Outsourcing is probably one of the most challenging things you can do. Horror stories of outsourced projects to India failing miserably abound. I’ve had a few experiences myself with outsourcing work to India. For the most part, I don’t have a high opinion of outsourcing in general but that may be because of the scale at which I do them and the limited exposure I have.
Recently, though, I’ve had a very pleasant experience with outsourcing. I had a small personal project which required the development of a website. I created the backend and designed the website. I needed to go from the web design to HTML code.
For those nontechnical readers, just because you have a web design doesn’t mean you have a website. A website design needs to be converted into code that web browsers understand. This in itself is a skill that many web developers and designers make a good living off. Often times, it’s an arduous task and if you are thorough, it can be very time consuming because you have to test your code to make sure that it works in all the different web browsers. This is because each web browser has its own quirks and a particular web design might not look the same in all browsers.
Needless to say, I hate writing HTML code. So I looked for an online company that would perform this task for me in a reasonable amount of time for a reasonable price. I found this company PSD2HTML on google. I’ve seen affiliate link ads of this company before. In those links, they advertise design to HTML in 8 hours. I found the price to be very reasonable. Sunday night, I submitted by PhotoShop design to them and paid. To my disappointment, they came back to me with an estimate of 22 hours. Man, I was pissed. This was almost triple the advertised time. Of course I didn’t read the small print saying that if they have a heavy backlog then, it would take more time. I wasn’t going to take this so I emailed them back saying that they should either give me a heavy discount for not holding to their advertised word or that they readjust their estimates. I additionally told them I was a blogger which had over 700 readers last month (which I did), and that I was gonna review them and was extremely disappointed. By this time, 7 hours had already passed as I submitted the design right before I went to bed. Once I woke up, I had a note that they had questions about the designs which I answered back and forth.
By 10:40AM the HTML markup was done. About 10 hours had elapsed from when I submitted the order to when I got the markup. However if you take away the time it took to answer all the questions, their turnaround time was more like 2 and a half hours. The markup returned was very clean and of high quality as promised. I did notice that there was a slight visual blemish which I pointed out and they promptly fixed. I am happy to say that the HTML markup is indeed cross browser, and for the small sum of $160, their services saved me a lot of time and grief. I was able to use that saved time to do more important things (like sleep).
Their tracking system is also worth mentioning. Once you submit an order, you get sent an email which contains a link to a page that tracks your dialogue between their team and you. It’s formatted in a discussion thread form where the latest comment is at the bottom. There is no need to login which I find to be immensely user friendly. You just click on the link and you see the conversation. You can reply to the thread and they can reply to you. At the end you get a link to your markup which you can download. The system really is pretty easy to use.
In summary, I would recommend this service to anyone who needed a website developed in a timely manner. This could be used in conjunction with other website services like template sites (which sell website designs but with horribly code which often needs to be redone).
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