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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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) Staying on Top of New Trends
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.
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.