How much will it cost to develop an app?

words Al Woods

When you read success stories of thriving startups, you might feel a bit jealous and sometimes surprised at how ridiculous the initial investment was in comparison with the scale of further business development. 

Many of the flagman digital enterprises were developed for a completely affordable price. 

And in some cases the lack of knowledge about app development cost can prevent a prospective entrepreneur from starting a market-changing product. This piece of information is written in order to fix this gap. 

The experience of a professional app development agency can become a guiding thread on the path to explore the opportunities and figure out what determines the cost to develop an app. Let’s examine the factors that impact the difference in price settings and can be changed in order to make the app development cost appropriate for your solvency. To successfully launch your product or service also it is necessary to understand a startup scaling strategy in order to avoid some risks and to gradually grow.

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How technological stack impacts app development cost

When you hire narrow specialists like iOS developers or android developers, you have to pay two teams as they create two various solutions for different platforms. It takes time and effort of two teams, and as a result, it’s costly. One of the tested ways to cut the costs down is to start building apps on cross-platform technologies. React Native looks as a leading tool in the industry. Thanks to its possibility to realize a product through code reusing for popular platforms, it saves developers’ time and effort. This fact favorably reflects on the budget required for the full cycle of work. Since the app can be tailored by one team and simultaneously for both platforms, the scale of work reduces, and the app development cost decreases, respectively, too. At Purrweb, IT engineers noticed that it can be reduced by 30-35%. 

The right choice of the technology in advance provides more flexible budgeting and serves for the more reasonable funding. So, try to consider React Native as a reliable foundation for balanced app development cost. 

How complexity of the app influence on its development cost

Mathematics works as follows: the more saturated is your project in terms of functionality, the larger scope of work it requires. And, as it’s obvious, along with the calculation of working hours, the price of app development grows. So, first, get focused on the features that are vital for the actionability of your digital undertaking. This way of app development is known as MVP approach: first you invest in basic features that let your product be delivered in the market, and after the vitality of your business idea was testified by real users, you expand financial support of the project and reinvest to add new features and polish them. If you act vica versa, there’s a possibility to spend much money on mistaken positioning or developing features that customers will never request. 

So, the advice from practicing experts sounds like this: get rid of all the excessive features 

IT agency or freelancers: what to choose?

Like the gardener spends different quantities of time taking care of the rare and naughty plants, and the unpretentious ones, the IT engineer has to invest different time in various products depending on their character. Time consumption usually swings between three and nine months or even more (the complexity of the project determines it). But pay attention: these calculations are actual for IT agencies. There’s a sensitive difference between productivity of a pair of freelancers and effectiveness of the whole team of specialists in an IT agency. For example, at Purrweb you usually deal with a fully staffing development team that consists of 6-7 members specializing in definite tasks for app development. They take care of UI and UX design, frontend and backend development, quality assurance, and even take administrative tasks on themselves. All this essentially shortens the time required for launch of the app. So, if you’re targeting optimization of the app development cost, give preferences to a full-cycle app development agency. 

develop an app

Why the app development cost depends on the IT agency location

The different standard of living in different countries and market features dictate special circumstances for pricing. The US based app development agencies expect to charge a fee from account $150 per hour of specialists’ work. In Western Europe hourly rates can be insignificantly lower. On the opposite side are the companies from Southern Asia. You can find developers who are ready to work for three to five cheaper rates. But if you’re intending to optimize  the app development cost without losses in the level of execution, it makes sense to research offers from Eastern Europe. The experienced teams sometimes charge two times less than teams from North America. But the best of them provide the same level of service and the quality of designed solutions doesn’t relinquish high standards in the industry. 

Bearing in mind how sensitive it is to multiply the hourly rates on the amount of working time required, it’s a good way to spend app development budget reasonably. 

Which apps can be used as a reference for estimation app development cost

One of the obtainable ways to assess the project is to match the characteristics of your future app with the existing solutions. Any IT app can tell you approximately what it will cost to develop something similar «here put the name of the well-known web or mobile application». The reference allows IT engineers to understand which set of features you need and how much time it can take to tailor the product of that kind. We can even share a life hack with you: if you want to compare pricing in different IT agencies, you can make a quote for the app development cost of the certain solution. 

For example, if you address the Purrweb team with the question: how much will it cost to develop an app like Tinder? They can estimate that the solution is complex and requires more than 800 hours of work. That lets them give you some numbers for the price fork: $80,000-$100,000.

There are a lot of references in different business niches which you can use like a landmark to understand the complexity of your startup idea and the possible budget for the embodiment of the whole functionality. 

If the budget seems unaffordable, we’ve got good news: you can start with MVP and after the first stage of development try to attract additional investment. This way let you not bury a great idea just because of the lack of money. 

How to assess the app development cost close to the reality

As you can see from the previous explanation, in a nutshell, the app development cost is a derivative sum that is determined by the quantity of working hours required to complete the project and the price of work charged by specialists per hour. So, you can impact the final app development cost by reducing the number of features you need at the initial stage. The less scope of work, the more affordable the cost. The second point is the IT agency qualification. It usually turns out that an experienced team spends less time for project realization than the newbies. The less time means the less cost, even initially the rates look a bit higher. 

As the proverb goes: buy nice or buy twice. 

And the third point sensitive for final pricing is the team location. Try to find those who can offer excellent quality at an adequate cost, and you will be satisfied with the cooperation thoroughly.


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