There are dozens of factors that go into pricing app development. Here are a few of the big ones.
Working with a big-name development team has its benefits. Major firms have the resources, experience, and technical expertise to assure that your apps work perfectly. However, pricing app development with a major firm can be dizzying.
Some dev teams won’t even answer the phone unless you're looking to spend half a million. Smaller firms and startups will sometimes work for much less. Newer teams can also be big on talent and provide a level of individualized service and enthusiasm that big firms, working with numerous clients on multiple projects, can’t match.
Here’s the breakdown from Savvy Apps. If you’re aiming for the stars, costs can be anywhere from $500 thousand to one million for a V.1 release. A middle-of-the-road design team may charge $150,000 to $450,000 for a few months of work. A smaller, local, or startup developer may work out a deal for much less based on circumstances, so shop around and get a few quotes before committing.
The cost of app development also relies heavily on the proposed features and complexity of your app. A smaller, simpler app will cost much less than an app with tons of functionality and features. Apps that involve a backend server or API (application program interface) can cost twice as much as something less involved.
Depending on what your app does, it’s going to combine a complex set of services. Instagram, for example, is at its foundation, a relatively simple photo sharing and storage framework. On top of the photos, however, are half a dozen other services including filters, Likes, comments, sharing, analytics, search engines, etc… With an ambitious app, the services needed (and the costs associated) can add up quickly. A good dev will work with you to “trim the fat” and decide what your essential features are.
This goes hand in hand with complexity, but other things factor in as well. A more complex app is going to take longer to code, simple as that. The longer something takes to code, the more hours of work you’re paying for. With major firms charging upwards of $35,000 per month, it is easy to see how longer development time can hike up your expenses fast.
Even if your app is simple on paper, there is always a chance that your team will run into problems or setbacks. You need room in the budget for blunders, pitfalls, and feature creep. Working with a reputable dev team will lower your risk of costly delays, so again, do your research.
The price of app development can also vary greatly based on what platform you decide to publish on. While most people would immediately think of iOS because of the ubiquity of the iPhone, Android, websites, and desktop programs are also popular methods of delivery.
Development on Android, however, can take about twice as long as on iOS, and the costs of this increased time can add up. That is why most apps start on iOS and then move to Android when they have the resources. When designing your app, work with your dev team to decide which platform is best for your app considering its features and user base.
Design and Branding
Even if your app works well and provides a unique service, it isn’t going anywhere without intuitive user design and pleasing aesthetics. Some dev teams have their own designers, but others may require you to hire a third party. Either way, it's just one more aspect of your app that will take work hours to complete, especially if your app has a lot of features.
You also need good branding and marketing. If you’re a social media champ and have thousands of followers already, promoting your app might be easier. But for the rest of us, paid web advertising and other marketing tools are essential to getting your name out. While not as expensive as the development itself, ads and branding are just one more element to consider.
When pricing app development, we here at Cuttlesoft like to take a fair, flexible approach. Looking to see your app idea become a reality? Find out the next step.