The scoop on development firms

This blog post is the second in a four-part series on building a mobile app. Check out “The Scoop on Freelance Developers” and stay tuned for more posts about the pros and cons of working with a mobile app platform or DIY website!

(May 11, 2015) – In our recent Buyer’s Guide to Mobile Apps, we’ve outlined everything you need to know from types of providers, cost, time investment, and more to help you make an informed decision.

In this post, we’ll explore the benefits and disadvantages of hiring a development firm so you know what to expect.

The Development Firm/Agency

The scoop:

A development firm or agency is one that specializes in custom digital projects. With a team of experienced designers and developers, your project will be completely full service—meaning you won’t have to do a thing except review the work.

The benefits:

Development firms produce high quality, appealing apps. With a thorough design process, no corner is cut to ensure a beautiful look and fluid navigation. Because they have experience in taking on requests like yours, their delivery times are usually consistent—they’ll assess your project and stick to the delivery timeline you agree on.

The fine print:

You better have a money tree in your backyard. With basic entry costs of $20,000 (and that’s at the low end), a custom app from a development firm can cost between $100,000 and $1,000,000. (Pause for stunned silence.) The worst part? That’s just for the app itself—no ongoing support, no bug fixes down the road, no web application to update your app content, and no design enhancements when Apple releases the next iPhone. Want your app redone? Be willing to fork over another hundred grand.

In addition, while the design of your app will most likely adequately reflect your brand, each designer has his or her own “style”—your app is part of their portfolio after all—so the navigation and overall design may turn out differently than you expected.

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Author: Stefanie Jansen

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