For developing an App, whether you are looking to hire a Freelancer or outsource your App to an App Development Company or learn to code yourself , read below.
1) Choose your technology first. Discuss and talk to people. Donot keep the idea to yourself. Talk atleast to a couple of people and discuss on what technology you want to use.
2) Keep budget in mind. When I say budget , I mean both money and time. Time and money are very precious. Use them wisely.
Now lets get into details.
Option 1 : Hire a Freelancer
A freelancer is somebody who can work for you without you providing a full time employment. Most people choose a Freelancer as that is quick and easy than hiring a full time resource. Both has their own advantages and disadvantages.
But if you are doing your startup or working on your App for the first time , go with a Freelancer. You can either look for a full stack Freelancer or take multiple people ( one for backend , one for design etc).
A full stack developer is somebody who has expertise in all areas and so he/she would be relatively costly. A decent full stack developer in US will cost you anywhere between $40-$80 per hour. Yes , App development is costly. If you are looking for offshore freelancers ( by off shore , I mean Non-US countries) , it may cost you $20-$30 per hour. Or some times cheaper than that depending on the quality and experience.
The other alternative is to take a couple of resources like one for your backend app development and one for design etc. This purely depends on what app you are trying to build.
Tip : If you want to assess your project cost for your app development , you can try posting a project on above sites and see what amount freelancers bid to your project. This gives you some idea on what could be the probable cost. Remember to not give complete details of the project in the post. Post the basic idea and see what freelancers bid for.
Becareful while talking to any freelancer. If your idea is brand new in market and you afraid to share the details , get a NDA ( non-disclosure agreement ) signed. Though a NDA may not stop the freelancers from misusing your discussions , it atleast makes them think twice before misusing any project documents. Yes , with a NDA , you can always file a case. But it is often told that an idea alone is not enough to make miracles. Execution is important. So, donot be afraid to talk about your idea.
Also , these freelancing sites provides time tracking tools also for you to see what is the actual time spend by the freelancer on the developement project.
Once you zero in a freelancer , you can either award the project on a per hour rate or on a fixed priced project. Donot go for a per hour project unless you have an idea about app development/programming. If you yourself is a developer and understands what the freelancer talks , then , yes , you can try the per hour payment. If not , go for a fixed price project.
A typical fixed price project for a decent app costs you between $2K USD to $5K USD.
If you still want to go for a pay per hour project and donot know anything about app development , get a basic idea of app development first. Look for some quick courses at https://www.udemy.com . You can spend $20 – $30 on courses and get an idea about app development quickly.
Option 2 : Outsource to an App Development Company
Instead of outsourcing the app development to a single freelancer , you can also opt for an App Development Company. There are several small to medium companies that does app development between $2K USD to $5K USD. Most of them follow Agile Methodologies for the app development and you can have daily sprints to discuss the progress and changes. The advantage of choosing a company over a freelancer is that working with companies is more process oriented and gets you a stable product with strict deadlines. Also most of the times they are afraid that they loose reputation and loose business if the delivery isn’t good. But the extra quality comes with a cost slightly more than an individual freelancer.
So, if you are already making a 100K or so and can afford slightly more money , go with an Mobile App Development company. Saves you time. Discuss your project and scope. Get the scope documented before the project starts.
Option 3: Learn to code yourself
If you still in your 20s and want to be a programmer , then the best option is to start learning how to code. But if you are already doing a non programming job like a professor or a stock broker and you have a great idea for an app , there is no point in learning how to code. Instead , outsource the development and concentrate on your core strengths like marketing or getting more people to download your app or talk in forums. Again remember , the time spent for learning to code is also considered as money you are investing. So, use both your time and money wisely. In case you want to learn programming or anything related to app development , you can look for courses at https://www.udemy.com