Many people explore overseas web development firms and outsourcing as a less expensive alternative to hiring a local company or in-house developer. While this may work out well for some development projects, many who select this option end up disappointed with the results. In many cases, outsourcing ends up being more expensive due to drawn-out development time frames, unusable code or project abandonment.
Here are seven reasons why you should hire local developers:
1. Proximity: The most obvious advantage of hiring local developers is the ability to meet in person. Sometimes, a one-hour face-to-face meeting can accomplish more than weeks of e-mailing. Not only does it speed up communication, it is also easier to get a sense of how well the developer or development team understands your concept. Additionally, meeting in person can create a stronger professional connection that fosters a better working relationship.
2. Availability: In addition to being easier to meet with in person, local developers are easier to get a hold of through e-mail and phone than their overseas counterparts. This is because the developers are in the same time zone and can respond to your e-mails the same day, rather than having communications drag on for days or weeks due to differences in time zones.
3. Support: In the event that your website or application goes down or is experiencing technical difficulties, it can be much harder to address the issue over e-mails and across time zones. Local developers can easily schedule a meeting during mutual business hours to go over issues or show you how to use the software they have developed.
4. Familiarity: Local developers and development agencies likely have worked on other similar projects within your city, meaning they will have a deeper understanding of the competition landscape and your market. This is of particular importance for projects that will be marketed to local clientele or are unique to your geographic area.
5. Quality: When you’re hiring a local developer, it is easier to check their references and you are more likely to be familiar with the educational institutions that issued their credentials. They may have clients you recognize in their portfolios. When dealing with people overseas, it can be much harder to assess their skill level, especially if you’re not from a technical background.
6. Language: More often than not, English is not the native language of overseas developers. If this is the case, communicating your ideas becomes more difficult and you may spend a lot of time explaining what you meant, or you may not be able to use the same abstract language you could with local developers whose native language is English. Additionally, you may find yourself having to correct many spelling mistakes on the website, application, file names, or even within the code.
7. Accountability: Sometimes, development projects can go sideways; for example, a breach of a non-disclosure agreement, stolen intellectual property or not delivering a product following payment. If you're dealing with overseas contractors or development companies, not only are you at greater risk of experiencing problems like these, you are also less able to hold them legally accountable in their respective countries.