Overseas web development: Is it worth it?
Choosing the cheap option isn't always cost effective and you can end up "paying the price" trying to save your limited budget
When you are starting your own small or medium sized business, one of the important elements that you need to create, and budget for, is a website to present to your audience who you are, what your services are and, depending on your business, maybe provide your services online. Obviously, you can’t get around this. If you don’t have a website, you’re not really considered a business. It’s a necessity, not a choice.
The next question is what your options are in creating one and how much will it cost. There are a few choices out there (freelancers, small or large web agencies, overseas companies, or DIY websites) but I’d like to focus on staying local versus going overseas.
After looking around at your options, one of the big differences that jumps out is the price. Indeed, overseas/offshore businesses can offer much cheaper prices than the local competition mainly because of the low labor costs. We’re mainly talking about countries like India, Pakistan, The Philippines, but also Eastern European countries like Romania. It’s the same reason so much manufacturing is done in these places. It’s much cheaper.
It’s just not the same
You can argue that a website is a website and it doesn’t matter where or who will build it as long as it’s cost-effective. But is it really cost-effective or just cheap? Will the final product serve your purposes? You may save some money but will the savings result in the same revenue and success as staying local?
There are questions that you have to ask yourself before making the choice:
- Most probably, your target audience is local. Does this company know who they are? Do they interact with them in order to know what they like and don’t like? Will they know how to target them with the appropriate design style?
- How will your communication be conducted with them? Most probably they will speak English, but how well? How well will they understand your needs and requirements? And will you understand them? It’s not only a language gap but also a cultural one.
- How will the time difference affect the progress and continuity of the project? Most probably, while you’re sleeping, they’re working and the opposite. Depending specifically on the location of the company, you may be able to have a chat with them either early morning or late at night, when no one is really focused on work. So this will lead to emails and time gaps between each reply, which can become frustrating.
- Will your website really be unique? These businesses are very cost effective and have an arsenal of themes and templates that require minimum amount of work to get your website up and running. So your website will look just like all of the rest. Is that what you want?
- Will creating custom content and/or functionality that you may require be addressed and done to your satisfaction or will the minimum effort be invested on their part?
- Will there always be someone there to help fix or maintain your website? How responsive will they be? Will they get the job done to your liking? What will you do if they don’t?
The outcome will reflect your choice
Many times, until you don’t finish the project and start noticing results (or lack of), you won’t know whether it was the right choice. Did you really save your money in the long run? How much time did you ultimately spend overseeing the progress of the website and requesting refinements? Did you get what you really wanted and imagined? Are many clients coming in and telling their friends or is it just another website that looks like all of the rest?
These are all questions that you need to ask yourself before deciding. And I’m here to help with any questions that you may have. Shoot me an email or give me a call and I’ll be happy to chat! It’s really important to invest in a good website with a reliable team behind it to achieve the success that you're after.