Agency vs. Do-it-Yourself Mobile App Development: Which Makes Sense For My Business?

Agency vs. Do-it-Yourself Mobile App Development: Which Makes Sense For My Business?

Mobile Apps have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. We believe every organization should be considering how to capitalize on the shift to mobile and see their businesses grow and thrive as a result.

There are roughly 5.27 billion mobile app users in the world today, according to the latest data from GSMA intelligence. This means that 66.92% of the world’s population has a mobile phone – including most, if not virtually all, of our clients’ customers.

The shift from desktop to mobile has triggered the most forward-thinking business owners to set their sights on creating a mobile app that puts their products or services directly in the hands of their customers. Because business owners are self-starters by nature, business owners may find themselves exploring Google, searching for the best way to build a mobile app, where they have likely run into an influx of Do-it-yourself (DIY) app builders. 

What are DIY mobile app builders and why would someone use one?

A do-it-yourself (DIY) app builder is an online framework that allows you to drag and drop different modules or widgets to create an app. The primary objective of DIY app builders is to create a mobile app with no, or minimal, coding knowledge.

You may be thinking, “This sounds great. It’s exactly what I need, and it’s cheap!” However, in our experience as an App Development agency, you often get what you pay for.

Having worked with hundreds of businesses, we’ve learned over time that DIY App builders typically do not help our clients achieve what they set out to achieve originally. Many of our clients come to us to “build their app the right way” only after recognizing that there are things slipping through the cracks in their quest to create their own app.


Working within the limitations of a DIY app builder could place limitations on the success of your app. Consider all of the hidden costs.

You may be thinking, “Couldn’t I just get someone to design my mobile app for me, then build it myself with a DIY builder?” The answer is complex. While some business owners take this path, recognize that It will be a significant investment of time and money.

There will be a significant learning curve, as well as limitations put in place on what can be accomplished on your app. While an agency has years of experience and professionals whose bread-and-butter is creating successful apps that bring in results, DIY app builder users are often doing this for the first time and can’t see the bigger picture of what it is costing them.

You’ll also want to consider all the hidden costs of the builder programs themselves. Understanding that DIY app builders were created to make money and that they are going to limit your results is important when looking to create an app for your business. Most of these DIY app builders offer a free plan, but ultimately these platforms were created to make money. Most of these free plans are extremely limiting and most likely will not allow you to add all of the features you want, limiting the modules and widgets available to you, and charging a steep price to use the best tools.

Another hidden cost associated with DIY app builders is modifying your business process and staffing to fit your organization to the app you have created, rather than the other way around. When creating a custom app with an agency, your existing business model, staffing, needs, and process are all taken into account in the discovery process and the app is created to fit your unique needs.

DIY app builders are, at best, short-term solutions for your business.

The most important thing that we can say when it comes to mobile app builders is that they are short-term solutions. 

You need a solution that is robust enough to support your organization for the long term. Your app is going to be the face of your business and therefore, it is important to ensure that it is well-designed, well-built, launched correctly, and more.

Here are the top 5 benefits of working with an agency to create a custom mobile app for your business:

Mobile App Discovery Process

When partnering with an agency for your app, a team of dedicated experts will help guide you along the process every step of the way. We will hold a discovery meeting, during which we will ask you questions about what you want to achieve, your products and services, your clients, the look and feel you want to see in your app, suggest unique features, and more to ensure we help create a user-friendly, well-designed app that achieves your goals. At Three29, if building an app for your organization is not going to help you achieve your goals, we will advise you of that. We want your business to succeed and are not just here to just “take your money.” 

Mobile App Strategic WireFraming

Wireframing is one of the most important steps in designing a great User Experience (UX). A wireframe will help you understand your customer requirements and the best way to present your data. You will be able to be more intentional about what can and should go on every screen, and make strategic decisions that will ultimately help you achieve your goals.

Expert Mobile App UI/UX Design

Like wireframing, a dedicated design phase is incredibly important to the final product. Remember, your mobile app is going to be the face of your business, and if it does not look good, you could be driving customers away. One of the most important parts of a good design is ensuring that your important products/services are displayed in an easy-to-understand way and that your mobile app has a natural flow.

Thorough Mobile App Launch Process

This is the step that is overlooked the most. Properly launching an app to the Apple store or Google Play store is not an easy process. Most of these DIY builders will advertise that they will help or make this process easier, but Apple and Google both do not support builder platforms. Having the backing of an agency throughout the launch process can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful launch full of headaches.

Advanced Mobile App Security 

Because DIY app builders are pre-coded platforms, the security of sensitive data used in your app is always under question. DIY app builders are more prone to security breaches than an app built professionally, by hand. Security issues in the mobile app can pose a significant setback to your business. It can make consumers not trust you with their details and your reputation can suffer.

The decision between a DIY mobile app builder and an agency like Three29 is one that can have far-reaching effects that are felt by your business for years.

Great apps are recommended to other potential users through word of mouth, online reviews, and social media platforms. If your app is not designed well or doesn’t provide the right user experience, you can put your business at risk of losing out on customers or leaving a negative impression on your audience. 

Although the investment is higher when it comes to hiring an agency, your return on investment is much higher. It’s important that you make this decision with the long-term ramifications in mind. Short-term pain will often lead to long-term gain, while the inevitable opposite can also be true.

Our team of mobile app developers has vast experience building mobile apps for businesses of all sizes and industries. Over the years, we’ve helped many organizations increase their profits and take their business to the next level.

If you’re looking for a reliable development partner for your mobile app project, contact us and we can sit down and determine if building an app is the right decision for you. 

Related Blogs