How many of you check your email in the morning and you see several emails directed to you to help you build a “newer and better” website? I’m sure all or most of you. These emails are not bad; in fact there are some really great legitimate companies out there that send out those emails. But before you randomly hire one of them, make sure you know whom you are hiring.
One of the questions you should be asking is where are they located? There is a big debate about hiring a local web developer versus a company that is overseas and there are pros and cons to each. Let’s go through some.
Often times overseas developers will charge a quarter (or less) than a local developer, who normally charges around $150 an hour. The thought is “why would I spend more money to get the “same thing”? If you spend less on the site, you could use the cost difference to add more to the site, right? Well, in a recent survey, 62% of offshore IT contracts cost much more than the business expected.
When you hire a local developer, you are paying the amount they charge for good reasons. You are getting someone on your team, which can make or break your website. Your local agency will be on the same page as you the entire time and can change directions with you rather than waiting 12 hours to talk to your overseas team. You are also helping to pay for their healthcare, which we all know can be a ridiculous amount of money.
Typically, you won’t have a long-term agreement with an overseas developer, which can be a plus. If you find yourself needing someone with a specific specialization or skill set and down the road, a short bit later, you may realize that you need someone else to complete a different skill set, you will likely not be committed in a contract.
When working with a local agency, you will likely be asked to sign an agreement with them for the full spec of the work you need done. All the developers and coders will all be in the same place working on the same projects so you are getting a smooth transition from one phase to another. For us, we work in phases.
Phase 1: Discovery
We will first meet with you to discuss your concepts, must-haves, expectations, etc. in order to identify specs that effectively outline your ideal product. We will discuss design preferences, existing branding elements, and functionality requirements, while also identifying additional specs for Phase 2 development.
Phase 2: Design
From detailed documentation and architecture we will design a beautiful, functional interface, and present your brand as a trustworthy authority in its space.
Phase 3: Develop
Immediately after initial planning is in place and approved by your team, the build begins. Regular meetings will be held to measure progress and manage expectations. Status reports will also be sent weekly to ensure written documentation of project status.
Phase 4: Deploy
Hungry Media will provide rigorous testing, detailed QA, and a formulaic launch process to make sure we are putting your best foot forward. Additionally, we stay on through launch to support the work we create. While we do have set completion dates with most of our clients, most projects require monthly maintenance and support, and this will be no different.
Don’t forget the time difference! This one to me is huge. Probably because I love my sleep! Unless you are willing to wake up in the middle of the night or early morning, don’t expect to speak directly to your overseas developer. Let’s say I am in the Central Standard time zone and my developer is in India, that is a 12 hour time difference. While I CAN wake up at or talk late at night to make critical decisions, I am not going to be at my best when making those decisions. One thing you could do is hire a project manager to deal with it on your behalf, but let’s face it…that’s just more money to spend.
While there is no right or wrong answer here (and honestly the best option for you may be a hybrid), to ME, hiring local takes all (or at least most) of the stress out of what will already likely be a demanding time for you. Plus investing in a company that is local to you can help you invest back in to your community by creating local ownership and jobs and a supporting community groups.
Learn more about our Hungry Media locations stateside and overseas here.
Tell us what you think. firstname.lastname@example.org