Why Outsourcing a web designer from India is risky.
Now to make this official and clear, there are some truly professional India developers available when it comes to website design and development. I personally know of three, and are very close friends. But the vast majority are not worth dealing with, or loosing your money on. For the 20 years, I have been in this business, I have received over 30 complaints from clients regarding their website, those who originally thought by outsourcing they can save money and have the job done. It is a myth that outsourcing to India is always cheaper or better.
Another issue, that I have heard so many times from clients with bad experiences, is regarding communication. Communication problems and cultural differences hinder development. It is difficult enough to translate technical and programming concepts to clients and establish feasible project goals without having to provide clear instructions to Indian programmers who have a different grasp of English. Misunderstanding happen, projects evolve but not necessarily in the right direction. The true cost of poor development may vary from a financial loss from system downtime to a system that collapses and loses critical data. Outsourcing creates an environment that breeds misunderstanding because communication is not as direct as it would have been with someone that understands your business and your needs, ideally from the same country or culture.
As I mentioned in the beginning, though there must be some excellent Indian programmers, the vast majority are hired to churn out code. I have a term for it, it is called sloppy programming because it works by looping round and round but should anything go wrong, it is difficult to fix. Whether Indian programmers are better is very difficult to judge because there are a lot of average programmers of all nationalities. Because of the law of supply and demand, the better developers are hired by banks and large software companies and the less skilled left for everyone else. Attrition rates for Indian programmers is particularly high - so you are less likely to get a good developer to work on you long term than you are if you hired locally.
If your website is costing you less than a $1,000 bucks, then chances are your web designer is terrible and your website will be terrible too. We all wish we could spend $1,000 dollars and make millions, but if it were that easy everyone would do it.
Stop being cheap, because, you get what you pay for. You could easily buy a car for $1,000 bucks but again, you get what you pay for. If you still think your website should be under $1,000 bucks, eventually you will come crawling back to the web designer that was too expensive. Only now you’ll have to pay for a good web designer + the costs of your really cheap web designer. Yet, thinking spending under a thousand and hiring or outsourcing someone is your best bet, well you are in for a big surprise in the end.
After all, thanks to the Internet, accessing the global pool of skills has never been easier. In fact, there are websites that let talented individuals from low-wage developing nations fight for your money on the table through web/graphic design competitions. This is indeed a boon for small business owners like you, right? So, cutting costs by outsourcing web/graphic design to low-wage countries may seem like a smart move. But if you don’t know what you are doing, you may actually be undermining your brand in the long-run and turning your business towards a commodity business.
No matter how many stories I hear about “indian designers” who are unethical, unskilled, or just plain deceitful, I’m always a little shocked at some of the ways they find to con people out of money. These are not clueless people I’m talking about, either – they are fully aware of what to look for when hiring a designer and still end up in terrible situations sometimes.