Hiring web design help overseas is a great move for saving dollars, but it doesn’t come without a few hitches. Here are five things to bear in mind (and plan for) as you consider how you’re gonna get low-cost help.
1. You’ve got a GOOD handle on your content.
Web designers overseas will not be able to do much to help you create great content. Content is what they are expecting you to give them.
You’ll need to know what pages you want and what will go on those pages. You’ll also need to know what to put in your email autoresponders if you’re going to have them. And, of course, you’ll need to create (or get) that content.
This is actually an issue whether you’re hiring overseas or locally. However, a local web designer will be better able to communicate with you about content needs since he/she will speak your language and know a bit about your culture.
2. You’ve got a good handle on your website strategy.
This too is an issue whether you’re hiring overseas or locally, just like #1.
Your web designer will not know what you’ll want in your site. They’ll be waiting for you to tell them what pages, functionality, and organizational structure you want.
And, all of this will be based on the strategy you’re going to use for your website. What strategies will you use to reach your goals (got those figured out too)?
* To just have a professional image if someone checks me out as I’m mainly networking in person and getting potential clients offline.
* To grow my list to 1000 in the next six months and build my image on my list
* To network the heck out of social media and drive people to my blog where I will grow my readership and invite people to contact me for a consultation.
Speaking of strategy, I wrote a book about how to get your visuals, pages, content together so that your website attracts new clients in The Coaching Site Guide. Have a look.
3. You’re ready to manage someone (usually with poor English).
Web designers overseas are “for hire” and as such they want you to direct them on the project. You are the project manager and you will need to give them very clear instructions, follow up often and give deadlines.
Most have poor English. You’ll need to hunt down good English speakers or have lots of patience with the language barrier.
Also, being overseas, setting phone appointments are a bit tough, especially if they are in Asia, about 12 hours away.
4. You’re ready to sift through a lot of profiles.
There’s an endless supply of web designers who operate overseas. You can find them on sites like Guru.com, UpWork.com, and Elance.com to name a few.
If you do look online, here are four things to look for in good help.
(1) They’ve been very busy for at least a year. You don’t want to waste time with non-committed, non-hard working, inexperienced freelancers.
(2) They’ve got other happy clients. Check out their profile and contact past clients, especially recent ones. The main thing you want is someone who makes sure clients are happy.
(3) They respond quickly. Be sure to ask questions and do a little back and forth to see if they respond in a timely manner.
(4) They have good English. See how much they wrote in their profile. GO back and forth with a few emails to gauge their comfort and fluency.
5. You’ve got an idea of the technology you’ll need.
This is also an issue of whether hiring in your home country or outside. It’s best to know the technical requirements you need before hiring overseas.
You’ll need to know the software you intend to use or take the big risk of letting the web designer decide this. Often times they’ll use clunky, not-well-supported, and feature-overkill programs that don’t work well and are confusing.
Ideally, you should use technology that’s well supported and popular for what you’re trying to accomplish.
One good overseas freelance provider I like is UpWork (formerly Odesk).
I like using UpWork. They take care of billing for you – automatically. They are constantly improving their interface and they’re really getting there. I’ve found great help there when needed.
If your budgets are low and you want to seek help overseas, bear in mind it doesn’t come without the “other costs” – which are mainly the extra time in knowing what you want in your site, time to hunt through profiles, and time to manage the freelancer.