Should I Build My Own Website? Or Go Overseas?

By Ten Squared, posted on the 20th of July, 2021 · 5 minute read

When choosing how to create a website for your brand there are a lot of choices you can make. You can spend as little as $30 a month on a website or you can spend upwards of $100 000. So how do you know which choice is right for you? Let's get one thing out of the way, we strongly encourage you to avoid paying an overseas developer anything less than $1500 for a website. If you have a small budget we would recommend using a website builder like Wix and starting basic before later investing properly in a website.

So when developing your website you have four main options:

  1. Use a website builder to create a basic website.
  2. Go overseas to find an affordable web developer.
  3. Search within Australia for the best developer within your budget.
  4. Search within Australia for a high-end web developer.

All but one of these options comes with its risks. Option 1 is the least risky, and in all honestly the best option for businesses who only require a basic website or what we like to call "a fancy business card", a builder is great for creating a simple informative website and should be the first point of exploration for any business. As your business grows there will come a time where you will need to get a little more creative with your website and increase its complexity. At this point, you will probably need to choose one of the latter three options. So let's go through the pros and cons of each of these options.

1. A Website Builder

In all honesty, you can get a lot for your money with a website builder. If we had the choice of going overseas or building a website by ourselves using a website builder we would most certainly use a website builder. Hence, for anyone with a relatively good understanding of how different pieces of software work this should be your first stop when deciding which direction to head in.

Some of the pros are:

  • Low to no upfront investment.
  • Easy to use with no coding experience required.
  • Cancel at any time, hence as you grow you can change to a new website.
  • Numerous templates to choose from.

The cons:

  • Frequently reported mobile usability issues with website builders affecting SEO.
  • Slow page load speeds affecting usability and SEO.
  • Issues with SEO on various out of the box builders.

Hence, if SEO is not a primary concern for you and your website's main purpose is as a fancy business card then a website builder can be an excellent option.

2. Overseas Developers

With overseas developers it can be a bit of a gamble, there are some incredible overseas developers, however, there are some not so good web developers. Four of our current clients came to us after using overseas developers asking us to fix numerous issues with their websites, from website viruses missed by developers to broken links and slow page speeds, we have seen it all. Hence, if you choose this option there is one thing that is essential, that is research. If you can also negotiate a guarantee of some kind then it is good to know that you are protected.

An additional point to consider is that in our experience unless you ask for something specific from a developer they will only do the bare minimum. Things like SEO optimisation, connecting to search console or any specific specs. In essence overseas developers will follow your exact instructions, they will not provide you with any expertise and take everything you have asked for literally. This is where a detailed brief may help save you, make sure you include exactly what you want and you are more likely to have a positive outcome. If you would like to consult with us on any upcoming projects you are working on please feel free to reach out to us using our contact form here.

Some of the pros to outsourcing overseas are:

  • Costs, you will save a lot upfront.
  • Availability, there are so many web developers available around the world.

Some cons:

  • Ongoing cost and maintenance requirements are higher.
  • You will likely need to maintain a relationship with them each time you need to update your site.
  • Language barriers.
  • Limited expertise.
  • They specialise in development, not design.
  • Timing, leave leeway of a few months for your deadline, as deadlines don't seem to apply overseas.

3. Affordable Web Developers in Australia

If you can find the right web developer in Australia then the extra money you invest up front will pay for itself through less maintenance and a product that helps your businesses bring in new business. The best way to find an affordable web developer in Australia is to look for younger digital agencies who are in their first year of running their business. If you can ensure they are well rounded in technologies by asking them a variety of questions then you can rest assured that you are in good hands.

Having said that, this option still isn't 100% guaranteed, we recently worked with a client who came to us after spending $15,000 on a new website, we took one look and knew pretty quickly that it would cost almost the same to go back in and restructure everything properly to make is a viable option.

So what are the pros:

  • Affordable.
  • Less risky.
  • Clear communication.
  • Design experience.
  • Expertise.
  • Ongoing support.

The cons:

  • Larger upfront cost.
  • Some risks are still present.

4. A Premium Development Agency.

This is going to be the most expensive option and is perfect for larger businesses. It will ensure that you have experienced developers working on your website. You will also likely have a customer representative looking after you from start to finish allowing the process to run smoothly. Having said that larger agencies still miss deadlines, still make mistakes and are not 100% safe either.

We are currently consulting with a company that spent over $100,000 on their website targeting customers around the world. With their latest update, they were looking to target the Chinese market, creating pages on their website tailored to that specific market. We were approached to audit their work and found numerous issues including the fact that the pages created were blocked from showing up on Chinas biggest search engine.

Pros:

  • Expertise.
  • Communication.
  • Show-stopping designs.
  • Ongoing support.

Cons:

  • Cost.
  • Higher risk if something goes wrong.

How can you mitigate your risk?

The best way to mitigate your risk on any option is to hire an external consultant who can sit with you in any meetings and vet previous work. Upon launch they will also audit your website to make sure everything that was promised has been done.

Photo by Magnet.me on Unsplash