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Freelancer, InHouse or Studio: Who should you trust to develop your mobile app?

There are three options: hire a developer on a freelancer; make the app in-house, i.e. Inhouse; or turn to a mobile development studio. Each approach has its pros and cons.


A freelancer is someone who is not on staff and works with you on a project-by-project basis. Such a performer can be found on job exchanges and special Internet resources.

The advantage of working with a freelancer:

Saving on costs

Applying with a freelancer is cheaper than with a studio or in-house developers. This is a reasonable reason to hire a developer on a freelance basis.

Minuses of working with a freelancer:

Lack of guarantees

A freelancer can stop contacting you, blow a deadline, drop everything, and go to Bali. There are many reasons a contractor can let you down and not finish the job.

Difficulties in scaling

When you hire a freelancer, you get one person. But soon you may need more people, such as designers and testers. It’s hard to tie all the performers together: they may live in different time zones or have a lack of teamwork skills. You will have to spend a lot of time training and coordinating all the performers.

Low code culture

Code culture is the unspoken code of developers. If the code is written competently, not only the one who made it, but also another specialist can develop, and refine the application. A freelancer usually doesn’t care what will happen to the application next. Because of this, freelancers often write bad code that is difficult for the customer to work with next.

Difficulties in development

A freelance developer completes one project and moves on to the next. This means that he usually doesn’t take on maintenance or further development of the application. So you’ll have to find another contractor, once again wasting time and money.

When it’s best to work with a freelancer

If you need to quickly and inexpensively test a hypothesis.


You can do the app in-house – you need to hire developers on staff to do it.

Pros of inhouse development:

High motivation

Developers who work in-house all the time pay more attention to the needs of the business. This means they are genuinely interested in achieving better results and want to deliver maximum value.

Close communication

People who sit in the same office can look for solutions to atypical problems together, discuss work, and resolve misunderstandings on time. This makes it possible to work more productively on a project.

Minuses of inhouse development:

High cost

This is the most expensive option of the three.

Difficulty recruiting employees

You can hire a developer who has all the necessary skills, but it costs too much. Or negotiate a salary with a performer, but soon realize he’s not up to the job.

The need for a continuous flow of tasks

When is it reasonable to hire a developer on staff? if you are sure that there will still be work for them after the release of the application. Otherwise, you will have to pay employees even when they have nothing to do.

Migration of developers

To hire a developer, you need to be aware of this beforehand. You may find it difficult and lose time.

When is the best time to do an app inhouse?

In what situations is it better to hire a developer on staff? Putting together a department of skilled developers in-house is an option for big businesses that are willing to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars. Also, inhouse development is for those who make an app that is critical to the business.

Development studio

To hire a developer, you must be prepared for the fact that other companies will try to lure your employee by offering him a better deal. The programmer is primarily interested in better terms, not your project.

The pros of working with a studio:

Teamwork by skilled professionals

There are teams with a lot of experience that put a lot of solutions on the market. You’ll get all the expertise, including analytics, design, strategy, and testing, at no big cost.


When you sign a contract with a client, the studio is obliged to fulfill its obligations on the timing, scope and quality of work. And you as the customer can control it.

You get a guarantee that all employees have the necessary skills and knowledge, and programmers follow the same standards. Thanks to this, any developer can quickly understand what is happening within the application, and fine-tune it. This means that you as a customer are not tied to a single studio, and can choose the developer based on the tasks and budget.

Easy communication

When you work with a studio, you communicate with the project manager. He oversees all the work on the project: keeping track of deadlines, showing interim results, tracking payments, and so on. The project manager is always online, on the phone and in messengers, ready to listen to your wants and complaints, to translate them into the language of programmers, and to get them to fix everything.

Development and support

Any studio wants to work with a customer for a long time, developing a project in which their employees have put their heart and soul. The development studio is interested in long-term cooperation with each client and will always advise how to improve the application, suggest the best solution and do all the work.

Minus-plus of working with a studio:

Doing the app in a studio is cheaper than if you decide to hire a developer, and more expensive than with a freelancer. But for that money, you avoid the major disadvantages of both options and gain their advantages. As a result, you don’t waste time managing the project, and you get a quality product on time, which is worth your money.

You handle the business, and the developers handle your product.

When it’s best to turn to a studio

If you have a complex project, it’s easier to find a studio than to hire a developer.

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Written by Marcus Richards

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