I am looking to hire professional web developers, but need some advice.
Is it better to hire individual web developer freelancers, or is it better to hire a web development FIRM?

It seems to be that hiring a professional web development firm would be much less riskier than hiring an individual. Most web development firms already have some established business, and should know what they are doing. Whereas individual web developers may not be as skilled and/or responsible, but I am assuming individuals are usually cheaper?
Is this a fair assessment? Any feedback would be appreciated.

As far as hiring professional web development firm, are there any recommendations as to which ones are reputable and reliable and are capable building dynamic interactive websites that can handle databases?