How Much Does It Cost To Make an App?

time and materials

This is the most frequently asked question in the world of app development. And it’s normal – it’s one of the most important ones and a question that can hugely influence your business. In this article we will describe the factors that are influencing the final prices of mobile or web apps as well as show you the average prices for different apps.

So, let’s start and ask this questions one more time – how much does it cost to make an app? The simple answer is…well, it depends. And we know this response is giving more questions than…answers. But you need to understand that the app development process is very complex and there is no one, standard price on the market. Each app needs its own, tailored approach to the development and it also needs a tailored approach to pricing (that’s why sometimes you need to wait so long for estimations – because it’s not easy). Let’s try to disassemble the price into prime factors!

| What Does The Price Depend on?

Several factors can influence the final prices and the most important of them are:

- Project type – different projects need a different solution – for example, e-commerce apps need to be integrated with payment processors and should have a high level of security while fitness trackers should be connected to the sensor of your lovely wearable;

- App complexity – it’s very simple – the more features in your app and the more platforms it should support, the more time should be spent on the development. Usually more time = more money;

- Geo arbitrage – in some locations development can be crazy expensive, mostly because of the high costs of living in this area (for example US, UK, Nordic or rich Asian countries). That also means in some locations the development can be very cheap due to the low costs of living (but very often this comes with the low quality of code) – like for example in India. It’s good to find something in the middle, offering good quality for a reasonable price;

- Visual design – everything depends on whether you want to use your custom design (usually more expensive) and to give your users a tailored experience or use one of the popular templates (lower cost);

- Native or cross-platform – If you decide that your app should be available on more than one platform, you need to decide if you want to develop a native app for each platform (double or even higher cost as you need to code the app from the scratch for every platform) or you want to use cross-platform technology – to develop the app for more than one platform with a single codebase. For example – Flutter is one of those technologies. Also, usually development of native apps for iOS is more expensive than for Android;

- Team structure – if you are sure that the development of your app needs senior developers – the price will go up, same as the structure itself – you need to decide if the team should consist of a data analyst, business analysts or UX/UI designer.

- App maintenance cost – every app needs bug fixing, new features, updates according to the new OS versions. The average price of maintenance is 15-20% of the initial costs of development.

- Fixed price or time and material – the model of the cooperation can also influence the final price. You can read about it more HERE, in one of our blog posts.

| What is the average price of app development?

When you already know all the factors, it’s time to talk about money. Online you can find many types of research showing different values – for example, the one provided by GoodFirms says that the average price of a simple app is between $38,000 to $91,000 and takes from 3 to 6 months to develop, medium complexity app costs between $55,000 and $131,00 (6-10 months of development) while a complex up can cost from $91,550 up to $211,000 (more than 10 months of development).

Don’t forget, the price shouldn’t be the main factor of your decision – from the perspective of your business it should be the quality and not only the quality of code – but also the quality of cooperation, quality of communication and delivering on time etc. High price doesn’t always mean high quality, as well as low prices, doesn’t always mean low quality. There are a lot of factors to review while making the decision about outsourcing the development of your app. You can read more about this topic HERE, in the series of our blog posts – how to choose the right outsourcing company.

Don’t forget that the price of the development itself is not the only cost you will need to pay while creating your own app. Usually, the whole process of development takes few steps like planning (market research, business analysis, setting up technical requirements, app features etc.), design (user research architecture of the information, wireframing), development (coding, database setup, security etc.), testing (quality assurance, UX testing, performance), deployment and maintenance (scaling, app stability, new features) – but most of the companies (like for example AppTailors) is able to do all of those steps for you.

| How to reduce the price of app development?

All of this might sound complicated and expensive, but don’t worry – there are some ways to reduce the cost of your project.

We can advise you to start by outsourcing the whole development process to other countries (if you live in the US or UK for example where the costs of development can be very high). You can have a high-quality app for a much lower price if you hire a team from a country where the development costs are lower – like in Poland for example.

Our second advice is to hire a team with a transparent, battle-tested and high-quality process of development. We are sure that the right process is key to delivering your app in a short amount of time, without any unexpected costs. Together you can plan a long-term strategy that prioritizes the most important features from the beginning.

The third tip is that you should think about cross-platform development. If you need an app available on both mobile platforms (or even desktop or web) you should consider choosing a technology that supports cross-platform development – like Flutter for example. In this case, you can develop the app on many platforms with a single codebase, significantly reducing the costs of the whole project without offering a lower quality project to your customers.

The last tip – start from the MVP, a minimum viable product. If you are not sure if your app will have global success, there is no reason to invest all the money upfront. Start by building only the basic application with a few features and test the reaction of your end-user. What features do they use, how do they use them? Are they able to pay for them?

The third tip is that you should think about cross-platform development. If you need an app available on both mobile platforms (or even desktop or web) you should consider choosing a technology that supports cross-platform development – like Flutter for example. In this case, you can develop the app on many platforms with a single codebase, significantly reducing the costs of the whole project without offering a lower quality project to your customers.

| Summary

This is definitely not an easy question to answer, as there are a lot of factors that can influence the final price of the whole app – one of the most important is the complexity of the whole project, project type and amount of supported platforms etc.

If you are curious about how much your dream app should cost – why not share the idea with us? Our development team will prepare a fair price in the shortest possible time, as well as give some advice about how to reduce the costs of the whole development.