When making the decision between choosing a local or an offshore web developer there is a long list of pros and cons to consider. From cost, innovation and revenue to timeliness, cultural differences and just how well you're going to liaise with the team behind something so vital to your business, it can be a minefield. What is ultimately best for you will depend entirely on your specific needs and because this is a case-by-case basis there is no textbook answer as to what is 'best'. But to help you make that decision, we've outlined the best (and worst) aspects of both local and onshore developers to make things a little simpler. 

The benefits of outsourcing to offshore web developers:

To be frank, it is hard to go past the money you can save by outsourcing your web development to an offshore team. Labour is cheaper overseas and when you compare paying a local web developer 4x the amount you would someone in say, Mumbai, those figures are hard to ignore. Going offshore means you can budget for additional developers and time to your project at the same cost - that's a hard pro to look past. If you are working with a larger team, you’ll be eating at a buffet of ideas and skills that your local developers may not be able to offer. Different cultures and societies have different trends and what you'll be sure to get are some fresh twists. These web developers are experts in their field, and they'll apply their technical expertise in novel ways that are sure to make your business stand out. Lots of reputable companies will complete their work to a set deadline with a high quality end product. If the work you require to be done is technical, clearly defined without needing much liaising or clarification, then outsourcing to offshore developers could be for you.

The downfalls of outsourcing to offshore web developers:

Outsourcing work offshore will save you a pretty penny, no doubt about it, but make sure you leave room in your budget for time. No matter how good the offshore team, you will still need to dedicate time and effort to managing the project. This will often be done out of your normal business hours.

Synchronising from the other side of the world is hard work and managing and preparing an offshore project isn't as simple as a quick face-to-face. Time zone differences coupled with waiting for replies to emails and delayed Skype calls all need to be factored in when making a decision. Whether or not you can afford the extra time is the question you need to ask here. Coupled with potential cultural barriers and issues pertaining to lingual accent variation, things can get lost in translation, which can be frustrating and parts of the project might need to be reworked multiple times. If you don't do your homework to find a reputable developer, benefits like quality, timeliness and professionalism can wane and in turn eliminate any cost savings.

The benefits of outsourcing to local web developers:

If you are looking to work closely with a web development team, then an onshore team can be a great choice. Being on the same time schedule and the same time zone makes communication quite easy. Having a local web developer will likely lead to face-to-face meetings, which are highly advantageous and will have the best results when fine-tuning specifics. Communication advantages and cultural similarities also allow local developers to be more readily able to make design decisions on your behalf to create the most suitable software solution, without you having to spell out every single detail in task lists. Its an important factor, especially when working on more complicated projects.

The downfalls of outsourcing to local web developers:

While local developers are a great option, there are downfalls, one of the biggest being in their higher cost. Labour costs are much higher in Australia and with that, prices increase.

Not only that, but onshore developers may not have the exact people you need available right away, because it’s not cost effective to maintain any unoccupied workers. So when you hire an onshore company, you need take into account the time the company requires to hire and train the talent you need, especially for rare skill sets in the market. This can run costs quite high and whether that is something you’re able to do is something to seriously consider.

Local developers are often very busy. It may be especially hard to find reliable people for smaller or more innocuous tasks that do not require a high level of technical expertise. A mix of local and offshore teams might be the solution in this scenario.
At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong but what is right for you!

Digital Bridge is a Melbourne-based web development agency that’s big on ideas and low on jargon. We specialise in designing, developing and managing websites for people like you and businesses like yours.