Outsourcing Web Design 101

How To Outsource Web Design Effectively: Steps and Tips

Improve your online presence or redevelop your outdated website by following seven easy steps to outsource web design effectively.

How To Outsource Web Design Effectively: Steps and Tips

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So you’ve started a business, and you need a website. But no one on your team has much experience with coding, and you don’t have the resources to bring in another full-time employee. 

Outsourcing web design to a freelancer or agency can be a perfect solution for start-ups looking to improve their online presence or established companies in need of a facelift. 

But the success of any outsourced project largely depends on who you work with, how well they communicate, and how you manage the project from start to finish. 

This article will explore what it means to outsource web design, its advantages, which services are best suited to outsourcing, and how to go about it.

What Does It Mean To Outsource Web Design?

Outsourcing web design means hiring a third-party individual or web design company to create and sometimes maintain a website for your business. 

Instead of employing an in-house web design team or doing it yourself, you contract the work to external web design and development experts. This can include everything from the initial design concept to the development of the site, launch, and even ongoing maintenance and support.

There are typically three models for outsourcing web design: onshoring, offshoring, and nearshoring. Each involves partnering with service providers from different locations and comes with its own advantages and considerations.

Onshoring

Onshoring refers to hiring a service provider located in your own country. The main advantage of onshoring is that the provider is likely to be in the same time zone, speak the same language, and have a similar cultural perspective, which can enhance communication and collaboration. 

In countries like the US, onshoring is often more expensive than the other two options, but the ease of communication and potential for in-person meetings can be significant benefits.

Offshoring

Offshoring means contracting a service provider located in a distant country, usually where labor costs are lower. This model can significantly reduce costs but may introduce challenges such as language barriers, cultural differences, and time zone discrepancies that can affect coordination and project timelines. 

Companies often choose offshoring to maximize their budget, but it requires careful management to ensure quality and effective communication.

Nearshoring

Nearshoring is outsourcing to service providers located in neighboring or nearby countries. These countries are often in similar time zones and may share cultural similarities yet still offer cost savings over onshore providers.

This outsourcing model strikes a balance between the cost-effectiveness of offshoring and the convenience of onshoring. Providers are often close enough for in-person meetings and tend to work hours that overlap with your own, making real-time collaboration easier.

Web designer sketching design of website on a paper

Why Outsource Web Design?

Hiring talented web designers based in a nearby location like Latin America (LatAm) can be beneficial for web design projects for several reasons:

Cost savings

Outsourcing can help you save on labor costs without compromising on the quality of work. You won’t need to pay for the various overhead costs of hiring in-house employees.

Choosing an offshoring or nearshoring outsourcing model can also bring additional savings. Countries like Mexico, for example, have lower operating and living costs than the US, which allows web designers based there to offer clients competitive rates while still receiving strong compensation. 

Flexibility

By outsourcing, you can scale your web design team up or down as needed without the commitment of hiring in-house employees. This flexibility allows you to adapt dynamically to project demands or shifting business needs.

Time efficiency

Hiring, onboarding, and training new employees can take significant time and resources. Outsourcing can remove a huge chunk of these HR processes, allowing for more efficient project initiation and completion. 

Depending on the type of outsourcing used, there can be other efficiency benefits. With onshoring and nearshoring, there is usually a time zone overlap between you and the service provider, allowing for more interactive collaboration.

Meanwhile, the time zone differences associated with offshoring can enable a 24-hour work cycle, where the outsourced team can work on the project during your off-hours, resulting in faster turnaround times.

Expertise

Outsourcing web design gives you the significant advantage of accessing specialized skills on a fractional or as-needed basis. You may require expertise in things like:

  • User experience design
  • A particular technology stack
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Graphic design for crafting unique visual content

Hiring a full-time employee with a narrow specialization may be impractical and costly; outsourcing allows you to acquire these specific skill sets only for the duration of your project or even for particular stages. 

This way, you benefit from top-tier skills and knowledge without the long-term overhead of a salaried position. It’s an efficient way to ensure that an expert handles every aspect of your web project while keeping your team lean and agile.

Global access

When you outsource your web design project, you can tap into a vast, diverse global talent pool. You’re not confined to the skill sets, experiences, or perspectives available in your immediate geographical area. 

