How Much Is It Really Going to Cost To Build an App?

app development costs

Whether you’re an established building and you want to create an app as part of that brand you’ve already developed, or you’re a startup, one of your first questions is likely how much it’s going to cost.

When you’re in the midst of interviewing and hiring app developers, the price is probably going to be one of the first things you ask about. Some people are surprised when they hear the answer, so going into it all with some understanding of how to budget for app development can be beneficial.

The following are some things to know and keep in mind if you’re budgeting and planning to develop an app.

Simplicity vs. Complexity

One of the main things that are going to affect the price of app development is how simple or complex the app and its features are. A lot of people don’t realize how much variance this can be in this area, therefore how much divergence there can be in the pricing. For example, if you are in the education niche, you will need an educational app development company to create a custom app for you, and app complexity will be determined by what specific features you’d need for your educational app.

For example, according to estimates from development firm Build fire, if you went with a simple app design, it might be around $10,000 and take two months to develop.

On the other hand, if you wanted something more complex and more feature-rich, it could be anywhere from $75,000 to $150,000 and take four to eight months to complete, based on their estimates.

Functions sometimes highlighted as being on the more complex end of the spectrum include user login, GPS tracking, payment information storage, and tools that let users connect with one another via the app.

RelatedThe Process of Crowdfunding App Development From Idea to Reality

Costs Outside of Just Development

There are costs of not just the actual development process and hiring the team that you’re going to work with. You also have to think about the costs leading up to the development. For example, how much can you or will you spend on market research?

Market research can help you vet your idea and determine if making further investments into the development will even be worth it.

If you do your research and decide that your concept is viable, once your app is developed there will be the costs related to testing and deploying it, as well as marketing. The testing and deployment phase might be included in the cost of development services, but it might not be.

How much can you spend marketing your app? If you spend tens of thousands of dollars on a great app, but no one knows it exists, then again your investment is for nothing.

Something else to consider? The ongoing maintenance costs. For a medium-sized enterprise app, it’s estimated that these ongoing costs can range from $5,000 to $11,000 a month.

The Hidden Costs

The before and after costs of app development aren’t taking into account what is sometimes referred to as the hidden costs.

These hidden costs can include what are categorized as functional services. Functional services are certain things that are needed to bring the actual features of the app to life.

Administrative services are part of the cost of app development as well, and then there are infrastructure services which include things like data storage.

Types of Apps

Along with the features of an app, the actual type of app affects the cost. For example, if you have an app that’s described as a standalone platform with no network access or connection, it may cost less than $50,000 to develop.

These kinds of apps are usually tools that don’t require an internet connection, such as a photo-taking app that doesn’t connect with social networks, or a calculator tool.

There are then apps that are developed to consume data. They do require a network connection, but they’re still fairly simple. These apps can cost up to $100,000 to develop in some cases if they have sophisticated features and functionality.

If you have an app that requires a login or one that’s described as a social networking app, the costs can be more than $100,000.

While all of these figures can provide an estimate to the costs of app development, it’s extremely variable. There are a lot of different factors that play a role, and there are ways to save money, but in the long run, that might impede the quality of what you’re able to develop.

It’s important if you’re considering app development to know all the costs, from the initial research phases all the way through to the ongoing maintenance and administrative costs and make sure that it’s something that’s going to be feasible for your organization.