Where & How to Outsource Web Design – Complete Guide

In today’s digital landscape, a website with good UI/UX is not just a nice-to-have but an absolute must-have for any business looking to thrive. Your website is your online storefront, your virtual receptionist, and your 24/7 sales rep, all rolled into one. A poorly designed website can turn potential customers away, damaging your brand’s reputation and impacting your bottom line.

But designing a website from scratch can be a time-consuming and expensive process. This is where outsourcing can be a great solution.

Through outsourcing, you can effectively access a global pool of talented designers who can bring your vision to life at a fraction of the cost. However, just like web development, outsourcing web design can be daunting if you need help knowing where to start.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about outsourcing web design effectively.

Starting Price
High-end talent marketplace focusing on top 3% of freelancers, including web designers. Offers experienced and highly skilled professionals.
Find experienced and qualified freelancers approved by Upwork team.
One of the most well-known freelance marketplaces offering web design starting from $5.
Hire a freelance web designer or hold a competition starting at $599. Offers creator vetting, source files, and full copyright ownership.
Contest-based platform where you choose the submission that meets your web design requirements starting at $99.
Job marketplace where you can list jobs or run contests to hire web designers starting at $3.00.

Outsourcing Web Design – What Does It Mean?

Outsourcing means contracting someone outside the company or any third-party agency and paying them to do your work.

Outsourcing web design involves hiring a third-party agency or freelancer to handle your website design needs.

So, in the case of web designing, instead of having an in-house team, you’ll work with experts outside your company to create a professional and effective website the way you want.

How To Outsource Web Design?

Outsourcing web design is not that simple. You need a clear idea about your project and find people who can give you the desired results.

So here are a few things you need to keep in mind while outsourcing your web design;

Define The Scope Of Work

Designing a website is a creative process that requires a clear understanding of the project’s goals, target audience, design style, and functionality. Before embarking on a web design project, it’s essential to define the scope of work to ensure that everyone involved is on the same page and to make the design process more efficient.

Creating a comprehensive creative brief is essential to ensure that both the designer and the client are on the same page from the beginning. The brief should outline the project’s goals, objectives, timeline, and budget.

To define the scope of work for a web design project, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the primary purpose of the website?
  • Who is the target audience, and what are their needs?
  • What are the essential features and functionalities required for the website?
  • What design style and brand guidelines should be used?
  • What is the estimated timeline and budget for the project?

By answering these questions, you can define the scope of work and set clear expectations for the project. This will help ensure that the web design project is successful, meets your needs, and is completed on time and within budget.

Understand The Contracts

Outsourcing is a business relationship and requires a binding contract to protect the interests of both parties. Every business and web designer has different requirements; hence each contract is unique.

Therefore it’s important to know the different contract models available and which is the best for you. These options vary in pricing structures and can help ensure that you and your chosen designer are on the same page.

Here are a few types of contracts that you can enter into with your freelance web designer;

  • Time and Materials Contract: This contract involves billing for the amount of time spent working on your project and any materials used. This is a good choice if you have a complex project requiring much collaboration and flexibility. For example, if you want to hire a web designer for 5 hours of work at $10/hour, your total cost would be $50 plus the charges for any materials used.
  • Fixed-Price Contract: This type of contract might be more suitable if you have a clear vision of what you want, and want to avoid any unexpected costs. With this model, you and the designer agree on a set price for the entire project before work begins. Here you only pay for the final product and any revisions you make to it.
  • Retainer Contract: This type of contract is good for ongoing work. Here you pay a set amount at regular intervals, such as weekly or monthly, in exchange for the designer’s ongoing services.
  • Pain Share/Gain Share Contract: It is an interesting contract for people who are struggling to afford traditional rates. In this type of contract, the designer agrees to share a certain percentage of the profits (or losses) made from the project.
  • Task-Based Contract: It is a straightforward contract where you only pay for work that is completed to your satisfaction. With this option, you agree to pay a set amount for each task that the designer completes.

Choose The Type Of Outsourcing

You can outsource your web designing needs to either a freelancer or an exclusive web designing agency based on your budget and requirements.

  • Freelancer: The internet is teeming with freelance web designers of all shapes and sizes, each with unique skill sets. If you’re on a budget, freelancers are often the most affordable option unless you’re vying for the attention of a highly sought-after designer.
    However, working with a freelancer can be both a blessing and a curse. A top-notch freelancer will be a great communicator, amenable to feedback, and adept at meeting deadlines.
  • Agencies: Web design agencies are a powerhouse of creative professionals working together in small to medium-sized teams to provide clients with extensive design services.
    While freelancers may be a cheaper option, agencies offer a distinct advantage in the form of pooled expertise. They’re renowned for their impeccable communication, extensive customisation options, and swift project delivery. Working with a design agency ensures you get a tailor-made solution that perfectly aligns with your unique needs and requirements.

Find Freelancer Website Designers

Finding the right freelancer to outsource your website design is easier said than done. However, there are various platforms where you can find talented web designers;


Upwork is a great talent marketplace where you can find experienced and qualified freelancers approved by the Upwork team. You can post your web design requirements to find the right freelancer, or you browse the catalogues to find and purchase web design gigs that meet your needs.


Fiverr is one of the most well-known freelance marketplaces on the internet. Here you can find a web designer who meets your needs at the starting price of $5 (hence the name!). It is a great way to get good-quality web design works without denting your wallet.