Instead, you have the luxury of scouting for precise expertise and creative flair from different markets and cultures. This broad access to talent can infuse your web design with innovative ideas. 

You’re more likely to find individuals or teams who have tackled similar challenges or worked in similar industries, bringing a wealth of experience and potentially fresh, cutting-edge solutions to your project.

Team of web designers planning to design a website, sketching designs on paper

Web Design Services That Can Be Outsourced

So, what does web design outsourcing actually cover? Here are a few roles commonly filled through outsourcing:

Brand identity development

A company’s brand identity extends well beyond logo design to involve the overall visual language of the business, such as:

  • Color schemes
  • Typography
  • Imagery
  • Animation

Outsourcing brand identity creation can grant you access to brand specialists and graphic designers who can help craft a cohesive and compelling narrative that resonates with your intended audience.

Website redesign

Outsourcing can be invaluable when it comes to creating a website from the ground up or undertaking a major redesign. Skilled web designers can build a fresh, responsive site that aligns with the latest web standards and user expectations.

For those with existing websites that feel outdated or aren’t functioning optimally, outsourcing to web design experts can breathe new life into their online presence. These professionals can perform a thorough analysis of your current site to identify areas of improvement. 

By implementing modern design principles, they can revamp your site to improve user engagement, site navigation, and overall functionality, ensuring that it serves your business effectively and stays competitive. 

An outsourced team can help transform a dated or underperforming website into a dynamic and user-friendly platform that better meets the needs of your audience and business.

UX/UI design

User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design are crucial to a successful website. UX focuses on the journey the user takes through your website, working to make it as intuitive and enjoyable as possible, while UI deals with the specific assets users interact with on-screen. 

Outsourcing UX/UI design to knowledgeable professionals can dramatically enhance the usability and aesthetics of your site, which is vital to retaining visitors and converting them into customers.

Version control

Maintaining the integrity of your website’s code throughout the development process is essential, especially when different developers might work on it over time. 

By outsourcing, you can leverage experienced developers who are proficient in version control systems like Git, which helps in tracking changes to the website’s codebase, allowing for smoother collaboration between team members and rollback options if something goes wrong. 

How Much Does It Cost To Outsource Web Design?

There isn’t one specific cost for outsourcing web design because the price can vary widely depending on numerous factors. Here are some elements that can influence the cost:

Complexity of your business

It’s easy to see how the nature and complexity of your operation can significantly affect the cost of outsourcing web design. 

A straightforward website for a small local business will be less expensive than an intricate, multi-layered site for a large corporation or an e-commerce platform with numerous product listings, custom search functions, user accounts, and integrations with other systems. 

The more features, pages, and custom solutions your business requires, the more time and expertise will be needed, raising the price accordingly.

Complexity of the design

The complexity of the design itself is another major factor. A website with a unique, custom-made design featuring advanced animations, interactive elements, or sophisticated visual effects will demand the skills of an experienced designer (or possibly a team) and, therefore, cost more. 

Conversely, if you’re looking for a simple, clean design using templates or predefined themes that require minimal customization, the costs may be much more moderate.

Track record and reputation of the designer

The experience and reputation of your web designer or agency will also influence the cost. Top-tier professionals with a proven track record of delivering high-quality websites, especially those with high-profile clients in their portfolio, will command higher rates. 

However, their expertise may be worth the higher cost, as they’re more likely to deliver a product that meets your specifications accurately and on time. On the other hand, less established designers might offer competitive pricing but come with varying levels of risk concerning the quality and timeliness of the finished product.

Web designer sketching down design on tablet

How To Outsource Web Design

You’ve recognized the potential benefits of outsourcing web design and understand the factors that affect the cost. But how do you actually go about it? 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to effectively outsourcing your web design project:

1. Determine your business goals and needs

Before you look for a web designer, clearly define your business goals. Are you looking to increase sales, generate leads, or improve brand awareness

Knowing your objectives guides the design process and ensures your website aligns with your business strategy. Outline the features and functionalities you need, the type of content you will host, and how you wish your brand to be reflected online.

