Benefits of Agency App Development vs. Freelancers

If you’re reading this blog, you probably typed “app development: agency vs. freelancer” on a search engine.

You’ve got a brilliant idea for an app and are now dealing with the most frustrating conundrum ever: who should I even hire? Putting together the right team is the first step towards bringing your idea to life.

This can be done in three ways:

  • Hiring an in-house developer
  • Hiring a freelancer on a project-by-project basis
  • Partnering with an app development agency

As for the first option, you will have to probably teach the new recruit a thing or two before expecting them to deliver results. Hiring a person is much more expensive in the long run due to salary, employee benefits, and software licenses, besides.

The second option, freelances, can be a hit and miss. There are literally hundreds of thousands of freelancers you can choose from. This means you’ll frequently run into quality issues before settling with a good freelancer who meets your goals.

Agencies, for the most part, are well equipped with equal amounts of talent and equal amounts of tools. They have all the experience and expertise needed to work on a large scale project. But not all agencies are built equal, those raving reviews you see on BBB can be faked.

In this blog, we’ve conducted an in-depth comparison of agencies with freelancers, so you can make a more informed decision.

1) Commitment

Freelancers: They Won’t Stick Around Long

Our biggest pet peeve with freelancers is that they’re like bunnies, always hopping from one project to another. They are not legally bound to live up to their end of the bargain which allows them to refund your money and bail. This is definitely the case with freelancers who are just starting out and don’t have a reputation to manage.

Freelance mobile developers often get bored easy, find a better paying client, or go on a holiday. You leaving a 1 star review on their Upwork profile isn’t cause for worry to most freelancers. We’re not saying all of the freelancers are like this, but there’s enough out there to cause a major source of frustration.

Agency

Agencies are far less agile than freelancers since they actually have a reputation to stick to. Agencies are held accountable by regulatory bodies and laws more strictly than freelancers. They’re held to a high standard. This means they cannot skip your project, put it on hold, or ignore it after taking your money. Violating contractual obligations can have potential legal ramifications that could prove to be both damaging to their reputation and expensive.

2) Time

Freelancers

Hiring a freelancer is easier said than done. There are thousands of freelancers out there, each boasting having a long list of credentials and satisfied clients. When you do post a job requirement on Upwork or Guru, you will get bombarded with thousands of resume submissions. The worst part is that they’re all automatic, which means that their requests will keep on piling one after another.

Agency

Agencies are much easier to look up and maintain a more considerable profile on social media and search engines. The best part is that you can easily talk to them over different media, including phone, email, and live chat without wasting time.

Speaking of time, agencies stick to their committed deadlines from the start of the project to the end. They will make sure not to miss their project deadlines because it gives you the perfect excuse to ask in for refunds.

Being professionals at what they do, agencies know their strengths and weaknesses, which means they won’t take your project if they know they don’t have the expertise. Freelancers on the other hand will probably take on your project even if they don’t have the necessary tools and skills.

3) Cost of Development

Freelancers

When it comes to app development, there is a rule of thumb you would do best to learn: you get what you pay for. Most freelancers are looking for opportunity and as such, they will charge you much lower than an agency would. Paying less doesn’t mean your project is going to cost you less. If anything, a single freelancer will take more time to manage your project than if you had an entire team of developers working for you.

Think of it this way, a single freelance has to work on thousands of lines of code, constantly communicate back and forth with you, and make prompt revisions when asked to do so. This ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach means that your project will take a lot of time, and we’re not even discussing the errors and potential mishaps that will lead to additional costs on your end.

Agency

Agencies that specialize in app development will have more tools and robust team members who will stay focused on your task. They will not get distracted and usually have someone else to do the communication for them. Organizations have different experts at various departments to execute tasks in parallel, which reduces the development time.

When it comes to app development, time is money. The sooner you can get your app pushed into the market, the better for you.

If you ask them to speed up the development process, it’s easier for organizations to put one more member to speed things up. Asking a single freelancer to speed things up is a bad idea because this will usually come at the cost of too many errors and quality issues.

4) Maintenance and Support

Freelancers

As we mentioned earlier in the blog, freelancers simply do not have the incentive to stick around for the long haul. They’re like nomads – always on the move. This means that once your project is complete, it’s on its own. And we all know that even the most carefully optimized apps will run into the occasional performance-breaking bug that needs fixing.

If you hired a freelancer to work on your app, you will be forced to look for alternatives.

Agency

Professional agencies that specialize in app development provide ‘after-market’ support. This may come at a price depending on the level of support required. For instance, it may be free if you’re asking them to fix bugs in the old software. It may come with a fee included if you want to update the software based on new hardware and OS upgrades.

5) Stayingon Top of New Trends

Freelancers

Freelancers don’t usually have access to too many resources which prevents them from staying on top of technological trends. Android and iOS development is rapidly changing at a fast space and not being abreast of new trends is a surefire way of killing your app dead in the water.

