8 Epic Fails When Outsourcing Web Development to India

If you are creating a new website or redesigning an existing one, you have likely considered hiring an overseas web design and development team they promise the moon on a shoestring budget. With massive downward price pressure from website builders, premade WordPress themes and crowdsourcing websites, it is a race to the bottom. Furthermore, if you have received a quote for a mobile-friendly website that is under $1,000 from a local web design firm, chances are, they are outsourcing the work to India or they are customizing a premade WordPress theme instead of coding from scratch. Indeed, most small business owners, startups and even local creative agencies outsource web development to India because of price, but there are definitely some challenges in doing so.

Time Difference

Indian Standard Time is 13.5 – 12.5 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time depending on whether it’s daylight savings time. Since most Indian web developers start their day late, you have to be prepared for some late night meetings after 10pm or 11pm. Unless you are the business owner and overseeing the website project yourself, it would be difficult for you to convince your marketing staff member to stay up late to ensure that everything is on track.

“Yes” Culture

Indians say “yes” to everything even though they really mean “maybe,” “I’ll try” or “no.” They agree to tasks that they may not understand so you often have to ask them to repeat what you have asked in their own words.

Lack of Quality Control

With the majority of Indian web development companies, juniors who are being paid $1 per hour are contracted out to design and develop websites for 10 to 12 times that rate. We know this because we have had Indian freelancers leave their jobs to freelance for us. Although hiring freelancers directly is less expensive, there is absolutely no quality control so we no longer engage in this practice. If you must outsource, hire a reputable agency that employs senior web developers and a project manager to oversee your project. Unfortunately, great Indian web development companies are few and far between as remote work has spawned many scam artists with no repercussions when your projects fall through.

Inability to Make Decisions

If you are unsure of what you want and you need an Indian developer to decide, you are out of luck. Asking them “which looks or works better” will render in nothing being done at all. Outsourced projects are more successful when you know exactly how things should look and function. If you want parallax scrolling or advanced search with keyword highlighting, you need to know to ask for that upfront. Indian web developers are not going to give recommendations that will create extra work for them.

Lack of Motivation & Organization

If organization is not your strong suit, then outsourcing may create more frustration than what your cost savings may be worth. Indian culture is very verbal and they tend not to write things down. If you do not have a tracking system for revisions and refinements, you will find yourself asking for the same thing over and over again. Because most Indian web developers are in their mid or late twenties, they have short attention spans making it very difficult to motivate them, especially with longer-term e-commerce websites.

Difficulty Meeting Deadlines & Taking Responsibility

Unlike in the US, deadlines are just guidelines and are never strictly followed. Unless you have hired a US web design and development team to pick up the slack if they fail to deliver, there are always delays because they fail to take responsibility for their work. Since there are minimal consequences and low productivity, Indian developers are really good at ignoring your communications and giving excuses.

Frequent Disruptions

You need to account for numerous disruptions that will delay your project including poor Internet, floods, bad traffic, strikes, shutdowns, power outages and 21 Indian holidays including Diwali, which lasts a week.

Beware of Bait & Switch

If you are lucky enough to find a great overseas development team, sometimes they pull a bait and switch on you. They will give an experienced coder to start but they might switch to using someone more junior once you become a repeat client. Unless you are a web developer yourself, it may be hard for you to distinguish the difference between shoddy, half-assed code and great fast-loading code that fits together seamlessly.

In Conclusion

If you are frustrated with your overseas web development team, contact us to see if we can help with your web design or web maintenance project.

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