When people ask how much it costs to make an app, they are really asking two different questions:
- How much does it cost to develop an app if you hire someone?
- How much does it cost to develop an app if you outsource your app development project?
The answer to the first question depends on a number of factors, including the type of app, its features, and who you hire to do the work. The answer to the second question also depends on a number of factors, but it is generally affordable considering the budget of your future app.
Here, we will focus on answering the first question: how much does it cost to build an app if you hire someone else? We will look at the different factors that can affect the cost of developing an app, as well as some tips on how to keep costs down.
Factors That Influence the Costs to Make an App
There are a number of factors that can affect the cost to build an app. The most important ones are:
- The Different Types of Apps
- The Platform You Choose
- The Features You Want to Include
- Who You Hire to do the Work
Let’s examine each of these factors in more detail.
The Different Types of Apps
There are three main types of apps: native, web, and hybrid.
- Native apps are designed specifically for one particular operating system, such as iOS or Android. They are usually written in the language of that platform and make use of all the device’s features, such as the camera and GPS. Native apps tend to be more expensive to develop than other types of apps because they require specialized skills and knowledge.
- Web apps are essentially websites that have been optimized for mobile devices. They are typically built using HTML5 and CSS3 and can be accessed through a web browser on any type of device. Web apps are less expensive to develop than native apps, but they are also less likely to be accepted into app stores.
- Hybrid apps are a fusion of native & web apps. They are developed using web technologies too, but they are also packaged in a native wrapper that allows them to be distributed through app stores. Hybrid apps offer the best of both worlds, but they can be more expensive to develop than either native or web apps.
Here are some examples of different app types and their estimated development costs:
- A web app with few features could cost as little as $5,000 to develop.
- A native complexity app with several features could cost $50,000 to develop.
- A hybrid app with many features could cost $500,000 or more to develop.
The Platform You Choose
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when creating an app is which platform you want to build for. The two most popular platforms are iOS and Android, but there are also a number of other options available, such as Windows Phone, BlackBerry, etc.
Here’s a breakdown of approximate costs for developing on each platform:
- iOS: $28,000 – $40,000
- Android: $23,000 – $35,000
- Windows Phone: $18,000 – $30,000
- BlackBerry OS: $16,000 – $25 000
- HTML5:$14 000 -$25 000
Find more statistics at Statista
There are distinct advantages to each platform, so you should determine which one is best for your application. If you’re not sure which platform to choose, our advice is to go with the one that your target market is using most.
For example, if you’re targeting users in the United States, then you’ll need to build for iOS because that’s the platform that most Americans use. However, if you’re targeting users in China, then you’ll need to build for Android because that’s the platform that most Chinese use.
The Features You Want to Include
A major factor affecting the cost to build a mobile app is the feature set. The more complex and comprehensive your app is, the more it will cost to build. That being said, even a simple app can quickly become expensive if it requires significant back-end development or integrations with third-party services.
To get a better sense of how features impact cost, let’s take a look at a few common examples:
- User registration and login: $5,000 – $10,000
- Messaging functionality: $15,000 – $20,000
- Feeds and push notifications: $10,000 – $15,000
- Photo and video sharing: $20,000 – $30,000
- Location-based features: $10,000 – $15,000
- E-commerce functionality: $25,000 – $50,000+
As you can see, even relatively simple features can add up quickly in terms of cost. And that’s before we even get into more complex functionality like Augmented Reality (AR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), or Virtual Reality (VR). So when budgeting for your app development project, make sure you have a clear understanding of which features are must-haves and which ones are nice-to-haves. That way you can prioritize accordingly and stay within budget.
Who You Hire to do the Work
The last major factor that can affect the cost to create an app is who you hire to do the work. If you hire a small team of developers, they will likely charge less than a large app development company. However, you may also get what you pay for in terms of app development services and quality.
Some examples of different types of developers and their estimated hourly rates:
- A freelance developer could charge $50-$100 per hour.
- A small development team could charge $100-$250 per hour.
- A large app development company could charge $250-$500 or more per hour.
Find more statistics at Statista
Now that we’ve looked at the different factors that can affect the cost of creating an app, let’s take a look at the process of actually developing an app. This will give us a better understanding of how these factors come into play and how they can impact the final cost of the project.
The development process typically includes four main phases: planning, design, development, and testing/QA. Each of these phases has its own unique costs and can take different amounts of time to complete.
