Local Web Developer

Local web developer versus outsourcing does have many advantages, the first thing you probably will look at is the money difference. The biggest case against local and for overseas is the price difference. Overseas is much more affordable.

Hasn’t technology evolved enough to the point where it should be just as easy to work with someone long distance as if they were your Local Web Developer - VisualwebzComneighbor? It’s not as if we only have telephone calls. We have evolved past email and moved onto face-to-face video conferences. So are they any drawbacks to overseas? And do they outweigh the benefits. Lets tackle local  web developers first. Then we can compare them.

There are plenty of pros. Face to face communication being the main one with a local web developer. That is, if it’s not just in the same country, but the same state as well. It may be easier for some to communicate and get your desires across. Certainly most people find it easier to chat over the phone then to sit down and write out an email. (Fouche, Mark). And then there is the reputation. Since a local web developer has a reputation at stake, they may feel more obliged to do a competent job, while an overseas company may not care, as they can go far away to get another job, where you’re negative experience will be unknown. (Fouche, Mark). Also, if you get a local web developer, you are supporting the economy. (Fouche, Mark)

Another important fact, local web developers will have to abide by the same laws that you do. They will be aware of this, and will understand the consequences of failing to complete the job they were hired for. (Hubbard, Rita Lorraine)As for the cons…as we already pointed out, the cost of paying someone who lives local will have a higher cost of living, than somebody in a developing country. (Fouche, Mark)

Then there is the negative part being local web developer. When talking to someone face to face, or calling them, you may get pressured with salesman-like zeal, with constant phone calls when all you wanted was a quote. This could easily make some people nervous, instead going overseas to find a developer. (Hubbard, Rita Lorraine)

When it comes to the selection, it will be smaller when compared to overseas developers. And it may be harder to find someone who fits your needs for the right place, as opposed to going to a site, posting a job add, and just waiting for people to line up. You will have to do more work, talking to others to inquire to who they hired. Or using a search engine or a local telephone book. Basically, a lot more research is necessary. (Hubbard, Rita Lorraine) There are well known websites for overseas designers but there are no well known sites for local web developers which make your job as an employer harder. (Hubbard, Rita Lorraine)

Often times, the results you will come up with advertisements for freelance web designers, most likely by overseas designers so you just end up going in circles. While many of these sites have an hourly rate, but most people don’t know how long a site would take to make. So of course, they don’t feel confident because they go in without knowing their final price. (Hubbard, Rita Lorraine)

Then there is the time factor. Local developers may be more busy, and if you only need help on smaller tasks, and finding someone reliable one something so small may be harder. (Relfe, Dave) Also, the company you choose may not have the employees available at the time, meaning you have to wait as they hire and train them. (Relfe, Dave)

But what about overseas developers? When it comes to  the pros, again, it’s the cost. This is the main reason many choose overseas, but there also another reason. The contractor regulations in the U.S. May make it more difficult and a wish to be avoided can drive employers to look overseas. Many websites, like upwork.com, guru.com and freelancer.com have huge selections of web developers to choose from. (Hubbard, Rita Lorraine)

More to choose from, means larger teams as well, which may have more ideas and suggestions to give. (Relfe, Dave) Your local choices are going to be less to choose from to begin with, which means you will most likely have smaller teams as well. As for cons, getting recourse if you are defrauded you or doesn’t listen to your requests, its incredibly difficult to actually be able to get recourse. (Fouche, Mark)

And then there is the communication issue. Going back through emails and phone calls may make it harder than it would be to explain your dissatisfaction then it would be to do it in person. While communicating with only emails may make it harder to explain what you really want. A website needed on short notice means waiting around for a reply a stressful situation. Also, if a changed is needed all of a sudden, you can’t have it fixed fast, instead having to wait for a reply.

