Finding the right candidate for the web designer job can be difficult and time-consuming.
Working with one of the top staffing agencies can help you create an in-house team, but there are upsides you might overlook to outsourcing web design.
Outsourcing means you get to find a freelancer or a custom web design company that fits your needs. If you’re from Chicago and looking for some top-notch web design companies in the area, click here for more info.
If you’re interested in hiring a freelancer, you can visit platforms like Upwork, Clutch, or GoodFirms.
However, before we delve into details, let’s start with the basics.
What is web design?
Web design is typically used to describe two things: web design and web development. The first one is centered around how a website looks, while the second is all about its functionalities.
As we’ve already hinted, web designers work on the look of a website.
However, unlike graphic designers, web designers need to be skilled not only at creating a great user interface (UI) but also at creating a great user experience (UX). There is also specific software they use, such as Adobe XD and Sketch, which is not meant to be used in graphic design.
Web developers use coding languages such as HTML and CSS to help a website come to life. Without that, the website would be just a standing image without any functionalities.
Learning how to code is not something you can do quickly; it takes time. Often, people are required to go through formal education to gain sufficient knowledge. However, note that web developers are usually paid less than web designers.
Knowing the difference between these two will help you determine what you need. You may need to outsource both web design and web development, or you may need to outsource just one.
Why is outsourcing a good idea?
While there are times when outsourcing is not a choice you should go for, there are certain advantages to this model.
It costs less
Web designers or specifically UX/UI designers in the US, typically make $97k annually, while web developers in the US typically make $70k a year.
Outsourcing, on the other hand, tends to cost way less. There are two pricing models in web design outsourcing:
The fixed-price model is best when your set of needs for the project are constant and when the project you came up with is not too large. Otherwise, it’s not a very good idea to go with it.
Keep in mind that the designer may not always accept this proposal, especially if the project is composed of multiple stages. They may negotiate to charge a percentage of the total price once they reach a milestone. In this case, the service provider takes on the majority of the risk.
Time and Material model.
This model is much more flexible than the fixed-price model. It’s great when you don’t have a clear image of the website in your mind.
Depending on the website and the provider’s experience, you can negotiate the price and find what suits you best.
Be prepared to invest in building an effective project management team that will make sure the project is on track and done within the deadline and budget.
The price of building a website, when outsourcing, can range anywhere between $1,000 and $10,000 or more, depending on the complexity of a design and its functionalities. Most of the time, that’s way less than the cost of hiring an in-house team.
It offers more flexibility.
Outsourcing is great because it allows you to delegate without having to be entirely wrapped up in the development process.
Of course, you’ll have to be involved in the initial stages and communicate the project’s expectations involving the main idea of the website, the design, its features, requirements, and deadlines.
But, once that’s done, you’re free to focus on building your core business goals and just occasionally check on the progress.
Even if you already have a web design team in the company, they most likely have day-to-day assignments they have to keep up with. Outsourcing designers have only one task and that’s to build you a website.
Naturally, an outsourcing partner will finish up the project much faster than your in-house designers.
You’re able to pick the absolute best.
Many talented designers and developers are scattered all around the globe. Limiting yourself only to those that live near you may not always be the best idea, especially in this era of technology.
Since there are no obstacles to communicating with people that live far away, outsourcing allows you to choose those that are best at what they do and get extraordinary results.
Is it always a good choice?
While outsourcing offers numerous advantages, there are cases when we would advise you against it.
You need a web designer full-time.
Outsourcing web design is a good option when you need one-time web designing services because only then you’re reaping the benefits. If you need web designing services on a day-to-day basis, you won’t really save up time or money on hiring an outsourcing provider.
For instance, if you need an eCommerce store, hiring someone will far outweigh the benefits of outsourcing, especially because these types of websites require constant payment processing, customer support, etc.
You’re not willing to communicate.
If you’re not willing to invest in communication, we advise you against outsourcing. This is especially true if the person or company you’ve hired is in a different time zone and there are some cultural differences. Working to overcome them is crucial if you want it to work.