Agencies

Most app development agencies depend on trends to boost their bottom line. Not to mention they usually have dedicated researchers who pick up on the latest trends and can offer contemporary solutions that freelancers can’t match. Agencies have access to advanced tools to keep up with the times.

To conclude, agencies offer far more robust and superior app development capabilities than freelancers can on their own – unless you’re asking them to develop Flappy Bird. But most functional apps aren’t Flappy Bird and require a ton of features with support.

Ready to hire skilled app developers for your new project? Get in touch with experts at NS804 for more information.

 

 

A Brief Look at iOS App Development Costs

One of the most frequently asked questions by business owners is: how much does it cost to make an iOS app? The answer: it varies from case to case.

Developing a mobile app is a tricky process. Data obtained by Clutch reveals that the average cost of app development in the US is around $75,000. The cost of iOS app development in countries like India and Ukraine is much lower than in the US. The same rule applies to Android app development.

The key deciding factor for app development cost is the size and scope of the project. App development is more than just programming. If you want to go the extra mile, you’ll need to invest in things like:

  • Animations
  • Custom solutions
  • Solving unexpected problems during app development

A properly-functioning iOS app will take two months to develop and cost around $5,000 to $500,000. A complex app with lots of features requires more than two months of development and about $240,000.

Enterprise software will typically fetch a price tag of around $140,000, with typical development times of 26 weeks.

Here’s a rough break down of the timeline:

  • Business analysis: 3 weeks
  • UX Design: 3 weeks
  • UI Design: 4 weeks
  • Back-end: 8 weeks
  • Front-end: 8 weeks
  • Testing and launch: 3 weeks
  • Support and maintenance: ongoing

Total time to launch: 26 weeks

You can get a rough idea about cost estimations with our online calculator here.

What are Marketing Costs for App Development?

Now that you’ve built your app, you need to know how to increase your user base and downloads. This is where app marketing comes in. You can do this bit yourself, but it’s probably better to hire an agency to do heavy lifting for you. The typical cost for marketing agencies goes anywhere from $25k to $50k and beyond, depending on the services they’re offering. For instance, if you want to hire an influencer to speak about your app, consider shelling out an additional $10k for extra exposure.

The marketing budget includes SEO, social media, PPC campaigns, traditional ads, content marketing, and word of mouth advertisement.

How to Hire an App Development Team?

By far the biggest factor that goes into the overall cost is the team you hire. Imagine hiring a contractor to renovate your house that has 10 rooms in it. Different contractors will quote different prices, which means you’ll have to do a fair bit of research along the way to get affordable estimates. It is also worth noting that hiring an offshore team from India or Ukraine is a lot cheaper than hiring a local team.

A typical team structure for app development includes a solution architect, a business analyst, a few developers (depending on the size of the app), a quality assurance specialist, UI and UX designer, and a project manager. And even if you do decide to skimp out on the budget for the user interface (such as animations and fancy colors), you must provide good user experience for success on the App Store.

Why is Backend Development Important for App Design?

You’ll need considerable backend development if you plan on launching a dynamic app with a market for millions of users who will exchange huge amounts of data in real-time. More so if the data is to be backed up on the cloud and synchronize with other platforms.

Think apps like SoundCloud, Facebook, Quora – all these underwent extensive time spent on designing a complex architecture before they were ready. Furthermore, such an app will require multiple languages for success, which means you’ll have to hire multiple teams of professionals!

Are There In-App Purchases?

Many organizations also include in-app purchases for extra content and features. In this case, many users don’t like escaping the relatively safe ecosystem of your app. This is why in-app purchases are so useful. The application has to be strong enough to store and process sensitive information like credit card numbers, SSN, addresses, etc.

Your costs will also increase depending on each payment option, such as PayPal, Google Pay, Stripe, 2Checkout, and more.

Which Devices Should My App Support?

Compatibility is arguably the most important factor when developing an app. The iOS app should be compatible with both the latest and previous vision of iPhone and iOS alike. This is why you should run an analysis on your target market to gauge demand for the app. An app that is compatible across various platforms will require a greater budget.

Are There Any Extra Costs?

All developers are not necessarily good designers. That is an extra cost that depends on the size of your app. Prepare to spend costs on hidden expenditures such as legal fees, server costs, startup fees, and more when you’re turning the app into a business.

Since running an app is an on-going process, you will need to provide regular updates to fix bugs, security loopholes, and add new features. This means added maintenance costs after development is done. As a general rule, the industry norm is to allocate about 20% of development costs towards maintenance.

So, if your app costs around $100,000 to develop, then you’ll need to pay about $20,000 every year to maintain it. If you’re dealing with legacy costs, then you’re looking at 50% of your original app development costs. This means $50,000 per year of support and maintenance!

If you’re ready to build your iOS app and want to know how much it costs, get in touch with our team ns804!