99Designs is your one-stop marketplace for all your design needs. Here you either hire a freelance web designer directly or hold a competition to find the best web designer. Hosting a web design contest starts at $599, and hiring a web designer starts at $629. Although it is costlier than other outsourcing platforms, it provides benefits like creator vetting, source files, and full copyright ownership, which may be worthwhile for some businesses.


DesignCrowd is a contest-based platform where you host a contest and accept submissions. You choose the submission that meets your requirements. Hosting web design contests start from $99; you have to pay more if you want more submissions. However, it does not allow you to hire individual web designers.


Freelancer.com is a job marketplace where you can either list jobs or run contests. You have to review the bid or submissions received and choose a web designer according to your needs. You can also hire web designers directly, but the options are very limited.


Toptal is a high-end talent marketplace that focuses on connecting businesses with the top 3% of freelancers, which include web designers.

To become a part of the Toptal network, freelancers must pass a rigorous screening process.

Though Toptal’s pricing is higher compared to other platforms, it ensures that you will be working with top-notch professionals.

Find Agencies

Looking for a web designer who can bring your vision to life can be daunting. With so many designers out there, it takes time to figure out where to start. But working with a web design agency can take the weight off your shoulders and streamline the process from start to finish.

Agencies have a team of skilled web designers who are equipped to handle everything from designing your website to managing the technical aspects of development. They work together to create a website that looks great and functions seamlessly.

To find the perfect agency for your needs, start by searching online using keywords like “web design agencies” or “design firms.” You’ll be met with a plethora of options, so take your time and choose the one that meets all your requirements.

How To Select The Best Freelance Web Designer For The Job

Now that you know how to outsource your web design needs, you must know how to select the best freelancer for the job. Hundreds of freelancers provide various services, so it can get confusing to whom to choose.

Here are a few things to consider when selecting a freelancer;

Analyse Their Portfolio

The first thing you need to check when hiring a freelance web designer is to check their portfolio.

A web designer’s past projects can give you a sense of their level of experience in designing websites for businesses like yours. If they have relevant experience, examining their portfolio will provide examples of their work for similar companies.

It also helps you understand their design style and whether it resonates with what you want.

Read Testimonials And References.

If you are unsure about selecting a freelancer, the best way to check their reliability and work is to read their previous client’s testimonials or references. This will help you understand what kind of service they provide and whether the people in your industry are happy with their services.

Inquire About Their Design Process And Services Offered

After you have selected a freelancer, you must have a thorough interview or conversation with them. Ask them about their working process and design principles to ensure they align with your project.

Also, ask them if they provide any additional services and what it includes. Clear any doubts regarding their work.

Inquire About Their Pricing

The most important thing to know before hiring a freelancer is their pricing plans. Different designers charge different rates depending on their skills and experience. A more skilled or experienced designer will charge more, but their quality of work would be good.

Choose a freelancer according to your budget and the requirements of your website.

Give Them A Paid Task To Test Their Work.

If you want to check if a freelancer understands your requirements or not, the best way is to give them a small paid sample task. This will help you to see if the designer understands your design philosophy and requirements.

It also helps to check how the designer works and your compatibility with them.

Finalise The Contract

After considering the above points and selecting a freelance web designer, you must finalise the contract. Make sure you clearly set the terms of the contract and mention every relevant detail, like the name of the project, its duration, pricing options, and other terms and conditions.

Benefits of Outsourcing Website Design

In today’s gig economy, you can easily find a professional and skilled website designer to take your website to the next level without putting a dent in your wallet.

The benefits of outsourcing your web design needs are manifold:

  • Cost-effectiveness: By outsourcing your video editing requirements, you can avoid investing in expensive software or hardware. Moreover, it saves you from wasting time and resources.
  • Flexibility and adaptability: Freelancers give you more freedom and adaptability. Working with a freelancer also means you can easily scale up or down based on your needs.
  • Access to a global talent pool: When you post your project on a freelancing platform, video editors from around the world can submit proposals, giving you a diverse range of talent to choose from.
  • Quick and personalised work: Freelancers are highly motivated to complete your project quickly and efficiently. They know that delivering high-quality work on time will result in positive reviews and lead to more opportunities in the future.

Challenges of Outsourcing Website Design

Before you outsource your website design needs, it’s important to consider a few potential challenges:

  • Language Barriers: Language barriers could be an issue if you work with a different language designer. However, you can overcome this by clearly communicating your expectations and using specific instructions.
  • Time zone differences: Time zone differences could make communicating difficult in real-time, depending on your designer’s location. Nevertheless, setting expectations and being open to flexible communication can help bridge the gap.
  • Quality: Quality is always a concern when outsourcing website design since you’re entrusting the creative process to someone else. Even though most freelancers are experts, the final product may only sometimes match your expectations. Evaluating the designer’s portfolio is essential to minimise the risk of disappointment.
  • Data and security risks: When you outsource website design, you’re also sharing sensitive company data like customer information, brand assets, etc. Ensure you only work with trusted freelancers who have signed an NDA to safeguard your data.


Outsourcing your website design needs can be a great way to save money and time. Hiring a professional freelancer to design your website is easier and more affordable. 

However, it’s important that you establish clear communication channels and outline your requirements and budget upfront. Doing so will help you avoid any unnecessary misunderstandings and pave the way for a successful project.