In recent years, we have seen more of a focus on solutions that require less coding. WordPress is a favorite for creating sites since you have so many predefined themes and you don’t need to code anything. Applications that require no code are also becoming more popular. Many clever solutions can take in spreadsheets and then turn that into an application. That brings us to the question then. Is custom mobile app development really worth it? We are going to explore why you might consider a custom app for your next project.
No Code Solutions
If you search the web, there is no end to the number of easy mobile app solutions. It is easy to understand the appeal. For a normal application, it can easily reach six figures in terms of design cost. Coders that are good at their job charge their worth. Some will try and cut corners by hiring programmers that are not as well known, but it can result in projects that are unfinished and only partially functional.
Appy Pie, Salesforce, and Airtable all promise that they can make your next application without the hassle of coding. Is it really that easy? Think about a good New York web design agency. Take for example Digital Silk. They work with top names in terms of their clientele such as HP, Xerox, and also Sony. When they create a new site or application for these clients, you will notice these solutions are custom. They take a mobile-first approach.
With mobile-first design, it is part of best practices to put mobile ahead of other platforms. A site needs to conform to the latest platforms and screen sizes. Mobile has exploded in the past decade and that trend is just going to continue. By considering mobile-first, you can then work backward to include desktop browsers. The reverse is much harder. Porting over a site that was never meant to be displayed on mobile requires that you create a responsive site. You will need to choose the breakpoints. The content will need to shrink down to just one or two columns to account for the much smaller size. If you are looking for a good New York web design agency, go with one that considers all projects as mobile-first. Then your applications will not need to be built twice.
The Drawbacks Of Low Code Solutions
We have already considered that custom web design agencies will rarely use low code solutions for their applications on mobile. Why is this? Large companies realize that no code and low code applications have their place, but any serious business will quickly outgrow them.
A low code solution can give many templates to choose from. If you are looking to prototype something quickly, they can help get the process finished in a short period of time. Beyond simple templates and hooking into your database, they lack major features. Look at the following drawbacks:
Difficult for developers to add on to later
Logins and forms are a simple process for many low code applications. These kinds of features have already been addressed before though. Look at WordPress where you can install a few plugins and right away you are going to have complex forms and logins ready. Once your business starts to expand and you are looking for new solutions, you are going to struggle to find them with your no-code platforms.
Take for example a business such as a roofer. You can create an application that can be used to estimate the cost of a job easily. This would be perfect for a low-code solution. Type in the square footage of the job you want to take on, and then the customer gets a quick estimate on what roofing will cost them. Moving beyond this though, you will need a custom mobile application if you want any sort of nuance. What material will you be using? Is this going to be a rush job where the customer is charged extra? The price of materials is always fluctuating. Will a simple app take that into account? This is why you need a custom app developer.
Mobile App Development Companies
Mobile app development companies will promise you everything to get you to sign a contract. When you ask for a custom application to be done, they will say it can be wrapped up in just weeks and it will be completely bug-free. Is this actually realistic?
When looking through mobile app development companies, you need to pick one with a good reputation. While looking at low-code solutions, you can see the need for a custom app developer, but you need to be picky when looking for one that can bring your idea to the app store. What companies have they worked with in the past? Can you see a portfolio of current work? Are the applications live and in the store? We need to make sure that these products have been taken to market successfully.
A great way to look through design companies quickly is www.designrush.com. They have had their analysts go through a huge list of developers to help you find the best-rated companies. You will have a great understanding of the specialty provided by each mobile app developer. If you have other development work to take care of, they can handle that as well. You aren’t limited to just mobile application design.
With their database of companies to look through, you won’t need to worry about specific features that are not present in the platform. Ask if something can be added, and the developer will let you know how long it will take to bring it to the market. Since the developer is handling everything from the start, they won’t need to edit and change code from a low-code solution. Everything will be in the hands of the developer team from the beginning.
Some companies will hesitate when they look at the potential price tag that is associated with creating an application for mobile. How much will it come out to in the end? Really, it all depends on the level of complexity for the application. For something that needs to call back to a database to bring up information and keep track of user data, the cost is much lower than you would expect. Mobile app development companies many times will start at just $25 an hour. This can stretch up to several hundred an hour depending on the team. For teams that are overseas where it will be harder to get in contact with them because of timezones, they will charge less. Teams in Tier 1 countries will charge more, but they have more experience with marketing to demographics in Tier 1 areas.
Now that we took a short look at pricing, think about what you could accomplish with a mobile application. Everyone is looking for passive income. Some will invest in dividend-paying stocks. Solid companies will pay you around three to four percent annually. Others will seek out real estate. Each month you get income from tenants. These tenants might be renters or it could be business owners. The bottom line is all of these come with risk.
Investing in the stock market will provide you passive returns, but you have to watch your stocks. It is a must to keep an eye on things to see if the market is headed into a downturn. With your rental properties, you also need to manage the property. Things will break. Your renters will leave and you will need to find new people to work with. Keep in mind there is always the risk one of the renters will try and sabotage your property on purpose. Creating a custom mobile application can bring you passive income without all the risk.
Once you have your application finished, you can expect minimal upkeep. You may have to hire a support team to field requests and problems from customers. There is also upkeep that needs to be done with the application as well to keep it current. You should always be updating it so that it works with current platforms and integrates well with other applications.
Beyond these added costs, you have a great passive income generator with your application. There is very little risk when you have an app in the market versus other traditional ways of making passive income. Stocks can decrease in value. Buildings can depreciate in value. With your application designed for mobile, it will just keep making you money. There will be no depreciation for a virtual application.
You will pay for the mobile application one time and then collect revenue from it for as long as you keep the application alive. Think about popular mobile apps that have been on the market for over a decade. This whole time, they have been generating revenue, long after the team of developers were paid to make it. It is a great position to be in when you can focus on other parts of the business after you set up income generators. Your time is valuable. You shouldn’t be focused on making your expenses each month. Focus instead on growing your business and adding value to current customers.