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Offshore or Local Web Developers – the Pros and Cons

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Your website says a lot about who you are as a brand and why your customers should spend their time and money with you. It doesn’t matter how charming your sales team are or how well located your bricks and mortar is – the website holds the ultimate credibility. How you build your website is important, but sometimes it is the who that is just as important. Here is our pros and cons list for choosing either an offshore or local web developer.

Local web developer – Pros

Not surprisingly, a local web developer is usually going to create a better website as they have better access to you and your brand and can better understand and implement your needs. So if you live in Brisbane, working with a local WordPress developer in Brisbane means that you can meet with them on your own turf so that they can see or experience your brand, and it also means that you can meet them in their natural habitat and play around with concepts and have more productive approval points. There is no doubt that video calls aren’t great, but nothing beats a local touch.

If you live somewhere unique or work in a sector that highlights your location, then working with someone local will be very advantageous. They will know the quintessential components that need to be woven into your web design – even if you don’t include it all in the brief. There are also certain themes, words, meanings, branding and colloquial things they will understand and implement.

Local web developer – Cons

Generally speaking, a local web developer is more expensive than an offshore developer. While the price hike is commensurate with the value you receive, some businesses might have limited funding and simply need to launch an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to start building a theory business. If this is the case then a local developer is not going to be the right choice. If you are looking to create a microsite that supports a bigger website and there are existing microsites to mould from, then the price of a local web developer will likely be a con.

Working with local professionals can sometimes lead to great partnerships and opportunities to collaborate in the future. For example, if you are a photography studio working with a web developer in your city, then they may reach out to you for company headshots given that you already have a relationship. You might also refer business to them and vice versa, creating a fertile incubator of local talent.

Offshore web developer – Pros

If you are remote yourself and work with a team scattered all over the world, then you may not see too much value in choosing a web developer. Offshore means that you have a greater selection of developers to work with and can jump on a phone or video call to vet your needs, rather than waiting for a spot in each of your calendars to meet face to face. Offshore is often a more affordable route to take so budget constraints might make this the more appropriate choice.

If you are managing a web build and this is not your area of expertise, then working with an offshore developer means that they can totally take the reigns and be working in the background. The fact is, you might want a basic website checklist that announces your presence or something more technically advanced.

Offshore web developer – Cons

Your website not only converts your customers and clients but also allows them to vet you before they decide to make a call or find out more about your products and services. This means that you want to be putting the absolute best foot forward with your website and if you choose the cheapest offshore developer that is not going to happen.

Another disadvantage to choosing an offshore web developer is the lack of accountability. A contract agreement will go a long way in outlining the expectations from both parties, but there is still a risk (however small) that they will simply not deliver snd disappear into the abyss. Of course, you can gain trust and ask for references and past work but for some businesses, there will still be reservations when working with an offshore provider.

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It really is a case by case basis when choosing between local or offshore web developers – as both options have their benefits and downfalls. Budget and project expectations are going to be the linchpin so get crystal clear on what you want before you reach out to your new web developer.

What do you think?

Written by James Durkin

B.A Business (Marketing Major) @ MIT Australia 2014-2016
Based in Melbourne/Budapest
Keen traveler
Avid gamer
Sports nut
Social butterfly

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