Should You Hire Mobile App Development Freelancers, or a Remote Mobile App team?

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Publish date:

March 19, 2021

Updated on:

March 7, 2024

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Should You Hire Mobile App Development Freelancers, or a Remote Mobile App team?


Modern mobile app development requires specialist and unique technical skills. To get to a minimum viable product (MVP) with a codebase that still warrants further development requires expert guidance and professional expertise. To bring these into your company, particularly at short notice, means taking one of two primary options.

Either bring in mobile app development freelancers to build your application or hire a remote mobile app team to engineer your product. On the surface, both choices are not too different. Either one, done well, will build a mobile application and deploy it to the store. Each choice comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. The right choice for you will depend on budget, timetable, risk management, and the value placed on the end product.

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Things to Consider About your App

Project Size and Duration

It is important to have into consideration the pros and cons of mobile app development before you start to consider the project’s size and duration.

For the smallest of projects and the simplest of apps, hiring a remote mobile app team may well be overkill. One or two freelancers may well be able to turn around a simple and suitable application in just a few weeks. A smaller lightweight team will get you up and running without the overheads and spending that can only be justified by complex architecture and difficult engineering challenges.

Apps designed as a way for customers to connect to a brand don’t need the same kind of resource as larger projects. Performance, scalability, or reliability aren’t always major deciding factors in building a new application. In these cases, a freelancer is often the ideal choice.

App scale is likely to play the single largest role when deciding how it should be constructed. Mobile applications don’t scale linearly with size. As they grow to incorporate more features and require additional data management, engineering, architecture, and quality assurance (QA) become more and more critical. Each of these changes the equation. Larger apps favor teams with a dedicated staff to focus their attention on core sections of the app, improve reliability, and build a more stable platform while keeping an eye on the whole.

Cost and Budget

Small budget projects, such as those looking for just a landing page or a working prototype need to deliver maximum value for money. These projects should lend extra weight to hiring freelancers to undertake app development.

A freelancer can, by design, come in at a lower cost-per-hour than a remote mobile app team. Without overheads such as project management and office staffing, freelance costs are lower and can deliver cost savings back into your project.

Extending the time available for development and testing, and paring down the app to the essentials is a great way to provide freelancers with a smaller build to target and bring in the project in time and within budget.

Project Spec

It’s worth considering too, how likely your project is to shift and change over the course of development. Suppose your specification is rigidly defined, already built to a high design standard, and requires nothing but coding and deployment. In that case, a mobile app development freelancer may be able to deliver maximum return on investment.

The further you stray from this ideal project spec, the more useful a remote mobile app team can be. The peripheral services that a remote mobile app team delivers are exceptionally useful to organisations without previous experience in mobile app development.

Professionals who specialise in design, engineering, and architecture are ideally suited to writing a robust project spec that maximises your app’s potential and leaves room for more rapid, low-cost expansion in the future.

A more robust design spec adds more value to the larger, more complex, and older an app gets. It makes maintenance, updates, and upgrades easier and more cost-effective as time goes on.

In this instance, a mobile app team can deliver better value for money than the short-term gains realised by hiring a freelancer immediately.

Project Risk

The largest internal factor when deciding how to pursue your app’s construction is how critical it will be when deployed. Business-critical functionality, apps that can make or break customer expectations, and apps that can drive sales to or from the company deserve the budget, resource, and consideration of integral business components—because that’s what they are.

It’s easy to get into the habit of thinking that a project is a relatively small piece because it’s ‘just’ an app. If it’s the platform customers use to access your service, however, it’s the only impression of the company they’re ever going to get.

Future support and maintenance should factor into today’s decision too. Far from asking you to predict the future, it’s easy to foresee a situation that requires small changes, updates, and maintenance as time goes on. Remote teams are often more readily available and willing to provide such support over freelancers.

Should You Choose a Mobile App Development Remote Mobile App Team or Freelancer?


Experts in their field, freelancers offer a low-cost method of onboarding a mobile app developer into the organisation without the overheads of adding extra permanent employees. The experienced freelancer adds specific skills and experience into your company immediately for only a slight premium.

Finding freelancers with the specific skill sets required is easier now than it’s ever been before. With a portfolio of related projects which demonstrate applicable skills and experience, freelancers can offer bespoke application packages which businesses can purchase as a practically off-the-shelf solution.


  • The cheapest solution for immediate mobile app development
  • Easy to find a freelancer with the specific skill set required for your demands
  • Easier to build and maintain a close personal relationship that mirrors that of an employee


  • Without a deep technical background and knowledge of the field, it can be difficult for firms to gauge a developer’s skills and abilities accurately
  • You have to invest in doing the legwork yourself (checking references, due diligence)
  • Communication can be hampered by issues in availability and working patterns
  • Quality isn’t guaranteed when hiring a freelancer for the first time
  • Can invariably deliver the technologies they know and understand well, but not always the latest tools or thinking

Hiring a Remote Mobile App Team

If hiring a freelancer is like onboarding a new employee, then hiring a remote team is like absorbing a new department. This can sound daunting, but if you need help selecting the right company, tell us what you need. We can do the work for you and connect you with up to 5 companies within 72h that match your need- all for free.

A remote mobile app development company offers a complete lifecycle process to take your application from initial idea to deployment and support. The advantages to a remote team of this size include the business know-how, administration, and project management skills inherent in a completely remote team.

Having a breadth of practical expertise in addition to a depth of technical experience can result in extensive long-term cost savings. One of the mistakes many organisations make is to think of purchasing mobile applications as a one-off expense similar to a machine tool. In reality, with the periodic maintenance required, and necessary updates needed, buying an app is more like operating a commercial vehicle in practice.

Scalable engineering made easy to support, upgrade, and extend will pay for itself in a short time frame. With a full-scale remote mobile development team, that expertise and specialised skill set is available in full. Built-in is a commitment to quality control and future support for the working life of your application or service.

The specialisation and commitment of a larger remote team means that each area of the application benefits from dedicated professionals with a rich experience to draw on. Application assets, networking, UI, and testing - areas that face notoriously difficult issues - benefit from expertise and knowledge, building a dependable and attractive application.


  • End-to-end services and support take your app through its entire lifecycle from idea to deployment
  • Specialist designers, architects, QA, project management, DevOps and developers in a single package
  • Security in place to facilitate Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) and Non-Compete Agreements (NCA) to protect intellectual property
  • Teams tend to stay more up-to-date with the latest tools, technologies and thinking to build scalable applications
  • Professional experience deploying similar apps across many industries
  • Often utilise tried and tested internal code libraries and tools built over time and experience
  • Dependable support well into the future


  • More expensive option in the short term
  • A more formalised process that generates paperwork and documentation—less suited to informal prototypes and short-term exploratory work

Mobile app development freelancers or remote mobile app team?

The choice between hiring a dedicated freelance professional and a remote mobile app development team comes down to project scale, budget, and risk. The larger and more risk-averse the project, the more useful extensive expertise, specialisation, and documentation start to become.

Once you have decided to begin your search for your talent, make sure to take a look at our comprehensive guide to hiring mobile app engineering teams, and read our article on the best practices for hiring mobile app developers.

The right choice for your company is the one that delivers an app you’ll be happy to deploy into the world to represent the services you aim to achieve.


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Ian Deed

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Software developer, mobile application engineer, and writer helping companies to enhance their tech branding and improve the way they communicate with technical and non-technical audiences.

Leaning on years of experience and knowledge to understand technical communication that works from wordy jargon that doesn't.

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