Also, if the time zone is different, it may make it harder to call on the phone. You will have to wait longer for replies to emails as well. Basically, it’s going to be more time consuming. (Relfe, Dave)

It is most likely the case that when working with an overseas web developer, English will be the employees second language, which may create problems. (Fouche, Mark)

What may seem like basic expressions of the English language may not make sense to a foreigner. (Hubbard, Rita Lorraine) You may need to take extra care what how you phrase sentences, and if you don’t you may or may not be asked to clarify. If not, you could get something you didn’t want, which could lead to more time wasted on re-communicating what you already said. (Fouche, Mark) Worst case scenario, you won’t get what you wanted and the employee won’t even be willing to redo it. Often times, the developer speaks no English at all, instead having a translator, which may or may not be fluent. It could be like a game of telephone where you’re message comes out completely misconstrued. (Fouche, Mark)

There may be surprising holidays and vacation time taken, that you are culturally, unaware of, which can lead to confusion and frustration. (Fouche, Mark)

You may require overseas web developers sign a contract, but it could be meaningless as you might not be able to enforce it. (Fouche, Mark) Being unfamiliar with another country’s laws could prove troublesome if you have problems with you developers. After all, it’s not like you can just show up and demand the work be done, and most people overseas are aware of that. (Hubbard, Rita Lorraine)

Some overseas developers are actually known to write malware into their code, this way the buyer will keep returning and repeat business is guaranteed. (Hubbard, Rita Lorraine)

Looking at in paper, it seems like overseas web developers have a lot more cons than pros. But I always come back to cost, being a naturally frugal person. But is it worth it? What are the chances that there are going to be communication issues with a non-English speaker? Probably good.

And the time zone differences mean waiting longer, so if you have a project that needs doing on short notice, an overseas developer seems completely impractical. All in all, the cheaper price of overseas developers suddenly doesn’t matter, if the job isn’t done well and there is no way to fix it. And more often than not, there will be problems to address, so you might as well make it easier to do so.

One thing I didn’t see addressed, was cultural differences such as attitudes to superiors, or attitudes towards foreigners. No doubt such things are unknown to most Americans, and while some of us may have laid back attitudes, whose to say if your developer will be comfortable with that? He or she might need more instruction but not know how to ask without feeling rude. Or maybe you expect your developer to be respectful and prompt with replies to your messages, but he may have multiple clients and not bother telling you, thinking it’s none of your business. The point is, it could get messy very easily.

Lastly, there is the topic of the kind of site you are building. Is this meant for local residents, perhaps a business site? If so, you would obviously want something different then a global site. Think a map and GPS link, an email address to contact the business owner or a Frequently asked questions page. An overseas developers may not even be thinking in such terms and may or may not be used to making a certain type of website. A local developer on the other hand, may be able to see your business up close and personal, and maybe have some ideas on how to sell the site better. Certainly it would feel much more personal.

Yes, an overseas developer will be easier to find, but do you really know what you are getting? Unless you have seen feedback from others who have used that developer, it’s going to be a risk. It would seem unless a friend or colleague recommends someone, it would be much safer to go local.

Not that a local web developer would be perfect, the price being the main problem. But for many, talking face-to-face is much easier and less stressful than a perfectly worded email. And even if it’s not as local as to visit, you will have far less worries regarding the laws, which you are familiar with and your developer has to follow.Also, we as Americans buy so many things from overseas companies, but how many items in our households say “made in China” on them? When it comes to actual services, and not items, it may be a good idea to pledge to keep it local.

I think it comes down less about price, and more about ease of communication and assurance that the job will get done by a professional Web Developer. By the way I did hire a local web developer – Visualwebz and must tell you that hiring local web developers will help the local community and get your project completed with ease.

  • Stacey Hancock


References for Local Web Developer

Fouche, Mark. Local and Overseas Web Developers: Pros and Cons. 2017. http://blog.pixelfish.com.au.

Hubbard, Rita Lorraine. Hiring a Freelance web designer: local vs. Overseas. https://www.webfour.net.

Relfe, Dave. Local V international web design. 2015. https://hoxtondesign.com.

Edmonson, Ash. Should you hire a local web design agency or outsource to an overseas company? 2016. https://www.jacit.co.uk.

Ross, Michael. Website development: Local vs Remote. 2013. https://www.ross.ws.

Edmonson, Ash. Should you hire a local web design agency or outsource to an overseas company? 2016. https://www.jacit.co.uk.

local web developer – Visualwebz Blog

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