Hiring App Developers: Freelancer vs. Development Agency

Choosing Between Freelance App Developers and Development Agencies: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you willing to create a mobile app for your business but can’t decide whether to hire a mobile app development company or a freelance developer? Indeed, it’s quite confusing to choose between the two options available, especially for those clients with less technical knowledge and know-how about mobile app development. To gain a better understanding of whether to hire a freelancer or an app development agency, we’ve created this guide to assist you in making an informed decision for your mobile app development project.

Many factors impact your decision-making regarding choosing between agency-based mobile app developers vs freelancer developers, such as timeline, budget, cost, quality, etc. In this descriptive guide, we’ll discuss different factors that assist you in making the right decision between a freelancer developer vs mobile app development agency. So, let’s dive into exploring which option is the best fit to turn your vision into reality and make your mobile app idea a success in the ever-evolving mobile app landscape.

What is a Mobile App Development Agency

A mobile app development agency is a professional firm specializing in creating mobile applications for various platforms like iOS and Android. These agencies typically consist of a team of mobile app developers, designers, and project managers who collaborate to refine and validate your project idea to ensure its market viability. They offer comprehensive app development services, ranging from app conceptualization, consultation, designing, development, testing, deployment, post-launch maintenance, and everything else required to create an outstanding mobile app. They cater to businesses of all sizes, providing customized solutions to meet their specific needs and objectives. A complete mobile app solution is offered under one roof to overcome the challenges of creating platform-specific apps with cross-platform app development.

Who is a Freelancer Developer

A freelancer developer is an independent, self-employed developer who offers expertise and services to clients on a project-to-project basis through various freelance platforms, such as Fiver, UpWork, UpStack, etc. They work remotely and are not tied to any specific employer, allowing them the flexibility to choose their projects and manage their own schedules. Freelancer developers possess a diverse range of skills in programming languages, frameworks, and technologies, often specializing in specific areas such as web development, mobile app development, or software engineering. Freelancer developers play a crucial role in the modern workforce, providing businesses with flexible, cost-effective solutions for their mobile app development needs.

Freelance Developers vs Mobile App Development Agency: Which One to Choose?

When deciding between a freelance developer vs mobile app development agency, it’s crucial to navigate and identify the different factors that can significantly impact your hiring decision.

Here is an in-depth comparison of hiring an agency-based mobile app developer vs freelance developer:

App Management

Freelancers usually work independently and don’t have a big team essential for executing the complete app development lifecycle, including requirements gathering, designing, development, testing, and deployment. In contrast, mobile app development agencies typically have dedicated teams of mobile app developers, designers, QA engineers, and project managers who work closely with each other for the seamless execution of each stage of the mobile app development lifecycle.

They set deliverables, milestones, and project timelines that help them keep track of the project’s progress and make iterations when following the agile development lifecycle, improving the delivery of quality apps at much shorter intervals.

The mobile development agency ensures quality and efficiency throughout the app development lifecycle in comparison to freelance developers who usually work on specific parts of the project either front-end, back-end, or in some cases you may find a full-stack mobile developer that will work on both sides. Still, to execute the proper app development lifecycle, you’ll need to hire additional resources that also double the hiring cost and could lead to ineffective project management due to a lack of collaboration and teamwork.

Cost and Budget

Freelancers might attract the attention of clients who are tight on budget as they offer lower upfront costs and flexible hourly rates in comparison to mobile app development agencies who quote the cost based on your app requirement. The price often seems high quoted by the development agency at first, but it can be a one-time investment in contrast to hiring multiple freelancers for different roles to get the job done. The hourly rate of a freelance developer can typically range anywhere between $10-$60 an hour, whereas the app development agency can charge $10,000- $60,000 for simple apps, complex apps can cost between $60,000- $200,000, and $300,000 and beyond for advanced-level mobile app development.

You can save the cost upfront by hiring a freelancer developer, but that doesn’t always translate to lower total app development costs as other additional expenses that come along with the development, including testing, maintenance, and ongoing support can lead to more spending than you usually can avail as a whole by collaborating with an app development agency.

Agencies offer end-to-end app development solutions that can quite be expensive, but in return, you’ll be receiving an invaluable, high-quality app that is worth the investment. The costs mentioned latter can vary based on the complexity of the app, the features, the size of a project, and specific business requirements. So it’s beneficial to get in touch with an app development agency and discuss your project needs and requirements for better cost estimation of the app.

