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How to Outsource Web Design in 2023?

So you’ve decided to create a web app for your business. At this stage thinking about design is a good idea — many customers drop web apps, that are poorly designed. But, how can one actually find a good designer? The internet is filled with horror stories of freelancers getting a deposit and outright disappearing. Figuring out who to trust is difficult.

Outsourcing web design to a company with experience is the answer. In this article, we will tell you how to outsource web design: what compels a business to do so — and how to find a company which can help with website design. We’ll also talk about approximate costs and what goes into this figure. Let’s dive in.

Reading time: 13 minutes

Table of contents

Key takeaways

  • There are at least 4 reasons to delegate design to an outsourcing company: save time, release a web app on schedule, address your weak points, and not having to worry about maintaining staff.
  • An in-house team can create a great design, but it can cost significantly more. Outsourcing is cheaper and quicker than managing staff yourself.
  • Outsourcing web design costs from $5,000 to $10,000.

4 reasons to outsource web design

Outsourcing web design can benefit any company, be it an ambitious startup, a small business operating locally, or a major corporation. Common reasons why it’s the preferred choice are based on saving resources, handling designers, addressing staff’s weak points, and helping release a product on time. Let’s take a look at the benefits of outsourced web design in depth:

Save time and focus on scaling the business

You can leave design and web development to professionals who’ve done this many times before and concentrate on metrics. In the beginning stages of the project, you’ll need to spend some time discussing specifics, deadlines, and your business idea. But after that the company kickstarts design and handles it itself. Whether you want to check on the state of the project or come back when the job is finished, the choice is yours.

Don’t worry about hiring and maintaining more staff

One of the main benefits of outsourcing website design is that training and finding staff is not an issue. If you opt for building a design team from scratch, you’ll need to find designers and developers. If you’re the owner, you’ll either have to oversee them yourself or hire a separate project manager. This can take months. 

If you outsource web development and design, you’ll get a team of web developers and designers without worrying about paying their salary. You also won’t need to think about covering their taxes, finding an appropriate office space, and providing employee perks like insurance, while still effectively outsourcing web design.

in-house and outsourced teams

If you already have a team — address your weak points

It’s easy to add more employees if your project requires it, e.g. if you need to seamlessly integrate more web pages into your web app. An outsourcing design agency can allocate some of their designers to help with your web app. This way, onboarding newcomers and tracking their work yourself isn’t necessary.

Release web-products on schedule

With an adequate design company, you can outsource web design and roll out your product on time. Thanks to skilled web designers and developers familiar with your niche, you can be sure the development process goes smoothly — from creating UI/UX design to making the website and fixing bugs.

When it’s worth considering an in-house designer

As we’ve discussed, outsourcing web design to an external team is a nice option. Still, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Highly specialized brand with extremely unique needs

Let’s say there is a company that creates handcrafted surfboards. Experienced shapers work on their “pieces of art”, so that the custom surfboards express their future owners’ spirit. They’re also designed to suit the surfer’s skill level, style and even personality, if it’s a private commission.

Of course, the brand owner wants to convey all the passion the team has through the design project of their future website. That’s a tricky moment because sometimes it’s hard to put such a profound vision into words. That’s why it’s better to have an in-house web designer who loves surfboards and fully understands the unique needs of the brand instead of partnering with an outside agency.

Yet, it’s not that easy to find such a passionate specialist. Don’t limit yourself and consider all the possible options, including outsourcing agencies. Just check if the team’s ready to spend a fair amount of time exploring your product.

Unique brands don’t need to outsource web design work

Sometimes you don’t need to outsource web design

Frequent and rapid design changes in the long run

Some businesses do require speedy updates. For example, it can be true for a seasonal e-commerce store if it specializes in some specific products like holiday decorations and gifts. Such a store needs to introduce new product lines almost every month and create a new design project to change the website according to specific themes and customer needs.

In such a case, the business needs an in-house designer to efficiently respond to the rapid changes. This way the website will be easily updated even during peak seasons for the sake of larger revenue.

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No time to invest in communication

When it comes to website design outsourcing, communication really matters. Usually it’s not a miraculous coincidence (though you never know), but a thorough discussion of the web design project and all the related questions.

