How Much Does It Cost To Make An App?

How Much Does It Cost To Make An App? (Experience based answer)

Shova Acharya
May 23, 2019 - 8 min read

One of the consistent questions we have been receiving ever since the establishment of our software development company is “How much does it cost to make an app?“. So, today we finally decided to address this question.

The app development can cost you around $5000 or $30,000 or even $200,000 and more. There is no fixed price for app development. But with our years of experience, we can tell you on average a simple functioning app can cost somewhere around $25,000-$50,000. Now, this number might not be that big for established corporates and business houses but for startups, this is a huge number.

How much does it cost to make an app for your business?

Development cost of making an app
Different factors affect the development cost of making an app

App development is an expensive process and is influenced by different factors. So, “how much does it cost to make an app?” can only be answered after considering the factors that affect the cost of mobile app development.

Why does it cost so much to make an app?

App development consists of multiple components which directly or indirectly affects the cost of making it. You might have read tons of blog where they state how a business wants an app like Uber but aren’t ready to invest the same. You should understand that the Uber app is developed after investing millions of dollars and time. And to be honest, your business does not even require the same functioning app. So, let’s consider the functions and factors that your app needs and how much does it cost to make an app inclusive of all that.

Here are the factors that affect the cost of mobile app development:

Building an app is expensive
Building an app is expensive

What type of app do you need?

The cost of app development highly depends upon what type of app you’re developing. Are you developing a native app or hybrid apps or web apps (progressive web apps)?

  1. Native app

Native apps are the high performing apps that are developed for a specific mobile platform. This is the most reliable functioning type of app and also an expensive one. Some good examples of the native app are Facebook, Snapchat and Candy Crush.

Talking about the technical aspect of native apps, it needs to be developed using programming languages like Objective-C and Swift for iOS apps and Java or C++ for Andriod apps.

Learn More: Wonders Of React Native

  1. Web apps

As stated by Simple. Wikipedia, “A web application is a software application that runs on a remote server. Web applications are different from other applications because they do not need to be installed.”

Web apps are the least expensive option and need to be built using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Some of the examples of web apps include Facebook (which we use in the browser), The Washington Post and Google Docs.

Learn More:
Progressive Web App (PWA): an alternative to Android/iOS App? – Business Perspective

  1. Hybrid app

A hybrid app can be understood as a fusion between native and web app. It has features of both types of app.

Just like the web app, it is written using HTML, CSS, and Javascript and distributed through the app-store or over the air like native apps. The example of a hybrid app is; Uber, Amazon Appstore and Twitter.

Remember, you should pick the type of app considering your business requirement rather than the cheap or affordable option. For instance, if you want a high performing reliable app than you can opt for a native app.

Which platform are you choosing?

The cost of the app development will vary depending upon the platform you choose. You can either choose iOS or Android or build an app which works on both. But remember to choose the platform only after considering your target audience and business objective/goal.

The Android covers the 2/3rd of mobile phone users but the users are price conscious and don’t really do in-app purchases. Whereas, only 1/3 rd user own iOS mobile phones but they tend to purchase a lot. Another clear distinction between both of the platform is that Android is more customizable whereas, iOS isn’t. Lastly, different research says that iOS users are more engaged than Android users. Whereas, to make an app which functions well in both of the platforms you should check out the cross-platform mobile app development technologies.

Don’t focus much on the technical aspect and make your decision based on your business goal and target audience for now. Example:

  1. Are you making your app to earn money through in-app purchases or cost per installation? Consider iOS
  2. Do you want more downloads and reach a larger number of audience? Consider Android

If you are still confused about the platform your business app needs then contact us for a FREE consultation. We will be more than happy to help you out.

What about the design?

Cost of designing an app
Different factors determine the cost of designing an app

Once you have selected the platform now another factor you should consider is the design of your app. You should also consider the device on which your user will probably use this app. The design made for mobile will not be suitable for the tablets.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
Steve Jobs

You should aim to make your app design as clear and concise as possible. It should be easy to navigate and user-friendly. Rather than just focusing on what your app should like, you should also include the functionality portion.

