In-House vs Outsourced Web Design: Which Is Better?

Author Geri Meliva
Read time 3 min
In-House vs Outsourced Web Design: Which Is Better?

You've finally decided to invest in a new website design. But now, you're stuck on one crucial question: should you go with an in-house web design team or outsource the work to a web design agency? Will web design costs come out cheaper with an in-house or external team?

There are two schools of thought regarding web design: in-house and outsourced. Both have pros and cons, but which is the best option for your business? 

In-House Web Design

In-house web designers are permanent employees you hire and train to perform web design and other design requirements. There are several pros and cons involved, and different factors must be considered in the equation when it comes to web design costs.

Benefits of In-House Web Designers

You have complete control. You have full control over the entire process when you work with an in-house web design team. From conception to launch, you get to call all the shots. You can make changes on the fly without going through a third party. This can be a significant advantage if you're particular about your brand identity and want to be involved in every step of the process.

Familiarity creates consistency. If you’re working on a long-term project, having an in-house designer that develops familiarity with brand guidelines will result in a more consistent brand image. Furthermore, an in-house designer becomes more involved with the business and can develop capabilities to offer solutions that an external team can’t see.

Disadvantages of In-House Web Designers

You have to do the recruiting. Building an in-house web design team from scratch can be a daunting task. Not only do you have to find qualified candidates, but you also have to familiarize them with your company's culture and processes. If you don't have the time or resources to devote to recruiting, it's probably best to outsource your web design project.

It can be costly. The average full-time base salary of a web designer is $70,000. On top of this, you need to consider medical and dental benefits, paid vacation and sick leaves and other government-mandated benefits. According to a survey, the average onboarding cost of a new employee is $5,500. With recruiting and training costs, you might spend more on your web design than simply outsourcing the project.

Experienced talents are hard to come by. If you live in a small city, there’s a great chance that seasoned web designers are already hired. You’d be left to work with novice web designers who still need lots of training to develop their skills.

Outsourced Web Design

If web design is only a one-time or occasional project, it may be better to get an outsourced team. Not only will this reduce web design costs, but you’d also enjoy several other benefits.

Benefits of Outsourced Web Designers

  • You get an expert team. When you outsource your web design project, you get access to a well-versed team of experts in all aspects of web design. From UX/UI best practices to cutting-edge technologies, they know what works and what doesn't. This level of expertise can be invaluable when launching a successful website.
  • They take care of everything. When you outsource your web design project, all you have to do is provide guidance and feedback. The agency will handle everything else. This comprehensive approach can save you time and stress in the long run.

Disadvantages of Outsourced Web Designers

  • It can be difficult to let go. Because you won't be as involved in the day-to-day workings of the project, it can be difficult to let go and trust that the agency knows what they're doing. If you find it hard to delegate authority, working with an outside firm may not be the best option.
  • You are exposed to greater risk. If you fail to do your own research about the agency, you can be exposing sensitive company data and intellectual property. However, reputable web design agencies have protocols and non-disclosure agreements to give you peace of mind.

When to Outsource Web Design

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to outsourcing. Many businesses, especially small ones, may be tempted to handle things on their own to save on web design costs. However, there are certain situations where outsourcing web design can result in financial benefits in the long run.

Lack of Skill

If your company lacks the necessary skills and expertise for web design, it may cost you valuable time and resources to learn it on your own. On the other hand, hiring a professional web designer can ensure a well-designed website that meets industry standards and attracts potential customers.

Lack of Access to Technical Knowledge

In addition, web designers typically have the technical knowledge to troubleshoot and maintain the website, potentially saving the business from expensive fixes. Though it may require an initial investment, outsourcing web design can ultimately lead to better ROI for a company.

Lack of Time

You may already have in-house developers, but if they are busy running the core functions of your website, then you’d need an external team to handle the web design. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that web development and web design are the same. Do your in-house developers a favour and outsource web design to a more capable team.

There are pros and cons associated with both in-housing and outsourcing your web design project. The route you decide to take will depend on your needs, budget and preferences. If you have the time and money to invest in an in-house team, then that may be your best route.

However, outsourcing may be the way to go if you're looking for a hassle-free solution that frees up your time. Whichever route you decide to take, make sure you do your research to find a team that's a good fit for your business.

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Author Geri Meliva