How Much does it Cost to Hire a Mobile App Developer?

January 19, 2024

These days, there’s an app for almost everything. Many businesses are also starting to realize how mobile apps can help grow their businesses and generate more income. For one thing, having a mobile app on your clients' devices helps to keep your business top of mind.

You're probably reading this because you're planning to create a mobile app for your business. You're probably asking some critical questions like, "how can I hire a mobile app developer?" "how much will it cost me?"

Here at Cloud Employee, we work with companies looking to hire professional offshore developers in the Philippines. In this article, we’ll share all the answers regarding how much it costs to hire a mobile app developer.

How to find an app developer – general rules of thumb

When it comes to hiring an app developer, there are hundreds of options to choose from. For example,  you have the option of hiring a freelancer or a developer from a software outsourcing company. Regardless of the choice you make, some general keys can guide you to select the right app developer:

1. Learn the basics

No one expects you to become a tech guru suddenly. But if you don't know a thing or two about app development, you'll undoubtedly end up with a bad deal. It's a good idea to find out the programming languages used in mobile apps and each language's pros and cons. Then decide which one will suit your needs best. You should also know your target platform – is it a native, cross-platform, or hybrid platform? Finally, it'll be helpful to find out the average cost of hiring an app developer so that you can immediately rule out offers that are either too high or suspiciously low.

2. Check the developer’s experience level

In the field of app development, nothing beats experience. Building an app is a practical affair; some things just can't be learned in theory. It takes an experienced developer to apply theoretical techniques in a way that gives your app a unique look and feel. So, when you're hiring an app developer, don't only look for qualifications and skills. You should prioritize experience instead.

3. Hire someone you can build a relationship with

This point may seem irrelevant, but I assure you that it is crucial to your app's success. Many developers build apps routinely, without any interest in the actual project or the client. As you interact with potential developers, please pay attention to the vibes you get from them. You want to hire someone who is passionate about their work and can translate that passion into your project. Look for a developer who makes you feel like they’re interested in your project in particular.

Tips for hiring a developer

In the previous section, we shared some general keys to hiring. Now let’s look at some specific tips for hiring mobile app developers.

1. Decide between a freelancer or a software outsourcing company

There are two ways to find a developer for your app. You can either look for a freelancer or contact a software development company to provide you with a developer. Before you decide, you should know what you're getting yourself into. Freelance rates are generally cheaper than company rates, plus there are usually fewer formalities to go through before the contract is officially signed. Unfortunately, this also means that there’s a higher security risk with freelancers.

There are several stories about people who have been scammed by some so-called freelancers. There are even cases where companies have lost sensitive data to these fraudulent freelancers. In terms of security, it's better to hire a software company. Working with a software development company also assures you of getting a high-quality app.

2. Determine the location of the developer

The next thing to decide is where you're going to hire the app developer. Are you going to hire someone within your geographical location? Or will you hire an offshore developer? Remember that the location of the developer has a bearing on the final cost. If you hire a local developer, you’ll probably pay more than you would for an offshore developer.

Even if you choose to go offshore, you still need to decide which country to hire from. The best countries for offshore mobile app development are the Philippines, India, Australia, the UK, Ukraine, Russia, and Singapore. But it's not hard to tell that a developer from the Philippines will charge lower rates than a developer from the UK.

3. Check the developer’s experience and portfolio

We've already mentioned how important it is to prioritize experience in your search for the right app developer. The only way to determine a developer's level of expertise is by assessing their portfolio. Take a look at their past and current projects to see if the developer's style matches your ideas. Ask them to show you apps they have worked on and examine the user interface and design interface. Do the apps have an attractive design and layout? Are they engaging and user-friendly?

4. Determine the complexity of your app development project

One of the essential things to consider is the complexity of your project. You need to know the stages of the development project, the technologies or tools that will be necessary for your project, and the methods used. This will help you estimate how long the project is likely to take and how much it will cost you. Apart from this, you will be able to choose a developer who has the right skill set for the type of app you want to build.

For instance, if your app isn't incredibly complicated, you can hire a developer with basic skills. But a more complex project with multiple stages will require a developer with a higher skill set. Sometimes, you may need more than one developer to work on a project.

5. Type of app development

Here, it would help if you considered whether you want a native, cross-platform app, or hybrid app. A native app is made for a specific operating system.  For example, there are android specific apps and iOS-specific apps. In general, native Android apps are more expensive than native iOS apps because more stages are involved in building an app for android platforms. After deciding the platform for your app, you also need to determine the type of app. The major types of apps are simple apps, database apps, messaging apps, enterprise apps, social networking apps, and gaming apps.

6. Define how you will communicate

The next stage is to agree on a method of communication. Working with an app developer requires frequent communication to discuss progress or to make changes. You and the developer must agree on the communication tools that will be used – email, skype, chat messaging, phone calls, etc. you also need to know which times will be good for connecting. This is even more important when you're working with an offshore developer in a different time zone. A good idea is to set a fixed weekly or daily time for such meetings.

7. Find out the cost and payment terms

The first thing is to set a budget for yourself. Then determine whether the developer's fees fall within the range of your budget. You should know, however, that it's challenging to get an exact price quote. Many app development projects accrue additional costs that were not initially budgeted for. It would help if you always planned for any additional or hidden costs that may spring up.

Things to check

If you decide to hire a development company, be sure to check the following:

  • Check the team size and structure: Ensure that the company you choose has the resources you need. For instance, if you want a native iOS app, check to see if the company has iOS developers.

  • Check the company's technology stack: which technologies does the company specialize in? – React, PHP, JavaScript, etc.

  • Check the company’s history and reviews. You can do a quick Google search or use online app development communities to get some details about the reputation a company has on the market. If possible, try to find out how many clients return after a first encounter with the company.

How to hire a mobile developer in 10 questions

Here are ten fundamental questions to ask mobile app developers to help you choose the right person for the job:

  1. Can I see examples of mobile apps you’ve developed?
  2. Can you provide a list of your past and current clients?
  3. What kind of smartphone do you use? Android or iOS?
  4. How can I monetize my app?
  5. How are we going to communicate during the project?
  6. Do you recommend any additional features?
  7. How will you conduct the testing for my app?
  8. Will you submit my app to app stores?
  9. Are you prepared to sign a copyright agreement?
  10. What are your fees and payment terms?


Mobile app development is so popular that there's certainly no shortage of developers. While this is good in some ways, it also makes it challenging to choose the right candidate to build your app. This article has shared some tips for hiring app developers, including things to consider and questions to ask.

I believe this article has answered all your questions about hiring a mobile app developer. If you enjoyed it, please leave a comment below and share this post.