Whether you’re a small business, a larger organization or you’re an entrepreneur, once you’ve made the decision to develop an app, it’s just the beginning of the process.
Unless you’re part of a very large business with the ability to develop an app internally, you’re likely going to have to hire a third-party, and that could mean either a freelancer or an agency.
How do you know which is right for your project, your needs, and your budget?
A lot of people wonder about the cost of outsourcing mobile app development, and there’s not one set answer they can be given, however, it is an investment.
Much of the price depends on individual factors such as the features, the back-end components, and whether or not it accepts payments.
People tend to believe that they can automatically save money by hiring a freelancer instead of going with an agency, and this isn’t necessarily true.
Sometimes a freelancer, particularly if they charge by the hour, can end up costing quite a bit more than an agency when all is said and done. This doesn’t mean a freelancer can’t do a good job, particularly for smaller and simpler projects, but it shouldn’t be assumed that this is the way to save money.
In the long run, often businesses discover freelancers turn out to be more expensive than an agency would have been.
When you hire a freelancer to develop an app you more often than not are working with a single person who writes code, but this isn’t all that goes into creating an app.
You’ll have to hire the person to write the code, but also design the interface and test the app. Many times people also find that they need a project manager to oversee multiple freelancers. These are considerations that should be factored into the cost but often aren’t in the beginning.
With an agency, there is usually a team in place that can handle each aspect of development from start to finish.
There are a few different things to consider when it comes to development timelines.
If you hire an agency they will usually have all of the resources and things in place to start working on your project immediately, but how many other clients do they also have? Are you going to be a priority? Who will be your primary point of communication?
With a freelancer, you may be more of a priority, particularly if you’re their only client at the moment, but you’re going to be more at the mercy of their personal schedule, and it may also take more time to get the project up and running.
Finally, another thing to consider is ongoing work and maintenance your app may require.
You don’t just create an app, launch it and then forget it.
It needs ongoing testing, maintenance and often changes and improvements. If you work with a freelancer is this something they’re going to be able to manage for the foreseeable future? Many development agencies include this as part of their services, while a freelancer may or may not.
There’s no right answer as to which is right for your app, but there are things to consider when you’re choosing between a freelancer and a development agency.