Features… Features and Features…

It is common to see competitors pay a different price for developing the app for the same niche. Such a difference in price is due to the features. The common features like user login will not cost you much. But the integration of payment methods and so will cost you a lot. Also, the app which needs a back-end server built or any API set will cost higher.

Normally the complexity and the time taken to complete is considered to determine the cost of the feature. You should list out all the basic and advanced functions that your app needs to have. Then it will be a lot easier to determine the features your app needs.

Consider the development cost too

The above mentioned factors doesn’t consider the development cost. But how and with whom you choose to develop an app has a great impact on the cost of So, let’s take a quick look into it too.

How much does it cost to make an app by hiring a development team?

Factors that affect the cost of building an app
Cost of building an app with in-house development team

Hiring your own development team ensures that your app is being developed by someone who understands your business. They will build your app to achieve the business objective and goal. The benefit of hiring a development team is that communication is easier and you can closely monitor your product. But this is the most expensive option for development.

Even a small development team requires a project manager, business analyst, programmer, and Q/A Specialist. Now the first point to consider is, it is expensive to hire the best employee as there is demand for them in the market. And if you settle for average than you can expect the same quality of return from them. Second, don’t forget about the training cost, additional benefits, bonus, recreational activities cost and other additional costs you need to bear for your team. Even after all this if your team isn’t efficient or experienced enough to meet your needs then its a pure waste of your money and nothing else. Also, we haven’t yet considered the maintenance cost and marketing cost. You will need to hire a team or an individual who handles the marketing of your app.

How much does it cost to make an app by outsourcing in a high-end agency?

Developing an app with a high-end agency can be very expensive. The hourly rate of a startup agency or not so famous agency can start from $25 in Australia. However, the hourly rate of a high-end agency can start from $100 in Australia. The cost taken by the high-end agency also depends upon its location. Meaning, you can expect agency from Australia, America or European countries to be substantially more than the agency from Asian countries like Nepal. To give you a better understanding of the cost let me disclose you that our company takes $80-$120 on an hourly basis.

The perk of developing your app with the help of a high-end agency is that they are professionals with years of experience. They know what they are building and they will produce a quality end-result. Also, outsourcing your work to the high-end agency will relief you from the worry of maintenance and marketing cost.

How much does it cost to make an app with an offshore development team?

Making an app with an offshore development team will cost you less than with a high-end agency or your own development team. The greatest perk of offshoring is, at a reasonable price you can make your app with the team of experts of different countries. The offshore development team consists of an experienced team member with expertise in their field. The only downside of the offshore development team is you can find the cheapest one but the quality may not be up to the mark. You should look for an offshore development team with an office in your country. For instance, we are a software development company in Melbourne with an offshore development team in Nepal. The companies like ours make sure that the offshore development team meets the international working standard and requirement. So, as a result, you will have a quality app developed at a reasonable price.

How much does it cost to make an app by yourself?

Talking about the cost of making an app by yourself, it might be the cheapest option. But personally, I wouldn’t suggest anyone to build an app by himself or herself. However, if you’re someone with experience in coding then maybe you can give it a try. Who knows you might end up building an awesome app all by yourself.

You only have to pay for the resources and platforms used. However, if the project fails then you lose it all and have to start again. Time is money and the time you lost in building the app will cost you some amount. Similarly, will the quality of an app developed by you match the app developed by a high-end agency or an offshore development team? When your app and your competitor’s app hit the market, will the customers be interested in your app? Can you develop a high performing app? Ask yourself all this question and determine yourself.

Conclusion

The answer to the question “How much does it cost to make an app?” depends upon different factors. The platform you choose to the number of features you decide you need has an effect on the cost of making an app. Likewise, the cost also varies on the basis of the development team option you choose. Making an app is expensive. However, the return from an app can be more than the development cost. So, focus on creating a quality app which is user-friendly, high-performing in nature and meets your business goal/objective.

Book a free consultation with our senior engineer and product manager. Related Articles