Web Design and Development Tips

Outsourcing Web Design & Development: 5 Important Tips

Most businesses today outsource their web design and development as it makes more sense from a financial and management perspective. Here are 5 important tips to help you when outsourcing your web design and development:


1.    Define scope and schedule

The main deliverables of your web design and development project should be included in the project scope. Further a schedule or timeline breaking down the deliverables will give you a good indication on how the project should be progressing.


Ensure you communicate your expectations to your web designer and developer before the go ahead of the project to prevent scope creep. Scope creep occurs when you haven’t clearly communicated the deliverables required and so during the project these new deliverables creep in.


Scope creep creates a lot of confusion and wastes project time. So always ensure you clearly state what you require from the project and outsourced provider at the onset.


2.    Know who you’re getting in bed with

Before your outsourced web developer starts work and before payment is made, ensure that you have a contract in place stipulating the agreement terms. However, be aware who you’re entering the contract with, for example, is it an individual or a company? If it’s just an individual freelancer and not a company, you risk not being protected should something go wrong.


If you’re outsourcing the work to a company in a developing country, it is best if a legitimate foreign company in a developed country owns that outsourcing company. This is because the number of freelancers and “cowboy” operators has mushroomed in developing countries since web design and development is an extremely lucrative opportunity. There are many untrained and under qualified freelancers posing to be a company on online platforms such as Odesk and Elance.


3.    Ensure your outsourced partner shares the same vision

In order to know if your outsourced web designer shares your vision, you can view samples of previous work the outsourced web designer has done. However, it is often difficult to verify the legitimacy of this. Unfortunately, it is common especially for freelancers in developing countries to pass off work done by others as their own in order to get clients. Testimonials can also be fabricated. Furthermore, for outsourcing companies especially those that do lots of work for other local web design and development companies, they often sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with their clients restricting what they can show you.


The best option would be to put forth your vision with specific details for the design and development of the website, assess if the outsourced provider is forthcoming with ideas and request if they can do a complimentary 1 page virtual mockup design. It is rare but there are outsourced web design providers who are willing to provide you with all this without obligating you to a sale.


This way you will be able to assess if they share your vision and if they have shown so much effort even without obligating you to a sale then chances are you can trust them to do an excellent job. On your part, you should not abuse this gesture of theirs. If the sample design does not align with your vision even after further discussions, then you would have to politely move on. Just ensure you don’t use their web design sample with another provider due to copyright issues.


4.    Pay promptly according to milestones completed

Usually after signing the contract, the outsourced web designer and developer will require a 50% deposit to reserve the start date on their development schedule. After this deposit is made, other progress payments might be required. Final payment is usually required before everything is up and running on the live site. Ensure that you pay the required milestone payments promptly failing which you risk delaying your project and creating mistrust with your outsourced provider.


5.    Decide on ownership of the website

Although from your perspective you are paying a web developer to develop your site, just be aware that this does not mean you have ownership of the completed site. If your agreement with your outsourced provider does not state the ownership of the completed website, then this means there is silent ownership where the outsourced provider will own the site.


Clarify the ownership of the website and your intentions for the site with your outsourced provider before the commencement of the project.

For example, if you want a custom application created for your site that you intend to later package and resell, then you will need to communicate that to your outsourced provider as that would be significantly different to having a standard website as a source of information for your clients and prospects. Having full ownership of the website will cost more so you will have to weigh the importance of this with your budget.


Using the above tips, you will be able to outsource your web design and development for success.


Don’t Devalue Your Time – Outsource to a Virtual Assistant

Outsourcing your tasks to a virtual assistant (such as a web designer, SEO/SMM specialist or a general admin assistant) is a MUST if you’re a serious entrepreneur.  To become a serious entrepreneur, you have to assess the value of your time. How much are you worth per hour currently? Take your yearly salary and divide it by 2000 to get your per hour rate eg. if you’re earning a salary of $50 000 a year from your business, you’re earning $25/hour. How much would you like to be worth per hour, $50, $150, $300 or more? Decide what you want to earn per hour and then from there work on a plan to achieve it.


