Hiring an overseas or remote web development agency for your organization, business or personal branding website can be a daunting task. It can be tough to know who to trust with your budget. While it may seem sensible to save money and hire overseas, it almost never pays off. This survey shows that outsourcing overseas typically costs more than expected for the majority of people.
The shortfalls of working with an overseas developer
Communication & Language barrier
Ok, so they speak english, and good english. But the spoken word is not all there is to understanding each other. When it comes to understanding your vision for your website and understanding how you want to have it done, cultural and language barriers can be a costly difference.
When you enter into a business relationship, you are trusting that the contractor or agency you hire will complete the job according to your specifications. But what if something goes wrong? What if the work is shoddy or just not what you paid for, or takes too long to complete. What will you do? There is not alot of recourse when it comes to claiming a refund and worse, if the agency has control over your website server, if you refuse to make a final payment for shoddy work, you may lose everything.
Legal & Tax issues
International laws are much more difficult to deal with in situations like that where it could end up costing you much more. Talk to your accountant and legal professional before entering into an international business contract.
Finding someone who is reputable and does high quality work
Quality is a huge issue when outsourcing overseas. Any agency can put together a website that makes them look like they are reputable. A common practice for overseas developers and agencies is putting up a generic portfolio of the work they have participated in or their best developer has done. Chances are, the developer you get for your project from an overseas agency isn’t the one who did the sites on the portfolio. You really can’t be sure if the code on your site uses quality practices and will last. It is a risk and you never really know what to expect.
Overseas developers are on a different time schedule. While they may have their project manager or rep answer your calls, chances are, if something goes wrong, you will have to wait to get an answer. Some developers will be very nice when you first chat with them and then never respond again. Contracts will give you a price that seems cheap and more affordable than U.S. developers, but then when you do not get what you want and problems appear, the price you pay will cost you more in the long run.
Lack of local market and networking
When you work with an overseas agency or developer, you are working with someone who has no idea who your target audience is in your local market. They have a lack of knowledge when it comes to local trends and visitor behavior in your demographical area. Overseas developers work off of templated designs that are commonplace in the industry and do not pay attention to what is trending locally.
Cost and Time
If you are paying by the hour, it may seem that paying $20 per hour to an international developer is much more cost effective than paying $60 per hour to a local developer. But chances are, the international developer will charge you for 3 hours to do the same work that a local agency will charge 1 hour to do. And if you do not have in depth knowledge and understanding of what they are charging you for, you will not know extra hours are being added. And even if this is not the case, the time that it takes to communicate properly and prepare for the offshore project, could be more and cost more on your end. And the cost and time you put in is always at risk if an international developer disappears or worse, is a scam.
International agencies or freelance developers will never deliver the same quality results and give you the same value for your dollar than a local agency.
At FloridaSmart, we know the shortfalls of working with international developers and agencies. We have 20 years of developing websites where we have worked with both developers in the U.S. and internationally. And finding the 1 in 100 who is trustworthy, reputable and reliable is a challenge. Knowing how to communicate effectively and know what hours should be charged for projects is vital to saving money.
Contact us if you’d like to learn more about how a local agency can actually save you money.