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Should I outsource my web development work overseas?

Monday, 3 December 2012 | By Dean Ramler

As the team that put together the recent Click Frenzy sale have found, building a state of the art eCommerce site is not an easy task.

 

Almost anyone can get a site up quickly, but if you want a site that can handle substantial traffic and stay online, significant investments are required.

 

So the question of whether or not to outsource web development work to overseas workers all comes down to how much you want to spend on your site and how great you want your site to be!

 

There are obviously pros and cons to outsourcing, and generally an entrepreneur has three options to get a site built that is capable of handling mass traffic:

 

1. Build the site in-house with internal technicians

 

If you have the expertise internally, some of the best websites I have seen have been built 100% in-house.

 

By using your own team, you can control the outcome and by being able to communicate daily with the tech team (in person), a great site can be built.

 

Unfortunately this is not possible for most start-ups as great tech talent is hard to find in Australia, and when you do find a great team, the costs can be enormous.

 

To build a state of the art eCommerce site in-house from scratch can cost up to a million dollars.

 

2. Partner with a local IT company

 

A second option entrepreneurs have is to outsource the build to an eCommerce specialist firm who can build the site to your specifications.

 

Costing less than building the site in-house, this is a good option for most businesses who are not tech experts themselves.

 

Ironically, most eCommerce ‘experts’ these days are simply a middle man, who then go and outsource the work to India anyway, even if they tell you otherwise.

 

But managing overseas workers can be a headache, so if you rather pass that problem onto someone else, this could be the best option for you.

 

3. Outsource the entire project overseas and manage internally

 

Given that most local IT firms are outsourcing the majority of their coding and development work anyway, this could be a good option if you want to get your site built on the absolute cheap.

 

But unless you have a technological background and understand the million little details that go into a site build (and have had experience doing so) I would steer clear of this option.

 

My tip – if you are starting out and do not have a large customer base already, get set up with a basic eCommerce template that has a shopping cart built in, to test the market first.

 

Once your business is proven, then look to invest in a more customised eCommerce solution, which is the strategy we have employed at Milan Direct and has worked well for us to date.