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If you’re figuring out how to build an app, you’ve probably considered the option of hiring a mobile app developer to do it for you.  While this can be the easiest way to go about it, especially if you don’t have a technical founder, hiring the right developer to build a mobile app can be a challenge!

In this blog, we break down the process for you, from choosing between a dev shop or a freelancer, the things you need to factor into the journey, or if you can consider doing it yourself using no-code tools like Adalo so you can bring your amazing app idea to life.

What Determines The Cost Of Building An App?

Features and functionality

A simple mobile app that doesn’t have a very complex structure will be relatively cheaper and faster to build. A simple user interface and a set of must-have features generally ranges from $40,000 to $60,000, Medium complexity development costs between $60,000 and $120,000. Lastly, a complex app project would require at least $120,000 investment, if not more.

Local vs. outsourced development

Depending on where you live, the costs of hiring a developer may vary quite significantly. Since app development can be undertaken remotely, many people choose to outsource parts of the process, or the entire thing to save costs.

The company/individual hired to build the app

Choosing the company or freelancer to undertake the app building project plays a major role in the costs involved. You may need to invest in accordance with the overheads that individual companies may have, their experience and clientele, and their location.

Hiring Someone To Build An App In 2022: What Are Your Options

Working With Dev Shops To Build An App

If you’re looking to outsource your app development and not hire an in-house resource, you can shop around for development shops (or dev shops, for short!)  Dev shops can be fully remote teams, on-site teams, or in most cases, a combination of both.

A typical dev shop is run by a lead engineer that coordinates and manages a team of other developers. The developers of a dev shop work on several client projects, across various industries and stages. Dev shops often have a sales and marketing team to bring in clients and projects, and work on multiple projects simultaneously. They split the work between the developers based on their qualifications, with a goal to be as efficient as possible.

Things to keep in mind when hiring a dev shop:

1. If you’re looking for end-to-end management of the app building lifecycle, check to see if they have the resources to handle all the different phases of building a mobile app.

2. Check out online reviews. These will give you an insight about whether the team can build an app according to your needs.

3. Find out about their portfolio and former clients to know if there’s a particular kind of mobile app that they specialize in.

4. Pay attention to the team of developers (which is the most important asset that a dev shop has!) Their skill set, technical proficiency, familiarity with various tools, and flexibility will be important to you,

5. Don’t neglect communication skills. Developing a mobile app is a complex, multifaceted project to undertake. Smooth communication between you and the dev shop team is paramount to its success.

Working With A Freelancer To Build An App

If you’ve worked in the tech entrepreneurship space before, in all likelihood you’ve engaged with freelancers for marketing, SEO, design, or other tasks, so it only makes sense to find a mobile app developer through a similar network too!

There are a lot of great platforms that will help you connect with thousands of potential freelance mobile developers, from all levels of experience and price points.

Things to keep in mind when hiring a freelance developer

1. Check out the freelancers portfolio. Take a look at the past work experience to see how well they performed on other projects. You can get a lot from simply browsing through their previous work, which you’ll find on their website, Github, or their Clutch profile.

2. If possible, ask for references from recent clients whom you can contact directly to inquire about their experience with the freelancer.

3. Pay attention to communication. It’s key to the app building process, and you’ll likely have a lot to discuss with them on an ongoing basis. How well you’re able to communicate with a freelancer is crucial!

4. Consider starting with a test task. You can pick a small task from the scope of work of your project, and use that as a trial. It could be as simple as a login process or signup screen, but it will give you valuable insight into working styles.

Places to find excellent app developers:


You will find plenty of remote app developers from across the world on Upwork, which is one of the largest freelance marketplaces. Upwork lets you filter through profiles to find the developer that matches your skill requirement.


Clutch is a B2B directory for information, ratings, and reviews of developer companies and agencies. You can read reviews, find information, and make informed decisions based on their recommendations.


GoodFirms is a research and review platform for software products and service providers. It helps good dev shops and IT firms create awareness about their work and stand out in an otherwise crowded marketplace.

Behance and Dribbble

Design is an important aspect of app development. You can often find extremely creative and innovative work on these platforms, uploaded by designers and developers alike. This lets you check out their work, assess their code, and connect with them to consider working together.

Building An App Yourself Using No-Code

No-code tools like Adalo have evolved dramatically over the years, so that you can build in nearly any functionality into your app. Easy drag-and-drop interfaces, combined with a built-in database, templates, and more make the app building process much easier and more cost-effective.

Without needing a technical co-founder, you can build an app yourself, customized with your branding, features, and content, ready for the PlayStore within a matter of days.

Things to keep in mind when choosing no-code mobile app builders

1. No-code tools have a learning curve that you’ll need to take into account, however this is significantly less than learning to code yourself! You can always find helpful resources and community support on most no-code app building forums.

2. List out the functionality you want for your mobile app, and make sure it suits the no-code tool that you’re choosing. You can always opt for APIs and external components, but these do take a bit more effort and may have a cost associated with it. You can find out more about building apps without code here.

3. You can consider hiring a no-code expert (for example, Adalo has an incredible team of experts that are well versed in building custom apps on Adalo!). These are typically specialized individuals with experience in building no-code products like apps, websites, etc. They may seem expensive, but given that building a no-code app is much faster, the cost is likely to be far less than hiring a developer to build an app from scratch.

4. Keep in mind the scalability that you’re planning for your app. No-code tools may have costs associated with the number of users, so be sure to check that out before choosing a tool.

5. No-code tools often come with ready templates that you can use to simplify the app building process and make it much easier and faster to get an app to the market. Check out the templates available on no-code tools and see if they fit your requirements before you finalize a tool.

We hope this guide helps you find the right resources if you’re looking to hire a developer to build a mobile app! If you’re ready to try creating a mobile app using no-code tools, here are some ways to plan a feature set to help you get started.

You can now build fully responsive mobile apps without coding. No-code technology has changed the game in software development, making it more accessible and affordable than ever before. With tools like Adalo, anyone can create high-quality software without extensive coding knowledge or costly development teams. To stay ahead of the curve and reap the benefits of no-code's evolution, check out the Adalo App Academy for tutorials on how to build apps without coding. And for those with no-code experience, seize the opportunity to monetize your skills by becoming an Adalo Expert. Don't miss out on the chance to be part of the future of software development!