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5 ways you can avoid being taken advantage of by programmers when you need an App developed
Many of us think we need an app made for our website, and we may be right, but a lot of times there are people out there saying they can get the job done when they really can't. I've been scammed out of my money once when I was trying to get an app developed, and it was because I was new to the industry and needed it right away, but didn't know what to look for. That's why I'm writing up this discussion, I want to make sure you guys and girls don't get scammed out of your hard earned money like I did, and you actually find the right programmer to get the job done.
I'm not going to tell you where to find the best programmer to do your app. Instead, I'm going to give you something more valuable and tell you what to ask and what to look for in a programmer so you know they can get the job done before you ever send them a penny for the work.
Know EXACTLY what you need for your app.
If you don't have an exact idea of what you need for your app, you're going to be spending a ton of money on something you aren't sure that you need or not. If you don't know what your app is supposed to do, you probably don't even need it, so know what it's supposed to do before you ever think about contacting a programmer.
Programmers will take your money and help you build your app, even if you don't fully know where it's going, and a lot of the times they aren't even trying to scam you. It takes 10x longer to get something done because YOU don't know what YOU want.
Be sure they know what they're doing
Every app developer will have a list of apps they've worked on, some of these programmers will actually have worked on them and some will just be giving you a list of things you want to see, but it's up to you to figure out which developer you need to hire.
Ask them for their portfolio, their website, their profiles on freelancer platforms, and anything else that goes into submitting previous work in order to see what they've done. The portfolio and website are just something you ask for but don't take it seriously, because anyone can falsify those. What you should really look for is their profile on freelancer platforms, because every developer has them, and see what other people are saying about their app development skills. Now, there is a trick to inflate reviews, and people will make second and third accounts in order to purchase from themselves and leave positive remarks later. You need to filter out the people who are leaving 5 or 10 positive reviews in a row because they're likely fake. Instead, look for the app developers that are getting dozens of reviews from different people from all over the world and you will have someone in front of you that can get the job done most likely.
Start with a small app and build up from there
Everyone thinks they need 100 different features for their website right from the start, but they don't. You can start with just a couple features in the beginning and build off of that after you have the funds or want to continue. Think of it as building a house, you build it up and finish, then maybe you want to add on an extension to the family room or blow out a wall and make your kitchen bigger. With app development, you can keep adding onto it over time and be safe with your money along the way.
A lot of app developers are used to this, mainly because apps tend to be expensive, so they code it in a way that they can go back in and add on extensions or new features easily.
Be strict with your deadlines and budget.
One of the biggest things you need to do is be strict with your deadlines and your budget. Let them know right away how much you have to spend, and you aren't spending a penny more, because some app developers will try to get more money out of you in the long run because "They ran into some problems". So what lol, their problems aren't something you should be dealing with, and it should NEVER cost you more money because they screwed something up.
Stick to your deadlines, never give them more than a few extra days to get something done because some developers will drag out a 2-week project for a few months and that means your purchase is essentially worthless. Think about it, after 90 days you aren't able to file a chargeback, which means you lose that money if you don't have something to show for it. Sticking to your deadlines will stop this from happening, and you shouldn't be worried to raise concern to Paypal or any freelancing platform you're on if you aren't getting the work back that you paid for.
Always test before you buy
When you're looking to get an app for your website, you will want to test someone out before you give them the big job, and most developers will know what you're doing because this is common practice. Just give them a simple task of creating the basic app for your business, like an outline of the design, and see what they can do. A lot of developers can do this pretty quickly, but the ones who intended to scam you won't do anything and they'll stop responding, so make sure you test everyone!
Never pay up front
If you get someone that says "We require a 50% upfront payment before we begin" you can tell them to go to hell. Never pay up front, pay in milestones, because real developers will understand what this is. You will pay for the work that is being done, as long as its being done, and you'll continue to pay as the work progresses.
Pay up to 50% through your milestones and the rest when the app is delivered. Scammers will hate everything you're talking about when you pitch this payment method, but real programmers will jump on it, so never pay 50% up front and you'll be happy you did
With the flood of apps being bigger and better for profits, there are more scammers coming out of the woodworks claiming they're the best app developers you'll find and you should pay them right away. Don't do what I did and hire the first company that gives you the best price with a detailed portfolio, because it's usually BS and they will just take your money. I lost $1500 before I knew what was going on, and I didn't have any protection because they took me off of the freelancing platform I contacted them on, and Paypal doesn't protect you with digital services so I was screwed. Learn from my mistakes and follow everything that I said above. Always get some work back before you send a little more money, and never send more than 50% throughout your 3 or 5 milestones, then release the additional 50% when the work is completed. Play it as safe as possible and you will be happy you did.
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