It has been quite a successful age for offshore web developers and web designers. They have been bagging clients day after day and are making money by competing with their onshore peers. Such a tremendous success has been possible mainly due to the ability to do the job at a far cheaper price than their competitors, with almost no practical difference in the quality of the work. Although the internet is filled with citations regarding poor competency levels demonstrated by offshore developers and designers and some of them are probably true, most of them are castles build on air and are therefore baseless accusations.
If you need professional help to build your website within a shoestring budget, the offshore developers are your best bet. They charge low rates and do their jobs reasonably well. However, keep in mind the fact that if your project is an ambitious one with complexities, it is better to hire web development firms instead of entrusting the entire load with a freelancer, who is basically a one man show. Choosing a freelancer will mean that you will have to wait more and your project will be delayed even if slightest unforeseen events occur. A development firm, with a pool of experienced developers, will take care of these aspects. Also, there are numerous other factors like concept design, visual design, user experience design, programming, testing, project life-cycle management and marketing; all of them are highly critical for the success of your website and to be honest, it is too much to expect all of these from a one man show.
Having said that and with all due respect to offshore developers, communicating with them is a real problem. It is not that they are not good at English; in fact, they are extremely good and learned professionals. But the problem lies in the cultural gap and often, the message you want to convey and the interpretations made by the developers are not in perfect alignment. It may happen that the developers simply can’t make sense of your instructions and therefore, not get implemented. Not only that, different time zones can be a real pain in the back for both parties and should be kept in mind before hiring an offshore team.
However, the most crucial concern for you should be regarding their understanding of your idea and business goals. A good web design company will never stumble on this aspect and one of the best ways to make sure that they understand your business goals is to ask them to add their own ideas and propose new solutions. If their suggestions are powerful enough to grab your attention, then probably they have got your point well and you can be sure that they will give invaluable inputs that will enrich your business. Also, before jumping on board to the boat that carries you to the promised land of low cost web development, ensure that their design sensibilities are in accordance to the standard practices of your sector and will be appreciated by your customers. Don’t get brainwashed if they show you meticulously designed templates for the website of an Italian restaurant in Birmingham, if you are a used automobile reseller in Detroit. The point is, be contextual while judging.