Do you have an idea for a web or mobile app but lack the internal resources to develop it? Are you thinking of hiring an app development company or freelancer to do it? Are you struggling to decide on which web or mobile app developer suits your needs? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, and you are choosing between freelancers vs. companies, you’ve come to the right place.

Freelancers vs. companies in app development

Finding the right app developer can be tricky, especially when it involves a considerable investment. It’s not just about what freelancer or company has the most or best resources or has worked on the most renowned projects; you have to choose the right partner for your specific company and proposal. A lot of companies struggle with deciding between a freelancer or a company, which is why, in this article, we’ll focus on all you need to know to make that decision.

What to consider when hiring an app developer: freelancers vs. companies

image: freelancers vs. companies

Before we delve into the freelancers vs. companies in app development debate, we’d like to focus on those things you should consider when hiring any app developer, so here are some tips.

Find an app developer who is interested in your project

Getting the job done is not the only thing that matters. The right app developer should also be truly interested in your idea and be capable of providing useful input regarding your project. This should include whether your idea has the potential to succeed as an app or not as well as creative input to improve your app based on their experience.

Find someone you can work with: freelancers vs. companies

The freelancer or company you choose will become the partner you have to work with for the medium or even long-term so it’s fundamental to have a strong relationship with them for your app to succeed.

Check their portfolio and references

Be sure to ask the app development company or freelancer about past projects as well as apps they have built. Actually download them yourself for a test run and see if they work well, if the design is attractive, and if their style matches your expectations. This helps you make sure they have the appropriate UI/UX skills. Moreover, find developers who are willing to provide you with contact info for client references so you can get actual feedback on what it is like to work with them.

Remember it’s not all about the price

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. With that in mind, never choose an app developer solely based on their quote. If you want your web or mobile app to succeed, you will require a quality product, and that comes with a price. We’re not saying you should go with the most expensive option, but keep in mind that a low-cost one might end up backfiring and costing you more in the long run.

Keep in mind that coding isn’t everything

Sure, coding is an essential part of building your app, but things such as design and user experience can also make or break it. It has to be functional and friendly for your target user. You should look for a partner that adds value to all aspects of your project and who is not in it just for the initial development but for the long haul for later updates and support.

Ask about the monetization plan

Another crucial subject to discuss with the app developer beforehand is the monetization plan they may have for your project. They need to be able to provide you with suggestions on the most effective ways for you to profit from your web or mobile app.

Consider someone that can work on multiple platforms

This may seem obvious, but it is vital to make sure that the app development company or freelancer you choose has the resources to develop the project in the platforms and/or frameworks you have in mind, whether you are looking for native development (e.g.: iOS and Android) or prefer a cross-platform framework (such as Ionic or React Native).

If you are unsure of what you’re looking for, take a look at our article on native vs. cross-platform development.

Differences between freelancers and companies in app development

Now that we’ve gone over the basic information to keep in mind before choosing the right app developer for your project, let’s dive into what you came for: freelancers vs. companies in app development.

  • Resources of freelancers vs. companies

When it comes to resources, the reality is that app development companies will probably have considerably more of them. Their infrastructure and budget mean they will have a larger team with experience in various fields (such as development, design, or testing) and development platforms, use various tools and are also more likely to offer a comprehensive service.

At the same time, while there are freelancers that are trained to cover a variety of projects and services, they may not be the best choice for large-scale and complex projects. They have fewer resources and will, therefore, also move at a slower pace. Moreover, they usually specialize in specific development tools and software.

  • Flexibility of freelancers vs. companies

When compared to freelancers, app development companies are able to offer a wider variety of services. As we’ve mentioned before, they have a full team of programmers that can specialize in different areas and often also employ UX/UI designers and testers. This also means that things are considerably easier if you wish to change directions or scale up your project at any point. On the other hand, working with freelancers means you will need to find a different freelancer or extra helping hands if this happens.

  • Efficiency and deadlines

When you hire a freelancer, they may have a network of colleagues to help out in case of delays or unexpected issues. However, it is most likely that if things go south, your project could experience hindrances.

When it comes to companies, there is a full team available as well as project managers organizing the work. This translates into increased efficiency and a higher capacity to meet deadlines or face unexpected complications.

  • Pricing

Hiring an app development company may seem expensive when compared to a freelancer. However, freelancers are usually less experienced and not as proficient in certain areas, so the larger investment may be worth it in the long term. Moreover, you have to keep in mind that the cost of your project will depend on the size of the company and the services you hire, so it’s best to do your research before deciding on either of these options.

teamwork: freelancers vs. companies
  • Tools and technologies

As we’ve mentioned, app development companies are able to offer more comprehensive services and, therefore, have access to a vast array of tools and technologies as well as a team with experience in diverse fields. They also tend to use more efficient project-management tools to make sure everything goes over smoothly. This means they can adapt to a variety of different projects and whatever your needs may be.

On the other hand, freelancers are usually specialized in specific tools and technologies. This may actually be a positive thing depending on what your project entails, but it is definitely something to keep in mind when deciding on one over the other.

  • Support and maintenance

Companies are more adept at long-term cooperation and therefore more likely to offer support and maintenance for your project, sometimes even as part of the app development package. They will always be able to spare a team member to work on updates or bug fixes for your app.

Although freelancers also offer these services, they may have more time restrictions on their availability and usually offer this service as an extra.

Final thoughts on Freelancers vs. companies in app development

Deciding on the right web or mobile app developer for your project can be tricky and should not be taken lightly. To sum up what we’ve seen above, if you are working on a complex project with the possibility of scaling it up over time and want app developers that can easily adapt to your needs, app development companies are clearly the best fit. However, if you have a smaller-scale project, with a very specific idea and a tighter budget, a freelancer might be the safest bet. We hope we have made your decision a little bit easier when it comes to freelancers vs. companies in app development.