We should also call this section: Proper cost vs cheap point and click website.
Many times when we talk to our clients we see repetitive issues and problems they are dealing with. We decided to write down some important areas for employers to look into when seeking new agency, freelancer or a team.
Naturally, you will always want to jump for the best price available, but you should stop there immediately and ask yourself if you really want your project to succeed. Low cost development fees are usually provided by India, Romania and similar countries claiming lowest possible fees. So if everything is so great and they communicate with you fine, why not go ahead and jump on the opportunity right?!
To simplify our answer – it is a trap and usual bait and switch technique. More importantly, it is a situation where your business and idea will go to waste. We say this because we have yet to talk to a client that is satisfied with overseas delivery. In fact, almost every other entrepreneuer in the US will try to go for cheap services and learn their lesson eventually.
Before we start explaining this, be aware that there are also US agencies that have no clue what they are doing and selling services that differ greatly from actual deliverables. So your due dilligence on the company must be clear and precise.
So let’s look at the direct exchange of benefits for a project costing $500 and local US based project costing $5000. At first you are looking at the numbers saying there is no way I am paying $5K for the local job when the guy in India is charging only $500 for the same project. What you need to realize is that those 2 offers and bids are very much different in nature, process and reliability. In this situation we are referring to ethical and true to their line of work US agency.
We decided to write this article because throughout last 10 years our team worked with over 100 overseas developers on variety of issues and we have only found 2 or 3 people that actually knew what they were doing and acted in a professional manner. Naturally, they were not crunching pennies on the dollar also.
We will go over some basic topics that you might not see the first time you receive project bid or start the conversation with the overseas developers. First, of course we will start with the infamous language barrier.
LANGUAGE: Most of the time overseas developers have one general manager with mediocre english skills trying to get projects and push it down the pipeline. Your project is nothing special with that price and you are just another small project they wil add to their arsenal. Believe us, they have many projects like yours at the same time. Remember that after you award the project or start working, you need to know what you want first. Later on, you will have a bit of fun trying to explain them what you want. We can tell you many entertaining stories here, but you get the point. This is the first step where clients don’t get frustrated just yet, but it is a definite start.
SECURITY: If you are starting something from scratch or switching already established business, your concern must be your security. Developers that create your site will have access to your server, merchant accounts, email data, etc. So how much do you really know who you are working with. Basically, there is no guarantee that anything yours stays yours. Lookout here for some standard story like” I just noticed on your site that this doesn’t work. Did you know about it? Well we can fix it for you for additional fee.”
On another note, do you even know who you are giving your information? In most cases, your information gets processed and seen by few smaller developer who earn an average of $4/hour. How comfortable are you with that? So to be very clear – there is no security no matter how much you want that. The worst part once it goes out – you have no way to secure it again. Remember, they are inside your server and they control it.
EXPERTISE: What you ask you will probably get only 20% of it (We are very confident to say that percentage). That is the general rule of thumb. If you don’t know anything about development – get ready for a fun ride and frustrating emails. We want to make sure you know there is no smart suggestions, recommendations or explanations on what to do to be successful in your endeavor. If you are confused about this section, think about this. You will be selling in the US market, how much does overseas company know about the US market, customers, ways, marketing, social media, affiliate, PPC, integration with feeds, etc. Would you ever be offering services in their country if you have no clue about how it works. Clients often oversee this and it is crucial for their success (not just web development).
POINT-CLICK vs CUSTOM: Please make sure you understand that $500 site only brings you point and click website. Don’t expect any custom coding, minor or major adjustments, export-import features or any modifications and speed of the platform or database. First, they don’t want to deal with that for the minimum money provided, and second they don’t know it. You get the base website and good luck. In almost all cases you will NOT get a workable site. It will look like one – but it will not deliver results you need.
RELIABILITY: You have your basic site after all this time and after second week it goes offline. This is not something we say it might happen – it WILL happen. How are you going to reach your developer. You already paid your dues and they moved on. You have to talk to him urgently but you must fill out the form first and wait until next day because of time difference. We see this happen all the time and clients regret ever taking that direction.
MONEY: The biggest red flag you can come accross is when they are asking you to deposit money or prepay. Please don’t do that. Even US agencies should not do that. We certainly don’t. Keep in mind that you can’t get that money back regardless of what they do with the project. But you also need to know that they know that, and as soon as you give them money – that is it for you. Your project will not move anymore or move at increasingly slow pace. What is response time and fix time while your website is offline.
FOLLOW THROUGH: Training? Updates? What training and updates?
So after all the trouble, do you still think $500 is better deal than $5000? It might be if you have a strong dev skills and can fix the errors yourself.
But here is where the largest issue is. Let’s say after all this time (3-5 months) you finally had it. Your website is horrible, keeps getting errors and your developers don’t respond. Why would they? You are thousands of miles away and they already got the minimum amount from you. They know there is nothing else there since you paid minimum amount anyways.
So you are ready to switch and get a new site. But now you know what to do because you already got your fingers burnt. You will just pay 5K and get a proper site (the one you were imagining in the first place). Well, this is where you are very wrong. Now, your website and domain is ruined. By this time you had many server and website errors. If you had customers they are sick of your website and your SEO is who knows where and already deeply indexed by google (most likely very wrong). So it will take months to get your site back if you are lucky and you really can’t just shut down your site and start over.
So please, think about your next move. If you have a great idea and no money – stop! Don’t rush it! Save up and find proper US agency that will be with you after project is done. Find an agency that will do your site as part of their portfolio and that speaks proper english and can show you and train you properly.
Thank you for reading and contact us with any questions…