Studies of Majorana bound states in semiconducting nanowires frequently neglect the orbital effect of a magnetic field. Systematically studying its role leads us to several conclusions for designing Majoranas in this system. Specifically, we show that for experimentally relevant parameter values the orbital effect of a magnetic field has a stronger impact on the dispersion relation than the Zeeman effect. While Majoranas do not require the presence of only one dispersion subband, we observe that the size of the Majoranas becomes unpractically large, and the band gap unpractically small, when more than one subband is filled. Since the orbital effect of a magnetic field breaks several symmetries of the Hamiltonian, it leads to the appearance of large regions in parameter space with no band gap whenever the magnetic field is not aligned with the wire axis. The reflection symmetry of the Hamiltonian with respect to the plane perpendicular to the wire axis guarantees that the wire stays gapped in the topologically nontrivial region as long as the field is aligned with the wire.