Let our experts answer your FAQs about web and app development, websites and prototypes.

Web and Mobile Apps

What is the definition of an app?

Definitions vary widely, but to us, an app is anything that functions outside of the publication of content and information. Apps usually provide interactive functionality to the end user. Examples of an app include communication tools, quizzes, or anything that runs as a dedicated application on a mobile device.

How long does it take to develop my app?

The time to develop an app really varies, and depends on the number of features, platforms and devices. If it’s a mobile application, it’s quite difficult to develop in less than a month because of the logistics involved with getting approval to the app stores. Some application life cycles last for years (if not decades!), so that certainly impacts the development time. For even the most complex applications, we usually recommend a 3-6 month development cycle per release. We subscribe heavily to the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) philosophy, which suggests you’re better off getting a minimal product out and start getting customer feedback, rather than waiting years to launch to find out you missed the window or built the wrong product.

How much does it cost to build an app?

The cost of building an app varies widely. Do you want a web-based application or a mobile app? Does the mobile app need to be built using the native language of the device (Objective C for iOS or Java for Android), or can it be built using a cross-platform framework like ReactJS or PhoneGap? In general, a typical app costs between $30,000 and $75,000. Costs depend on the app features, the platforms (web or mobile), and the languages used.

Can you help with the design and appearance of my app?

Our design team has years of expereince designing mobile apps and can help with branding, colors, and everything necessary to make sure your app looks good and performs well.

Is ongoing support provided for my app after it launches?

You should always expect your app developer to be there for the long haul. If not, that implies maybe they don’t care about your app’s success, or they’re afraid to engage in supporting your app because of inherent problems with the design. We provide services for support, including a recurring retainer model that ensures your app is always up to date with the latest updates on any dependencies, OS updates, etc.

What is a native app vs. a web-based app?

A native app is an app that runs locally on your device, whether it’s a laptop, tablet, or mobile device. A web-based app is an app that is accessed via a web browser.

Should I charge for customers to use my app?

Charging for you app is a part of your marketing strategy for the app. If you partner with us, we can help you answer those questions. In some cases, an app can be used as a marketing tool for other products and services within a brand (for example, Opentable providing a free mobile app to make reservations easier for users). In other cases, you might be building an app like a grocery shopping list where your main revenue generation is through the purchase of the app.

How do I increase the number of app downloads I have?

Increasing the number of app downloads you have depends on the app, but app stores have provisions for marketing your app, or you can turn to social media or ask websites to review your app. For example, if you create a shopping list app, grocery shopping or couponing sites may like to take a look at your app and write a review for you and send it to their customers.

Is there a difference between an iPhone app and an Android app?

In general there is not a difference between an iPhone and and Android app, although both use two different software programming languages (Objective C and Java respectively). In some cases, developing in the native language is preferable, particularly when utilizing advanced features specific to the device. In other cases, we can leverage development platforms like PhoneGap/Cordova or React to build for multiple platforms.

Am I charged twice as much to build an app to work on both iPhone and Android devices?

We do not charge twice as much to build an app to work on both iPhone and Adroid devices. As mentioned in the previous question, we can develop for multiple platforms in one development environment when utilizing technologies like PhoneGap or React. As a result, you essentially build it once, although some additional overhead occurs with testing for both platforms and publishing apps to these devices.

How long has Caffeine been building websites and apps?

Caffeine was founded in 2013 as a web development and app development agency. That said, members of our development team have been coding long before that, and a few of our developers have over 20 years of experience.


Can I make changes to my site and see them live before the public does?

We build all of our websites and make updates to websites on a what is known as a “staging site” which allows you to see progress and test things privately. A staging site is a clone of your live website and is used to test themes, functionality, plugins, etc….long before the public can see changes!

How long has Caffeine been building websites and apps?

Caffeine was founded in 2013 as a web development and app development agency. That said, members of our development team have been coding long before that, and a few of our developers have over 20 years of experience.

