Mobile applications are the hottest tech trend and are commonly used by people of all ages. This is because they are user-friendly, compact, highly functional, and have numerous uses.
Due to their tremendous benefits, mobile applications are currently highly popular and a great business idea.
The global market value for mobile applications is estimated to cross $206.73 billion by the end of 2022. Moreover, as new applications are being launched daily, these figures are expected to grow rapidly.
This rise in the global net worth of the mobile app market is due to the increasing number of businesses undertaking app development and launching their business digitally.
A business must choose from various app development approaches when planning to build an app. One of the most popular approaches to building an app is to use app builders.
However, what exactly are app builders, and how are they used to build apps? Let’s find this out in the upcoming section.
What is an app builder?
App builders are tools and software a business uses to create mobile applications and are a DIY approach to development.
All you need to do here is drag and drop different elements from the catalog of these tools, and all the coding for your app takes place simultaneously in the background.
Various app builder tools exist in the market and are popularly used by businesses. Generally speaking, small-scale and startup companies looking to digitalize their operations use app builders.
Moreover, most app builder tools offer their most basic features free of cost. While you might have to pay a certain amount to use advanced features for your app’s development.
It is worth noting that using app builders is a highly popular app development approach. Have you ever wondered why do so many businesses prefer to go with this approach? Keep reading to find out.
Why do businesses use app builders?
Most businesses consider the cost of app development to be one of the most crucial factors while investing in digitalization. Many even determine whether or not to build a mobile application based on the estimated cost investment.
App builders are instrumental in this context, as they enable business owners to get a high-quality mobile application at a low cost and benefit from digitalization.
To explain, it costs nothing to build a mobile app using app builders, while creating a medium-complexity app can cost anywhere from $32,000 to $48,000.
Due to this factor, more and more businesses are using app builders and creating business applications for free or at a minimal cost.
Every business planning to develop a mobile application anticipates the time in which an app will be created. However, when conducted manually, the app development timeline can take a lot of time from start to end.
This is because an app undergoes numerous development stages, and every stage of the app development process has a specific time requirement.
However, a business can significantly cut short on this time requirement by using an app builder.
To elaborate, UI/UX designing and programming is two stages of the app development lifecycle with the highest time requirement.
However, using an app builder can significantly reduce the time these steps take. Today, most app builders offer ready-made UI templates for business owners.
All you need to do is select a template and drag and drop elements, and all the coding will take place in the background.
This will enable you to launch your app quickly and boost your app’s development process.
It is commonly known that creating a mobile application is not a piece of cake. A lot of technical expertise goes into building an app, which makes its development a complex process.
The programmer working on the app must be aware of the latest technologies, programming languages, their frameworks and should have years of hands-on experience.
However, it is commonly known that business owners are not tech experts and usually do not hold this type of expertise. Therefore, using an app builder is best, and skipping the parts requires technical expertise.
Reduce resource requirement
Developing a mobile application is a process with high resource requirements. This involves human resources, technological resources, tools, and, most importantly, an optimal infrastructure.
Therefore, this will add to the overall cost of developing a mobile application and require the business owner to invest additional time to find these resources.
This is especially the case if you plan to hire a complete team to develop your mobile application.
However, you can significantly reduce this finance and resource requirement by using an app builder for your business app development project.
These applications are a one-stop solution to building an app, and since a single person works on the project, the resource requirements are minimal.
As a result, using app builders is the best idea for businesses with limited resources looking to build an app.
UI/UX design is a highly time-consuming stage of the app development lifecycle. Businesses spend a lot of time researching, creating, analyzing, selecting, and testing designs for their mobile application.
This adds to the app development timeline and requires the business owner to shift their focus from business activities to the app development process. However, it is possible to overcome this challenge using an app builder.
Most application builders offer ready-made design templates for businesses to choose from.
You can browse excessive options, select from numerous designs, color schemes, element placements, etc., and get a visually appealing app design.
Moreover, if you do not want to use a ready-made design template, you must know that certain app builders also provide the option to use custom designs.
However, this is an advanced feature in most cases and might require you to spend on the app builder’s subscription.
An app’s architecture is one of the most critical factors determining its success potential. In case you do not know what app architecture is, it is the placement of different elements and buttons on the app’s screens.
Carefully planning an app’s architecture is essential to the app development process. How you place different elements will determine the overall functionality of your app and will decide whether or not your mobile app is user-friendly.
Most of the app builders offer ready-made architecture options for business owners to choose from.
These carefully planned architectures enable business owners to skip the time it will take to prepare the app’s architecture and element placement.
Moreover, this reduces the app’s overall development timeline and ensures that your app has optimal element placement and high-end functionality.
This is the reason why app builders are popular among business owners. However, you must know that while app builders might seem like an excellent idea for every app development project, it is rarely the case.
The upcoming section will discuss the points that make using app builders a not-so-great idea for businesses.
Why is it a bad idea to build apps with app builders?
Functionality is one of the most critical factors in determining whether an app will succeed. As a result, businesses must keep functionality at the core of the development process.
