How to Outsource Web Design Step by Step: Guide for Product Owners

9417 Updated 08.15.2023
Anna Holishevska

Design Team Lead at Northell


Table of contents

Outsourcing web services is the transfer of part of a company’s business processes (web development processes) to external contractors. Almost any process can be outsourced, from cleaning premises to building a system architecture.

Design and web design are the processes that are almost always outsourced since most companies do not need designers on their staff. Therefore, they order design development services from outsourcing companies, including ours.

According to Outsource Insight, 71% of businesses that outsource web development projects include some of the most famous Fortune 500 companies like Apple, Microsoft and General Electric. Furthermore, most Fortune 500 businesses engage specialists offshore and rely on these remote offshore teams to complete projects.

Web Design Outsourcing Overview

Before we dive deep into how to outsource web development, let us figure out why it is so in demand. According to Capital Counselor, By 2025, the global IT outsourcing market will be worth $397.6 billion. This growth will be driven by two major factors:

  • Cost-Efficiency: Outsourcing web design solutions consume much fewer resources than doing so in-house. According to Glassdoor research, companies pay web developers $90,000 per year. They may acquire the same skills for roughly half the price by employing offshore developers.
  • Global Talent Access: Web design outsourcing gives you instant access to available talent all over the world, saving you time and money by eliminating the entire hiring and onboarding process.

We will discuss other benefits of web design outsourcing later in the article.

When is Outsourced Web Design Highly Reasonable for Your Project

Outsource web design and development will be relevant for your projects if:

  • The price of services in your area is higher than in other places where you can hire a web design outsourcing team.
  • You do not need a stable team but only one-time service.
  • You are a startup and you need maximum value for money.
  • The type of work you need to do is able to be taken over by the web design outsourcing team.
  • You need new people with fresh views on your existing project to help raise conversions or achieve other business goals.
  • The terms of employment suit both you as a client and a team as a contractor.
  • You are a startup with a limited budget and you need a faster and cheaper MVP.
  • You need to make new functionalities or changes to the existing project gradually.
  • You need guarantees from the contractor.

Suppose you are looking for a web design outsourcing agency, or you have a team that works with low efficiency. In that case, you should likely reconsider your strategy and think about what web design outsourcing can give you. Let’s take a look at why such a step might help solve most project management problems.

Limited budget

Insourcing is more expensive than web design outsourcing. If you want to implement a specific project, but your budget is quite limited, delegating tasks to those who have the necessary skills and technologies to implement the project will be the most optimal step.

There are more tasks than time to complete them 

One of the most obvious reasons entrepreneurs outsource project tasks is too much workload. If the number of tasks on a project is significantly greater than the time frame allows, proper load balancing should be the top priority.

Your team does not have enough expertise to implement the project 

The more expertise a team has in certain technologies, the more tasks it can accomplish. On the other hand, the range of technologies used should not be limited solely to the skills of your employees.

With the help of a web design outsourcing team, you can always be sure that you will find the right specialist with the necessary set of skills and knowledge. And the most important thing is that web design outsourcing is much cheaper than training your own personnel.

You want to act quickly and get results in the short term

The IT industry is constantly changing. If your team cannot keep up with all the innovations in the field of web development, it is worth considering outsourcing your project. This model of collaboration allows for tangible results in the short term.

How to Outsource Web Design in 6 Easy Steps

When it comes to web design outsourcing, one thing that companies should avoid is making hasty decisions. It’s crucial to learn how to outsource web development services.

Don’t start by posting a job offer on the first site you come across. One of the most challenging aspects of outsourcing website design and development is choosing the proper organization to work with and ensuring that your team understands how to get the project off to a good start.

Examine the web design outsourcing concept to have a better understanding of how it works. It consists of six crucial steps:

Step 1: Analyze your problems and requests

You should establish your web development service objectives and difficulties, as well as your end goal and project needs, before outsourcing web app development. 