If you already have an in-house designer, it’s easier to deliver a project using your past communication experience. So, in the long run keeping web design tasks in-house can save you precious time and avoid potential misunderstandings. This is the reason why some business owners prefer to hire a specialist rather than to outsource web design. Though, it depends. Some web design agencies are more self-motivated than in-house specialists, which leads to fruitful communication. 

So, remember, while outsourcing web design work offers many benefits, it’s not always the best choice. Assess your brand needs and available time before searching for web design agencies.

Outsource web design work wisely

The reality of web design outsourcing

Outsourcing vs outstaffing vs in-house team

Let’s briefly examine what differentiates outstaffing, outsourcing, and in-house teams — and what option is best for your company.

In-house teams  Outstaffing Outsourcing
Maintenance costs High Lower than in-house teams Lower than in-house teams
Onboarding staff Yes No No
Operating effectively under time constraints Not guaranteed Yes Yes
Fully delegating a project No, you’ll have to guide your team and track their progress No, it requires additional management Yes, designers can make it from the ground up

In-house teams

In this scenario, you bear responsibility for creating a team from scratch. You’ll have to find designers yourself, by contacting them or posting a job listing. Either way, you’ll have to sift through hundreds or more web designers to find the ones that fit. Assembling a team of 5-7 developers may take approximately 4-5 months. After that, you’ll have to think about paying salaries and supporting team cohesion.

Outstaffing

It works best if you already have a team of experienced designers, but their hands are full. If you have an idea for a web app, but none of the specialists have either time or skills, outstaffing can help. You “rent” employees from a web design agency to help you make a product.

If you’re under some time or legal constraints, outstaffing is more effective than flat out hiring a designer. Especially if you have a strict number of employees which you can’t exceed, or your deadlines are looming and interviewing new staff is not an option. A designer acquired through outstaffing will seamlessly weave into your work processes and create a solid look for the web app.

Outsourcing

In this case, you hire a web development company and delegate the entire web design process to them. The web design company lends its experience with a wide pool of niches and time to your business. The only thing you need to do in this case is check on the progress from time to time.

It’s cheaper than hiring an in-house team in the long run, especially for startups and small businesses. You hire a company for a singular task for 3-4 months — after that, you can extend your agreements or part ways. You also won’t need to maintain an office space or some hidden course as it’s all done on the agency’s end.

If you want to create a web app for your business, we recommend sticking to outsourcing or outstaffing web design work — especially if it’s a one-time deal and you’re not affiliated with web design or other similar niches. It’s cheaper than paying salaries and workplace benefits, and it’s quicker, too.
See also  How to choose a contractor: outsourcing app development

How to outsource web design

If you’re not sure how to go about outsourcing design, we can help. We’ve compiled a list with several steps — they will ensure that you can easily outsource web design

Conduct project analysis and research the market

Think of the web app you want to build  and its primary business goal. What will you achieve after the web app goes live? Consider your target audience, analyze their needs and preferences. Don’t forget about your competitors — choose a couple of web apps that you like and think about the details that make you adore them. All of this will help you later on, when you’re explaining your goals to outsourcing companies.

This is the step where you get to decide an approximate timeframe and budget. If you have no idea what resources your project may take up, don’t hesitate to contact us in the form below — we’ll calculate the price and the timeline for free.

Find a web design outsourcing company with a great portfolio

There are 3 factors that help separate quality web development companies from fraudsters: relevant experience, reputation, and transparency. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Relevant experience. Great contractors collaborate with many companies from different niches. You can find out whether the company has the skills to help you by looking at their portfolio. If they have cases which are similar to your request, there’s a good chance they can create the right web design for you.

Reputation. To see if an outsourcing company has a valid track record, check out their reviews. More often than not their clients will note relatively similar qualities, good or bad. This will make it easier to understand the bigger picture — where an outsourcing company excels, and where it falls short.

Purrweb reviews screenshot

Some companies showcase video reviews. It’s a good way to bolster your reputation, as such reviews help build trust

Transparency. When it comes to negotiating or explaining web design, agencies will try to explain it in the clearest language possible. Their job is to provide every possible option and make sure you understand how they work. These companies won’t keep you in the dark about deadlines or number of specialists working on the project. With this in mind, you can rest easy and focus on other affairs.

