A Step-by-Step Guide for Hiring Designers

Every business needs a website. It’s often the first thing your potential customers see, so it’s important that it’s visually appealing. 

A well-designed website invites customers to explore your products and services and ultimately make a purchasing decision. 

However, you might not have the experience or time to design it yourself or the budget to hire a full-time designer. 

If you’re thinking about outsourcing your website design to an external agency, here we outline everything you need to consider before making a final decision.

What Is Web Design Outsourcing?

Outsourcing web design is just as it sounds—hiring external contractors or agencies to complete design tasks related to your website. These tasks can include anything from the actual look and feel of your site to improving UX (user experience). 

Design agencies often employ talented designers, developers, and project managers who work together to produce high-quality content that adheres to your unique brand and business needs.

What Web Design Can Be Outsourced?

Design work is more than just deciding what your website will look like. Here are a few types of services a design agency can help you with:

Brand Identity 

Working with you, designers can create a color scheme, typography, and other visual components that fit your brand and appeal to your target market.

UX/UI Design 

User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design are essential components of web development. Experts in this area can create intuitive, user-friendly interfaces that improve user experience and encourage engagement.


A website must be optimized for all devices and browsers. An adaptable website design is crucial to ensuring that it works well on a range of screen sizes and mobile devices.

Redesign and Design Updates

Web design trends and technologies are always changing. Over time, your website might need to be updated and improved. Outsourcing this service helps guarantee that your site is current, useful, and aligned with best practices.

Web Development vs. Web Design

Web design and web development are separate but closely related jobs. You may need to outsource one or both. Let’s take a deeper look at each.

Web Design

Web design includes a website’s visual appeal, navigation, and usefulness, as well as its color schemes, typography, and general aesthetics. Designers produce mockups and prototypes that depict a site’s appearance and feel using programs like Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, or Figma.

Web Development

On the other side, web development entails transforming the web design into a fully functional website. The site is coded by developers using programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to ensure it functions properly on various devices and browsers. 

Outsourcing Both Web Design and Web Development

Many design agencies provide full services, including both web design and web development. 

Outsourcing both can be very advantageous. Working with an established agency will give you access to experts with design and development experience, ensuring smooth communication and a more effective project process. Employing such an agency for both tasks can help you save time and money while producing a well-designed, unified website that supports your company’s goals.

What to Consider When Outsourcing Web Design

Before you decide to outsource your website’s design, you’ll want to list out all the factors you need to consider. Here are the top three we think you should take into account:

  • Budget. Research costs for your anticipated design needs vs. hiring an internal employee and compare those against what you can budget. 
  • Project scope. List out your design needs, like the number of website pages that will need to be built out and additional functions like a point of sale system.
  •  Timeline. When do you need the project finished? Keep in mind that the more complex your site, the more time an agency may request.

In-House vs. Outsourced Web Design

Now that you’re familiar with possible services you can receive from a design agency, as well as your business needs, let’s take a deeper look at the pros and cons of both outsourcing vs. in-house web design.

Pros and Cons of In-House Web Design


  • Greater direct influence over the design process. You can keep a close eye on things and give input right away.
  • Collaboration with internal designers. Your designer or design team can work closely with other divisions, such as product development or marketing.
  • Familiarity with your brand. An in-house designer won’t require the learning curve and will be more familiar with your expectations than an outsider.


  • Cost. Maintaining in-house staff can be more costly because you’ll need to pay salaries, benefits, and overhead costs.
  • Limited experience. Your in-house staff may not have the necessary knowledge and expertise in all facets of web design, which could result in knowledge gaps.
  • Less flexibility. It might be difficult to scale your in-house staff up or down based on project demands.