Even in the case of outsourced development and design, imprecise expectations will result in time and money being squandered.

It would be best if you began by writing a textual description of your web product.

Please answer the following questions:

  • What is your project’s ultimate goal?
  • What are your project’s requirements?
  • What issues would you like to solve?
  • What request do you have? 

Step 2: Choose the best outsourced web design model

To choose the finest outsource web development service providers, you must first identify the type of outsourcing you require. There are three forms of outsourcing:

Onshore outsourcing

When a customer wants to outsource web development activities to other regions inside the client’s country or area, this is referred to as onshore outsourcing.

By outsourcing to a local firm, you may avoid the risks and costs of training your own team to create a web product, and you can forget about language and cultural obstacles. Although the quality of onshore outsource web developers is outstanding, nearshore and offshore options are far more tempting.

Nearshore outsourcing

Outsourcing software development to an organization in the same time zone is referred to as this sort of sourcing. The main advantage of nearshore outsourcing is that the cultures and languages of the client and the outsourced vendor are comparable.

When comparing outsourcing to nearshore or onshore location, the former provides for higher cost savings during web development and faster business operations.

Offshore outsourcing

Offshore or international outsourcing occurs when a customer hires an outsourced web engineering team in a foreign location. Hiring an offshore firm to outsource digital product development allows clients to have access to the largest pool of competent specialists without paying a lot of money. It also promotes the rapidity of all current processes.

To choose the most suitable model of outsourced web design for your project, you must take this matter seriously and do research. Read the reviews of all the models and ask other companies about their experience with different models to get started. It is also essential to find out what the price is for different models and so on. 

Don’t forget to take into account three pricing models for outsourced projects we discussed above. Once you have identified the most suitable models for you, you can start choosing an agency or freelancer.

Step 3: Select agency or freelancer 

You may begin looking for a web development vendor once you’ve decided on a type and model of outsourcing. You may use sites like and, search engine results, or ask your professional network to share their experience.

The next step is to build a list of organizations with which you’d like to collaborate. It’s critical to understand how to outsource web development experience properly.

However, don’t go with the first outsourcing web development company that you will find. List the top outsourcing companies who appear to fulfill your web development and design requirements, have a great reputation and will be suitable for your project.

We have prepared some hiring tips that will help you choose the best option. Here are some crucial pieces of information you should ask about while interviewing the potential vendors:

  • Experience. Ask a company representative whether their team has previously created projects for outsourced web product development in a similar field to yours.
  • Portfolio. Analyze the projects that the company was working on and has successfully completed.
  • Tech Stack. Analyze your possible vendor’s technology stack and skills.
  • Feedback. Check the feedback from previous customers. What do they say about the team and the outcomes of the collaboration?
  • Team. Review the prominent team members’ skill sets and experience.

Step 4: Write product specification 

A design specification is a collection of requirements that a product must meet. When further facts are known, a specification may be created using the brief as a starting point for research. The information must be gathered through study to assist in the development of early design ideas and improvements.

You can read more about how to write design specifications in our recent article How To Write The Design Specification? [Quick Guide]. Northell team has prepared a quick guide that will help you understand the basic principles of writing specs.

Step 5: Start the hiring process 

Here are some key expectations needed when hiring a website development outsourcing company:

Estimation and Evaluation – The team should offer a document that includes a market and competitive analysis. They should also give a comprehensive overview of the project.

Staffing flexibility – You should have an option to choose members of the development team on their skills and competencies. As the project evolves, you should be able to add new developers and designers or reduce the number of people working on it.

Honest pricing – A vendor’s estimated price for a project should be within 20-30% of the market average price.

Clear timelines – The vendor should issue frequent releases or updates to demonstrate that the project is moving forward according to the agreed-upon schedule.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – Potential partners should be familiar with the MVP development process. An MVP model allows you to test your concept while also saving you time and money.

