In the process of creating your app, there are an untold number of decisions that you’ll need to make. However, one of the biggest and arguably most important is the app developer that you choose. Like any significant relationship, there are certain things that you should look for from the outset – but what are these qualities? Unfortunately, it’s not about liking the same movies or music. Here are the 10 things that you need to look for when choosing an app developer.

A relevant portfolio

First things first, you need to know if your prospective app developer can deliver. No two apps are the same, which means that different developers will have different skill sets. Simply put, a messaging app is different to a game, just as a photo editing app is different to a social media app. Find a developer that has a proven track record in delivering apps similar to the one that you hope to create.

The right programming language and platform

Different app stores have different requirements, so you need a developer that can meet these requirements. If you want to feature on the app store, your developer needs to be familiar with iOS. In the same fashion, if you wish to be on Google Play, you’ll need a developer that can build with Android. Before choosing your developer, make sure you’ve decided what store you wish to have a presence in.


Everyone can look good in an interview, but it’s what comes later that matters. Just as you do during job interviews, you should do a reference check when choosing a developer. This is important because no matter how they present themselves, their previous clients may have a different story to tell. Be sure to speak to some references if you can before fully committing to a developer. A lack of references isn’t automatically a red flag, but be cautious of selecting someone without references.

A reasonable price

The cheapest option isn’t always the best, but a high fee isn’t always a guarantee of quality. Before beginning your search, you need to set a clear budget with an upper and lower limit. Then, when approaching potential developers you need to see if they can deliver what you need within your budget. People need to make a living, so do some research about what would be a reasonable price for what you need. This helps you to avoid paying too much or getting short-changed.

A good fit for you

The development of an app is a long, intimate, and stressful process. You should be involved to a certain degree, so it’s important that you select a developer that you can actually work with. This means that you need to have clear communication, sufficient buy-in from both parties, and a good working relationship.

Ongoing support

Your work isn’t done once the first version of your app is live. In fact, there is a high chance that you will need to make regular fixes, updates, and changes. This doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything wrong, this is perfectly normal. What it does mean, however, is that you will need ongoing support after your launch. A developer that can provide this will benefit you greatly in the long run, so pay attention to those that can offer you this.

Release and delivery

First, you need your app to be delivered to you and completed in a timely manner. Second, you need to go through the approval process for your chosen app store/stores. A good developer will assist you through this process and help you to get your app live on the store. If a developer won’t help you through this, this is a red flag.

Thorough testing

Testing is essential for an app to be successful. If you go through the development process without testing, you’re essentially flying blind (which if you’re hoping for success, is not the best strategy). During the selection process, ask questions about the testing methods that they use and how much testing they do during the development process.


Speed is important, as the sooner you can get to market, the sooner you can start growing your app. Review the timelines offered by prospective developers and choose whichever suits your timeline for delivery. You don’t want to rush the process, so be sure to allow time for delays, changes, and fixes.

More than just code

There is more to building an app than simple coding. There are specific design choices and accents that need to be made to make your app truly stand out. If a developer doesn’t take a creative approach to design, you may get something that works but it won’t catch the eye. Try to understand their approach to design and see if can deliver both your code and your creative vision.

App developer checklist: Wrapping up

As you can see, there are plenty of important things that you need to consider when choosing a developer. This app developer checklist boils down to one thing; finding an app developer that can deliver the app that you’re dreaming of on budget and on time.

The closer you get to this result, the happier you’ll be. Good luck!

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