As an entrepreneur, there’s no limit to how much you can make, however, there is a limit to how much time you have in a day. There’s only 24hrs in a day for all of us. The value of your time really comes down to opportunity cost – the benefits you could have received by taking an alternative action. These benefits forgone could be in dollars or otherwise such as time forgone to work on your income generating actions or time forgone with your family and friends. For example, if you have a web store, instead of uploading products to your web store yourself, you could outsource the job to a virtual assistant or a team of virtual staff from an offshore outsourcing company for $8-$10 per hour. You can then use the time you would have spent on the task to work on marketing strategies which will drive more traffic and leads to your web store.


To get your business to grow, you will need to let go and delegate. You need time to step back from your business every now and again to have a look at your business growth and make the relevant changes to navigate it on the right path if it’s off-track. However, often times, entrepreneurs get too emotionally connected to their business that they refuse to let go and delegate so they not only end up wasting their time doing the things that do not generate a worthy return on investment but they’re unable to see their business from a non-biased third person’s perspective.


Don’t overlook the most important aspects of your business which GENERATE INCOME by devaluing your time. Many entrepreneurs are guilty of trying to do it all on their own and this is one of the reasons why the average business makes less than $100k a year, has no plans for growth and fails within the first 5 years. If you’re doing work that someone else can do for $10 per hour, than that’s exactly what you’re worth as an entrepreneur, $10 per hour. And if you think you’re worth just $10 per hour as an entrepreneur, then you shouldn’t have quit your day job.


In order to succeed, you’ve got to have time to create and implement a growth plan for your business. Virtual staffing is a great tool that you can use as one part of your growth plan. As with all plans, always assess your risks and rewards. The risks and rewards are not the same for every person. The risks and rewards from outsourcing staff are very unique to your own circumstances and will depend on your goals, your objectives and your opportunities. If the rewards outweigh the risks and you have your finances in order, partner with a reliable outsourcing company to hire virtual assistants and you’ll see your business not only survive but thrive.

Why It Is Better To Outsource Web Design and Development

Creating a website is a tedious process, not to mention very costly.  The design of a website plays a significant role in online marketing and can greatly affect the number of visitors to the site.  Anyone would agree to that right?  Initially, many businesses preferred to develop their website in-house, only to realize that creating an effective website requires special skills which they practically don’t have.  This is where the need for outsourcing web design and development services was established.

Outsourcing Web Design and Development services can give any company a competitive edge over its competitors.  Below are the benefits that every company can gain through outsourcing Web Design and Development:

                Costs – Outsourcing greatly reduces costs since you only pay for the time spent on the project or you only pay for a flat fee for the entire project.

                Better Quality – Specialists assigned to the task are highly skilled and have extensive experience in web design and development that result in high quality web designs.        

               Time Savings – Web design and development is a very detail-oriented task that requires so much time.  Having this service outsourced saves the company valuable time and resources that can be focused on expanding the  business.

                Fresh Perspective/Ideas – Outsourcing web design and development brings new perspective and ideas that enhance a company’s marketing strategies.

                Low Risks – Working with an outsourced provider means working with an expert.  They have all the knowledge and expertise on projects to greatly reduce the risks.  Having the service outsourced also ensures that complex and delicate tasks like upgrades and security management are handled professionally and with utmost care.

                Exposure To Latest Technology – Web design and development firms are equipped with the latest technology and they are most likely to produce high quality, cutting edge websites.   Professional web developers can also determine the best technologies to use that can benefit your company.

The idea of outsourcing web design and development might be stressful if you have never outsourced a project before.  But the benefits that any company can get by outsourcing the service are huge and cannot be overlooked.  Just ensure you deal with an outsourcing company with office based web designers and developers to ensure you cut down on costs without compromising quality.