Skillset and Development Expertise

Freelance developers are often well-acquainted with diverse skill sets across various technologies or platforms, but they can’t handle the whole development process alone as it requires experienced resources to work on app testing, designing, launch, and maintenance. Additionally, not every freelance developer can work simultaneously on both Android and iOS platforms and some of those who manage independently will usually take a much longer time framework to get the app completed.

An app development agency, on the other hand, has a dedicated team of expert mobile app developers for both Android and iOS app development who leverage their expertise in building a cutting-edge mobile app with the latest features and trends. Additionally, mobile app developers work in a team, they share their expertise and knowledge and try to solve queries or errors within a group, enhancing their skills and productivity.

Moreover, an app development agency conducts comprehensive training and development programs to enhance and improve the skills of their mobile app developers to help them stay abreast of the latest development trends, learn new coding languages, and practice with emerging tools and technologies. Freelancer developers on the other hand may enroll in online courses, but usually quick learning comes along with group and team discussions.

Resources and Tools

Freelance developers often face challenges managing multiple aspects of app development independently due to limited resources, such as outdated software and the need to purchase licenses. These constraints can lead to prolonged time-to-market and budgetary concerns. Additionally, freelancers may lack access to comprehensive support systems or dedicated technical personnel, making it difficult to address complex issues efficiently.

Conversely, in-house app developers within a development agency benefit from streamlined processes and robust support systems. With dedicated IT managers and system engineers handling technical matters, developers can focus on strategic tasks requiring their expertise and attention. This arrangement enhances efficiency, allowing mobile app developers to concentrate on detail-oriented tasks, innovate, and deliver high-quality results within stipulated timelines and budget constraints.

Portfolio and Track Record

When comparing the portfolio and track record of freelance developers versus mobile app development agencies, several distinctions emerge. Freelancers typically showcase their work through personal websites, online portfolios, or freelancing platforms. While they may have a diverse range of projects, assessing the quality and reliability of their work can be subjective and relies heavily on client testimonials. You can go through their portfolios and client’s feeback to obtain a deeper understanding of the apps they’ve developed and whether the app you’re looking to develop falls within their category.

In contrast, development agencies often create portfolios on well-trusted platforms like Clutch or Crunchbase, providing comprehensive details about their projects, client feedback, and industry recognition. These platforms offer a more transparent and standardized way to evaluate an agency’s track record, including their expertise, projects completed successfully, and client satisfaction, making it easier for potential clients to make informed decisions.

Communication and Collaboration

Communication is the key to success and it’s a very crucial aspect within the app development process. Freelance developers typically maintain direct communication channels with clients, facilitating quick exchanges and personalized interactions but they might lack presentation and communication skills, which can lead to miscommunication or discrepancy between the client and the freelance developer.

In contrast, a mobile app development agency hires expert consultants, communication specialists, or their team of project managers who possess excellent communication and presentation skills to maintain strong communication with the client and help them understand the technical aspects of the project effectively. Moreover, language barriers and regional differences might also be challenging when working with freelancer developers. What if they reside within a location with network connectivity issues that can cause interruptions and delays during important discussions or meetings? A client may get pissed off and may encounter challenges communicating with the developer.

Nevertheless, a mobile development agency surely invests in a high-speed internet connection to ensure uninterrupted, stable communication. Although freelancers maintain informal and direct communication with clients, a development agency seems to maintain a more transparent, formal, and positive relationship with clients by establishing clear communication protocols and project management systems to provide regular progress updates and address any concerns promptly.

Dependability and Accountability

When it comes to dependability and accountability, managing a freelance developer can be a challenging task. You must supervise them closely, ensure they understand project requirements, establish reporting structures, and enforce deadlines. Additionally, evaluating the quality of their deliverables becomes your sole responsibility as any errors within the app can get you in trouble and have a bad impression on app users.

In contrast, the dependability and accountability of agency mobile app developers typically fall under the responsibility of the project manager or team lead. They oversee the team’s progress, ensure adherence to project timelines and quality standards, and address any issues or obstacles that arise during the development process.

This setup relieves you of management responsibilities, allowing you to focus on core tasks like strategy, marketing, and boosting the visibility of your mobile app. Furthermore, mobile application developers themselves are accountable for their tasks and contributions to the project’s success by fostering a culture of responsibility and teamwork within the development team.

