for over than 15 years. She is also a Fine Arts Graduate who majored in Advertising and is now a Content Writer.

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