Companies have started replacing tradition forms of marketing such as print while increasing their online marketing budget towards their online presence in the form of establishing a a better online presence through professional web design and internet marketing. This is largely due to their ability to having more reach, being more cost-effective and measurable through analytics.
In the past, startups would hire new grads or amateur web designers in hopes of saving money and gaining some online market share from their competitors. In almost all cases this never worked out.
Outsourcing has changed the web design industry as it offers another seemingly cost-effective solution for startups and companies to launch websites on a small budget.
Most would think this would threaten local web designers who wouldn’t be able to compete with offshore prices but in reality it elevated companies online who invested in local talent and agencies, thus dominating their niche.
So how does a $500 website compare to a $5000 website you might ask? As a web developer myself, why wouldn’t I choose to outsource projects overseas, i mean it would seem like a strategic move right?
Let’s take a look at a big few reasons why outsourcing has failed many businesses.
1) Your Competitors are Stealing Would-be Customers
A professional web design agency knows that a website is more than what you see on the front end. The process of building a website is NOT just buying a template and updating content and images.
A professional web designer will get to know your business, provide valuable insight, understands SEO and User Experience (UX) and how they relate to optimizing conversions on a website.
Poorly developed websites typically result in technical issues, high bounce rates, lower conversions and poor search rankings.
If by chance visitors do land on your website and leave then they will typically end up on your competitors website who are more likely to turn them into customers.
2) Poor communication
Offshoring freelancers means communicating with people who likely aren’t English first language. Trying to explain branding or technical requirements can become a challenge and even frustrating.
When communication is unclear this can result in undesired results, delay timeliness and result in additional costs.
Since most many freelancers are through websites such as Upwork.com are from countries such as India, China, Pakistan, Russia and the Philippines, this means that there will be a big time zone difference. This means that freelancers can be on totally different time schedules which means you may have to be up at odd hours in the morning. In the event something is wrong with your project, response times are less than ideal and in some circumstances you may not even get a response.
3) Not following best practices
Having hired freelancers in the past I’ve had all sorts of experiences from good to miserable. One thing I can say for sure is that completing the task by any means necessary is usually the freelancers goal. While this sounds ideal, this can also mean implementing hacks or poor solutions.
For example, when developing in WordPress is important to not edit core files which are typically overwritten on version updates. Inexperienced or careless freelancers may edit these files and down the road when a client tries to update their WordPress or plugins this can lead to losing functionality or worse, crash a website.
4) Poor Quality Web Design
Hiring a local freelancer or web design agency means you’ll get better quality, more accountability and are more likely to go above and beyond to make sure you are satisfied with the end product.
On several occasions, I’ve been hired to revamp or fix websites that were admittedly made by offshore freelancers. How could I tell? Poor design, layout and user experience which have left businesses with websites that is not contributing or consistent with their brand and unlikely to convert visitors into customers.
Menial tasks such as data entry, making minor adjustments to a website that can be easily explained are examples of when outsourcing is acceptable. But for large scale projects such as a company website, your best bet it hire local web developers or web design agencies.
If do not have the technical background you’re likely to succumb to cheap quality web design built with poor practices that are likely to negatively impact your online presence.
The point of your website should be to help grow your business. The cost you think you might be saving on building your website is likely going to be wasted and all those would-be customers you were hoping for will probably end up on your competitors websites who DID make the right investment.