Should You Hire a Web Designer as an Employee or Independent Contractor?

When hiring someone for their services, it’s essential to know if the worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Whether or not you pay or withhold income taxes, Social Security, and Medicare taxes depends on the kind of worker you’ve hired. However, the legal definitions of what makes a worker an employee or an independent contractor are oftentimes difficult to discern.

Choosing a Web Host

Whether you end up hiring an in-house employee or going independent, you will likely need to purchase the domain name and web hosting yourself. For most businesses, you don’t need anything beyond a basic web hosting plan. If you’re just getting set up now this is a great time to get a deal. There are plenty of coupon codes out there (check out promotional codes for some really good offers) for both new hosting plans and for people looking to upgrade or renew their hosting, but if you are setting up a new account that is typically when you can get the most savings as most web hosts offer really attractive prices for new contracts to attract customers.

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Employee or Contractor?

If you’ve incorrectly labeled an employee as an independent contractor, you may be faced with reimbursing the worker for overtime and minimum wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act, paying income taxes, Social Security, and Medicare, and providing health insurance and retirement benefits.

However, if the worker is an independent contractor, you do not have to withhold or pay any taxes. Payers must instead fill out Form 1099, supplying a copy to the contractor as well, to report payments over $600 a year.

Generally, you can determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor by the control and method of their service.


The work of an employee is overseen by another person, and their actions may be controlled by a company. Financial aspects such as payment methods, expenses, and supply costs are not under an employee’s control. The presence of benefits such as health insurance, retirement pension, and paid vacation indicate that the worker is an employee.

The relationship between a worker and a boss can reveal whether or not the worker is an employee. For example, an employee typically only works for a single employer and does not extend his services to multiple companies. An employee receives specific training in order to do his job, while an independent contractor is already adept at their field of expertise.

Independent Contractors

An independent contractor is someone who isn’t overseen or attached to a single company or employer. The worker will have multiple clients and may even hire employees or subcontractors.

Independent contractors can be identified by the manner in which they operate. If the worker uses a business name, manages the work and supplies, or uses a personal website to advertise the service, then he or she is an independent contractor.

There isn’t any one trait that determines a person as an employee or independent contractor. In order to determine the worker’s type, the worker must be examined on a whole, from his or her work, method, and operation.

So, Which do You Need in a Web Designer?

For most small businesses, they typically just need help getting a basic website set up and then they can manage updates every now and again on their own. In that case, a contractor would suit your needs just fine. If you anticipate needing to update the website frequently, it’s a fairly complicated set up that will need ongoing support, or you just don’t have the time to deal with it yourself then you may want a regular employee.