Project management – A professional web development agency should be self-sufficient and able to achieve agreed-upon deadlines without your supervision. A tech-lead, project manager, or product owner should be able to explain your concept to designers and developers while staying inside the project’s scope.

In order for the process of hiring a company that provides outsource web design projects to be successful, you must act systematically and not deviate from your requirements. Here are some additional rules to follow during the hiring process:

  • Stability and consistency. Leaving everything to chance, you will get the result much later than you would like.
  • Consultation with partners. Communication is one of the essential components that should not be forgotten during the hiring process. By consulting with partners, you gain additional experience and avoid future mistakes.
  • Data collection. Collecting the data you need, for example, in a spreadsheet will help you avoid confusion and be able to compare teams, prices, terms, etc. 

Step 6: Set KPI and analyze cooperation

For your cooperation with the web design outsourcing team to succeed and get a great product, it is vital to establish KPI.

Key performance indicators differ in several features that must be taken into account when forming them: 

  • Indicators are critically important for the web design outsourcing process or the business as a whole.
  • They can be objectively measured in numerical terms (time, quantity, percentage, volume, share, etc.) 
  • Calculation of the current value of the indicator should not require additional severe work on the part of the contractor or own personnel.
  • Indicators should reflect the contractor’s performance and not depend to a large extent on other factors.
  • When using several KPIs, it is essential to establish the weight of each indicator and the gradation of the levels of their achievement.

Also, don’t forget to analyze your cooperation. Pay attention to how often the outsourcing company gets in touch to show the result of work for a particular time or approve some points. Evaluate how well the team is doing their job and whether they are on time.

Outsource Web Design to Northell Team

Northell can help your business reach its full digital potential with our expert web design and development outsourcing services. Our experienced team employs cutting-edge technologies to build high-performing, scalable websites that guarantee success. With us on board, you will get the perfect solution that matches all of your expectations at an unbeatable price!

We can provide you with the following web design outsourcing services:

  • UI/UX design. Our team offers a wide range of UI/UX design services to help companies build effective customer retention strategies and develop authentic, human-centered identities that engage and thrill.
  • UI design. Northell provides UI solutions that are customized to your audience, represent customer values, and successfully support your business goals.
  • UX design. Using the latest technologies and best UX practices, our UX design team can provide you with products that are customized to unique user requirements and business objectives.
  • Responsive web design. We can make your product adapt to user behavior independent of screen size, platform, or orientation.
  • Mobile app design. By using our mobile app design services, you will get bespoke iOS, Android or cross-platform mobile app design that increase user engagement.
  • Web redesign. We constantly keep the end user in mind while redesigning, and we provide a variety of redesign services ranging from UX research to interface redesign, as well as thorough usability assessments.      

If you have an idea for a project, entrust its implementation to our team. Contact us today to discuss all the details of your project!    

How Outsourced Web Design Works

Full Project from scratch

In this case, it works as follows. You find a contractor for your project that suits you according to your criteria (price, experience, etc.), give them a project for an evaluation, get estimates and then offer to work on your project. During the work, you hold meetings, workshops and receive reports on the work done. 

Usually, client and contractor meetings discuss project details, features, the vision of the project, etc. Workshops discuss UI/ UX solutions for the project and ways of implementation. The web design outsourcing team should send the reports to the customer once a week or once every 4-5 days. It all depends on how you agree.


Startups have their own peculiarity to keep in mind. When working with a startup project, the web design outsourcing team will have to pay close attention to business analysis and product discovery. Teams will need to identify users, competitors and do a lot of work on user experience. Therefore, if you are the owner of a startup, it is important to remember about constant communication with the team and control on your part. In our age of technology, this is not a big problem. 

When choosing a team, pay attention to experience. It is essential that the company has experience working with startup projects and has successful cases that you can evaluate. Don’t limit yourself to choosing a team from your city. Many professional and skilled web designers and developers work abroad, namely in Eastern Europe.

