Why It’s Better to Outsource Web Design

Posted by on December 8, 2008 in Web Design [ 8 Comments ]

One important decision small businesses need to make today is who to hire to design and develop a corporate website. You can either outsource it to a web page design company or use in-house website designers. For small businesses, I’d recommend outsourcing and here’s why:

Outsourcing Saves Money

When outsourcing web page design, you only pay for the time spent on the project or a flat-fee for the entire web design. This can result is significant savings since opting to remain in-house for your web programming produces a necessary ongoing financial commitment to the web designer(s). This commitment can be in the form of salary, equipment, bonus, training, benefits, and more.

The Competitive Drive of External Agencies Benefits your Website

The web design industry is extremely competitive by nature. Due to the need to remain competitive in order to survive in the industry, there is more pressure on external agencies to stay up-to-date with the latest technology, web designs, innovations, and developments. As a result, external agencies are often better equipped and better staffed to take advantage of modern technology to produce effective website designs.

On the reverse, most companies make the mistake of using employees from the IT department to design and program the web. IT departments typically don’t focus on web design and are usually required to address several company issues unrelated to web design. Because the IT department is not worried with whether or not they must be up to date on the latest web design techniques in order to be competitive in the web page design industry, it could result in outdated technology, old-fashioned web designs and obsolete web programming techniques.

Bigger Means Better

External agencies are normally larger than in-house web designer teams. Thus, they likely have an advantage when it comes to complex and cutting-edge websites. In addition, since external agencies are usually larger, they have numerous specialists in specific web programming fields like accessibility or usability and are often better equipped to take advantage of modern technology and challenging website designs.

Outsourcing Means Fresh Eyes

Outsourcing web page design brings a fresh, unbiased and objective perspective into the mix and ultimately enhance your marketing message and functionality.

Experience Equals Quality

Professional web page design companies typically have entire teams of experts and specialists who offer vast experience and expertise in web design and web programming. On the contrary, in-house web designers are often-times not very experienced, struggle to create high-quality web designs, and can take a much longer period of time to do so.

In-House Invites Internal Issues

Selecting in-house web designers can result in delayed and unfinished projects because your chosen web programmers may be sidetracked or derailed by internal politics or conflicting IT priorities. This problem does not exist when outsourcing web page design because you use external agencies that are unconcerned with your company’s politics and various IT issues.

If you are a small businesses, visit Resource Nation’s comprehensive list of web page design companies.

8 thoughts on “Why It’s Better to Outsource Web Design

  1. avatarJason Lancaster

    I like this list – it’s a great break-down of the reasons that most companies should out-source web design. I’ve found the issue with small business and web design is a little different, however. Rather than struggling with the decision to “outsource” or use “internal assets,” many small business owners struggle with the idea of designing the site themselves, working with some friend or family member, or paying for a professional design. My recommendation – ALWAYS pay for a professional web design. Your site is your storefront, and consumers will “walk by” your store if the storefront looks like it was assembled by a 5 year old. If cost is a concern, it’s important to remember a professional web designer can create a basic site for a surprisingly small amount of money.

    As far as letting IT staff design a website, I agree wholeheartedly with your statements. IT personnel often design sites with the “back end” and “power users” in mind, meaning your typical consumer might find an IT designed site difficult to use and confusing. Nothing against IT personnel, but they should stick with making the machine go instead of making it look pretty! :-)

  2. avatarPaul

    I’m an IT guy. I keep the computers running, stay on top of technology, its trends, and security vulnerabilities. I make software recommendations, I build websites, and I make web applications, data analysis, sensor-level I/O, etc.

    Web design is the lowest priority for me; functionality takes top prescient. The amount of data needed for a fully functional, scientific web app is enormous, and by the time I’m done dealing with data back-end processing, including developing the API and necessary services, there’s little time or budget left for design. Design doesn’t matter to me; simplicity and functionality are my core focal points.

    With the right website layout, a programmer of my talents (whatever they may be), can simply insert the app into the template code and move on.

    GOTCHAS: Google Maps, when it first debuted, wouldn’t work on elements in a multiply-nested table layout. We had to redesign the website just to insert a Google Map. That’s all changed now, but our website has the new layout. It was an unbudgeted, forced renovation with immediate need, and is full of kludge due to its imperative.

    Outsource your web design, [period]

  3. avatarShaun

    What a joke.

    All this article tells me is that the author:

    a) Has never really used outsourced web designers on a recurring basis.
    b) Has really, really, really low expectations or doesn’t care about quality designs.
    c) Does outsourced web design and is trying to make it seem better.

    Here’s the facts:

    You get what you pay for. If you want a Ferrari of a website, you’ll pay a Ferrari price. If you want a Wal-Mart Powerwheels, by all means, go for it.

    I’ve been in this industry for over 7 years and I have come to learn that my time is worth money and the time wasted trying to wrangle up someone who can barely speak to me thousands of miles away to get a project done *the way I want* makes outsourcing more expensive in the long run.

  4. avatarAdrian

    To Paul above:

    Design may not matter to you but it does to the marketing department and conversion rates. Improved landing pages and site usability can save thousands of dollars a month in marketing costs. You may think it doesn’t matter to you but I’m sure you will when it comes time for your raise.

    To Shaun above:

    I agree you get what you pay for but right now is probably a better time then ever to get high quality work for a reduced price due to the economy and many freelancers probably willing to knock off 20% off that bill. For a company just starting out hiring a full time designer does not make much sense. Getting off the ground for a good price is most important.

  5. avatarJason Lancaster

    I would echo the comments that out-sourced web design doesn’t mean you should work with an overseas, lowest cost provider. The trouble is that the local aspect of small business makes it almost impossible for anyone outside your area to truly comprehend your goals.

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