So, be honest with yourself: how important is on-demand service to you?
You need more control over the project.
Doing business with someone outside of the company’s premises usually means you’re less involved in the designing and developing process. While the service provider will update you on the project occasionally, it’s not like you can march into their office any time you want.
If the project you have in mind is extremely important to you and you want to have more control over how things go, it’s best that you hire someone in-house.
You’re worried about data protection.
Concluding a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or implementing that clause into the existing agreement can help you protect confidential information about your company or its clients.
If, however, there are legal obstacles to working with a third-party provider creating the website’s database, for instance, you should stick to the regular hiring process instead of choosing to outsource.
A step-by-step guide to outsourcing.
Since you’re familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of web design outsourcing, let’s inspect what the entire process of outsourcing looks like.
Know what you want.
The first step to do is lay out your expectations and ideas on a piece of paper. If it’s your first time doing that, we advise you to start by answering the following questions:
- What do you want to achieve with your project?
- Who is your target audience, and which pain points do you want to tackle?
- What kind of website do you want to build (eCommerce, blog, corporate, educational)?
- What are your project’s requirements?
- Do you have any particular design in mind?
Pick an outsourcing model.
There are three outsourcing models:
Onshore outsourcing happens when a company decides to work with a service provider set in the same country or area. If web design outsourcing fits your needs, but you don’t have time or energy to face the language barrier and cultural differences, then the onshore model is the right one for you.
If you go with the right company, the quality of the delivered work will be impeccable, but you may have to invest a bit more money because the offshore model tends to be cheaper.
Nearshore outsourcing offers the same benefits onshore sourcing does, but there are more designers available since you’re not limited solely to your area. If being in the same time zone is important to you, this may be the best option.
If you’re willing to overcome potential cultural differences and invest in communication, offshore outsourcing is a great idea. There are a lot of talented web designers, especially from Eastern Europe, that can deliver fantastic results and are fluent in English, so you won’t have any problems understanding one another.
Working with professionals from Eastern Europe has another benefit – their services are much more affordable.
Either way, it’s up to you to decide before you start picking the candidates.
List the top candidates.
Instead of choosing a web designing agency or a freelancer right away, take some time to create a list of the top candidates. When listing top candidates, we advise you to take into account the following things:
- Experience. If the designer already has some experience doing projects similar to yours, it’s a great asset since you’ll most likely be able to easily rely on their experience.
- Portfolio. Ask the designer to provide you with examples of their previous work. This will give you an idea of their skills.
- Feedback. Browse the internet for some reviews. What are people saying about them? Were they satisfied with the entire process?
- Team. If you decide to go with a web design agency, you can ask the agency to provide you with information about the team member’s skills and qualifications.
Evaluate your candidates and pick the right one.
Once you’ve compiled a list of the top candidates, you can start evaluating them. Here’s what you should have in mind in the hiring process:
- Estimation. The candidate should be able to conduct a market and competitive analysis for the project, as well as provide a comprehensive overview.
- Staffing flexibility. If you want to work with an agency, you should be able to pick the team member based on their skills and competencies.
- Honest and reasonable pricing. A service provider should be transparent and honest with the pricing. The estimated cost should be within 20-30% of the market average price.
- Transparent timeline. The provider should update you at least once a week so that you know that the project is moving forward according to the schedule you agreed upon.
- Project management. A good project manager is essential. If you’re working with a professional web designing agency, they should be able to take care of everything, without needing your constant supervision.
Make it official.
We advise you to legalize the matter by signing the contract that will make your cooperation official. The contract should cover:
- Main definitions relating to the development process
- Terms of website design
- The budget
- Rights and responsibilities of both parties
- Non-disclosure clause or an NDA
Once that’s done, all you have to do is keep track of the progress and wait for the results.
Remember to communicate your needs since that will save both your and the designer’s time while delivering the highest quality.