There are many companies that provide development services. Follow these guidelines to avoid common mistakes people make while commissioning a web or mobile app project.
1. Do You Need a Web or Mobile App?
The two terms have been used interchangeably and this has led to confusion among non-technical users. Let’s see the differences:
When you talk about “mobile applications”, “mobile apps”, “native apps” or just “apps”, you are referring to applications that run directly on your phone. These are the apps that you download from the App Store (for iPhone and iPad) and from the Play Store (for Android devices). The advantage of these applications is that they offer the best user experience, since they offer users with an interface that looks and feels like that of their phone system. They are also easy to start. They can offer features beyond what could be possible to achieve with “web apps”, like access to the phone’s camera to record pictures and videos.
When you talk about “web applications”, or just “web apps”, you are referring to internet websites that look and feel like an app. So they are basically just websites that are built to look like a native app. Web apps are not downloaded from a store, but are simply accessed from a URL (like this Cloud 9 IDE app). The advantage of web apps is that they are more easily accessible (they don’t require to be installed from a store) and can be used by non-mobile users (a person with a traditional desktop computer can also use your web app).
Which choice is better depends on your goals. Unfortunately it’s not possible to write an exhaustive list of use cases with pointers to which choice would be better. The best approach here is to contact a mobile developer and ask for a recommendation.
2. Know The Costs
It’s not uncommon for a mobile app to cost upward of $10,000. The price often reflects the time that is spent acquiring the details needed to build it as close as possible to the client’s vision, creating the screenshots and descriptions that are put on the various app stores and obviously, the time spent writing code and testing.
If you are looking to lower your costs, offer to provide images, descriptions and clear details about the implementation of the app. If the costs are still too high, perhaps remove a few of the features that are not strictly necessary for the overall success of the project. If you plan to make money off the app, offer the developer a percentage of your revenues in exchange for a lower upfront cost.
Also get estimates from multiple companies, and compare them. Prefer companies located in rural areas rather than big cities if you are looking to save some money.
3. Know Your Goals
You might have set your mind of building a web or mobile app, but what are you really trying to achieve? When you talk to a development company about your project, tell them about your high level goal (ex. “I need to increase my sales”) instead of the way you think you will achieve it (ex. “I need a mobile app that shows my products”). Sometimes a developer can spot a better way to achieve your real goal, saving you money and maximizing your results.