2. Set your budget and timeline

Understand what you are willing to invest in your web design project. Your budget should reflect the complexity of your site and the value it brings to your business. Also, set a realistic timeline for your project, considering the various phases of the web design process, such as planning, design, development, testing, and launch.

3. Choose between freelancers and agencies

After determining your needs and setting a budget, you’ll have to decide between hiring a freelancer or contracting a web design agency.

Hiring a freelancer

Opting for a freelancer, such as one from LatAm, can offer substantial cost savings without sacrificing quality. 

For example, here is a comparison between the salary range for a UX/UI designer based in LatAm and that of one based in the US:

  • Based in LatAm: $34,000–$60,000
  • Based in US: $54,000–$118,000

The cost savings stem from the lower cost of living and market rates in LatAm countries. 

Hiring a freelancer can also provide more direct communication and a more personalized working relationship compared with working with an agency. At Near, we even handle the sourcing, screening, hiring, and payroll for you—all while the freelancer works as a part of your team.

Hiring a web design agency

Agencies provide comprehensive services, including web design and development, SEO, and ongoing support. They have teams with various skills to handle all aspects of your project but typically cost more than freelancers. 

While they are excellent for large-scale, complex projects, agencies can sometimes lack the personal touch that comes with a dedicated freelancer. 

4. Research and select candidates or agencies

Research potential freelancers or agencies thoroughly. Look for recommendations from your network, search online, and read reviews. Shortlist candidates based on their expertise, industry experience, and ability to meet your needs and budget.

Choosing the right web design or software development partner is complicated, so due diligence is required at every step. 

5. Reach out and check portfolios

After narrowing your list, reach out to the candidates or agencies to express interest and request their portfolios. A portfolio is an excellent indicator of the style and quality of the work you can expect.

Set up interviews to discuss their experience, approach to projects like yours, and how they manage the workflow and communication. A one-on-one discussion can also give you insight into their reliability and dedication to meeting deadlines. 

It’s an opportunity to ask specific questions about their portfolio examples, understand the context of their work, and learn how they solved various design challenges.

6. Review the contract agreement and collaborate

Before starting the partnership, review the contract agreement carefully. It should clarify:

  • Deliverables
  • Timelines
  • Revisions
  • Payment terms
  • Intellectual property rights

Both parties need to understand their responsibilities. Throughout the process, maintain open lines of communication, provide clear feedback, and collaborate with your designer or agency to ensure your vision is being accurately translated into the design.

7. Monitor progress and evaluate the final project

Stay engaged and regularly check in on progress, review milestones, and give feedback. When it’s finished, evaluate the website against your original goals and needs. 

Ensure it is functional, aligns with your brand, and provides a good user experience. Don’t forget to test the design on various devices and browsers. If you’re satisfied, finalize the project, but remember that web design can be iterative. 

After launch, gather user feedback and stay connected with the contractor for any quality assurance and maintenance you may require down the road. The relationship shouldn’t end when the final deliverable is handed over—outsourcing can be a long-term arrangement, even if it is done project by project. 

Final Thoughts

Outsourcing web design can be an extremely effective strategy for start-ups or even larger enterprises that need specific skills their in-house team doesn’t have. 

It can be a significant cost-saver, especially if you tap into the talents of offshore or nearshore freelancers in regions with lower labor costs but comparable skill levels, such as LatAm. These web designers can act as an extension of your team without adding the significant overhead of a full-time in-house employee. 

Book a free recruiting consultation with Near today to help find the right talent to elevate your online presence. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is outsourcing web design?

Outsourcing web design is the process of hiring external service providers to create and manage a website for your business.

How much does it cost to outsource web design?

The cost of outsourcing web design varies significantly and depends on the project’s complexity, the designer’s location and experience, and your specific design requirements. Designers in LatAm typically charge far less than their US-based counterparts.

Why outsource web design?

Outsourcing can offer expertise, cost savings, and flexibility that might not be available in-house. By tapping into global talent pools, businesses can achieve high-quality results while managing costs effectively.

How to outsource designing a website?

Conduct research to find suitable freelancers or agencies, then reach out to discuss your project needs. Near streamlines this process by offering free access to thousands of pre-vetted skilled professionals, a convenient way to connect with the right candidate for your project.

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