How to Outsource Web Design: A Complete Guide
Looking to update an existing one or create a new site? Then you’ll want to learn how to outsource web design effectively, with our actionable tips & insights!
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There’s more than one way to outsource web design. But is web design outsourcing a good option for everyone? How to hire an outsourced web designer that will be the perfect match for your needs? Here’s everything you need to know.
You can really outsource anything these days: from customer service and sales teams to marketing and design. However, IT services (including web design) remain the most commonly outsourced business service.
Why is that? Let’s look at the main reasons why companies outsource web design.
Why outsource web design?
Outsourcing is not a sign of bad management or taking on more than you can handle. It’s a popular practice even with giants like Apple, that outsource the production of their hardware, which are then sold under that Apple brand (this is called white label outsourcing). This allows the company to focus on design, branding and marketing, which allows Apple to retain the full ownership of their brand without the “hassle” of simple production tasks.
Deloitte’s 2020 Outsourcing Survey suggests that the key reasons for outsourcing remained the same, even in a year as unpredictable as that. Most companies outsource to:
- Reduce costs (70%)
- Reach the market more quickly (20%)
- Achieve more flexibility (40%)
When it comes to website design, these benefits become even more apparent. Let’s take a closer look.
The average salary of a UX/UI designer is $85k annually, while web developers make around $75k per year.
On the other hand, UI/UX design services on freelancing platforms like Fiverr and Upwork stands at around $20-$75 per hour, while web developers make an average of $25 per hour. In the case of website design, however, clients usually pay on a per-project basis, and the average cost of a website setup is around $6k.
Of course, on top of that, you’ll need to add the expenses of hosting the website (which are usually quite small) and web maintenance (regularly updating the content), but we’re assuming you have a content or marketing team taking care of that. And naturally, the more complex the project, the higher the price tag will be.
Outsourcing web design means two things in terms of greater flexibility: you can focus on top-tier tasks (like Apple’s example) and you can diversify your service.
This might mean creating a mobile application to reach more users or even adjusting features on your website to acquire more leads and ultimately more sales. Knowing that your ideas can actually be realized means that you scale better.
Reaching the market faster
A survey from Kinvey shows that an MVP (minimum viable product) for an iOS or Android application takes around 4.5 months to complete.
The time your in-house web design team might spend on creating an, for example, web application, has to be rationed between performing necessary daily tasks (e.g. maintaining your existing website). An outsourcing service has the benefit of tunnel vision, focusing only on the task at hand and producing results more quickly.
Finally, one of the biggest advantages of outsourcing is access to a huge talent pool. You are able to choose the people with the absolute best qualifications for the job, which means the work often gets done faster.
Who shouldn’t outsource web design
Of course, there are some cases in which an outsourced solution might not be the Does this mean that outsourcing web design is for everyone? Certainly not. Here are a couple of reasons to rethink website design outsourcing.
You require several websites
Outsourcing a one-off project can be great, but paying a web design and development agency can really boost your spending in the long run.
Similarly, if you have a project, such as an ecommerce website, that requires a lot of work continuously (e.g. payment processing, customer support,, etc.), then the expenses of an agency will by far outweigh that of a dedicated team member.
Still, this doesn’t mean that your only option is to hire a full-time web designer in-house. We’ll talk more about it in the last section, but if you do need several web design projects done, on-demand graphic design services are definitely worth considering. With a flat monthly fee you can request unlimited designs, and the price is often lower than the cost of hiring an experienced freelancer.
You’re not willing to invest time in communication
It’s pretty obvious that communicating with someone who lives in a different country will not be as easy as knocking on their office door. Cultural and language barriers might also come into play, so if you want to take the outsourcing road, be prepared to put some effort into building a working relationship.
Although you’re saving time on the administrative work of making a hire, being in different time zones sometimes simply doesn’t work out. Review your business strategy and consider how important it is for you to have on-demand support.
How to outsource web design?
This is what you’ve come for! How to hire an outsourced web designer? You’ll be pleased to know that there is more than one option. We’ll quickly dive into 3 popular solutions, along with their main pros and cons.
Although they’re not the only outsourcing websites, freelance marketplaces are by far the most popular option out there. The main reason for that is a wealth of options, both in terms of prices and skills.
But let’s take a look at all the main pros and cons of this web design outsourcing option.
- You can find people with different skills. Whether you’re interested in outsourcing web development, or need someone to create custom graphics for your site, freelancing platforms will help you find the right person.
- You can be flexible. Are you interested in outsourcing website building from scratch? Or do you just need a little assistance? Freelancers adapt to your needs, which also means you can tailor this web design outsourcing service to your budget.
- Paying hourly can get expensive. Although flexibility is great, it comes with a downside. Many freelancers charge extra for revisions, not to mention additional hours of work. So you might end up paying more than you’d initially budgeted for.
- Communication can be a problem. Many freelancing platforms will penalise freelancers for lack of responsiveness. However, this gives you no guarantees that your chosen freelancer won’t disappear off the grid, or that they might not be dedicating their attention to another project.
- Hiring takes a lot of time. With a wealth of options, it’s pretty easy to get sidetracked on your search for the best freelance talent. Not only do you have to wade through heaps of potential candidates - if you’re lucky to find the right one, they might not be available every time you need their services.
Web design agencies
Large web design companies usually come with lots of experience and a great track record. Of course, this means that they are the most expensive option for outsourcing web design. So, what else is there to know about web design agencies.
- One service covers everything. If you like to be hands-off, this option is a great choice. With a team of people working on your project, you can usually get everything done - from web design and development, to writing the copy for your site.
- You can create more complex websites. When designers and developers work hand-in-hand it’s much easier to implement more advanced features, such as ecommerce websites, or multiple landing pages.
- It’s expensive. Simple, yet convincing reason not to opt for this route. Outsourcing web design with a reputable agency costs upwards of $10,000, which is usually not what small businesses can afford.
Unlimited web design services
Although it requires a lot of specific skills, UI design is essentially a subset of graphic design. So, considering an on-demand graphic design company can be a terrific way to outsource web design, as well as any other graphic design project that comes your way.
How to outsource web design with a company like this? Simple! You usually sign up for the service, pay a fixed monthly fee, and can request as many projects and revisions you want. Sounds tempting? Let’s dive into the main pros and cons.
- It’s affordable. When you factor in the average hourly rates freelancers charge, and how long these projects take, there’s no doubt unlimited design is the cheapest way to get website design. Between $500 and $1,000 should cover the cost of one monthly fee, which is usually enough time to create a website design.
- It’s fast. With a team of designers on-hand, unlimited design services have lightning-fast turnaround compared to design outsourcing solutions. Moreover, you never have to worry about sick leave or holidays - there’s always a designer ready to take over if needed.
- It’s flexible. No contracts, admin or fine print - it’s usually pretty easy to cancel or pause your subscription at any time. With ManyPixels, you can do so at any given moment, without incurring any additional charges.
- Web development is not included in the service. Although web design and development are two different disciplines, some people like to get everything done under one roof.
We hope this short guide has answered your most important questions about outsourcing web design.
If you’re convinced that an unlimited design service is a good solution for your needs, we have good news! At ManyPixels we offer website design services starting at just $549 per month. That’s a fraction of the cost you’d pay with a web design agency, and usually less than it would cost to hire an experienced freelancer.
Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.