The first phase of the app development process is planning. This is where you decide what type of app you want to develop, what features it will have, and who you want to hire to do the work. This phase can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to complete.
The next phase is design. You create the visual look, feel, and user interface (UI) of your app here. During this phase, you may need to wait for a few weeks or several months.
After design comes development. Here, you will actually code your app. A simple app could take a few weeks to complete, while a complex app can take several months.
The final phase of the app development process is testing/QA. The purpose of this step is to ensure your app works correctly and identify any bugs or errors. Depending on the situation, this phase can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
App Cost Summary
As we’ve looked at all the different factors that can affect the cost of developing an app, let’s summarize everything we’ve learned:
- The type of app you want to develop will have the biggest impact on its final cost. A simple app with few features could cost as little as $5,000 to develop, while a complex app with many features could cost $500,000 or more.
- The features of your app will also have an impact on its development cost. More complex features will take longer to develop and add to the overall costs to make an app for the project.
- Who you hire to do the work can also affect the cost to make an app. If you hire a small team of developers, they will likely charge less than a large app development company.
- The development process typically includes four main phases: planning, design, development, and testing/QA. Each of these phases has its own unique costs and can take different amounts of time to complete.
Also, read – Mobile App Development Trends
Overall Estimated Cost of Making an App
The average cost to develop an app will vary depending on the features and functionality you want to include. A basic app with limited features can be developed for around $5,000, whereas a more complex app with multiple features can cost up to $500,000. The most important factor in determining the cost of your app is the size and scope of your project. If you have a clear idea of what you want your app to do, then you will be able to get a more accurate estimate from a developer.
However, if you are still in the early stages of planning your app, then it is best to budget for the higher end of the estimated range. By doing so, you will ensure that you have the resources necessary to create a high-quality product that meets your specific needs.
How to Save Money on App Development?
The cost of making an app depends on a number of factors, including the complexity of the app, the features it includes, the platform it’s being developed for, and the team of developers you hire. With so many variables at play, it’s hard to give a rough estimate of what it will cost to develop your app.
However, there are some ways to cut costs and still end up with a high-quality product. We’ll share some tips on how to save money during the app development process.
1. Use Open-source Tools and Frameworks
There are many open-source tools and frameworks available that can help you save money on app development. Using open-source tools can help you reduce the cost of license fees while using open-source frameworks can help you speed up the development process by allowing you to reuse code that has already been written.
2. Outsource Development to Countries with Lower Labor Costs
If you’re looking to save money on development costs, one option is to outsource development to countries with lower labor costs. This option is often most feasible for larger companies that have the resources to manage an overseas team.
3. Use a Low-cost Prototyping Tool
Prototyping your app before starting full development can help you save money by giving you the opportunity to make changes early on in the process. There are many low-cost or free prototyping tools available, such as Adobe XD, InVision, and Figma.
4. Develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
When starting out, it’s important to focus on developing an MVP (minimum viable product). This will help you save money by allowing you to release a basic version of your app first and then add new features later down the line as you have more resources available.
5. Cut Non-essential Features
During the planning stage of development, it’s important to prioritize which features are essential for your app and which ones can be cut in order to save money. Non-essential features can always be added later down the line as your budget allows.
6. Keep Design Simple
A complex design can drive up development costs significantly. Keeping your design simple will not only help you save money during development but also make your app more user-friendly and easy to use.
Developing an app doesn’t have to break the bank—there are ways to cut costs and still end up with a high-quality product. By following these tips, you can save money during the app development process without sacrificing quality or functionality.
Can I Develop an App for Free?
You might be surprised to learn that you can develop an app for free. There are a number of ways to do this, and the method you choose will depend on your own skills and abilities. If you’re a coding expert, then you can develop an app from scratch using a programming language like Java or HTML.
However, if you’re not a coding expert, then there are still plenty of options open to you. One option is to use a drag-and-drop app builder, which allows you to create an app without having to write any code. Another option is to use a template-based app development platform, which provides you with pre-made building blocks that you can use to assemble your app.
Whichever approach you choose, developing an app doesn’t have to be expensive – all it takes is a little time and effort.
Conclusion ( costs to make an app )
So, how much does it cost to create an app? It depends on the app. But if you want a reasonable figure, we’d say that most apps range from $5,000 to $200,000 in development costs. Of course, that estimate doesn’t include marketing or ongoing maintenance and support costs. But now you have a better understanding of what goes into the costs to make an app and what the associated costs might be. Have any questions about developing your own app? Let us know in the comments below!