Sign an NDA or other contracts if you need to

Before beginning a partnership with an outsourcing agency, you can request to sign a non-disclosure agreement. If you do, a web-design agency won’t be able to share any information you consider sensitive. It can be investors’ names, personal data, financial information, and marketing strategy. It’s a very commonplace defense against leaks, and it ensures you’re legally guarded in case your contractor shares sensitive info. 

It doesn’t matter what type of company you are — a small online shop or a major corporate learning platform. If you sign an NDA with an outsourcing company, their lips will be sealed and you’ll be able to protect the integrity of your business.

NDA’s aside, you can also apply for a patent, especially if your product is unique and has no known competitors. If you’ve got a branding strategy and you’ve figured out what user interface you want, you can trademark your creation. If any other outsourcing contractor violates your rights and steals your work, you’ll be able to sue them and win every legal battle related to copyright and privacy. It’s a good step to take if you’re a “rising star” type of startup. You’ll be able to protect your business idea and everything associated with it from thieves and scammers.

How much does outsourcing web design cost?

The price of web design depends on many factors, including the timeframe. At Purrweb, our estimate varies from $5,000 to $10,000. Other outsourcing agencies may have a different figure in place. 

See also  How Much Does it Cost to Create UI/UX Design from Scratch

Our cost is calculated based on requirements a project may have. We’ll discuss them in depth a bit further below.

Factors that influence web design cost

Whether you’re making a web app selling a course or a corporate educational platform, web app design price is calculated in a similar manner. There are 3 factors at play: type of web app, the project’s complexity, and time of design. Here’s a detailed explanation for each of them:

Type of web app

No two web apps are alike. A simple landing page made for gauging whether the product is valuable costs less than a marketplace with hundreds of pages. Usually, web apps are categorized into 4 types: websites, SPA, MPA, and PWA. Let’s examine them:

Website. They come in many different forms, but most common websites act as a single page — e.g. a landing page. There is no option to navigate to other pages, it’s all in one place.

Gmail’s “about” web page serves as a good example of a website. If you want to see new content just scroll. Every relevant piece of media or text is located on a single web page: if you want to find an FAQ block or a button which helps you create an account, it’s already there. No need to go to a different web page.

In the case of Gmail, all useful content is placed on a single page

SPA (Single page application). It works like a landing page, but with a few exceptions. All design elements remain mostly unchanged. It renders new content piece-by-piece and only when you reach it — typically by scrolling down. 

It works fast and it’s easier to design, as specialists don’t have to be consistent across multiple webpages, just a single one. But SPA’s are prone to hacker attacks, so developers have to be cautious to provide extra security.

Twitter works like an SPA. You stay on the same page no matter what you do. If you want to see new tweets, you can scroll down to see them without closing the web app.

Twitter screenshot

Twitter web app

MPA (Multi page application). Web apps like these have different web pages and links. You can switch between them to see different content. It’s better for web apps with a lot of content, there’s no need for users to scroll for 2 minutes to get to the desired section.

Imagine you made a payment. In the case of an SPA, you’d get a pop-up — a little confirmation window. You’d stay at the same web page you browsed. But if you did that in an MPA, it would redirect you to a separate web page with different content.

Our website works like an MPA. You can switch between different pages to see web design and development services we offer: e.g. one for cross-platform development, the other for MVP creation, etc. Each of these pages has its own unique content — if we would put them on a single page, it would be too long and load too slowly.

Our main page has every important bit of info about the way we work. You can leave this page and go somewhere else — e.g. to a portfolio page

PWA (Progressive web application). This app acts as a hybrid of a web app and a mobile app. It’s typically a multi page app which a user can install onto their smartphone. This way, they can later access it offline.

PWAs load fast and work on many devices. Companies choose it to be more accessible and reach a broader audience. It can re-engage the users by sending them notifications like a regular app, and it works with SEO. Developers can also integrate HTTPS protocols into a PWA — with this, they can make it more secure than an SPA.

One example of a PWA is Flipboard magazine. It’s a web app that also adapts for mobile users — users can check out their favorite stories and follow authors they love.

Flipboard screenshot

Flipboard works smoothly on any device — from smartphones to tablets and computers

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The project’s complexity

This mostly refers to the complexity of design elements. If a web app is filled with animated elements, it will take more time to create good design, which drives the costs up.

