How Much Does It Cost to Make an App?

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Time to read:
6 mins
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How to Optimize the Cost of a Mobile App Development The number of mobile app downloads is snowballing. And it is no surprise since more and more people prefer to use apps on a smartphone. It has become much more convenient to get information using mobile devices in a quickly developing environment — whether you are standing in a queue, sitting in a cafe, or your business is connected with trips and movement. The phone becomes an entrepreneur's assistant, allowing to influence potential buyers through mobile apps. 'How much does it cost to make an app?' - you will ask. And it is a good question. But it is impossible to answer this question unequivocally - in each case, the cost will be different.

App development cost varies from $1,000-$250,000. Don't you think it is quite a huge gap? What exactly affects the price? We will dive into the mobile app development process, but first, let's see if you need an app or more tribute to fashion.

Why You Need a Mobile App

Any entrepreneur wonders if an online business must have its mobile app. Will the investment pay off? Let’s point out the main benefits. 

  1. Mobile apps are more convenient and faster than mobile websites. The high pace of life makes users very demanding of the speed of loading websites and online stores. Good loading speed and overall convenience are all about the apps. 

  2. Mobile apps increase customer loyalty. The phone is always handy, and an app icon, like a catchy banner, continually reminds the user of the opportunity to launch the app.

  3. Apps better convert users into customers and increase the sales volume. Applications encourage users to make purchases since their functionality allows them to pay for an order in one click.

  4. Applications provide a higher level of interaction with the client. Smart push notifications can convert users into buyers and return unengaged customers.

  5. Mobile apps are an excellent source of clients’ feedback. You can get much valuable information from the customers to point it in a constructive direction.

Are there any doubts left if your online business requires an app?!

How Much Does It Cost to Make an App

When it comes to the cost of building an app, complexity does matter. Below you can see a few types of the apps along with the approximate prices and delivery times.

Usually, developers make a quick rough estimate of the cost beforehand. If you want to get an answer to the question ‘How much does it cost to build an app for my business’ without having to contact developers, we have a solution for you. The Fulcrum calculator will provide you with an estimate of all app development budgets. Keep in mind that this estimate's result is approximate, but it still gives you some idea of the cost required to create the app.

How does it work?

  1. Choose a platform (Apple iOS/Android/Multi-Platform/Web).

  2. Add your app’s features (Admin features, APIs & Integrations, eCommerce, security, etc.).

  3. Click ‘Calculate’ to enter your e-mail address.

  4. Wait for a commercial offer by e-mail.

The project cost calculation is based on an estimate of the total amount of time required to develop or integrate each feature. This tool's main task is to show how much the functions requested for the app will cost. It helps customers to decide on the budget and better understand their needs. Developers will estimate the amount of further work without plunging into the wilds of the technical task.

Key Factors That Affect the Cost

We wish we could give an accurate answer to the question, ‘How much does it cost to develop an app?’, but the cost does depend on many factors. 

Among the most critical ones are the following:

  • Type of the project (education, eCommerce, social, etc.)

  • Vendor and his location

  • Platforms

  • Set of features

  • Design complexity 

Now let’s review some details on each point.

Identify what type of app you are building.

To have a clear understanding of what type of app you want to develop is your initial step. At this stage, it is necessary to formulate the purpose and problems which the application should solve. For example, if you have an online store, the mobile app's goal can be formulated as follows: to provide customers with the opportunity to choose and buy products from a smartphone or tablet. Further, you will specify the tasks that will ensure the goal is achieved. This information is essential to determine the required functionality of the project that will affect the cost.

Vendor

Depending on the project's complexity, a group of designers, programmers, project managers, UX designers, and QA specialists is involved. You will need to decide if you are going to hire freelancers or a local web development company. In both cases, there are advantages and disadvantages.

When choosing a freelancer, you save a budget significantly. But you still have certain risks and limitations. Moreover, location matters a lot. Freelance app developers from NYC will charge $20-$250 per hour, while Eastern Europe specialists will request $20-$110 per hour. At the same time, local specialists can come together to solve complex problems, develop ideas and concepts, and discuss the project. This gives a more meaningful result for which you pay more. Ensure you will make the right choice, and you do not have to pay twice.

