January 29, 2021 Last updated January 29th, 2021 999 Reads share

4 Tips to Plan for Your App Development Cost

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

Customers are spending more of their time using apps, and more companies are discovering the need to have an app to reach customers and keep up with user trends in the digital landscape. However, not knowing how to plan app development costs keeps most businesses from developing their mobile app ideas.

This article will cover tips on how you can plan for better execution of the app development process.

Define Your Goals

You must define your goals, whether you are expanding an existing application or have an idea for an application to support your business. The most common goals include engaging customers and keeping up with your competition.

These goals will inform the features you want to be included in the app and directly impact the application development cost. Apps with more complex features are more expensive and take longer to develop, while those with simple features are less costly.

Go ahead and breakdown your list of features into those that MUST be in the application and additional features that would be good to have.

Start by building the minimum viable product and then add the “would be good to have” features later to save on the app’s initial cost.

Choose the Platform

The platform on which your application will run will affect the cost of your app development. Applications that run on multiple platforms tend to cost more.

You need to understand the location of your users to determine the best platform for your application. For example, android users are mostly in Africa, Asia, and Australia, while Western Europe and North America mostly use iOS.

Some people choose to have cross-platform apps, but you should know that building cross-platform applications would be more expensive than choosing one platform.

Find the Right Development Partner or Team

Unless you have the budget for its building, an application in-house is more expensive than outsourcing. Most businesses go for outsourcing the development team, which helps get the experts from different locations at a reduced cost.

Although you might be tempted to go for the cheapest development team, tread carefully since you could be getting low-value applications that cost more to fix errors and implement. Find partners who have developed applications for businesses in your industry and have a rich portfolio of successful work.

Identify Project Costs

It would be best to calculate app development costs in terms of time, scope, and resources. Identify the costs of hiring developers, initial project development, deployment fees, publishing costs, integration, quality control, integration, maintenance, and upgrades.

Identify the hourly and average costs for mobile apps for in-house, freelance, agency developers, skill levels, and the development team’s location. Here are some of the costs you can expect based on different factors

Cost by Platform

  • iOS apps cost between $10,000 and $15,000
  • Android apps cost between $10,000 and $15,000
  • Web apps cost between $15,000 and $18,500
  • Hybrid (cross-platform) apps cost between $15,000 and $18,000

Cost by App Design

  • Apps built using a template cost between $1,200 -$2,400
  • For custom app designs, expect to pay anywhere between $2,400 and $4,800
  • Professional app designs cost more than $9,600

Cost by Security Level

  • Implementing basic security measures will cost between $720 and $1,400
  • Higher-level security measures in your app will cost between $1,500 and $2,500
  • Advanced security protection costs between $4,000 and $6,800

Cost by Mobile App Database

  • Using an internal database for your app costs between $2,600 and $4,800
  • Cloud databases for apps cost between $1,700 -$2,900

Cost by Features

  • Login using third-party logins will cost between $1,280 and $1,440 per third-party login
  • Every media feature you include in your application will cost about $1,800 and $3,000
  • Every utility feature (such as Bluetooth or phone sensors) will cost between $2,800 and $5,000
  • UX features will cost between $3,800 and $5,600 per feature
  • General features such as referral systems and forms will cost between $1,800 and $3,200 per media feature
  • Each admin feature will cost between $2,600 and $4,400
  • Additional features such as multi-language features, offline mode, and two-factor authentication will cost between $1,400 and $2,600

While these are not all the factors that affect the project cost, you can add these expenses to determine the project cost. It is wise to consult different app developers for quotes on their project costs and timelines for better decision-making.

Calculate the future maintenance and upgrade costs and then include these in your project budget for future expenses. Add about 50% more to the total project costs to account for unexpected expenses.

Do not forget marketing costs that need to be covered to help the target consumers learn about your application and use it upon launching.


Don’t let the uncertainty of application development costs stop you from developing the application to solve a problem in the market. Follow the steps in this article to plan for your app development costs.

app development – DepositPhotos

Matt Shealy

Matt Shealy

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