A Quick Guide on How to Build an App like Yelp

By Ruchir C.

There are several factors that impact the buying decision of an individual. The ratings and reviews are some of the most influential factors to consider. Yelp is one such leading review platform that offers its clients the chance to go through previous reviews while leaving their own ratings and reviews on the platform. In this guide, we will help you understand how to build a Yelp like app.

An Insight into the Yelp App

Yelp was founded in 2004. It is a famous crowd-sourced platform for reviews that is accessible with the help of mobile devices and computers. The primary focus of the platform is the reviews of the clients on local businesses of all types from hotels and restaurants to dentists and other medical professionals.

The app makes use of geo-location for offering its users access to all the local businesses. In turn, users are able to select a particular industry they wish to explore. Users can also filter the respective results on the basis of price, ratings, distance, and other factors. When a particular business is selected, Yelp offers its users with details like phone number, address, and working hours.

Core Features for a Yelp Clone App

A defined set of features or functionalities is the core of any platform or application. The features help in defining what tools the team will be using and what value the end users will be obtaining from the given application. Review platforms including Yelp have a set of high-end features that are available under all circumstances. If you wish to ensure clone Yelp app development, here are some core features to include in it:

  • User Profiles: The applications of the modern era tend to be user-oriented completely. Therefore, including a dedicated user profile feature will make sure that the end users have a personalized experience throughout for meeting specific requirements.

In a leading review app like Yelp, users are capable of creating a list of favorites, managing the respective reviews, and saving the payment data. In turn, service providers make use of the user profiles for managing the business pages, answering reviews, and analyzing the feedback that they have received.

  • Location-based Search: Geo-location serves to be an important part of any platform like Yelp. It allows the users to search for local businesses. To implement the same, you can look forward to employing dedicated APIs for allowing the application to track the location of the user.

  • Social Media Authorization: Most famous review apps come with this feature as the default. It allows them to minimize the users’ registration time. Therefore, users are able to start the searching process within a few seconds.

  • Ratings and Reviews: Users should be capable of leaving text-based reviews on the products or services received. The space for the given input can be a plain text-based field wherein the users can simply enter the text. At the same time, it can also be in the form of a questionnaire featuring space for comments. Moreover, you can also think of offering your clients the chance to attach videos or photos such that the reviews appear more detailed.

  • Admin Panel: If you wish to ensure that Yelp app development is convenient for both businesses and users, then the presence of this feature will make it simpler for the employees. The presence of admin panel will help the app owners to manage different services, edit or add content, give approval to businesses, and even block users upon the need.

  • Filters: When a particular user will be searching for a dedicated service, they should be able to filter the results as well. Some of the common filters to include in the Yelp-like app are rating, price, location, delivery, and so more.

Stages in the Creation of a Yelp-like Application

If you wish to develop an application like Yelp, you should know about important steps of Yelp app development. For the best outcomes, you can think of taking professional help. As you follow the steps, it will help in organizing your thought process while gathering a team, creating designs, and starting the building process.

  • Determine the Niche and Target Audience: The market is filled with multiple apps like Yelp. Every one of them boasts a wider target audience potential. Therefore, one of the most effective ways of beating the competitors is by narrowing down your niche and specifying a target audience. For instance, you can think of creating a review platform explicitly for legal or real estate services.

  • Find the UVP: A UVP or Unique Value Proposition is the dedicated selling point that will make your business stand out from others. It is a distinguishing factor that your platform should use for impressing the end users and attracting them. For determining which aspect of the app should be the highlight, you can simply go through the competitors and observe what they have to offer.

  • Emphasize Usability: The end users of the platform should be satisfied with what they come across on the application. Therefore, you should always focus on their needs and wants. Indeed, every platform or application that they trust should have the following features:

  • A search bar that is easy to find

  • The ability to make use of filters

  • A dedicated record of old searches

  • A clear and understandable text

  • Quick and convenient suggestions for searches

  • Hire a Dedicated Yelp App Development Team: If you have a proper in-house team having relevant expertise, you should not focus on this aspect. However, if you do not have ample expertise or team for engaging in the development process, then you should look forward to hiring a dedicated team for app development. The most reliable development team will have proven expertise along with a logical business model and a verifiable rate or pricing model.

  • Development, Testing, Releasing and Repeating: You can now begin the app development phase. The given part of the development process will require access to ample resources –especially if you are considering testing and initial market launch of the product. Then, the product will start building an audience while receiving relevant feedback from others.

The information that you receive from the end users –including service providers and clients, will help in analyzing challenges such that you can improve the platform.

How can Yelp-like App Make Money?

There are several ways in which a review app like Yelp can generate revenues. Some of the innovative ways are:

  • Business Ads: Advertising is the primary method of Yelp for ensuring monetization. Yelp is known to sell ads to businesses such that they can promote the brand to other mobile apps and websites. The model works on a pay-per-click basis. It can be customized as per the requirements of the particular business. Users can also specify different budgets and target audiences.

  • Upgrade Package: In Yelp, the creation of a business page is available for free. At the same time, the platform also offers a dedicated upgrade package for positioning the company higher on the respective search lists, blocking competitive ads and allowing more communication within the community.

  • Gift Certificates and Fees for Deals: Yelp is known to charge businesses a proper commission for every product or service that is sold through discounted deals. Moreover, gift certificates function in a similar manner. When a client will buy a certificate, the platform will be charging the business –depending on the cost of the certificate.

The given monetization strategies are highly common as well as trustworthy for these review platforms. You can also think of additional methods like in-app purchases or subscriptions.

How Much Does a Yelp-like App Cost?

The overall cost of Yelp app development application will depend on multiple factors. You can consider factors including the list of the preferred features, hourly rate, team’s location, required technology stack, and more. Still, some important points to consider for time estimation are:

  • Project management -700 hours

  • Backend -960 hours

  • Front-end -1000 hours

  • UI/UX design -250 hours

  • QA -300 hours

Upon considering the average hourly rate of $125 in the United States, the total cost of the Yelp-like app development project could be somewhere around $400,000.

Technologies & Requirements

To start with Yelp app development, you should analyze the technologies required for developing and updating the app. The service of a Yelp-like app is based on LAMP Stack. It includes:

  • MySQL

  • Linux

  • Python, Perl, or PHP

  • Apache

It does not imply that you should use only these tools or technologies specifically. You can also opt for alternatives including React, Java, or PostgreSQL for creating an app like Yelp. Everything will ultimately depend on the project and its specific requirements.

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Yelp is a great instance of a successful app that has garnered the interest of a large audience. If you also wish to create an app like Yelp, you can think of hiring professional help from a reliable web app development company. The company and its team should have industry-specific knowledge and relevant experience in the given field.

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