Overseas Website Designers Stories

India Web Design
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Overseas Website Designers Stories

One of the biggest ways web design companies keep their costs low is for them to be nothing more than a middleman for overseas designers. We have actually done this a few times at the request of the client. It can be interesting, to say the least. I pride my company as being American and that my design projects are all done in-house. But from time to time a client wants to save some money and asks to have something done overseas, where the costs can be significantly less. As an example designing an app, that is say 50 hours to make, could cost you $4-5K in the US, but $1-2K overseas. That is big money, so I don’t blame them for going overseas. We charge a fee to be the middleman as that is often very stressful. Here are some of my experiences farming work overseas.

The Language Barrier
The two times we did this at the client’s request, we used a developer in India. Now they both spoke English well, but the problem was getting them to understand what we meant. We often had a difficult time getting them to understand our description of the problem and often their answers were very short and didn’t answer the problem. We were designing an app for a client, they wanted to save money so we selected a developer who met the client’s requirements. The problem was when we said something like, we need to function to calculate the entire cost of the products except those that have no tax. They would often present us with a function that didn’t meet their needs and trying to get them to understand would take us a bunch of going back and forth.

Work Ethic
This is my company and I want my company to succeed furthermore, my company has bills to pay and employees to pay. This means that I can’t have some joker in another country mess up my business. I have found that often the work ethic of the contracted person in another country may not share your work ethic. We read hundreds of bios when we were selecting who to use for these projects. Once we found a couple we liked, we shared them with the client. Again, the client wanted us to farm the project out overseas and we are always open with our clients. Often these bios include companies that exist just to have their employees contracted out and often include individuals. Depending on the company or individual, we would see stark differences in work ethic.

Time Difference
Since the overseas developer is in a different part of the world, they are also in different time zones. It would be nighttime for us when they were rolling into work. This meant that all of our questions for the day would not be answered until when we rolled into work the next morning. And if they had a question that we needed to reply to, that only delayed the time it took to get it done. The way they work over there is they use a program that takes random screenshots of what they are doing while working. Those screenshots are loaded into an interface that I can look at. This means that I can effectively spy on them all day long. But it is actually rather pointless as if I noticed them say, surfing Facebook instead of working. I can question them or complain, but I’m basically out all the time as they don’t have the same concept as we do about overtime or working late.

When Disaster Strikes
In the very rare case that a disaster of some sort hits the overseas developer, you are losing all that time and effort. In our case, they were closed for two weeks as they had no power after a major storm hit their location. And then you have to factor in customs and holidays. They may have something like High Noon tea, or a holiday that we don’t have. We have run into that when we were almost done and we had to wait for the Friday holiday and then the weekend to be over until we could get the last changes done.

In the Code
This is something that really upsets me, but one of the developers we used, put in a back door so he could access the rest of the client’s website. We caught it and complained and I don’t know what happened to the developer after that. We have also seen where the developer put in some rather derogatory comments in the coding. Things like, “this is stupid” and “What an asshole”. Could you imagine one of your customers going to make a purchase from your website and being presented with “What an asshole”?  In this case, the comment was just that comment and likely no one would see it unless they look at the code. I recalled once that the City that I live in once paid an out-of-state company to design their website (even though there were at least a dozen professional companies in the city). The company they hired must have not liked my city as in the code, there was a comment that read “City name sucks” (The city name was the actual name of the city). This was the city’s official visitor’s website. And it was set in the Description as well, so it could show up in search engines.

There are more things I could talk about, but I’ll keep this post short. Maybe I will share more in a later post

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Average Joe

Welcome to the Average Joe Weekly blog. This is basically my place on the web where I can help spread some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years. I served 10+ years in the Marine Corps on Active Duty, but that was some 25 years ago.

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By Average Joe

Welcome to the Average Joe Weekly blog. This is basically my place on the web where I can help spread some of the knowledge that I have accumulated over the years. I served 10+ years in the Marine Corps on Active Duty, but that was some 25 years ago.

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