Apps for websites are great and are a current mobile marketing trend. If you create a mobile app for your site, you can offer more engagement with customers,boost sales and even accept mobile payments.
Many of us have had a great idea for an app, but most of us have never taken action and developed it.
However, if you’re at that stage now where your idea is so good that you really want to make it happen, the big question you’ll be asking yourself is whether you should outsource its creation to professionals – or do it on your own.
There are lots of things to take into consideration. In this article, I’ll go into detail about what’s involved so that you are able to come to a better and more informed decision at the end of it.
Developing an app takes time – a lot of time.
Often, it takes more time than a business is able to dedicate to it, and while there’s no fixed time period for how long it takes to build an app, you’d be looking at somewhere between four to six months.
Quality takes time, but what can determine your timescale more than anything else is budget. If your budget isn’t so high, you might that find that you’re spending more time developing your app than you’d like.
Moreover, if you lack the essential skills needed to build an app, and if you’ve never built a website app before, it’s naturally going to take longer.
Then there is the size and type of app. If you want to build the next Facebook, you’ll need to set aside months or even years to complete it.
On the other hand, hiring a team of expert professionals means that:
- a) You get to focus your time on the core aspects of your business
- b) The app gets completed faster
If you go down the route of developing your app yourself, you first of all need to make sure that you have the time.
If you’re already complaining that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything you want, you might want to outsource this aspect of your business.
Ah, costs. Apps cost a lot, right?
The thing is that, if you decide to develop your app yourself, you could potentially keep costs down because you’ll be in control over spending. Each week, you can see where the money is going and this can be beneficial.
However, there will still be costs involved, and these include the cost of learning how to code in the first place.
If you’ve never coded before, you’ll need to learn, and the easiest way to learn is by taking an online course. Now, while some are free, others – the best ones – aren’t.
It’s also important to ask yourself what you and your company will lose out on if you decide to spend time and cash on developing an app.
Ask yourself, “If we build this app, what will it cost us? Could we have used our time and money better elsewhere?”
On the other hand, if you decide to outsource your mobile app development to a team of pros, you’ll need to spend several thousands of dollars for their services.
The average cost to develop a small app is between $3000-$8000.
The major question you need to ask yourself is, “do I even have the skills needed to build an app?”
It’s not just coding that you need to be good at: Anyone who develops an app also needs to be good with branding and graphic design.
Then there’s the “small” issue of being able to test your app out for bugs once it’s up and running.
There is a lot of work involved, from strategizing to testing the app.
The amount of skill and sheer man hours required is a lot, and you have to ask yourself if you and your in-house team are really ready for the challenge.
Pros of Developing a Mobile App yourself
Solid visibility of the whole process
When you develop an app yourself, you’re not shut off from any stage of the development process. Instead, you’re in the thick of the action and can see exactly what’s going on.
Communication is good
In theory at least, communication should be better when your app development is left in-house.
Everyone knows your needs
Whenever we outsource anything, the big worry is how much they’ll understand our business and our needs. If you keep mobile app development in-house, you don’t need to worry about this.
Cons of Developing a Mobile App yourself
It’s going to take some time for you to get up to speed with the necessary skills required to make an app – not to mention your whole in-house team. Everyone needs to know what they’re doing, and this will cost you both time and cash.
There’s a chance you won’t develop the right skills
Coding is hard and you might be facing the very real possibility that – no matter how hard you try – you just can’t pick up this particular skill.
Long development time
It will for sure take you longer to develop an app than it would a team of experts, and the whole process might be very inefficient.
Business could fall behind
While you’re spending time training and developing your app, you might neglect other aspects of your business that causes a loss of revenue.
Let’s take a look at the pros – and cons – of hiring an expert team of professionals to develop your mobile app:
Pros of Outsourcing Mobile App Development
An expert team of professionals are exactly what they are: Experienced experts who will hit the ground running for you.
Faster development time
A team of experts should already have code-on-hand from a previous project that’s ready to use on yours. Therefore, development time is reduced.
One thing that you really can’t afford is a security breach that causes your customers to lose trust in you. Professional mobile app developers have extensive knowledge of security issues and know what works best to keep your app and website safe and secure. They can also spot and iron out bugs.
The job gets done!
Despite your good intentions, when you develop an app yourself, you’re running the risk that it might not even get completed.
As long as a team of app developers have a good track record, there should be no worries for you on this front.
Cons of Outsourcing Mobile App Development
The very best developers aren’t cheap.
Once an app is launched, things don’t stop there; you then need to consider maintenance costs.
Especially if the team you hire is remote and based in another time zone, communication issues can arise.
All in all, the safe thing to do is to hire a team of expert mobile app developers.
Why? If you train yourself and develop the app yourself, there’s no guarantee that the training will work, or that you will have the motivation or the time to finish it.
Outsourcing has made so many businesses lives easier.
If there’s something that needs to be done that can be done by others outside your business, such as mobile app development, it’s much simpler to outsource this project so that you’re free to focus your efforts on other parts of your business.
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Angelo Frisina is an app developer in Los Angeles who has been involved in the creative IT world for over 15 years. He built his first website back in 1998 using Dreamweaver, Flash, and Photoshop. He expanded his knowledge and expertise by learning a wider range of programming skills over the years and completed formal training with the CIW (Certified Internet Webmasters) program in Sydney Australia, learning the core fundamentals of computer networking and how it relates to the infrastructure of the world wide web.