Platforms 

We often hear around ‘How much does it cost to make an iPhone app?’ or ‘How much does it cost to make an Android app?’. The platform matters also.

Before you decide which platform your app will be developed for, you should understand how much time you have, what quality you expect, and what your target market will be.

When talking about native mobile apps, your options are Android or Apple. If you need a quick solution that can be used by many users, you should opt for a cross-platform solution.

As you can see, the cost of development is primarily affected by the number of supported platforms. Adapting an app for tablets can add up to 75% of the price, and support for older versions of iOS and Android can increase development costs one-and-a-half times. Remember, you should try to reach as large a part of the audience as possible. However, if you plan to test your idea, it is better to focus on the client application for a single mobile OS in the first stage.

Set of features

Complexity and a set of features for your app are the most significant cost drivers. Various buttons, fields, screens, and other elements make the app unique, engaging, and convenient. But each additional element affects the overall budget of the project. Therefore, it is essential to think through the functionality to the smallest detail.

The key features that you observe in many apps are as follows:

  • User login/ registration - 20-25 hours

  • Search - 12-25 hours

  • Push notifications  - 12-25 hours

  • Chat module - 50-65 hours

  • Payment - 50-65 hours 

  • Analytics - 2-5 hours

More advanced features are as follows: 

  • Geolocation - 23-48 hours

  • Integrations (Google Maps) - 30-40 hours

  • Video/audio streaming - 50-70+ hours

  • Ads - 8-16 hours

  • Connectivity with a device - 16-24 hours

Based on your developer's hourly rate, you can calculate each feature's cost to be implemented.

Design complexity: app design cost

The design of your app is a significant part of it. An intuitive user interface and a nice layout are not cheap, but they will pay for themselves with positive customer impressions and loyalty to your app.

When talking about design for a mobile app, consider its key components.

How to Optimize the Cost of a Mobile App Development

The choice of a particular specialist/company that will implement your idea has a certain impact on the cost of the application. You have a few options to go with.

Freelancers 

To reduce your development costs, you can hire a team of freelancers who are happy to do the same work for less. Unfortunately, working with freelancers leads to certain risks: there are many difficulties with control and communication.

Outsource team

There are several possible ways to involve a third party in the development process of your app. The first option is to hire a developer/developers and pay for their work. This option is perfect if you understand how you can manage your team remotely. The second option is to contact a company that organizes all processes, including development, design, UX, testing, business analysis, and so on. You will only be responsible for final and key decisions.

Dedicated team

If you plan to launch a long-term project, you should consider hiring a remote team that will only work on your product. These specialists will be part of your project and will devote 100% of their time to it. They will be organized and controlled by local project managers of the company you applied to. Managers will send you reports and manage your specialists. In this case, you can save a lot since you do not have to pay for office maintenance, taxes, insurance, etc.

Location is the next major factor that can affect the cost of the app development. Take a look at the numbers below.

Ukraine shows low-cost app development numbers compared to other countries, but the vendor should still be appropriately verified.

If the result is needed as quickly as possible or you have a limited budget, a hired outsourcing team is the best choice.

Pros:

  • Significantly lower operating expenses.

  • No problems with recruitment.

  • There is no need to retrain employees.

  • All communication is through a manager who sets tasks for specialists.

  • The work will start from the first day - all the specialists are ready, and the processes are set up.

Cons:

  • There is no way to change the established processes.

  • The response time to issues may be delayed.

  • It is more difficult to control the protection of commercial information.

We would suggest avoiding suspiciously cheap services to prevent a bad quality product and focus on average app development costs.

In order not to surf the web in search of the best outsource team, pay attention to Fulcrum. We are a product-oriented team that creates apps to achieve your business goals and hit the mark. Trusted by many clients around the globe, we help entrepreneurs to succeed. to give it a start.

Conclusion: app design cost

No one doubts that all brands and companies try to reach their customers through their mobile phones. A mobile app today is a necessary tool in our day-to-day life. 'How much does it cost to make an app for your business?' is a very reasonable question. Now you understand that a lot of factors affect this cost. Application development is a long and complicated multi-level process involving analysts, marketers, designers, programmers, testers, and other specialists. The app's final price includes all your requirements in terms of analytics, design and development, testing, and management.

Olekii
Nastya Zelenovskaya
Marketing Specialist
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