Even as a web design and development company, we get spammed with emails and calls regularly, offering us a cheap website, or SEO that promises to get us onto page one. Ignore or trash these straight away! Most of these companies would have paid for a list to get your contact details and are emailing thousands of people at once in the hopes that one will take their bait.
Most of these ‘companies’ (sometimes not even a company) are based overseas, usually India, China or Eastern Europe and the risks involved by giving them your hard earned cash almost always outweigh the positives.
Their offer of a cheap website, can of course be appealing, especially to small businesses who don’t have much money to invest.
But before engaging with an overseas web developer you need to understand the risks and issues that can arise:
- The disappearing act – We’ve all seen the ‘A Current Affair’ episodes about the dodgy builders that take people’s money and never finish the job, or even start at all. Then conveniently their phone number is disconnected, leaving the client well and truly in the lurch. This all too often happens with overseas web development companies as well.
- Safety – Not only the safety of your money, but licensing and copyright issues can occur. They could use copied code or a licenced image on the site, and here in Australia, if caught, could get you into hot water.
- Quality control – Their quality standards may not live up to Australian standards, resulting in a poor performing and slow to load website, that you’re going to have to spend more money on to fix or even start from scratch.
- Service and support – Ongoing customer service and web support may not be available if you can even manage to get in contact with them at all once your website is complete.
- Data security – If your website will be collecting customer’s personal data, you need to make sure that there are measures in place to protect their data and confidentiality. Most countries don’t have strict data protection laws like Australia does.
- Language & cultural barriers – If English isn’t their first language, communication can be difficult, resulting in frustration for both parties and time delays for you. Also, the content on your website might be riddled with typos and grammatical errors, that will take you time and money to fix.
Each country has its own colloquial and cultural differences so even if you’re both speaking English it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re on the same page. A web designer has to be able to put themselves in your customer’s shoes, which becomes a lot harder when they have no idea what the typical Australian customer is like.
- Time difference – Bear in mind that they will be in a different timezone, so will have different, if not opposite working hours. This can become an issue if you have an urgent bug fix that needs to be completed, or specific deadlines to meet.
- Physical distance – Some projects require that personal touch and collaboration between the client and the developer which is not possible with an overseas development company.
In saying all this, there are still many great reputable web development companies out there, just be sure to do your research before signing on the dotted line.
So, it might cost me a bit more, but is staying LOCAL really necessary?:
- Easier communication – without the language, cultural and time barriers you can easily email and call your developer (no overseas calling charges) and be sure that you’re on the same page at all stages of your website’s development.
- Stay REALLY local – Find a development company that is not only in the same city, but close enough that you can go and visit their office and meet with them to really get a vibe of if you want to be working with them.
- Quality standards – You can be sure that they are using common language coding like HTML and PHP so that a third party can easily continue work on your website in the future. You can also see if they offer a warranty on their work and if they offer ongoing web support.
- Qualifications – You can actually check and see if your developer is qualified and experienced in developing exactly what you need.
Above all, by staying local you can be sure that you are dealing with REAL people. Visit their office and have regular meetings. By staying local and finding a web development company that you trust, you’ll end up with a much better outcome.
Fireworks is 100% Australian owned and operated, with local offices. Call 1300 660 160 to talk to a developer today!