There are thousands of app developers at your disposal at any given moment. Most of them are capable of meeting the standards of app development, while some are nothing more than financial sinkholes that will drain you of your resources in exchange for a shoddy product.
It’s evident that selecting the right app developer from the thousands available is no easy feat. This guide, which seeks to walk you through the do’s and don’ts of choosing an app developer, will help you understand the importance of asking the right questions and performing due diligence to find a mobile app developer that checks all the right boxes.
The Most Important Things to Consider When Picking an App Developer
Mobile app development is an expansive sector that encompasses all types of startups, from quaint two to three-person development teams to large digital agencies with different departments for development, design, testing, execution, and support. Regardless of the developer you settle for, there are a few things you need to think about thoroughly if you want to end up with the right product.
1. Your Mobile App Needs
What is the purpose of your app? What do you hope to achieve with it? Is it a front end for your online store? If so, how will you ensure that it keeps your customers engaged?
This is just an example, of course, but an important one because the goal of your app will be the compass that will guide the developer throughout the entire development cycle.
Having a clear idea of what you want your app to fulfil will give you a picture of the type of functionality it should have to achieve its purpose, the technology it should be integrated with, and most importantly, the kind of app developer that will be best suited to handle the job.
The more specific you are about your app’s needs, the better equipped the app developers will be to deliver exactly what you want.
2. The Languages or Platforms the App Will Run On
You will want to be very clear on this as most developers specialise in one coding language or the other, and not all of them are capable of creating cross-platform apps.
Platform support is a crucial consideration to make as some apps are only designed to function on one platform or the other. Platform-specific apps will only be able to work on either Android or iOS depending on what you settle for. If this is what you need, be very clear because it can cost you more time and money to roll back changes if you don’t specify the platform that you want your app to run on. If you need a cross-platform app that utilises generic coding, you need to think about how it will be converted from Android to iOS and vice versa without losing its most important features. Talk to different developers to find out who is best equipped to deliver what you need.
Also, remember that it will be easier to include some features on one platform but not the other, so doing your homework on the limitations of each platform is very important.
3. The Stages of Development That the Developer Specializes In
How much of the app development cycle will the developer be involved in? Are they only responsible for the coding and development, or do you expect them to handle the design and interface as well?
Understand precisely what role the developer will play in the creation of the app to know what you’re paying for, and what will cost extra.
This is especially important when comparing freelance developers with agencies. Freelancers tend to be specialists in one stage of the development cycle or the other, while agencies are more likely to handle the entire period so that you get a fully functional app by the time they’re done.
If your app is linked to a website, it will most likely need a backend (server or software support), and if it does, the developer may consider it a separate cost.
The same applies to post-launch maintenance and integration with various app technologies. If you can’t find a developer that can handle all aspects of app development to your satisfaction, find one that will point you in the right direction at every stage in the development cycle.
4. How the App will be monetised
Is your app a standalone product or part of your business’s existing online infrastructure? Will you be using it to direct more traffic to your website, or does it need to be monetised independently?
If the latter case is real, then it is one of the things you need to discuss with your developer. Do you plan on making money through advertising? Will your revenue come from in-app purchases? If it links to your website, will it be optimised to enhance its mobile experience?
You need to talk to your developer about this thing first, as being on the same page is crucial to your app’s success.
5. App Testing
Before an app can be considered functional and ready for action, it may need to be taken through some tests. Again, don’t expect this kind of thoroughness from all developers. Some couldn’t care less about what happens to your app once it’s out of their hands. Others are a great deal because it affects their reputation. In this case, you’ll want to find a developer in the latter category.
Some apps need stress testing, AB-testing, and a few other tests before they can be launched. The more tests your app is subjected to, the less likely it is to fail after launch.
Remember, you are spending a lot of time and money on it. These tests are designed to iron out the kinks so that you get a complete product that does as your plan and requirement.
3 Questions You Must Ask
1. Do You Provide Post-Launch Support?
How much support will your app need going forward? The journey is not complete once the development and publishing phases are over, so it is essential to find out just how much the developer is going to contribute to the running and maintenance of the app post-launch.
This is especially important if you anticipate more users in the future. Apps need to be scaled to handle more users, and not just that, they also need patches and updates that address the bugs found in previous versions. Does the developer provide this kind of service, or are you on your own once the app is ready?
2. Are You Capable of Integrating the Technology I Need?
find if your applicartion need to be integrated with specific technologies to fulfil its purpose? For instance, a file-sharing app may require Bluetooth and Wi-Fi integration, the same way a location-based app might need GPS functionality. Is the developer equipped to handle this request?
It is advisable to find a developer that can integrate all the necessary technology into your app without having to outsource it to a different agency.
3. Are You Licensed to Submit to App Stores?
Submitting an app to the Android store requires registration plus a mandatory fee. Apple’s app store guidelines are even stricter, and no developer can publish an app there without first satisfying the requirements of the Cupertino Company.
Are the app developers licensed to make submissions to these app stores, or will you end up having to post your app online and have it flagged as risky or unsafe?
How to Identify a Good App Developer
1. Read App Reviews
Just like a proper car manufacturer is evident in the way the vehicle runs, a good app developer is only identifiable by how well their apps work.
Don’t waste time on company websites reading reviews. Go straight to the app store and read the reviews on their apps. This is the best place to get honest and unbiased reviews from people that have used their apps.
2. Ask for a Portfolio
Any serious app development company will not hesitate to show you their portfolio, because they are eager to showcase what they can do.Think twice about picking a developer that is not willing to show you what they’ve achieved in the past with other clients.
3. Get Recommendations from Other Companies
Reputation supersedes everything else when it comes to app development. Asking for developer recommendations on forums and from other companies will reveal one or two names with excellent reputations. These are the companies you’ll want to shortlist.
The Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid
1. Neglecting to Consider Customer Service
Too many times, companies make the mistake of hiring a developer without first checking how they handle customer queries. It is only when things go awry, and there’s no one to help them fix it that they realise they’ve made a grave mistake.
2. Going in Without a Clear Purpose for Your App
This is the best way to lose a lot of money and get nothing meaningful in return. Your app should have a clearly defined purpose even before you start shopping around for developers.
3. Not Doing Your Homework
It is difficult to find right developer, but it’s all worth it. The last thing you want is to limit your options to one or two developers when there are better options at your disposal. The Key Takeaway Techtiq Solutions seeks to take away the hassle of finding different developers for different stages of mobile app development by providing a fully fledged service to cater to the needs of all our clients. Our result-oriented approach to app development is the guiding principle that allows us to deliver apps that fulfil our clients’ needs succinctly consistently, and our dedication to customer satisfaction inspires us to provide the best possible service long after the app has been published.
For further Reference
Chris Peter Kimera is the co-founder of TechTIQ Solutions, a software development agency in London. Chris is very passionate about building highly effective outsourced product development teams that build game-changing solutions