App Development Cost – How to Budget your App?

Most app developers or even the best app development companies in the world, cannot provide accurate pricing on your project without identifying requirements. However, there are other costs associate with making the app. Here is a break down with range in terms of cost.

  1. App Prototype (UI/UX Cost): App prototype or design is often referred to as UI/UX. This is where you take your idea for an app and you map it to your user’s journey, it sometimes includes design but often just goes into different features of the app. The cost for UI/UX varies from a few hundred dollars to thousands.
    • How to Save on UI/UX Fees? If you are designing an app that already exists for example an eCommerce App that you like but would like to build one for your store. Or it could be a combination of different apps that you may wish to combine. If it is a brand new idea, you can sketch it on a piece of paper as a starting point and work with your mobile app freelancer or designer to make it come to life.
  2. Design Cost: Design is something that can again range from even free if you use native interface features or thousands of dollars. The more unique your design is the more costly both your design fees and development costs are going to be. Something as simple as a shadow could take a developer 10+ hours to implement. The most costly design is for game development especially if developing a 3D game.
    • How to Save on Design Fees? Utilize native features! By working with your developer you can save on development cost and design cost by using out of the box widget and features in your app, and adding a simple logo, and brand colors without hiring a designer.
  3. App Development Cost: This is probably the biggest cost to have your app development. If you are building an MVP (minimal viable product) or creating a simple app, you are looking at a minimum of 80 hours of development work. With hourly rates ranging from $10/HR for the most remote junior developers to $500/HR for top development agencies in the world.
    • How to save on mobile development cost? Think about hiring a local mobile freelancer, who is a senior developer but does not come with project management, office lease and other expenses that will increase the cost of building your app. Another way to save it by utilizing Flutter, a framework that allows you to write code once and post it on both iOS and Android devices.
  4. QA Cost: Once your app has been built, it is time to test it. Hiring a QA tester can range in cost from a few hundred dollars to actually having a built in QA automation inside the app that can be in the thousands of dollars.
    • How to save on QA Costs? One way to ensure that you keep your development costs low is to do the QA yourself. Play your game, do your own eCommerce shopping or simple use the app. You can also share it with your friends and family and get them to record if any crashes or weird stuff appears. Talk to your developer about putting some crash analytics into your app for better visibility down the line.
  5. Marketing Cost: You have built your app, it has gone through QA, now what? Well there are a few steps.
    1. Publishing on the App Store: There is an app developer fee you have to pay for both Android and iOS that is a yearly fee of $25-$100.
    2. Letting your customers know about your app: Next is getting the word out to your existing customers, this could range from a simple email being sent, a business card printed with your app’s name or a change on a website to let people know about your app. Typically the cost for existing clients is very small.
    3. ASO (App Store Optimization): You want to make sure your app can be found on the app store. Just like optimizing your website, the same principles apply to optimizing your app on the app store. You can do it yourself by including brand names in search terms spot, title, description, and utilizing the same keywords that are found on your website as a starting point.
    4. Mobile App Advertising: Finally, you can grow your app by paying for ads inside the app store (Apple Search or AdMob (Google), paying for Facebook Ads which appear on instagram or other display networks/exchanges. This is a very expensive way to get clients. The cost per acquisition ranges by industry and can be as low as $0.01 to as high as $100 per download. Testing is key here to find the perfect strategy that works for your app.

If you are looking to build an app, Brian Kayfitz can help. He is a senior developer specializing in Flutter and iOS. Click here to learn more.