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How to Develop an App like Yelp

How to Develop an App like Yelp


Yelp is a worldwide corporation and a multifaceted approach for shopping. It provides online food delivery service Eat24 and online reservation called SeatMe. But what Yelp is mostly used for is venues review. Apps like Yelp are very popular among tourists because they allow to find certain places. Statistics say that Yelp has 145 million unique visitors and 2.8 million local businesses claimed.

Success of Yelp fades all developers’ sleep away so there’s a demand on “how much does yelp cost to develop” or “how to develop something like yelp” questions. And today we are going to speak about how websites like Yelp and Yelp application work and discuss things that may influence on the total development cost.

What is Yelp app

As a company Yelp was created in 2004 as a website for searching different services whether it’s a cafe, barber shop or a retail place in San Francisco. Later the geography expanded and now Yelp is available in 111 countries all over the world. The reigning feature is ability to scrutinise reviews on provided services from other users and post their ones.

The most crucial elements to implement

Account verification. Users have to create a profile to store their reviews, photos and ranks there. Given the way that it’s 2017, it’s a good idea to implement synchronization with social media so users won’t need fill their profiles manually but use existent Facebook or Twitter data.

Geolocation. This feature is maybe the most essential. Application needs to determine users location to help them find the right place. It’s a good idea to implement Google Maps API to your application.

Social network integration. It’s the best way to say your app is trendy. It’s up to you what SNs to implement but Facebook and Twitter are the must-have solutions. If your app will be for users involved in business, it’s a good idea to catch up with Linkedin. So how integration will work? You should place “Share” or “Like” widgets under the place users visit so they will be able to tell their friends about how well or not they gone out.

Recommendation and ranks. First of all, you need to have a server that will store all the information. Users want to evaluate places they have visited and view other users’ reviews before visiting. If the user doesn’t want to write his personal review, he could be able at least to mark the place (you can implement 5 star or 10 point appraisement).

Push notifications. This technology has gained a foothold in mobile applications. It helps to solve a lot of peoples (and app owners) problem like reminding about a reservation, ranking and so on. It’s also a great tool for advertising new places or services.


There are a lot of ways to earn revenue from application. They can be different depending on your goals, audience and market field. Way of monetizing should be defined long before the launch due to marketing surveys. Although, you can change the monetization system if the market changes. For example, a lot of apps came to a freemium model previously being paid because of high competitiveness. Let’s have a quick review of the most popular ones.

Advertising. In case of Yelp ads make a 73% of total revenue according to Forbes. It’s simple - users are able to use application for free but with limited functionality. Paid premium users don’t see these limitations.

Fee basement. This way of monetizing is the oldest and the most evident. People just pay money for downloading an app or pay a subscription fee every month/week/year etc. This model is a great idea if you target on business audience that can constantly pay for comfort and saving their time.

It’s really hard to keep balance between amount of people you want to attract with your application and revenue you also want to get. Two models mentioned above are not the only, there are actually a lot of them but for Yelp like applications they will fit greatly.

How much app like Yelp cost

It’s really hard to estimate the total cost at the beginning of the project. What all developers recommend is to start from creating an MVP - product with minimal functionality, some kind of a prototype. Establishing the value is labour-consuming process so in order to save your time and efforts, let’s list some point that should be influence on the cost.

Team of developers. Usually, developers prefer an hourly rate to fixed price and they vary. For example, companies from Silicon Valley ask $150-200 per hours, their Eastern European colleagues - $25-40/hour while Indians ask $5-15.

Design. You can choose two ways: to implement an existent design solution or to create a custom design just for your app. No need to say that the second one will be a lot better for app branding but will cost more.

Functionality. It’s easy: more functions - more cost.

Amount of platforms. Usually, business owners ask us to create both IOS and Android versions of application but you can also create an IOS exclusive and only after success - port it to Android. A lot of top apps did so.

If there are any questions left, feel free to contact us, we will provide you with all the information needed to start development.