Scalability and Support

Mobile app development goes beyond creating a mobile app and delivering it to the client. You need to consider both scalability and support while opting between a freelance developer and a development agency. When hiring a freelance developer you may struggle with scalability, as their capacity to handle larger projects or increased workload is limited to their individual capabilities. Freelancers usually take on small-scale projects, get the job done, and move on to other projects. Additionally, they might lack the resources to provide extensive post-launch support.

In contrast, mobile app development agencies are equipped with scalable infrastructure and dedicated teams, allowing them to accommodate diverse project sizes and requirements effectively. Moreover, agencies offer comprehensive support services, including post-launch maintenance, app feature updates, bug fixes, and troubleshooting to ensure the long-term success and stability of the developed apps.

Moreover, they can also publish your mobile app on your behalf as the App Store possesses some strict publishing requirements. With their expertise and experience, agencies navigate the submission process efficiently, ensuring compliance with guidelines and maximizing the chances of approval and publishing of your app. In contrast, a freelance developer is more likely to focus solely on app development and delivery, leaving additional responsibilities to you, unlike that extra level of support and assistance provided by a mobile app developer company.

Security and Privacy

Freelance developers may lack the resources and expertise to implement robust security measures, potentially leaving vulnerabilities in the app. Additionally, freelancers may not have strict privacy protocols in place, risking the mishandling of sensitive user data. Contrary, mobile app development agencies often have dedicated security teams and established protocols to ensure data protection and privacy compliance.

Their mobile app developers employ industry-best coding and testing practices to ensure the delivery of bug-free, high-quality, and reliable mobile apps that meet user expectations and perform well across different devices and platforms. Moreover, they implement robust encryption protocols within the mobile app to safeguard user information.

Choosing a mobile app development agency in comparison to a freelance developer for app development can provide greater confidence in security and privacy, mitigating risks associated with data breaches and privacy violations.

Compliance and Legal Issues

Freelance developers and mobile app development agencies offer varying levels of assurance and support. When hiring freelance developers, be assured that they possess knowledge of compliance and legal issues, as most of them have limited awareness of regulatory requirements and may not prioritize compliance measures that can potentially expose your app to legal risks. Additionally, freelancers may lack formal contracts or agreements to protect both parties’ interests.

Mobile app developer companies, in contrast to freelancer developers, typically hire legal experts who ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations. They also provide comprehensive contracts and formal agreements that outline responsibilities and liabilities, reducing the likelihood of disputes and legal issues that may arise both during and after app development. Opting for an app developer agency can offer greater peace of mind regarding compliance and legal matters, minimizing the risk of costly repercussions.

How Cygnis Media Can Help You With Mobile App Development

Cygnis Media offers tailored mobile app development solutions to cater to your unique app needs and requirements. Our team of experienced mobile app developers leverages their expertise and skills to build mobile apps by harnessing the power of AI and ML to help clients automate their business workflows, enhance user experience, and receive higher ROI and conversion rates as compared to traditional websites or software.

From providing in-depth consultation to mobile app designing, development, quality assurance, and continuous maintenance, we employ the agile approach to mobile app development that assists in faster-time-to-market. Our expertise hale across diverse industries, including healthcare, education, e-commerce, real estate, restaurant, entertainment, etc. Businesses of every size, be it a startup, medium-scale business, or large-scale enterprise can explore diverse options to craft scalable, reliable, and secure mobile apps as per their business needs and rest assured of the delivery of end-to-end custom mobile solutions with Cygnis Media’s professional mobile app developers.


In our comparison between freelance developers and development agencies, we highlighted various factors to compare the key points of both options. There are situations where freelance developers seem like a good choice due to their reasonable rates, lower overhead and upfront costs, specialization in specific app development, reliability for smaller projects, and simple hiring process through freelance platforms. However, a mobile app development company usually emerges as the best option for its unwavering support and scalability during and after the app launch. With a team of dedicated and experienced app developers, QA engineers, and professional designers, they excel in completing and marketing apps faster. Moreover, their strict adherence to security protocols and compliance with legal requirements ensures the smooth and secure delivery of developed mobile apps. A mobile app development company is not just a partner in your app development; it’s a roadmap to success, propelling your business forward.

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