How Much Does It (Really) Cost To Build An App?

the true cost to build an app

Apps are now the focal point of many businesses around the world, and for good reason. Apps are essential to improving your sales thanks to its ability to attract new customers and retain existing ones. But, how much does it really cost to build an app?

We’ll get to it in a moment. But first, users also spend more time on company apps than company mobile websites thanks to elements that make using the apps easy, such as interactive user interfaces (UI). Also, apps are another sales channel your business can leverage to increase revenue and capture user data on the product or service you sell.

Thus, it’s critical to invest in app development so you can produce a high-quality app. But if you want to know how to create an app, it’s important to know what to expect when it comes to costs. If you’re wondering about the cost of developing an app, then you’ve come to the right place. Give your app ideas the direction they need.

Here’s a quick guide to app development pricing:

1. Cost To Build An App Depends on Your Development Criteria

The starting price for app development can range from as little as $5,000 to over $50,000 on average. However, it’s not unheard of for the price of an app to cost as much as $1 million. One of the key factors impacting the app pricing is your development criteria.

Apps are highly customizable based on your criteria, and this makes each app unique. For example, you can expect costs ranging from $50,000 to produce a single-function app to $250,000 if you are looking to create an app with API integrations. Even simple concept designs for apps can cost $5,000. That’s why it’s important to have an idea about what you want your app to accomplish.

2. Quality Impacts Pricing

One of the most important aspects to consider when you research app development prices is the quality that you’re getting. Typically, you can expect to pay more for quality when it comes to app development.

While there are options in the market to outsource app development to developers who charge rock-bottom rates, you risk getting inexperienced developers who deliver poor quality apps or even overlook implementing key security measures. On the other hand, when you invest in a developer with years of experience, you can expect a quality product.

An experienced developer knows that security is a must-have for any quality app. Enhanced security measures show your users that the app is secure for conducting transactions and that you prioritized keeping their personal data safe. The size of the app developer can impact price, too. For instance, a large agency may cost double the price of an individual freelance developer.

On the other hand, you can expect medium-sized app development companies to cost one and a half times the rate of an individual app developer.

3. Think About Maintenance

The cost of app development also extends to maintenance to keep your app running smoothly. The more popular your app becomes, the likelihood your users may come across bugs or errors that require fixing. Also, sometimes your code may require updating to stay in compliance with platform security measures.

So, it’s important to factor in the cost of app maintenance. Maintenance typically includes the cost of hosting and for labor to keep your app up-to-date. A general rule of thumb is to expect to pay 20 percent annually based on the app development cost for maintenance to keep your app operational. For example, if you spent $80,000 to develop your app, then you can expect to pay around $16,000 each year for maintenance.

4. Integration

When factoring what you need for your app you have to also consider the cost needed for the app to be integrated with other platforms via APIs, such as social media platforms or payment gateways, among others. For example, you can use app development that leverages social media integration so that users can easily share their favorite products or services from your business with their followers and friends.

This helps them to spread the word about your company and the products or services it offers. You can also request to collect data on users that volunteer to see what are the type of things the purchase on the regular. This helps give your company ideas on selling another closely related product you can produce to capture more revenue.

Similarly, if there’s any transaction that a user has to undergo in your app, you’d have to integrate with a third-party payment gateway via their API.

Platform integration pricing will depend on the platform you use, too. For example, you can expect to pay more for iOS app development than for developing an app for Android use.

5. Design

The UI/UX design of your app can impact the final price you can expect to pay. Design involves a wide variety of elements from the customization of your UI to user experience management.

The more customization that goes into your app, the more you can expect to pay. For instance, going for a flashy app, such as one with that plays custom introductory videos, may cost more than an app without one. Consider your design details and determine if your budget is better spent on optimizing the app to load quicker for a wide range of devices.

Design doesn’t always need to be flashy, and can be simplistic and highly functional. When someone says they want an easy to use app and simple designs, that’s actually tougher to achieve given the complexities of the workflows. This process also makes designing expensive if you hire someone with not just graphic design skills, but also user experience skillsets.

Understanding the pricing of app development helps you move beyond wondering how much does it cost to build an app. When it comes down to it, the exact price of your app development depends on your goals for your app.

Since apps are customizable, you can expect them to range significantly depending on what you need. Whichever option you choose for app development, just keep quality and security in mind so you can avoid issues in the long run.

Rahul Varshneya

Rahul is the co-founder of Arkenea, a custom software development consulting firm for fast-growing businesses, providing on-demand engineering talent and MVP development services.

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