How Much Does it Cost to Make an App: Full Cost Breakdown

How Much Does it Cost to Make an App

If you have been looking to get an app for your business, then you must have thought about its cost as well. Mobile Apps are a necessity in today’s mobile-forward business world. Market surveys show that more than 76% of consumers prefer to interact with brands and make online purchases via mobile apps as compared to mobile websites.

Therefore, whether you run a small business or a big one, a mobile app is necessary. Though the internet provides useful information, many websites only provide information that promotes their mobile app development services.

An analysis of cost estimation from multiple experts tells us that the cost of an app may vary from $2,000 to $250,000, depending on its type, nature, and functionality. This gap is significant. Therefore, it is vital to understand the key drivers for app development.

So, let’s begin!

1. Worldwide App Development Cost

I recently came across the research by Good Firms. It highlighted the cost of app development as per its nature.

  • Simple app $40,000 – $60,000
  • Average complexity app $61,000 – $69,000
  • Highly complex app $70,000 – $100,000

So, as per a rough estimate, we can consider an hourly rate of $40 for app development.

Many freelancers, experienced companies, and multinationals claim to provide the best app. Some entrepreneurs relate high prices with high quality, while others consider young companies as inexperienced.

Therefore, it is imperative to understand how geographical features affect the hourly cost of developing an app. Let us see:

  • North America $150
  • The UK $71
  • Australia $92
  • South America $43
  • Eastern Europe $40
  • India $25

It seems that North America is the most expensive, and Indian companies work at the cheapest rates. If the rates are out of your budget, you can also consider developing your own app using online app creators, such as Appsgeyser.

However, you should analyze the factors that affect app development and weigh the pros and cons before you make this decision. Some apps are easier to create than others. For instance, consumer apps are easier compared to gaming apps. Moreover, dynamic apps are more challenging than static apps, and so on.

Apart from the difficulty of the app development process, there is the concern for finesse and cost. If you create your own app, you will be doing it from existing templates, and therefore, customization and design options may be limited. However, sophisticated app development software lets you choose from a variety of templates that may be suitable for small businesses, such as a retail app for carpet cleaning London or a referral app for a micro-influencer.

On the other hand, if you want an app based on a completely unique layout, you will be better off hiring a developer. Similarly, while creating your own app can be cost-effective, it does not come for free. Your choice to outsource your app or develop it yourself depends on your considerations for the above-mentioned factors.

Moreover, complex apps usually have expensive features. Other features like fields, screens, buttons, etc., also determine the cost. Apart from it, it’s important to know about features that involve more complexities. It means such complex features will involve more time and effort. As a result, the cost will be higher.

2. Basic Feature Cost

Basic Feature Cost

Let me share the per hour cost of some basic features:

  • Login ( email, social media account, logout, forget password option) $1120 -$1680
  • Uploading files ( photos, videos, video playback, photo view) $800 – $1200
  • Profile (info, region, profile pic) $920 – $1160
  • Editing ( profile, password, email, account info) $$1880- $2480
  • Messaging ( conversation, status, media files) $6400- $6800
  • Notifications $920-$1280
  • Admin management for users (number of users, blocking users, creating users) $2630 – $3500
  • Admin management for payment $900 – $760

Now, let us see look into the details of some important aspects:

·  User Involvement

It’s essential to consider user engagement at all the stages of app development. Some features related to user involvement can either be simple or complex—for instance, user authorization. Therefore, adding features like direct login via social accounts, storing the password, and password recovery option adds to the cost.

However, you need to analyze the nature of your app. If it is a consumer app, features like push notifications, emails, and sharing are mandatory. Modern apps have become more competitive. Therefore, integration with social media has become essential. This makes it mandatory to add features such as a comment section, direct payment, and live-chat.

·  Payment and Location-Based Features

Every other app offers some basic payment features like a credit card, Wallet, PayPal, etc. However, new apps also feature the latest technology, including geofencing and iBeacon. Whether you add all of them or just one, every other addition will increase the cost.

·  Mobile Device Features

Developers use platform-specific APIs for connecting the app with mobile devices. Since new features are coming up with each passing day, the need for new APIs can be seen. This increases the overall development time. As a result, the total cost also increases.

3. Complex Feature Cost

Feature Cost

Let me now shed light on some of the complex features:

  • Map (user location, searching, setting up pick up point) $3000 – $4400
  • Streaming ( starting, viewing, ending, and editing broadcast) $3500 – $5600
  • Payments (transaction listing, viewing balance, adding card) $2500 – $3000
  • Calls (video and audio calls, contact list) $10,000 – $14,500

During the development process, you may encounter some sudden changes. Therefore, it is ideal for estimating the budget with an additional expense.

4. Hiring a Development Team

You may hire professionals for app development offline or online. Many freelancers provide commendable online services. Up work, Freelancer, and other websites have tons of app developing freelancers. B

Additionally, you can also get in touch with companies. Let us see which experts you will be needing:

  • Project Manager
  • Senior, Junior, and Mid-Level Developer
  • Business Analyst
  • Architect
  • Senior, Junior, and Mid-Level QA
  • Graphic Designer

No matter where you hire the experts, always keep the cost in mind. Professionals from the US will be the most expensive. However, Asian experts will charge a relatively affordable rate. You can use an app cost calculator to estimate the expenses of developing an app for your company.

5. Maintenance Cost

Experts’ advice to add 20-25% of the app cost in a yearly maintenance cost. It involves the maintenance of new features, bug fixing, and adjusting as per the OS version. However, the complexity of each feature also determines the overall maintenance cost. Even if you do not have any plan to add new features, you cannot get rid of this cost. This is the reason why app development is considered a continuous process. Companies that provide this service charge a yearly maintenance cost.

Mobile app performance costs are also worth mentioning here. Along with testing the technical performance of an app, businesses also need to analyze its marketing performance. Is the app delivering the marketing goals and KPIs established by the company?

For this purpose, companies may need to purchase digital marketing analytics tools, such as Google Analytics,, etc. Although some of these tools are free, others are subscription-based and may cost you a little. Therefore, this cost must be added to the total cost of development as well.

Takeaway – Apps Cost $2000 – $25,000, Which One Do You Want?

In short, the cost of developing an app varies according to the variable features involved in app development, including geographical location, features, time, and complexity. For competing best with your rivals, you need to add complex features along with the basic ones.

Additionally, the location of your development team plays a key role. Expect a lower cost from Asian experts, but increase your budget if you hire US professionals. Lastly, never forget the yearly maintenance cost. Depending upon the features, you need to pay a maintenance cost, which is likely to increase every year.

Whether you are outsourcing your app project or developing it yourself, do not forget to plan the estimated budget. Do in-depth research and take estimates from various experts.

Author Bio:
Shoaib provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing. He occasionally writes articles for carpet cleaning.