Current project

In existing projects, the model of working with an outsourcing team is a little different. Existing projects already have working designers. Usually, such projects require specialists who can refine or update a current product. The peculiarity of web design outsourcing in existing projects is that communication may not be as frequent as in the past two cases and the customer carries out management.

In general, there is a small but constant number of tasks during the work on such projects, so it is desirable to have relevant experience. Clients with such projects hire an outsourcing team for long-term cooperation, and other conditions are built accordingly, as the product always needs improvement. In this case, the price of the web design outsourcing team will be much lower.

2 Main Outsourced Web Design Models 

Choosing the proper pricing model might be challenging when working with a software engineering partner on an outsourced project. You must establish a balance between risk and reward for both parties while also ensuring that your outsourcing partner delivers solutions rather than activities to get the best return on investment. We’ve prepared a list of the top three pricing structures for outsourced projects that provide the most value.

Fixed-price model

Fixed-price contracts are suitable for projects with a well-defined scope and a set of needs that are constant. Fixed-price contracts move the risks of project failure on the outsourcing partner by delaying payment until the work is completed while also safeguarding your budget.

The fixed-price model is appropriate for long-term projects with a high value to the outsourcing partner since it motivates them to complete duties more effectively and get more value from the contract. However, be prepared for your partners to want more flexible payment arrangements. 

Some web design outsourcing providers may charge you a percentage of the total price if you reach certain milestones, such as finalizing the front-end design. In general, this approach is appropriate for businesses that clearly understand their product and the outcome they aim to achieve.

Time and Material model

Under the Time and Material model, your outsourcing partner should bid on the project based on your specifications, scope, and quantity of work to be done. This strategy works effectively if your teams are skilled at identifying the requirements of your project. As a consequence, your web design outsourcing partner will spend less time fixing difficulties, which will shorten the time it takes to finish your project and save you money.

Prepare to build effective project management teams in order to finish the project on time and on budget. To minimize costly delays, you’ll need to keep a careful check on project development. Remember that providing for a buffer may come in handy if the project runs over time or budget.

The time and material model is ideally suited for projects that require ongoing collaboration and work on the product, testing, and so forth. T&M is appropriate for Agile and SCRUM processes. This model is also frequently utilized by startups and businesses with fresh ideas.

Top 5 Benefits of Web Design Outsourcing

Outsourced web design provides a huge number of benefits to product owners. Let’s look at the most basic of them:


Web design outsourcing is the perfect solution for businesses looking to reach business goals within a limited budget. Not only can companies save significantly on hourly rates of developers – with Eastern Europe averaging $35-$50 per hour compared to US prices at up to $150 per hour – but they won’t have any worries about compromising quality.

Hiring an in-house team can require considerable investment – from the purchase of equipment to renting office space and providing employee benefits. By comparison, outsourcing your project opens up opportunities for cost savings; you simply pay for the time spent developing it rather than worrying about overhead costs. This is especially advantageous when launching an online business where budget management is critical. 

Access to top talents

Online outsourcing offers a unique solution to quickly and cost-effectively build your web design team, bypassing the costly and time-consuming process of recruiting individual members. By utilizing this approach, you can create an effective, cohesive group with minimal effort who can help drive your project’s success.

Shared working hours

Leveraging the time difference is an invaluable benefit of outsourcing web design. As East Coast teams wrap up their day, developers in offshore locations are just getting started – providing a seamless workflow that allows your team to break out of traditional 9-5 constraints while saving on costs associated with labor and engagement. 

In particular, this seven-hour gap between American East Coast hours and those in Ukraine provides unique value for budget-minded businesses without sacrificing quality or speed. 

Better risk management

Today, staying ahead of potential risks is essential for every business. Though the perceived danger may deter some from outsourcing projects to a third-party provider, it’s important to note that most companies prioritize their reputation and trustworthiness as key factors when collaborating with clients – which allows businesses like yours an added layer of assurance. 

