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Ionic Development: The Complete Guide to Getting Started

Jul 11, 2020

7 min read

With over five million apps created with its SDK, the Ionic framework prides itself on being a cross-platform solution for mobile app development.

Mobile app developers tend to lean towards native development as this favors quality performance, durable API integration, and peak functionality

But every good thing comes with its downsides. Native app development, by definition, prioritizes specificity. Native apps are made to run on specific platforms and only those platforms. 

This means that when you want a mobile app to run on Android as well as iOS, for example, you’ll need two distinct apps, two distinct codebases, and perhaps even two distinct teams of developers. 

Be prepared for your expenses to double as well if you choose to go down this route. If not, then join the worldwide developer community using Ionic in over 200 hundred countries. Let’s take a look at what Ionic can do for you.  

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What Is Ionic?

Ionic is an HTML5 open-source mobile app development framework created by Drifty and released in 2013. It centers web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Ben Sperry, one of three creators of Ionic along with Max Lynch and Adam Bradley, describes Ionic’s MIT license for both commercial or personal use in an open-source environment as the “right way to offer a framework”.

Drifty intended to close the gap in cross-platform mobile development. In the years since Ionic’s launch, they have most definitely succeeded. 

Now, more than five million developers use Ionic to build native app-like Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). PWAs give native-like app experiences through the shell of a web app. 

The very first versions of Ionic were based on AngularJS and Apache Cordova. These tools make it possible for developers to make hybrid mobile apps, meaning Ionic apps possess both elements of web apps and mobile apps. 

At that point, one of JavaScript’s most popular libraries – AngularJS – was used alongside Ionic to make mobile apps fully functional. Apache Cordova allows for the use of the standard web technologies that were previously mentioned. 

As of January 2019 and Ionic v.4, you can use Ionic freely without the need for Angular or any framework for that matter by manipulating web components directly. Or, you can opt to use alternative frameworks like ReactJS or Vue.js

What Is an Ionic Developer?

Simply put, Ionic developers work professionally with the Ionic framework. For the sake of elaboration, Ionic developers are mobile app developers who are drawn to the Ionic SDK for some particular reason. 

One of the most salient reasons might include the ability to build cross-platform applications with a single codebase. Ionic developers will often overlap with other developers specialized in mobile app building like Java developers or Swift developers. 

Many developers who are well-versed in building web applications will be drawn to Ionic as well. Ionic provides a natural advantage for people of this skill set. 

Less than a decade ago, making a mobile app meant familiarizing yourself with the varied native languages needed for each platform. If you want to build an iOS app, learn Objective C. If you want to build an Android app, use Java. If you want a Windows phone app, use C#

Many web app developers not typically acquainted with mobile app development can now seek out Ionic to realize any aspirations of becoming a mobile app developer.

Because of Ionic, this doesn’t involve learning several new languages in the process. Already equipped with the skills of web technology, web developers can feel at home with Ionic. 

Why Use Ionic?

Ionic is one of the most popular cross-platform mobile development frameworks in the world. But is it right for you? For new tech companies in the industry, there are an array of reasons why Ionic might suit your specific business needs. 

Free and Open-Source 

Once again, Ionic is completely free and open-source. Open-source software gives its users the ability to access and edit source code. 

The result is a product that has been revamped to provide for the needs of an individual or business without any undue restrictions. This, of course, comes at no cost to you. 


Ionic makes testing simple. Using Cordova commands, you can perform stimulator testing for iOS and/or Android. You can test on a desktop browser and mobile browser as well. Finally, you can test on the platform itself to see how it runs. Ionic even supports remote debugging. 


Popularity has its perks. Through GitHub, Twitter, Slack, and its own forum, helpful Ionic developers have been all ears to hear the call of those in need. Ionic is also closely associated with technologies like Angular and Cordova that are just as popular and can offer similar community benefits. 

A community can be an essential asset for small and medium-sized businesses handling minor coding issues. This goes hand-in-hand with painless testing software and open-source functionality. 

Advantages of Using Ionic

If you are developing a mobile application and want to offer your users dynamic, accessible, and functional software, you should consider using Ionic. These positive characteristics can be attributed to several components within Ionic’s framework.

UI Components 

The Ionic framework is comprised of building blocks dubbed UI Components that are highly adaptable and customizable. UI Components consist of grids, buttons, inputs, icons, and more – all of which can be themed to fit the unique aesthetic of your app. 


While you can’t judge a book by its cover, users can and do refuse to use apps that lack elegance and sensible stylistic features. Ionic was built upon CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets. 

CSS has long been known for being the fashionable foundation of any website, it’s specialty being in fonts and colors. With CSS, Ionic permits developers to edit anything from text color to the background color of your application. 


The concept of adaptability is at the core of many of Ionic’s functions. Adaptive Styling, for one, is a feature of Ionic where a single codebase is useable amongst multiple platforms. In this way, user experiences will not differ from one mobile operating system to the other. 

Web View, similarly, is an Ionic plugin empowering web apps to perform smoothly on native devices. With Web View, web content can be loaded within the frame of a mobile application, optimizing the interface for smartphone users. 

Native-Like Quality

Ionic developers make hybrid apps, not native apps. But many mobile app developers believe that native apps should be made for native devices and there’s little room for leeway. 

The idea is that when apps are not native, there is an inherent compromise for compatibility and function. Ionic’s popularity refutes this idea. 