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Web Design


  • Efficiency. Since you only pay for the services you actually use and don’t have to cover the overhead costs of keeping a full-time crew, outsourcing web design can be more economical.
  • Access to knowledge. By outsourcing, you may draw from a wide range of talent and specialized knowledge, ensuring that you have the information and experience necessary for your project.
  • More flexibility. Outsourcing makes adjusting to shifting market conditions or project requirements easier because you may scale your web design efforts up or down depending on your business needs.
  • New perspective. External web design companies can help you stay ahead of the competition and improve your online presence by bringing fresh ideas and methods for your digital marketing initiatives.


  • Less direct control. Outsourcing gives you less influence over the design process.
  • Communication difficulties, especially with time zone or language barriers.
  • Less brand familiarity. Outsourced designers might not quite hit the mark if they aren’t as familiar with your brand and company culture.

How to Choose a Web Design Agency

Your digital marketing success depends on choosing the right design company to work with your business. Identify and hire the best agency to match your particular needs by following these steps:

1. Outline your web design requirements, including:

  • Project scope 
  • Desired style and feel of your website 
  • Specific features or functionalities you need 

Clearly state your goals, such as expanding brand visibility or enhancing user experience.

2. Research and evaluate potential web design firms. Ask for suggestions from people in your professional network, look through trade publications, or search online. Look for information about the agencies’ experience, standing, and client reviews, and compile a shortlist.

3. Review portfolios of the agencies you’ve shortlisted better to understand their design sensibilities, abilities, and expertise. Evaluate work samples that match your project’s specifications.

4. Interview the agencies on your shortlist. Make sure to discuss expectations for the project’s deliverables, timeframe, and how you’ll communicate. Some agencies might also provide proposals or design concepts for your consideration.

5. Make your decision. Compare each proposal and quote before making your decision. When you’ve made your choice and agreed to all terms, then you can draw up a contract. This contract will typically include a description of the services provided, payment terms, and other details.

How Much Does Outsourcing Web Design Cost?

The price of outsourcing web design can vary dramatically—anywhere from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. Consider the following to ensure you’re getting the most return on your investment:

  • Project scope and complexity. Your project’s size and complexity will directly impact its cost, with larger, more complex projects often requiring more time and resources.
  • Experience and reputation of the agency. Agencies with a lot of experience and a good reputation may charge more, reflecting their knowledge and track record.
  • Customization and functionality. Your project’s price may be higher depending on your need for advanced features or functions.

UX/UI Design

According to Purrweb, a UX/UI design project can cost between $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the number and complexity of features, visual complexity, and the expertise of the design team. Upwork provides hourly rates for hiring UX/UI designers ranging from $30 to $125 for interface layout/design, $40 to $90 for visual design, and $35 to $105 for interaction design, depending on the designer’s experience and expertise.

It’s important to note that the cost of UX/UI design can also depend on the location of the designer or design team, as rates can vary by region. Additionally, the cost of UX/UI design can vary greatly depending on the specific project requirements and the expertise of the designer or design team.

Brand Identity

The cost of brand identity can vary depending on the project’s complexity and the agency or designer’s experience. According to DesignRush, a branding project can cost between $1,000 to $5,000+ for brand identity, $1,000 to $7,000+ for market research, $2,000 to $8,000+ for a logo, and $2,500 to $5,000+ for a visual style guide.

However, the cost of branding can be much higher depending on the project’s scope and the agency or designer’s expertise. For example, Branded Agency states that branding costs for identity design can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, with an average cost of $25,000 to $70,000+ for the full branding package, including brand strategy, messaging, and visuals.

Overall, it’s important to research and compare rates from different designers and agencies to find a cost that works for your budget and project needs.

Find Web Design Agencies on Semrush’s Agency Partners Platform

The Semrush Agency Partners Platform provides a curated list of trustworthy web design firms that companies can search for and assess possible business partners. 

The tool offers comprehensive details about each agency, such as their specialties, portfolios, client testimonials, and contact information.

Browse the listings or use the search feature to narrow down the results based on your specific needs, such as region, budget, or industry specialization to locate a web design agency on the Agency Partners Platform. 

You can contact a suitable agency directly through the site once you’ve found it to discuss your project and get a proposal. Try it out today.

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