Why not use an outsource web design partner for your web projects? Use these six guidelines to minimise your risk and find a partner that works for you.

How to Successfully Outsource Web Design

Outsource Web Design

Would you want to take a chance on an outsource partner for your web design requirements? Why not? Businesses across a variety of industries are outsourcing every day to partners offering a range of services and manufacturing facilities. Look at Apple and their manufacturing plants in China, Korea, Taiwan and even Mongolia to see a trend.

Of course Apple is not the only one. Almost all large companies end up outsourcing some or even the bulk of their work to outsource partners. Ikea is another sophisticated outsource company. Ikea’s more than 1,000 third party product manufacturers can be found in Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Lithuania or even USA to mention just a few.

Does this apply to individuals, small or mid sizes businesses as well? The answer to this can be a resounding yes. Even more than large companies a small business owner will benefit from outsourcing services. This applies to the decision to outsource web design as well.

Horror Stories Abound

There will be at least one person in your circle of immediate family and friends who can fish out a horror story or two about what all went wrong when they outsourced their web design to an external design partner.

Horror stories will cover a litany of woes which will include anything from disappearing web designer, to umpteen design overruns, additional fees that were never discussed but need to be paid to release your totally overdue website to websites that don’t work on mobile even though it was promised they would. The list is endless.

From cost overruns to design fails one horror story after another is told via websites, forums and across dinner tables. Some are funny but most are painful.

What leads to Horror Story

Many people think that web design is a matter of throwing some bits together and standing back to admire ones creative handiwork. In fact the ‘I’m creative’ statement often starts the downhill slide into bad web design.

It has very little to do with being creative. It’s about realising how complex it is to build a website that actually works. Even a one page template bought off the web or even downloaded for free from WordPress can be a challenge and does not guarantee a site that does what it is supposed to do.

The challenge for any person attempting to design and build a website is that it requires a fair number of skills to be able to do this well. From preparing images, choosing web safe fonts, to placement of all of elements in a user friendly and attractive way to tackling back-end coding it’s not easy. To make the whole thing work including resizing to be viewable on mobile phone requires serious skills.

It Can Work for You

Use these guidelines to find an outsource web design partner that works for you.

1) Realise that value tends to cost a little more

One of the biggest mistakes made is thinking that you are going to get quality without paying for it. There is no such thing as a great website for $300. A great looking website that works on all sized gadgets is going to cost more. But then wouldn’t it be a good idea to ensure your website is of good quality so that your customers are reassured about the quality of your service?

2) Better to deal with more than just a one man show

Of course there are some fantastic freelancers around who deliver amazing work. In likelihood the ones that are good tend to be really expensive. This means you have no budget savings when you employ a freelancer. It’s therefore not a bad idea to look for a small studio rather where you have a client services person looking after you. That way you know you will always be able to get answers to your queries and be kept up to date.

3) Review the portfolio work

It’s a good idea to spend some time reviewing the portfolio work. Check to see if any of the portfolio work represents actual live sites so that you can check for yourself whether the sites are responsive on mobile gadgets, there are no broken links and in general they work well.

4) Request a work flow chart

Have a look at the possible partner’s work flow chart. How do they work with their outsource partners. Do they use such essential communication tools such as Basecamp. Do they use InVision for design feed-back. In fact have they even heard of InVision. If not it might be an idea to stay away from using them. You need to make sure that the tools your partner uses are there to assist you with communication, sharing of files and discussing designs and sites on testing in such a way as to ensure a smooth and efficient work flow.

5) Read testimonials

The importance of testimonials is not to be underestimated. How do you know whether they are genuine? In general you can see by the tone and detail whether a client has really written a testimonial or if it is a fake one. If you want to explore further pick any one or two of the testimonials and ask to speak to the client direct. Or alternatively make contact via the form on the site to check in with the client. That way nobody gets warned that you are making enquiries.

Of course if the testimonial does not link to an actual website you could already be considering this as an alarm bell. But in some cases of course a client might have had only design work done and a link to a live website is not possible. Every testimonial should be valued on its own merits.

6) Test the waters

Ready to get going after your check-up has been completed? Then start a small test project. You should be able to see fairly quickly how your outsource web design partner works. In particular ensure yourself of the fact that your chosen studio will refund you the initial deposit if you feel that it’s not working for you. What guarantees does your studio have and what are their terms and conditions are important points to check over.

Many Successful Outsource Partnerships Exist

It’s often the case that horror stories hog the headlines. In fact the media is full of them. Have you ever wondered how many success stories there are for every bad one? Many many more. But they don’t grab attention as much as the nasty ones do.

It’s the same when considering an outsource partner for your web design projects. There are many more hugely successful partnerships that have worked well for many years than the short lived bad ones that one tends to hear about more often.

If you need an outsource web design partner than give it a try using the above points to guide your search. You will be happy to see that with some caution you are bound to find a good one to add value to your own business.

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