For produce, there’s no question — the nearer you are to the source, the better.
When you want to hire someone to write, build, or host your website, is this also true? Do you need someone local?
There are advantages to working with a local person:
- You can meet directly, in person, if you want to. If you feel that you communicate better face to face, or you want to look at things and get your hands on them, local is better.
- If you really don’t feel comfortable with computers at all, don’t like email, and are just flat nervous about the process, then local can be better. However, I’m very comfortable with people who feel this way, so if your local guys just make it worse, you call me. 479-966-9761.
- A local person might be more concerned about you and your company’s needs. Might not. But the big national agency may feel less personally involved than the people who actually come into your business regularly.
- A local person might be more accessible to you, quicker to respond, and offer you better quality control. Not always. But sometimes you have better access, and sometimes you know ahead of time whether or not you will. There might be a better chance that you’ll know some of the same people and can get a reference you feel confident about. And you have a better chance of being able to go to their office if you’re feeling urgent about a contact.
- It can be good for your local economy.
There can also be advantages to going further afield:
- You can find specialists. The work that I do is pretty specialized. You may not have anyone in your neighborhood with the same skills. While most towns nowadays boast a web designer or hosting company, you can’t always get the quality you want in your area.
- You may get a bargain. People in less expensive parts of the country or the world may provide equal quality at a lower price. Not always, but sometimes. I know the cost of living here in Northwest Arkansas is lower than in urban areas, and I’m sure our company’s prices reflect that.
- You can find greater variety. Just as every region has its own ideas about barbecue, you may find that there’s a regional style in web design — the style taught at the local university or design school, in some cases.
- You can get a native speaker. If you plan to have a website in a language that isn’t spoken in your local area, you should go elsewhere. A sentence or two, okay, use a dictionary, but any significant amount of content should always be written by a native speaker of the language.
- It’s fun to work with people from far-off places.
I have clients and colleagues from all over the world. I enjoy getting to know them and learning about their businesses and homes. I also like working with local people face to face. You may find that you prefer one approach over the other.
Fortunately, your web content arrives fresh no matter where it comes from, unlike that produce.