How to Hire an iOS Developer

If you have an idea for an iPhone or iPad app, but don’t have the skills to develop it yourself, you’re going to need to find an app developer to code it for you.  Hiring a mobile app developer can be time consuming, especially if you don’t know the basics.  You’ll want to make sure that you choose a reputable app developer from the start, and one that will do the job promised for the proposed price.  We’ve posted in the past about this subject, including posts on how to find an app developer and the three most important questions to ask an app developer, but here are some more tips to help guide you along your app development journey.

Get Multiple Bids for Your Project

The first point is one we’ve made before – get multiple bids for your app development project.  We cannot over-emphasize the value of having several experienced app developers visit with you about your project, both from a feasibility and marketability standpoint.  You may think you know all you need to know about developing a mobile app, but you may still benefit from the thoughts of an experienced app developer.  Getting more than one bid for your project will give you feedback from multiple sources.

Defining Requirements

Next, make sure you document your project.  If you document your project and provide the documentation to each iPhone or iPad app developer you talk to about bidding on your project, they’ll all be estimating on the same functionality, specs, and/or business requirements. A good practice is to have a document ready to give the developer – this could be a simple bullet point list of functionality, an RFQ/RFP, a flowchart, a .jpg mock up (or a hand drawn fax), an email – really anything that will help put every bidder for your project on the same “page.”

Be Available, Be Serious

We operate several quote services from which you can get three free app development quotes from experienced app developers.  Obviously, we think that’s a much better and easier way to go than to surf the web, hoping to find “the right one” among the thousands of results you’ll get from the search engines.  If you request quotes by submitting the form on one of our quote sites, be available and ready to talk about your project in detail when developers in our network contact you. Be serious by doing your homework – research if there is a similar app in App Store already and think about how much you realistically can to budget to hire a mobile app developer.

Agree on Price

After selecting a developer, nail down an exact finished price before the project starts.  More importantly, get it in writing. Make sure each party understands how payment will occur, and when. A typical payment schedule is 50% down, 25% at a development milestone, and 25% at submission to Apple, but the developer you choose may use some other schedule.  The main thing is to make sure everybody understands when payments will be due, and made.

Get An Apple ID

Finally, you may want to register with Apple as an iOS Developer. If you plan to sell your app yourself (as compared to selling it through a developer), you’ll need your own developer ID to configure your bank account for direct deposit. The app development company you hire will then submit the app on your behalf to the App Store for approval.

Still have questions about mobile app development for iPhone or iPad?  Drop me an e-mail or call me at 321-248-4195.


Written by

Mark M. Stetler is CEO of AppMuse and its related businesses:,,, and AppMuse is the Internet's leading provider of free app development quotes from experienced, pre-screened app developers for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry smart phones.

15 Comments to “How to Hire an iOS Developer”

  1. Vladymyr says:

    Really nice described. If customers will stick to this points all the misunderstanding will disappear. Only one important remark i want to add to your points: at the end of price agreement ask the developer what the comfortable price on his mind for your project. We clearly understand that the answer will be higher that was agreed-ed … normal difference is 10-20%. In case you heart difference more than 50% it`s mean that you have a big chance to get app that need to be polished at extra charge.

  2. Joe says:

    Nice articles. Think you should mention code release fees. Got stung by that one before 😉

  3. sathya says:

    Main thing is, you should ask how many apps he developed approved in app store? That is very important. Developer must aware of app store guidelines .If not, you will loose your time and money.

  4. Dave says:

    Thanks for the posting. As a start-up business, it would be great to find an app developer that would work on a project as a partner. I would pay 2x a standard up-front fee based on IAP sales. Is this a common practice for developers? This seems to me to be a worthy option if the app is very promising.

  5. Tristan says:

    Great post. I have one question when I shop my idea around for a quote, should I have it patented? Is there a possibility that the developer can steal my idea for the app. How can I protect my idea?

    • Carmen Kraft says:

      NDA or Non Disclosure Agreements can be signed between client and developer. This allows you to let the developer know your idea and they can come back with a quote…but still protect your idea.

  6. August Richmond says:

    great post. i’ve been in the outsourcing game for a few years now and i’ve had great, and miserable experiences as iOS developer. your Five points here are a must!

  7. Arvind says:

    Greetings Mark : Great article. Can you please shed some light on the following? How do I mitigate the risk of somone using my idea about an APP if I provide a “general” description about it to get the quote ?

    • Mark Stetler says:

      Hello Arvind. In our experience, most ideas can be described in sufficient detail to give prospective developers an idea of what you’re wanting to do without giving away the secret details of the idea. If your description is general enough, there’s little risk of someone stealing your idea. For example, I could tell you I have an idea for a social media app that uses the device’s GPS function to find other people nearby with similar interests. Even a description that vague provides a jumping off point for you to discuss with prospective developers whether they have the skills and experience to develop your app and whether they have an interest in working with you. For more on this subject, check out our blog “Should you require an NDA to get a development quote?

      Good luck developing your app idea! Please let us know if we can help.


  8. Shir says:

    Great post. very helpful.

    what exactly do u mean by a quote? a general/specific description of the app one wants to make?

    • Jay says:

      A Quote is the “Price” a developer quotes you to develop an app based on your requirement specification. Hope it is clear now.

    • Mark Stetler says:

      Hi Shir. By “quote” we mean an estimate of the cost to develop your app idea. You provide a general description of the app to us and we then have three experienced app developers bid on your project. They will interview you and obtain as much specific information as needed to give you the cost estimate. If you’re ready to get three free quotes for your app idea, just fill out our quote request form and we’ll be in touch.


  9. Chris says:

    Great post Mark. Lots of good stuff here, the thing that really stood out for me was “Defining Requirements”. Once I got my app mapped out on a paper, I could email it around and get a quote in no time.

    • Tiffany says:

      Hi Mark,
      I’ve read several of your posts. I’m not tech savy nor know how to hire a developer or app team. I live in Colorado. Any recommendations. I don’t have much cash flow :-(
      I basically need someone to build an app and then make it available online on iPhones etc

      • Mark Stetler says:

        Hey Tiffany – thanks for the comments. Although it obviously helps to be tech savvy, not knowing how to code, etc. does not mean all is lost and there are plenty of apps that were created and developed by people who can’t write a line of code. We can help you find a developer – all you have to do is fill our out quote form. The harder part is going to be finding the funds to develop your app. If you haven’t already, take a look at our post I have a great app idea but no money …

        Good luck with your app development!


Leave a Reply