Hiring a Mobile Developer versus a Web Development Company for Your Mobile App Idea

When it comes to deciding who you want to build your app, the decision that’s right for you will largely depend on your business and your project. Some people prefer to hire each contributor individually and work with them on their own. Others prefer to hire an agency to serve as a project manager, coordinating everyone contributing to the project.

Some projects simply can’t be done by a single developer. In many cases, you may need a UX designer, a front-end developer, and a back-end system engineer.

For a large complex app, you might need several dozen developers to work on different elements of the platform. You might need one or more engineers to write a client-side app. For an iPhone app, you’ll need someone who knows Objective-C or Swift. You’ll need a Java programmer if you want to build an Android app. If you require a server system to run in support of the client app, you’ll need an engineer who knows JavaScript and most likely a few other languages. Once you know you’ll need several developers or other types of freelancers for your project, it’s time to consider hiring an agency.

If you have a tight timeline in addition to needing a diverse set of skills, you’ll probably want to hire an agency. Another consideration? If you’d prefer to work with one party that’s responsible for the entire project, rather than coordinating with several individual contractors, you’ll most likely want to engage an agency partner for your project.

There are several other important factors to consider when choosing between hiring an agency or individual freelancers:


A mobile development agency can offer a complete solution, with a team of specialists already assembled. However, they’ll normally cost significantly more than your own team of freelancers would. Most agencies charge $25,000+ to build a mobile application. For a more complex project, you can expect to pay $100,000+.


In addition to considering your budget, you should also think about the purpose of your app. Are you starting a company based on your idea like an Uber or a Snapchat? If so, assembling your own team from the beginning could have benefits in the long term. Freelancers could perform repeat projects for you and possibly also continue to be available to you as consultants as your company grows.


Do you have an existing company? Are you building an app to promote it or to offer additional customer support or satisfaction? Then you should probably hire a development agency so you can stay focused on your business. While hiring an agency may seem to cost more than engaging several freelancers, keep in mind that having the agency handle the whole project could save you a lot of time in the long run and be the most efficient path for you.


Another factor to consider is that a development agency may be more willing to enter into a fixed-price contract with you, although many freelancers are also willing to negotiate fixed-price payment terms. Agencies’ collective experience and know-how may make them better at accurately estimating the likely complexities and costs of all stages of your project from the beginning. While they may cost more, there should be less scope creep and cost overruns.


Development agencies have professional project managers who will coordinate the people building your app and make sure they’re communicating and working together. They serve as a liaison between you and the design and development teams. If you don’t have any prior experience building software projects, having a project manager can be critical.