How much does it cost to build a website?

Each website is unique and it would be misleading to state a flat price without understanding your goals. However, as a guideline, sites start at $7500.

I need an online store, can you do that?

We can build an online store for your ecommerce business.

I need updates to an existing website, can you do that?

We can make updates to your existing site in the vast majority of cases. If for some odd chance this isn’t possible, we will work with you to devise a plan of attack to make your updates or fix your bugs.

Do you only work with WordPress?

We build most sites in WordPress, but we try to remain neutral and use the best technology available. We’ve worked with technologies ranging from WordPress, ExpressionEngine, Drupal, Magento, Python/Django to React and many, others.

Isn't WordPress only for blogs?

You may be most familiar with WordPress as a blog, but it is also a Content Management System that can be used to create and manage digital content (a website). In fact, we build most websites in WordPress.

Do you provide a designer also?

We have a talented team of designers that can assist and/or guide the styling of your website. We make sure your website truly represents your brand and that the vibe matches your expectations.

How long does it take to build a website?

Without understanding your goals it would be difficult to pinpoint an exact time frame for building your website. It all depends on the goals, functionality and features you have in mind for your site.

What do all these acronym mean
(CSS, CMS, DNS...)?

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): How your website looks…all the fun stuff: colors, fonts and layout!

CMS (Content Management Software): The program or software used to create and manage digital content….so WordPress for example!

DNS (Domain Name Servers): The internet’s directory of domain names associated IP addresses….basically the internet’s phonebook!

Do you only work with local clients?

Our clients are located both locally and throughout the US, and in a few rare cases, other parts of the world like Europe and Australia. We have the tools to work with clients anywhere in the world, but also enjoy meeting local clients for a cup of coffee.

How long until my site shows up in a Google search?

This is completely at the mercy of Google, but usually it can take anywhere from a couple of days to a month until your site shows up in a Google search. If your website represents a brand with a physical address, you can show up even sooner by creating a local listings entry in Google, Bing, etc.



What is a prototype?

A prototype is a representation of your final app project. In this case it is a set of designs that are interconnected with hotspots. A hotspot is an area of a graphic that activates a function when selected. There is no coding or structure to the interconnected screens.

What are wireframes?

Wireframes are a non-stylized (black and white) layout of the major components of a screen. Wireframes typically show general screen layout and placeholder copy & images are often used.

What are mockups/designs?

Mockups are also referred to as designs. These are the final stylized screens used for your project. The mockups should closely match your fully-built website or app.

What is a style guide?

A style guide is a list of the colors, fonts, font types, button styles and other design elements used for your particular app or website. This document is necessary in keeping the branding of your app consistent across multiple medium (For example: website pages or app screens, emails, print material, business cards).

What are personas?

Personas are people profiles of your different users of your app. Creating personas will help you and your investors to understand users behaviors.

What is the difference between a user story and requirements?

A user story is written from the point of view of the different users of your app and how they interact with each of the features presents on a screen. Requirements are a set of rules and processes that define how your app functions and is displayed.

How long does it take to build my prototype?

A prototype can take as little as a week or as long as a couple of months to assemble. Our basic prototype offering falls in the 3-6 week range.

How much does it cost to build my prototype?

A prototype can be an little as a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands depending on your needs. Our basic prototype offering starts at $5,000.

Can I apply any of my prototype costs to building my app with Caffeine?

While costs differ from project to project, usually you are able to recoup 90% of your prototype costs when you build an app with Caffeine. And if the prototype helps you uncover fundamental flaws with your idea, you might actually save thousands of dollars.

What if I need more than X screens?

If you need more screens for your app we can accomdate that request for an additional fee.

How can I share my prototype?

Your app will be provided as a URL link. You are free to share that through email, documents or any other method that fits your needs.

How can I convert my prototype to a real app?

A developer can take your prototype along with user stories (or requirements) and create your fully functional app. You may need a designer to help with additional screens not included in your prototype.