Defining cost and process for building mobile apps

When you’re generating ideas about building a mobile app it is important to take steps before you even release it to the public. Competitive market research helps to find out if your app idea is viable but also finding out what mistakes your competitors are making and if people are looking for an app like yours, is really helpful. By multiple mock-ups of your apps, the design and the beginnings of your marketing will then fall into place allowing you to make an app marketing plan.

There is no fixed price when it comes to developing an app, as it depends on the quality but also on what you intend to achieve. What budget you choose to build an app determines the standard itself, you get what you pay for. You also have to keep who you choose to build your app, how your app gets built, and what you need your app to do into consideration. In short, as the complexity of the app being build increases, so does the cost.

The expense of the app rises if you want the app to process payments, sync with the internet, use real-time GPS, or link with other app users. In addition to coding there are other reasons why it can be more expensive; design costs, back end development, security, architecture, and testing.


Back end development is necessary for certain apps, also known as Content Management System, it is the part of the app that stays hidden to the users but can be accessed by admin or developers.

There is a cost development between different apps as you need to understand the development process. If you can’t write code you will need to hire an app developer, maybe several depending on your app’s complexity, which means more money. The cost depends on who you hire but also where they are located. For example, if they are located in India this is the cheapest option, however, the USA is the most expensive. However, there are risks involved with outsourcing overseas, such as a language barrier and it’s hard to keep an eye on the work. Also depending on how long they take you could be spending more money just because they are taking longer.

There are different types of developers; an independent contractor, a small app development company, and big corporations. An independent contractor could be the least expensive option, but they may not be the best in business. Since they work for multiple clients your app won’t be their only project, meaning they may not give their best effort. You may not want to pay extra for a reparable company to build your app, as the price will differ to that of an independent contractor but the more money you pay you’re more likely to get your app built in a quicker time and to a higher standard.

When thinking about app development it’s easier to split it into two categories. The first category being ‘front-end- and the second ‘back-end.’ The front-end is the part of the app you can see such as layout, navigation, graphics, user interaction, animation, and data processing. The back-end is the part of the app that can’t be seen; databases, networking, data storage, and user management. As a developer, it is important you try and integrate these categories.

You do have the option to use leveraging technology to build your app, for example, BuildFire. This is a cost-effective way as 80% of what you need is already set up, like basic features, infrastructure, and mBaaS, you will just need to spend money on the other 20% to customize the app based on personal preferences. Not all developers are designers, so you will end up paying extra for the design.

Depending on the size of your app you may need to hire a Quality Assurance Agent or project manager. A project management team will comprise of lots of people.

Some additional fees are overlooked but are important to bear in mind. Examples of these additions are; server costs, legal fees, start-up fees if you turn your app into a business. You will also need to remember that you will have maintenance costs after the development is finished.

If you do have a tight budget, it is a good idea to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or Proof of Concept app, the downside being it would have limited functionality, features, and design, but it is a good start in the right direction. This is a good idea for those who have a good idea for an app but not much money. MVP makes it easier for you to secure funding from outside investors if you need it. Overall, if you keep the idea simple the less money it will be.

There are two kinds of apps, which aren’t equally priced; Hybrid and Native apps. Native apps have to follow certain guidelines for specific platforms. It is easier for them to access certain hardware, such as GPS, camera, and contact lists. For this kind of app, you will have to be prepared to pay more, especially as you will need to create two separate apps, one for the Apple App Store and another for an Android App for Google Play Store. Hybrid apps, on the other hand, are much less expensive and launch on both Apple and Android simultaneously. There is a quicker development time with this kind, and you can also get the app to the consumer market quicker. The Hybrid App overall is easier and less expensive.