A website should appeal to your target audience, hook their attention, and make them want to stay on a website. A big factor is the design of your website.
In the first half of this post, we will dive into web design, what it is, and how it differs from web development. In the next half, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing web design, how to outsource effectively, and where you can find someone for your outsourced web design needs.
What is Web Design?
Web design is the art or process of conceptualizing and creatively organizing websites. This includes their pages and the elements on them. These elements include the content (images, videos, text), shapes, fonts, colors, logos, as well as structural and interactive elements like dashboards and their navigation buttons.
Web designers aim to capture and communicate to website visitors the message, tone, and overall brand identity of their clients. Part of web design is also making sure that the layout of the site elements is cohesive, intuitive, and easy to understand. This also involves creating different site versions for desktop and mobile users.
Web design combines UX (user experience) design, UI (user interface) design, SEO (search engine optimization), content creation, and relevant client-specific input and knowledge of their target audience. Web designers may possess skills in these areas or work together with a team of people who specialize in these fields.
What is the Difference Between Web Development and Web Design?
Web design and web development are fields that work closely together and both are essential to the creation of a website.
As mentioned, web design primarily focuses on the look and feel of a website. However, elements such as layout, structure, and interface are not totally about aesthetics. In fact, marketing has a lot more influence on these elements than looks. Web designers simply style these elements to present a more aesthetically pleasing look. The bulk of the work is in arranging them to make browsing the website easier. As such, You could say that web designers are responsible for creating the schematic for your site. Whatever can be seen, that’s web design.
Now, web developers, or coders, are responsible for taking the designs and making them functional. They are the ones that build and maintain the structure of a website. Their job is to translate the designed elements into code so that the visual elements can appear and work properly on the web. Their work is more behind the scenes, but absolutely fundamental for a working site.
If you’re interested, we also have a post about how you can effectively outsource web development.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages for Outsourcing Web Design?
1. Cost Savings
One of if not the most alluring advantages when you choose to outsource web design (or outsourcing in general) is the cost benefit. Hiring an in-house full-time web design team is far more expensive than contracting with a freelancer or design agency. You have to think about salaries, employee benefits, overheads, and taxes. When you outsource web design, you don’t have to think about any of that. You just need to pay your designer their hourly or per-project fee.
Another place you save costs is in training and tools. A freelance web designer or agency partner will likely already have the needed design tools or software available and know how to use them.
Additionally, if you hire from a country with a lower cost of living, you can generally get the same quality and expertise at a lower rate.
2. Fresh Perspective
When you outsource web design, you are introducing a fresh set of eyes to your project. They can bring an unbiased perspective to your current web design processes or provide a second opinion for your creative ideas. Remember, these are experts. They bring valuable knowledge, technique, and experience to the table. If you hire a designer who has worked with many clients before, they can tell you with authority what can work and what can be improved.
Another good thing about outsourcing web design is the flexibility it provides you, your team, and your business. Hiring an outsourced web design team means you and your team have more free time to focus on other business objectives. These tasks include product development, optimizing the services you offer, creating pricing models, creating the content to display on the website, etc.
4. Wider Talent Pool
When you outsource, you are broadening your options. You have access to a global pool of talented individuals you wouldn’t otherwise have been able to access, or possibly even ever considered.
5. Efficiency and Expertise
When you outsource web design, you are outsourcing to someone who has spent years honing their craft. With that comes efficient processes and techniques. What you and your team might spend months trying to figure out yourselves can get done much faster with a professional at the helm.
1. Creative Differences
You need to do your due diligence to find the right designer for you. Otherwise, you might clash creatively. This becomes a problem if you can’t effectively communicate or show them the type of design you want for your site. Without a comprehensive onboarding process, an external team might not understand your brand or its messaging the way you want them to.
2. Lookalike Branding
If you’re working with an agency that has experience with multiple clients in the same industry, you may find their methods or designs to be too similar to your potential competitors. This won’t be a concern, however, if you are able to view their portfolios and past client projects. This will help you to ensure that their designs uniquely reflect your brand and are not just a copy of other brands they have worked with.
3. Less Control
Some businesses are hesitant to outsource because they are essentially giving away some control to an outside entity. You won’t be able to be as closely involved as you would with an in-house team. You will need to put your trust in their capabilities, processes, and internal management structures.
Of course, you can also make sure to schedule regular updates so you can track the progress and ensure the project is on the right track.
4. Data and Security Risks
You may need to give your outsourced design team access to company information. This data may pose a security risk, so make sure to hire an individual or team from a recognized site with verifiable experience with other clients.
How to Outsource Graphic Design Effectively?
Here are some useful tips to follow when canvassing for and working with a web designer.
Have a Clear Budget
The cost of graphic design can range widely depending on the skill and the scale of the project. Setting your budget also means setting your expectations for the results you can expect from that budget. It helps you filter your candidates.
Know Exactly What You Want
When looking for a web designer, one of the first things you need to look at is their portfolio. This is especially important if you have a particular style that you want your website to follow. You can’t just pick any designer and expect them to be able to match the style you want.
Think of them like chefs. Yes, all chefs can cook good food, but not all chefs specialize in the same type of cuisine. You can’t expect a sushi chef to make you the best burger you’ve ever tasted. This isn’t to say they can learn the recipe. However, this will take time and they won’t have the same level of expertise as someone who has been making burgers for years. The same rings true for graphic designers. When you have a clear idea of what you want, make sure to find someone who is best able to actualize that idea.
Be Open to Suggestions
Whether or not you have a strong idea for what you want your website to look like, you should always be open to any recommendations your web designer might have. It’s good to know what you want, but don’t be closed off to any suggestions they may have. It’s a collaborative effort.
If you have any pre-existing ideas or preferences for the way you want your website to look, make sure you list them all down. Create mood boards and give them images and any design elements you would like them to imitate.
As mentioned earlier, a comprehensive onboarding process can save you from unnecessary stress. Tell candidates about the mission and vision of your company. Let them know that you have a particular target audience and share the goals that you have as a business. It’s better to give your designer a ton of information and inspiration than to give too little for them to work off of.
Set up effective communication channels and regular meetings. This is a collaborative process. You’ll want to make sure you can get in touch with one another, share updates, provide feedback, and give the designer any other necessary information they may need while conceptualizing and throughout the actual design process.
Where Can I Find Someone To Help With Web Design?
If you’re looking to outsource web design, there are several places you can look including:
- Freelance Marketplaces
- Online job boards
- Web design firms and agencies
- Social media
- Google SERPS
- Referrals from people you know
Here are our 5 recommendations to outsource your web design needs.
Ultimately, you will need to assess what your needs are, and which solutions work best for you.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of outsourcing web design varies depending on several factors such as where you outsource, the scope of the project, level of experience required, and who you hire (freelancers vs agencies).
Generally, though, hourly rates for web designers can be between $70-150 for US and UK based freelancers. For Asia and Eastern Europe, rates usually range from $15-50 per hour. Agencies can be a couple hundred per hour, depending on the expertise you require. A quality custom website can cost from around $500 to upwards of $6000 for more complicated projects.
When you follow these tips to outsource web design, you will enjoy a smoother hiring experience and more productive working relationships. Read through our blog for more tips or reach out to us if you need additional outsourcing help.