Entrusting such tasks to experts skilled in IT design and development specifically make your project more resistant to any internal missteps or limitations within your own team that could lead to increased risk down the line.

More focus on core things

Design and development are essential, but they shouldn’t be your sole focus. Outsource these technical tasks to unlock opportunities to bolster other aspects of your business. 

Maybe you’ll sharpen existing services or embrace market research for valuable insights into better-serving customers – all while expanding brand awareness by seeking out potential investors and strategizing growth plans!

How to Get the Most Out Of Web Design Outsourcing

In order for you to get the most out of cooperation with website design outsourcing companies, we have prepared a small checklist that will help you: 

List your requirements and find the right company

Regardless of which agency or organization you outsource your web development project to, you will run into problems if you don’t have a clear understanding of your requirements. You should keep one thing in mind: there are several web development tasks, and each of these tasks requires a different solution and mechanism for the project to succeed. 

Once you have a clear understanding of your requirements, you should pay attention to the agency’s past performance you intend to hire. Finally, when you are at the stage of choosing a web development company, be sure to speak with several organizations to determine the best option.

Be honest and direct

Whether it’s an individual freelancer or an outsourcing company, their most valuable resource is customer input. Providing correct feedback or information will help the web design outsourcing company understand your point of view and project requirements. If you are determined to launch your project well, feel free to mention details and try to give your opinion.

Ask all doubts and inquiries

It is important to envisage an outsourcing project from start to finish. You should be aware of the difficulties or mistakes that can arise when developing a web development project. This is an important aspect of a successful website development outsourcing service, so make sure you handle any queries or concerns you might have. 

Try to get straightforward answers to your questions. This will prevent any unexpected problems from occurring in your project’s development cycle and you will remain committed to the quality of your project. 

Define the expectations of your project

It is important to define your expectations and make sure there is room for technical difficulties. Even after every minute of thinking, there is a chance that things could fall apart when designing a website. 

This is usually due to a misunderstanding or expectation mismatching the capabilities of the outsourcing company. During your initial discussion with the web design outsourcing team, be clear about your expectations and remember to highlight them in the company.

Typical Web Design Outsourcing Mistakes and Risks 

Here are the three major mistakes to avoid when outsourcing web development, based on our experience.

Mistake #1 Starting with a blurry vision

You’ll need to discuss your idea for your web product with your designers and developers once you’ve chosen your team. Communicating your ideas to your team may be challenging if your product vision isn’t completely developed. Similarly, your outsourcing workforce will struggle to get started on your project.

Your team will most likely give you the best version of what they believe you want if you don’t set clear expectations. You’ll almost certainly be dissatisfied with the outcomes they deliver and will seek modifications. Unfortunately, the farther you get into the development process, the more difficult and expensive it will be to execute those modifications.

Mistake #2 Undervaluing project management

When looking for an outsourcing team, you may notice that certain teams provide a project manager while others do not. Hiring a team without a project manager may be tempting since you can save money on project management while also enabling them to wear the PM hat. This, however, usually results in considerably more suffering than it is worth.

If you don’t have a project manager, you could find yourself in charge of setting timetables and assigning work, keeping your team on track, and scheduling calls to convey progress and updates. Balancing all of those tasks with your other responsibilities, on the other hand, might be challenging, primarily if you work across time zones.

Mistake #3 Short-term relationship

As more and more outsourced web development teams are willing to partner with you in the long term today, there is no need to maintain short-term relationships with your team. From development to ongoing support and service, a long-term relationship with your team can provide you with the best experience and even better results.

Top 4 Regions for Web Design Outsourcing

Today, outsourcing software development is simple due to the large number of countries that provide these services. Consider Eastern Europe, Western Europe, South America, and Asia as potential outsourcing destinations for software development and web design.

Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe is one of the finest places to outsource web and app development. For example, Ukraine, Poland, and Romania can provide highly competent developers and IT professionals for projects of any size.