However, it is challenging to guarantee optimum functionality for apps made using app builders.
To elaborate, app builders offer a minimal set of architectures and design options for users. Whether or not this architecture will be in alignment with your app’s screens is a big question.
Many times, businesses using app builders to create an application often end-up releasing applications with low functionality.
This results in compromised user-friendliness of the application and directly increases its uninstall rate. So naturally, such applications fail in the market and can hamper your brand’s image.
Lack of customization
Every business has unique requirements, which form the basis of their mobile app development project. Based on these requirements, a company determines the look and feel of the app and adds factors to it to make it stand out from the competition.
However, making a unique app using app builders is impossible. This is because the applications created using app builders have a limited scope of customization.
Therefore, if both businesses use similar app builder tools, there is a high chance that your app has a similar appearance to a competitor’s.
This makes it almost impossible for businesses to add USP to their application and gain a competitive advantage from their investment in app development.
High bugs and errors
Bugs and errors are an inevitable part of the app development project. Once developed, an application undergoes rigid and thorough testing to eliminate its bugs and optimize its quality before being launched in the market.
However, ensuring that app builder-made applications are entirely free of bugs is often challenging. To explain, these applications are not programmed by real programmers, but their coding is automated.
Therefore, finding bugs and eliminating them is challenging without access to the actual codebase.
Furthermore, you must know that if you plan to build an app using an app builder tool, you will likely launch a low-quality app in the market prone to bugs and errors.
Scalability forms an essential part of investing in app development projects.
Through high scalability, a business owner can ensure that its application can grow parallelly with the organization’s growing requirements.
However, it is commonly known that the applications made using app builders are far from scalable.
Therefore, it is often challenging for the app owner to upscale an application created using app builders and add new features or functionalities.
Moreover, with limited knowledge of the programming process, you are more likely to harm the app’s quality by upscaling it.
As a result, businesses often have to undertake the complete app development lifecycle again and build an entirely new application. This can be time-consuming and defies the primary purpose of using an app builder: saving time.
Confided to a single platform
Businesses often wish to migrate their platform from one technology to another for better code quality and performance.
Moreover, in some instances, businesses might wish to expand the target market of their application and make it available on multiple platforms.
This process might also require changing the application’s technology (moving from the native to the cross-platform approach).
Therefore, it requires the app to have a clean code capable of being transferred and migrated. However, this is often not the case with mobile applications made using app builders.
This is because the codebase of applications made using app builders is limited to a single platform and cannot be migrated or expanded.
App security is one of the most integral parts of a mobile application. This is especially the case with applications that deal with sensitive user information,
like e-commerce apps that store information like users’ credit/debit card data, addresses, etc.
As a result, it is essential to develop highly secure mobile applications that are free from security breaches.
However, it is commonly known that apps made using app builders are prone to security breaches and can be easily hacked into.
Therefore, when using an app builder to develop your app, you risk your business’s and users’ information.
The only way to avoid this security breach and data theft risk are not to use app builders and go with other app development approaches.
Declined user experience
User experience is one of the most critical factors determining whether a mobile application will gain market success.
To explain, the more user-friendly a mobile application is, the better user experience it will deliver and the better success prospects it will have.
However, it is commonly known that app builder-made mobile applications deliver a low-quality user experience to mobile app users.
As a result, even though it might seem like a good idea to use app builders initially, you are likely to lose your customers in the long run from such applications.
Moreover, users with a bad app experience will likely uninstall it from their devices. Additionally, they will leave negative reviews, which will directly increase your app’s uninstall rate. This will tarnish your brand’s image and result in significant business losses.
By now, we are sure you know why it isn’t a good idea to use app builders for your app development project.
Businesses already aware of this fact have resorted to other development approaches like custom development to build their mobile application.
In the upcoming section, we will compare the two approaches and provide thorough information on the benefits of custom app development.
App builder vs. custom development
While using app builders comes with various advantages, the drawbacks hold more weight. As a result, using mobile app builders is not the ideal approach for businesses looking to go digital.
Custom developing an application is a million-dollar idea and ensures you receive a world-class application for your business.
By customizing mobile app development, you can get an application that fits your business’s unique requirements and is at par with your objectives.
You can hire an in-house team or outsource app development to an agency in the custom development approach.
The project cost, development timeline, app quality, and your app’s overall functionality will vary from one approach to another.
Take a look at the infographic below for a better comparative view of in-house and outsourced development.
Whether you go for in-house development or outsource your project to an agency, you will get a high-performing application that has undergone all the steps of the app development lifecycle.
Summing it up
App builders are a trendy means and an accessible tool to build mobile applications.
While building an app using app builder tools might seem like a good idea, it is commonly known that the resulting applications lag in numerous aspects.
As a result, it is always better for businesses to invest in app development to go with custom development instead of app builders.
You can hire a complete in-house team or outsource your app development project to a design and development agency in custom development.
All you need to do is carefully weigh the pros and cons of each approach and take expert inputs, and you are good to go for your app development project.
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