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Challanges for hiring Offshore Web Development Company

Hiring an offshore web application, mobile app development or software development company, challanges, problems, code quality, communications, etc.

by Bernard Kohan

On average, I receive about 5 phone calls, and 15 new email inquiries per week from offshore web development services companies offering low-cost development services.

It sounds like there is one new "offshore web development" company created every day. There is no review, verification, evaluation process, or recourse for any bad business practices.

It may sound tempting to hire those companies because some offer very low rates for their services, are you getting what you are paying for — in this situation, it may very well be.

Here are the challanges for hiring an offshore web or mobile app development company:

Quality of Code and Lack of Planning

The focus of the offshore development companies are more in the line of just getting the job and deal with the consequences later. There are very little time spend on planning and underestanding the project.

Another areas of their focus are sales, mass productions and bringing in more projects. All of these can create an environment for low quality, buggy and unmaintainable code.

Advanced Programming Capabilities

Since the focus is more on mass production, there are not many advanced programmers — if there is a need for advanced coding, the programmers will use sloppy logic to write code — I've seen situations when a function can be implemented using 10 lines of code, but rather was written using two pages of code. Those types of code are hard to maintain. Also, in most cases, instead of writing a reusable function, they will rewrite the same function ten times in ten different places.

Problems with underestanding the project details, work involved and cost associated with the project

Since most of the offshore web development companies are just eager to get the job, they do not grasp the full details, will underestimate the work involved and cost. Those companies will later ask for additional cost in order to complete the work.

Limited or no Legal Recourse

I have seen situations where the off-shore company took the client's project, repackaged it and resold it under a different off-shore company name. The client could not do anything about it because of the distance, different legal and court systems and costs associated with having to pursue that offshore company.

Communication Problems

It is much more difficult to communicate the project's requirements when there are language barriers, time differences, and cultural differences.

You may have to go over the detail of a functionality with them several times and still the task can be completed not to your direction. These type of mis-underestanding will create code redo by different developers which can create unreadable code and cost you loss of time and money.

Final Thought

We have had so many clients that had to part away from their offshore development company and asking us to take over the project due to the above challangeas.

The worst part is that the client ended up paying for wok that is not usable and the client had to start over with the development.


Research for this article was completed September 30, 2012; pricing and other information may change.

Bernard Kohan

Bernard Kohan is a mobile app and web application development and technology analyst expert. He is available to discuss any issues or questions you have about web development and the best choices for your company or project.

Bernard can be reached at

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