Freelance versus Agency versus In-House App Developer: Which is the Right Choice?

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A Roundup of Agency, In-house, and Freelance Developers

There are many options one can try when hiring web developers and knowing which talent pool to tap from can give great advantages for businesses.

Companies utilising mobile apps to reach their markets continue to thrive thanks to endless innovations and adoption of mobile technologies. Almost every business wants a share of potential mobile-based revenue because of its profitability. However, to turn your development concepts into actual products, it’s highly recommended to work with a highly skilled app developer who understands your needs and requirements. Fortunately, there are plenty of professional app developers who have the right skills to do the job.

However, some companies cannot decide whether they need to hire an in-house app developer or designate the job to a third-party source. If they choose the outsourced option, they also need to decide if they will work with a freelancer or sign up with a mobile app development agency.

If your company is on the lookout for the top app developers for your upcoming projects, this comparison between three viable options can help you decide which one is right for you.


Option #1: Establish an In-house Development Team


Option #1: Establish an In-house Development Team

If your company has a sufficient budget, you may choose to build an in-house team of app developers to work on all your development projects. You may hire two to three employees to be a part of the department and work on the proposed app from scratch.

The benefits of forming an in-house app development team include:

  • Working with Dedicated Employees – Hiring members for an app development team means having a group of people whose sole responsibility is to develop apps for your company. They are not required to do other tasks beyond their job description so that they can achieve more in the shortest time possible.
  • Lasting Commitment – A recent report claimed that there would be a possible shortage of software app developers due to the increasing demand for IT services. It means that an unsatisfied application developer has the option to abandon a project if they’re not getting the compensation they see fit. As long as your budget allows it, having your own app development team members ensures they stay even after launching your app. These professionals can also do the necessary maintenance and support for its continuous growth.
  • Deeper Knowledge About Your Brand and Market – Full-time employees usually have more insight into the business. They also have first-hand information about the needs and demands of the customers. It means they no longer have to do separate research to understand these factors when designing an app.

However, you must keep in mind that maintaining a team of full-time employees means you need to allocate a huge chunk of your operating budget to compensate for their services.


Option #2: Hire a Freelancer/Freelancers


Option #2: Hire a Freelancer/Freelancers

Freelance app developers have increased over the years. The latest Freelance Forward:2020 report revealed that more professionals are choosing to do freelance work due to the rapid shifts in economy and mobility caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the report, 58% of traditional workers who had to work remotely due to the lockdown restrictions are now considering doing freelance jobs in the new normal. Many app developers share the same sentiments, especially since IT outsourcing has been preferred by numerous companies during the pandemic.

If you choose to work with a freelance developer, your company may enjoy a faster turnaround rate than other outsourcing options. Since negotiations would most likely be shorter as you’re talking with only one person, it means that you can launch your product to your market faster, allowing you to reap the rewards sooner. However, hiring a single app developer may not be enough to do the job, as there are areas the freelancer may not be knowledgeable about. For that reason, it would be best to work with several app developers from different locations to complete your project.


Option #3: Hire an App Development Agency

Numerous business owners recognise the advantages of outsourcing tasks. If you want to take advantage of outsourcing your app development without the hassle of contacting different individuals, working with an agency could be the best option. Most of these agencies employ developers who specialise in specific frameworks, platforms, coding languages, and designs, making it easier for you to decide which ones to work with for your project.

Working with an app development agency allows you to enjoy some great benefits:

  • Wide Range of Talents in One Team – App development agencies hire highly skilled developers, software testing experts, and project managers. It means you do not have to go through all the pains of hiring and managing different professionals for your project.
  • No Unexpected Costs – Some individual freelancers may charge you for various licensing and testing tools. There are times they may not include it in the rate they proposed before you sign the contract. But by working with an agency, all the equipment needed for the project is already part of their package, or declared upfront before starting on a project.
  • Long-Term Scaling and Maintenance – Releasing an app does not end after launch. As your business grows, your apps may also need to scale to keep up with the demand, and have maintenance runs to ensure seamless performance. With the help of an agency, you will be prepared for any growth or obstacles your app might encounter along the way.

Among the three options, choosing to hire an app development agency brings the most benefits to businesses, especially those of considerable scale. The options they can present to you, pricing flexibility, and bankable reputation can ensure you are working with accountable professionals dedicated to helping you achieve your business goals.



Picking the best option when hiring the right app developer for your business does not have to be a challenging task. Instead, you only need to assess all your needs and capabilities to help you decide if you can accommodate hiring in-house designers or opt for freelancers or app development agencies.

If you’re looking for a talented app developer, Singapore is one of the best places in the world to source talent. App development agencies such as Frontline Mobile Pte. Ltd. is a great agency to partner with, as the Singapore-based firm has been developing apps for businesses and organisations for years. Know more about our services by sending us a message at