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Outsourcing Web Design – What You Need to Know

November 14, 2018

1:39 pm

Every brand needs a website, but when it comes to building one, the big question is cost. Taking on the task yourself can eat into valuable time, whereas recruiting and paying an in-house web development team can be hugely costly. This is why outsourcing web design to a third party can be such an attractive and cost-effective solution.

If you don't want – or can't afford – a dedicated web development team, then outsourcing web design and development can be a big money-saver. This could be to a web design company, or a well-rated individual freelancer. You may even want to consider outsourcing your web development overseas, where rates for the work may be lower but quality can be consistently high.

Here, we'll explain what you need to know about outsourcing web design. We break down how the process works, what options are available, and perhaps most importantly, how much the whole endeavor will cost you.

If you're looking for someone to handle your web design for you, use our free tool to get obligation-free quotes today.

In This Guide:

How to Outsource Web Design

In practice, web design outsourcing can happen in a handful of different ways. First, you might opt for a U.S. or global organization designed specifically for the task.

Hiring U.S.-based freelancers, either through a third-party site or through word of mouth, is another common option. You might also reach out to freelancers or organizations in other locations, including India, the Philippines, or European countries, and match prices to see who can offer the best value.

Here's how to go about the project in the most effective way possible:

Step 1: Know the Scope of Your Project

Are you starting a website from scratch? Doing essential updates? Giving it a facelift? Be completely ready to describe the project and what you're hoping to achieve. This can help you lay out your expectations when reaching out to designers, or simply when setting an initial meeting.

Step 2: Know the Industry's Average Prices

Web design prices come in a wide range, so it's important to know the typical prices charged for high quality web design. If you go in looking for the cheapest price possible, you'll more than likely wind up with the cheapest-looking website. Good luck boosting your company's revenue with that approach.

The costs for web design tend to hinge on three different factors, which will affect how much work a designer will need to log for any given project:

  • Design complexity
  • Site functionality
  • Total number of pages on the website

If you're developing a tiny, five-page website, a decent ballpark number would likely remain under $500. If you're producing a website with functionality that supports detailed ecommerce options, prices might rise to $3,000.

Step 3: Collect and Compare Quotes

Since the price of a web design project can vary depending on the specific project, asking for a personalized quote is the best way to get an accurate price.

You'll want to collect multiple quotes in order to figure out which web designer understands your needs and offers the most cost effective deal. While that might sound time-consuming, it doesn't have to be. In fact, by clicking our handy Compare Quotes button below, you can get quotes that are tailored for the scope of your project.

Compare Prices By Getting A Quote For Your Website Design

Step 4: Communicate

Once you've picked out the best web designer, you should be prepared to answer their questions, or ask your own, while they're working on the process. You'll likely want to establish check-ins, so that you can be sure that the project is developing in line with your expectations.

It's important to hold firm to the principles of what you're after with the project, but don't be afraid to let the designer make changes or lead with suggestions.

It's their area of expertise, so they might have insight on the best ways to create a useful website for your business.

Step 5: Stay in Touch

Finding a great web design firm is rarely just a one-time deal. If you need an update or a new template in the future, you can return to outsource further work from the designer who helped you originally.

It all comes down to knowing which organizations or people you can trust to get the job done. Once you take the time to research an option and build a relationship, you'll have a trustworthy web designer to return to in the future.

If you develop your website with a designer you're not entirely happy with, then choose to update the site via a different firm or freelancer, you may encounter additional costs as they undo or redo the work you were dissatisfied with.

Is It Cost-Effective to Outsource Web Development?

Just because you can outsource web development, doesn't always mean it's right for everyone. If you have a trusted web designer on staff, or if your business uses an in-house team, they should be your first resort. However, a couple of different factors make outsourcing an attractive solution to a web design project.

The first reason is perhaps most appealing to a small business with an eye on its bottom line. Thanks to the international market, your dollar will go further when working with many overseas companies or agencies. Furthermore, since you'll have access to a global marketplace, you'll have a larger pool of workers, and a greater quality of work should rise to the surface as a result.

A disadvantage to consider: Time differences. A simple back-and-forth transaction might last an entire working day, as you'll need to wake up and check an email or message left for you at three in the morning in your own time zone. By the time the designer is attending to your feedback, you may have clocked off for the day.

Still, if you can handle the time differences, outsourcing web design overseas is the most cost-effective solution for business owners who don't have “web development” in their toolkit. But there are plenty of good value web design companies you can turn to in the U.S. as well, so don't rule out looking closer to home.

Check out our article breaking down typical web design costs for a more detailed look at the typical prices and projects.

Cost of Building A Website Yourself

All that said, you still have one remaining option – building a website on your own. This is surprisingly easy these days thanks to sophisticated, easy-to-use tools called website builders.

A typical small business site costs from $6 per month to $25 per month, depending on the scale of what you need

Remember that the first step in outsourcing web design is to determine the scale of your website. Perhaps you genuinely don't need any fancy functions or standout design elements, in which case a typical third-party website builder can do the job.

With most website builder tools, you'll be given a selection of templates to use, and you'll be able to further customize them within an easy-to-understand drag-and-drop website editor.

The format can feel cookie-cutter, but the results can still be boutique. That's thanks to some beautiful website templates that you can use as a starting point, before customizing to your heart's content.

If your business just needs a simple online base that lets your clients locate you, find out what you do, and get in touch, then building your own website is a serviceable solution. It's cost-effective, too, with a typical small business site costing from $6 per month to $25 per month, depending on the scale of what you need.

Here's an example of the pros and cons to expect from one of the most popular website builders out there, Wix. It's the top-rated website builder in our thorough testing:

Start Creating Your Website With Wix and Save


  • Brilliant range of site templates, including small business and sophisticated ecommerce sites
  • Drag-and-drop site builder makes things easy
  • AI approach to help you plan the perfect website
  • Broad range of price plans with great value options


  • We don't recommend Wix Free, which puts adverts on your site and gives you a poor URL
  • You can't modify the core template structure once live, though you can change pages, pictures and text easily
  • Storage space may be limited on the lower price plans

Should You Outsource Your Web Design?

If you have read through this entire guide, you should hopefully know by now whether outsourcing web design is right for you.

Have a web developer on staff? You likely shouldn't outsource. Just need a simple, no-nonsense website you can have a go at yourself? Look into the best website builders.

But, if you don't have an in-house web developer and need a boutique website, outsourcing will net you the best quality at the lowest cost.

Research the best designer for your purposes, collect quotes with our handy form below, communicate clearly during the project, and stay in touch afterwards – you just might develop a contact who'll remain useful for years to come.

Get Quotes Now To Compare Costs On Website Design

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Adam is a writer at and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for the last decade. He's also a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry (and Digital Book World 2018 award finalist) and has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect. When not glued to TechMeme, he loves obsessing over 1970s sci-fi art.