Those who use Ionic and like it maintains that hybrid apps built with Ionic run fluidly with no complications. 

Companies Who Use Ionic

  • MarketWatch
  • Sworkit
  • Shipt
  • Amtrak
  • Panera Bread
  • AAA
  • National Health Service

Reasons to Hire an Ionic Developer

You’ll need Ionic developers if you want to develop an app with Ionic. And there are plenty of reasons why you might want to develop an app with Ionic. 

First and foremost, Ionic isn’t too difficult to get into. This is because the framework is based on popular web technologies that most web developers already know. Because of this finding, Ionic developers will likewise be a fairly easy process. 

On the same note, Ionic has an overwhelming amount of support. Due to it being both open-source and widely pervasive, there will always be someone or something around the corner to help your developer with their Ionic needs. 

Also, thanks to some serious investors like Arthur Ventures and General Catalyst – the same investor for Stripe and Airbnb – Ionic has no problems staying afloat. Developers need not worry that Ionic will become out-of-date or go broke anytime soon. 

Better yet, developers have the backing of dozens of features, packages, and even full services built to bear Ionic’s weight. 

Ionic Appflow, as an illustration, is a platform for continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD) to aid Iconic developers in building, releasing, and updating apps. 

As far as costs, recall that Ionic is cross-platform. What you save from building only one app you can spend on hiring qualified Ionic developers. 

What’s more, your developers can use their skills and knowledge to code Ionic source code in accordance with your business needs. 

How to Hire an Ionic developer?

For those who wish to take the high road and hire Ionic developers on their own, we’re still here to help. Hiring a developer on your own is a very focused and hands-on process that requires considerable knowledge about software development in general. 

The last thing you want to do is trust your hiring process to someone with no technical ability. 

What should you look for in an Ionic developer?

At a high level, Ionic developers should be able to:

  • Be proficient with Ionic, Cordova, & Angular
  • Have strong UI development skills
  • Navigate both native and web technologies
  • Build hybrid applications with maintainable and efficient code
  • Demonstrate experience with mobile app development

How much do Ionic developers cost in the U.S?

According to ZipRecruiter and other sources, the annual pay for a Senior Ionic Developer in the United States is between $47,500 and $157,500 a year. The national average, however, is $107,768. 

Here’s a chart that visualizes the salary ranges within the United States for a Senior Software Developer.

Bar chart visualizing salaries of senior Ionic developers.

How much do Ionic developers cost in South America? 

Due to economic differences between the United States and South America as a whole, the cost of offshoring software development is significantly lower than hiring full-time with U.S talent. For Senior Ionic Developers in South America, the average salary is currently around $100,000 whereas a mid-level developer costs around $76,000. 

How much do Ionic developers dost in Ukraine / Eastern Europe?

Eastern Europe shares very similar rates to South America, again due to the economic differences. When looking at salaries in Eastern Europe, data shows that a Senior Java Developer costs around $100,000 on average. 

Hourly Rates for Developers

Another way to look at developer costs is through hourly rates. While salaries are good to understand for hiring developers for full-time and long-term, you might just need a developer for a period of 3-6 months or 6-12 months. In these types of situations, it’s best to calculate your costs based on the hourly rates of a developer. 

Below is a table that lists the various hourly rates of developers in different locations based on their job title. 

Chart of software developer hourly rates by region.

Why Hire an Ionic Developer?

Trio Ionic developers are pre-vetted, interviewed, and then trained further to become true software professionals, capable of adapting to situations that are both within and outside of the scope of their general expertise. 

At Trio, we hold our developers to a higher standard. Much like how elite special forces units recruit only the best from the main branches of the military, we recruit developers who either show amazing potential or demonstrate exceptional skill. 

We then take their talents and sharpen them even further.

Another benefit of hiring a Trio developer is that you won’t incur the costs of hiring, which can add up to be around 30% of a developer’s salary on average, as well as overhead costs associated with full-time employment. 

By working with Trio, you can enjoy a highly experienced full-time developer for a fraction of the cost, along with the added project management assistance. 

Trio is your one-stop destination for software expertise and Latin American developer connections. Explore our top-tier Argentinean, Chilean, and Brazilian developers for outsourcing solutions.

To learn more, tell us about your project so that we can get you started.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the steps involved in hiring an Ionic developer?

The steps involved in hiring an Ionic developer are largely dependent on what tools you use to hire a developer. You can recruit developers from Linkedin or Indeed, for example. Or you can opt to use Trio. You can even find developers on Reddit.


Can hire an Ionic developer on a project-based basis?

Yes, there are many options to choose from if you only need an Ionic developer for one project. At Trio you can book a developer for however long your project is, and developers will seamlessly integrate into your working model.


Will my hired developer only work for me?

If you want your developers to work only for you, that can be arranged. But this is also based on what steps you take to hire a developer. Some freelance developers work several gigs. You can also hire an in-house developer as a permanent employee, or you can contract a developer for a certain length of time.


How much does it cost to develop an Ionic app?

Ionic itself is a free and open-source software. Any cost that will be incurred in the making of your app would be directly proportional to the research and development phase.This means you will have to pay to analyze the market, conduct focus studies, hire developers, etc.

Author avatar

Daniel Alcanja

Daniel is a software engineer and co-founder of Trio, a successful startup empowering remote senior software engineers and partnering with companies to solve everyday problems through technology. With over two decades of experience in the industry, Daniel is a dynamic and strategic leader committed to driving growth and positive change.

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