A substantial number of businesses today use mobile apps to enhance user experience. Furthermore, many companies are built around making and selling mobile apps or using mobile apps to provide services. Knowing how important mobile apps are, you need to figure out how much it will cost to create one for your business. Planning a mobile app development budget is not the easiest thing to do. Let’s talk more about how to calculate the cost of making a mobile app for your business.
What affects the cost of mobile app development?
The price depends on multiple factors, like the purpose of the app, required features, the number of customers, etc. These elements change the cost, and the time it takes to create an application. The more complex the app is, the more time you will have to wait. If you want to create a perfectly developed mobile application, you cannot take shortcuts.
The features make things more complex
Features of your app are the bread and butter you are looking for. That defines the functionality of your app. The quality of the features also affects the user experience. That’s the key thing to understand. Do not put “cool” features just because you like them. They will cost more money, and if you or your customers don’t need them, do not waste time and money. Every new feature you add will bring the cost up.
So, how can you know what features to use? To help you out, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What will you be using the app for?
- What features are a must, and what features are optional?
- Are there any features you don’t need?
Answering these questions is very important. For example, if you want to build an Amazon-style app, these questions will also make it easier for the programmer. They need to understand the core purpose of the app. Again, it is imperative to build only the essential features.
How many screens do you want?
Screens in a mobile app are just like web pages on a website. The more screens your app has, the more it costs. This is also a critical segment of building apps. If you didn’t consider hiring a product manager for app development, you might want to change your mind. They can help plan the structure of the app and make sure that you are getting what your business needs. No more, no less.
The complexity of those screens also plays a crucial role. Think about user experience and what you are trying to achieve. Again, do not be tempted to use “cool” features or design that looks good to you. Listen to your customers and what they want.
How many people are working on the project?
When looking for a professional to build you an app, you need to decide. Do you want to find a jack of all trades and let that person design the entire app, or do you want to hire a team of people where every person is an expert in their sector? A team of people consists of:
- mobile app developer;
- backend programmer;
- DevOps specialist;
- User Interface/User Experience designer;
- QA specialist;
- mobile app development project manager.
Our best advice is to look at both options and see which one fits your wallet.
Another thing to remember is that building an app means you will need to test it before it goes live. That means you also need a group of testers. If you are making an app for a large group of people, you might want to consider hiring more testers.
They will tell you if the app is working as intended. Also, have in mind that some things might change down the road. If the testers discover a problem, your team will need to figure out the best way to address it.
Furthermore, app testing often creates delays if the testers find something is not working. Those delays mean you will have to pay the people more money.
If hiring a team of professionals is too expensive, you might want to consider outsourcing this project to someone more affordable.
Another element that affects your mobile app development budget is marketing. Even though marketing does not have anything to do with app development, it is directly connected to the final product. If you are already running a business and introducing a new app, you want to make sure everyone knows about it. You will need to reach out to your customers and let them know about this change.
This is especially true if you make an app that will add new features for customers. A good example would be a customer loyalty application. You want to promote the new reward system, and you need to spend money on marketing.
What platforms will your app use?
The number of platforms also affects the cost. Most often scenario is iOS and Android, but some apps also have desktop versions. It is an excellent recommendation to create an app for both iOS and Android.
How much does it cost to develop a simple mobile app?
A simple app is an app that consists of tables, and it has between three and four screens. There are no heavy features, and the deadline is usually shorter. The average cost of creating a simple mobile app is around $20,000.
What about building a complex app?
Complex apps include dynamic features. Furthermore, it saves customer data directly on their phone, and if the phone is out of reach, it can even store data on a remote server. Renting those servers also costs a lot of money. Also, complex apps have a user login system, and they often communicate with multiple devices simultaneously.
Budget for developing dynamic, database-dependent mobile apps
A relatively complex mobile app is an app that stores data on the user’s device or a remote server. The app may require the users to register data, allow them to input and display data, or sync the data between multiple devices. Know that a complex app uses an array of APIs, which also makes things more expensive.
Developing a complex mobile app would cost you between $120,000 and $190,000. Also, you will need to hire a team of people to finish the app on time.
Creating multifunctional mobile apps
The next step in complexity includes custom user interfaces, advanced UI/UX, business integration, etc. This is how we know what defines a quality multifunctional application.
If we go back to our example of creating an Amazon-style mobile app, know that developing an app of that size will cost you around $250,000.
Plan your mobile app development budget in advance
It is imperative to do the research before planning your mobile app development budget. Even if you know an approximate cost, you also want to be flexible and understand that things might change. Always have some money on the side in case something goes wrong. You want to approach this process in a smart way, without rushing. Best of luck in creating a mobile app your customers deserve!
Simon Lee is a web and mobile app developer with over 15 years of experience. He is also a marketing expert working for Digital Dot New York. Simon’s passion is animals, and he always donates to save endangered species on the planet.