Shopify App Development: In-House vs. Agency - Which Is Right for You?

Shopify App Development: In-House vs. Agency - Which Is Right for You?
6 min read

When it comes to developing a Shopify app, businesses have to decide whether to build it in-house or work with an agency. In-house development offers control and integration with internal systems but can be resource-intensive and risky.

On the other hand, working with an agency provides specialized expertise and faster development times but may be more expensive and limit control over the final product. A hybrid model that combines internal and agency resources can also be effective. The decision ultimately depends on the specific needs and budget of the business

Shopify App Development - In-House & Agency: Pros and Cons

Deciding how to develop your Shopify app can be difficult for e-commerce business owners. Here are the pros and cons of each option to consider.

  • In-house development offers control and integration but can strain resources and bring risks like scheduling delays and skill shortages.
  • Working with an agency provides access to an experienced team with specialized Shopify expertise. An agency can also deliver faster development times through their streamlined processes.
  • However, agency work may be more expensive, and you have less control over the final product. Communication issues could also arise if you are not closely involved.
  • For many businesses, a hybrid model works well. You maintain an internal developer to help guide the agency and keep them aligned with your goals. The agency then handles the bulk of the build, allowing your team to focus on other priorities.

With the right agency partnership and by staying actively engaged in the process, you can benefit from agency experience while still achieving your vision.


With some forethought, you can find an approach for developing your Shopify app that fits your needs and budget. The key is determining how much control and flexibility you require versus utilizing outside expertise.

Shopify App Development: In-House vs. Agency - Which Is Right for You?

Advantages of Hiring a Shopify App Development Company

When deciding whether to hire an in-house developer or agency to build your Shopify app, there are several factors to consider:

  • Cost and resources: Hiring an agency may seem more budget-friendly upfront. You’ll need to provide office space, equipment, and employee benefits if you opt for in-house development. In some cases, an in-house developer’s salary can often exceed an agency’s fees. Analyze the total costs of each option.
  • Project management: An agency will have a streamlined process for requirements gathering, development, QA testing, and launch. They can keep your project on schedule and budget. Managing an in-house developer may require more time and oversight.
  • Future support: Once your app launches, an agency can provide ongoing maintenance, updates, customer service, and optimization. An in-house hire means these responsibilities fall on your internal team.
  • Objectivity: An outside agency can provide an unbiased, expert opinion on which solutions or approaches are best for your business and brand. An internal hire may lack this objectivity.

Evaluate all factors carefully to determine which is the right choice for developing your Shopify app.

Shopify App Development: In-House vs. Agency - Which Is Right for You? 

Why Choose a Shopify App Development Agency?

  • Expertise and Experience

A Shopify App Development company has expertise and experience that would be difficult to match with an in-house team. Developing apps for the Shopify App Store requires knowledge of the Shopify API, UI components, and App Store submission process which takes time to build up.

An agency works with Shopify apps day in and day out, so they already have this expertise and can get up to speed much faster.

  • Latest Technologies and Best Practices

Shopify frequently releases updates to its API, SDKs, and other tools. An agency that focuses on Shopify stays on the cutting edge of these technologies so your app can leverage the latest features.

They also follow Shopify’s app design and development best practices to build apps that look and feel native to the Shopify experience.

  • Faster Development

With dedicated teams and specialized expertise, an agency can often complete Shopify app projects faster than building an in-house team. They have streamlined processes for everything from app design to development to quality assurance testing to speed up delivery.

An agency can also scale its team and resources as needed for larger app projects.

  • Post-Launch Support

App development doesn’t end when your app launches in the Shopify App Store. An agency typically offers post-launch support services like app maintenance, updates for new Shopify API releases, bug fixes, feature additions, and optimizing app performance and search ranking. They want your app to succeed long-term, not just during the initial build.

A Shopify App Development agency offers key benefits including specialized expertise, the latest technologies, faster development, and ongoing support. For a successful custom app, an agency is often the optimal choice over recruiting an in-house team.

Leveraging an agency’s experience and capabilities can help get your app to market quickly and ensure it thrives in the App Store.

Shopify App Development: In-House vs. Agency - Which Is Right for You?


Choosing between in-house development and hiring a Shopify app development company requires careful evaluation of factors such as expertise, cost, project management, future support, and objectivity. While an agency brings specialized expertise, the latest technologies, faster development, and ongoing support, an in-house team can provide more control and flexibility.

By weighing the benefits and costs of each option, businesses can find the approach that best suits their requirements and maximizes the success of their Shopify app. CartCoders has a team of experienced Shopify app developers who can scale your project to the next level. For any kind of assistance regarding Shopify app development, you can get in touch with us.

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