The following are the major reasons why businesses in the United States and Western Europe prefer Eastern Europe (particularly Ukraine and Poland) to outsource web development services:

  • Low costs for top-notch professionals.
  • A large talent pool.
  • Proficiency in English and cultural affinities.

Web development outsourcing in Ukraine

Ukraine is a significant East European country with a huge pool of skilled IT professionals. The country is included in the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Global Innovation Index. 

The US market accounts for 50% of the income of Ukrainian outsourcing companies. More than 170,000 IT professionals work in the country. Annually, 23,000 IT graduates are recruited, and this number is increasing.

According to a Gartner study, Ukraine is the most cost-effective location for outsourced web development services among post-Soviet countries.

Western Europe

If you thought that the average hourly rate for IT services in this region is rather expensive, you were correct. The countries of Western Europe are developed, with huge economies and hefty taxation.

A high level of living, in turn, leads to high pricing, and IT services are no exception. Finally, it leads to excessive pay for local developers, which directly opposes the expectations of clients.

South America

This region lacks an innovative environment as well as a strong math and science education. South America, being a relatively new outsource development location, may provide services at a reasonable cost. 

Although this region’s workforce is excellent, it nevertheless lacks technical skills. South American countries are still in the early stages of developing business processes and training tech-savvy professionals.

Eastern Europe, for example, might be more advantageous for companies looking for a reliable outsourcing company that can provide high-quality, low-cost web developing services.


Asia, being one of the most cost-effective regions for outsourcing web development services, can supply a large pool of talent. However, it’s important to note that IT titans can afford to hire in-house managers, interpreters, and other Asian-culture experts. Small firms, on the other hand, may face cultural differences that are too tough to bridge.

How Much Does Web Design Outsourcing Cost

We have already covered all the important issues related to outsourcing web design and development. It’s time to find out how much web design outsourcing costs. Outsourced web design cost depends on many factors, such as:

  • Project complexity;
  • Design complexity;
  • Site architecture complexity;
  • Number of features;
  • Team experience.

For your convenience and comparison, we have compiled a table that shows the price of individual processes for creating a full-fledged product in different regions.

A Few Last Words About How to Outsource Web Design

Outsourcing to a third-party website design and development company provides several advantages to businesses. When a development project falls beyond the scope of your company’s core competencies, it’s a wise decision to collaborate with an outsourced company to assist your organization gain a competitive edge while streamlining corporate processes.







Do I need to Outsource Web Design?

Yes. 99% of companies and projects are suitable for web design outsourcing. This is a fairly cheap and high-quality way to get a great product. Both large corporations and small startups use outsourcing. Choose web design outsourcing if: 


1. You need to develop a project from scratch. 
2. You need to complete an existing project. 
3. You need to support your project in terms of marketing and social activity.

How to Manage an Outsourced Web Design team?

First of all, prepare a straightforward technical task, correctly formulate your requirements and vision of the product, take the choice of contractor seriously. Outsourcing team management is possible through meetings, workshops, reports, constant file access and constant communication. Based on the specifics of your project, choose the most appropriate project management methodology.

What do you need to know before Outsource Web Design?

We recommend analyzing market prices, the specifics of the regions that offer outsourcing teams, terms of employment, etc.

Outsource Web Design for a startup – is it good or not?

Hiring an outsourcing team for startups is just necessary. Here is a list of the main benefits for you as a startup:

- It is a very cost-effective way.
- You will have access to a larger pool of talents.
- Outsourcing reduces risks and stress.
- It allows you to focus on your core competencies.
- Outsourcing allows you to speed up process organization and development. 

Why is Eastern Europe such a popular place for web design outsourcing?

The main reason is great value for money. Europeans, namely Ukrainians, are in close contact with European culture and American culture. Experts from Eastern Europe better understand the market, users and their needs. Many well-known companies choose Eastern Europe to outsource their projects because there are many experienced and inexpensive experts here.

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