The cost effectiveness of using a freelancer or private web designer/developer can often be very appealing, but what risks might you be taking by going with one? When choosing anyone to work with, consider the strength of their portfolio, professionalism, testimonials, and customer reviews, if possible. You’re aiming for a long term relationship with your web professional, so research is important.
I’ve heard plenty of stories where someone working with a freelancer paid them, didn’t receive their website, and never got refunded, so ALWAYS HAVE A CONTRACT. Furthermore, there are preventative steps you can take to protect yourself when getting a new website (find out more here).
Another thing I see often is people bartering for a website. This isn’t necessarily a bad idea, but I’ve seen it have less than desirable results. Here’s the thing, if you’re building a website to represent your business, and you want to look professional, leaving it in the hands of your twelve year old nephew who claims to be a computer wiz or your good friend who made a birthday cake once probably isn’t the best idea – just food for thought.