Here’s a table demonstrating what separates cheap, uncomplicated design elements from the expensive ones:

At Purrweb, when talking about different complexity of design, two projects come to mind: iZumator and Biogeek.

iZumator is an online learning platform, where users can create and complete courses. Our client wanted us to gather inspiration from Airbnb. Other than that, we had to create the design from the ground up. We compiled a moodboard, selected fonts and colors. Our designers also created some icons from scratch.

iZumator website screenshot

iZumator course selection page

Biogeek has a neutral design. We chose a commonplace grotesque font and colors associated with the healthcare industry, like turquoise. It also has a standard layout.

Biogeek website screenshot

Biogeek calendar

Time of design

This factor is a continuation of the previous two. Generally, if the website is more complicated, it takes more time to develop and design it. More often than not outsourcing companies work by hourly rates — they calculate the cost of the project according to that metric. If a website has a lot of pages and elements which need to be designed, it will take more time to execute and cost more.

At Purrweb, we estimate how much time design may take before we begin working on the project. Our business analysts will take a look at how many web pages need to be created. They do this keeping UI/UX design principles in mind — like mapping out a user flow. Also, they take project management into account. This timeframe is then multiplied by our hourly rate.

If you want to outsource web app and website development, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll provide you with an approximate timeframe and tell you the price — you’ll know what to expect if you want to get a quality project.

What are the most affordable regions for outsourcing web design

Eastern Europe

Eastern European employees are considered to be hard-working and pretty talented in graphic design. Many of them are experienced and eager to work internationally. Business owners choose Eastern Europe as a preferable destination to outsource website design because of paying reasonable rates while getting high-quality web design and development. One more thing to mention, many professionals in the region are quite fluent in English, making it easier to outsource web design effectively for clients from English-speaking countries.

Many web design agencies in Eastern Europe have an impressive portfolio showcasing their work for international clients. You can review their past design projects to assess their design capabilities and style alignment with your web design project.

South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh)

South Asian countries are known for offering cost effectiveness in terms of web design services. That’s crucial for businesses that are looking for a way to optimize their budgets without sacrificing the quality. Professionals in South Asia are committed to delivering quality work while keeping communication transparent and effective.

South Asia is home to a vast talent pool in the area of design and development. The population there is large, and many individuals pursue careers in IT, including web design. This abundance of talent ensures that businesses can access a wide range of skills and expertise.

Latin America (Mexico, Argentina, Colombia)

Latin American countries are in the same time zone with North America, particularly the United States. This proximity facilitates real-time collaboration and communication, making it easier to coordinate with an outsourcing partner. At the same time, the average salary of a web designer in Latin America is lower than in North America, which is convenient for businesses with a limited budget.

Some cities in Latin America, like Buenos Aires and Mexico City, have established themselves as innovation hubs, attracting tech talent and startups. This environment encourages creativity and innovation in web design and development.

Businesses prefer to outsource web design work to Eastern Europe, South Asia. and Latin America

The map of popular outsourcing destinations

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FAQ s

  • What factors determine the cost of outsourcing web design?

    There are three key factors at play: type of web app, time of design, and the complexity of a project and its design elements.

  • Is outsourcing website design and outsourcing web development the same thing?

    When you outsource website design, you make sure that other designers create a look for your product. It includes things like a user interface, icons, buttons, and typography. Outsourcing companies can ensure that your website looks aesthetically pleasing and is functional. Outsourcing web development refers to coding — making sure that the server side of things is operating, and that all buttons are working properly. If you want, you can outsource development as well, as most outsourcing agencies offer this service too.

  • Do you provide full scale web development services? What steps does it consist of?

    At Purrweb, we divided our web development into 4 steps. Here they are: Project analysis. After figuring out the cost of your web app, the project manager helps you analyze the market and select appropriate features.  UI/UX design. Designers use the features you chose for a project and turn them into a mind map. With it, they better understand how a future user will navigate through the app. They complete a design concept — you can show exactly how your web app is going to look like to investors. Development. We work in 2-week sprints — at the end of each of them, you’ll get constant updates on development. Also, you’ll get a demo of a working website — you won’t have to worry that things aren’t going according to plan. Testing. Developers scan the website for possible bugs. QA can help remove them — and ensure that your web app works smoothly.