How Much Should Creating an App Cost? Economic Vs. Expensive!

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“In today’s modern world, people are either asleep or connected.”

-Janice H. Reinold

The digital wave has sailed us all from fields to screens. As users, we have become so accustomed to using a smartphone that in our consciousness, we need to hold onto it like a bag of oxygen. 

Since the surge in demand is so much, there is a constant need to increase mobile applications’ production. Entrepreneurs worldwide are implementing fresh strategies to bring out something entirely different in the market. But what perplexes them the most while developing mobile applications for their companies is the cost of it! 

Although nothing in the app development industry is certain, the one factor that is the shakiest is cost. One mistake or an overestimate can end up increasing your expenditure drastically. 

Therefore, the choices you make while determining your project’s cost would require proper consideration. It is essential to fully understand what you are trying to accomplish to make sure you can define your project’s cost beforehand. 

You must remember, buying thousands of mathematics books will not make you a mathematician, similarly having theoretical knowledge of developing a mobile application will not help you properly develop an app within the desired budget. Therefore you will have to avail of mobile app development services from a reputed firm if you wish to fabricate a fully functional application. 

For you to make an informed decision, we will discuss the main factors that can invariably affect the cost of your application. They are: 

  • Resources that build your app
  • Process of application development
  • The features of your application 

Each of these aspects will impact the cost you incur while developing your project. 

Here is what you should know about app cost: 

Before defining app cost, let’s identify the types of application that you can build:

If your need is to build something just basic, you can, of course, develop it at a cheaper cost. 

Some of these applications may be pre-installed in your smartphones or devices like calculators, alarms, stopwatches, etc. these apps are straightforward to develop and don’t require a developer to perform complex coding to function. You may say these applications are the to-go projects for developers starting with their careers. 

However, if you increase the complexity, it is evident that your project’s cost will increase too. So if you need your application to perform complicated functions such as real-time transactions, GPS integration, syncing with the internet, or linking with third-party applications, you will have to invest more money into it. 

Not just that, complex apps would incur more cost because of several other factors such as: 

  • Security
  • Testing
  • Architecture
  • Designing cost
  • Backend development 

For example, if you design a gaming app or a social media app, you would have to put in more cost than creating a simple application like a calculator or stopwatch. 

Before you move ahead in development, make sure you have defined your app’s category clearly. 

There are several choices for you to make; they include: 

  • Navigation
  • Music
  • News
  • Books
  • Photo and Video
  • Lifestyle
  • Education
  • Travel
  • Kids
  • Health and fitness
  • Social media
  • Sports and many more

Once you have understood the genre you would like to step into, make sure to stick with your decision since deviating from your choice will pose a significant rise in your budget estimation. 

The application you expected to be “economic” would quickly turn into “expensive” once you deflect from your initial choice. 

Just a personal tip: Do not try to put everything into one application like a gaming app that also lets users socialize and make transactions too much to handle- not just for you but also for your users. And the cost in such cases would be off the roof. 

Once it’s done and dusted, move on to choosing the best “hands” to give your application into. 

Who can help build your app? 

Well, you will certainly have to hire a developer to build your application if you are unaware of the coding techniques. 

But the question is- what are your options? 

Let us make it easy for you! You can choose from three reliable options: 

Obviously, the choice you make here will also impact the total cost you put into your project. For example, it would be convenient to hire independent developers among the three if you aim to go easy on the pocket. They’ll not only do the job but will also know the right ways to make it work. 

Make sure not to confuse yourself between independent developers and freelancers; you can hire your resources from a company offering their programmers for hire. That’s the best option to opt for since freelancers work on multiple projects simultaneously. They do not give dedicated attention to just your project. Thus, although they are more affordable, the output generated is, in most cases, undesirable. 

However, if you choose to hire an entire development team, the cost will be more than the first scenario. You must realize that the final product, in this case, would be precisely how you expect since each process would be aligned with your goals and backed by a cluster of experienced, knowledgeable, and professional individuals. 

Since you will not just hire one individual but an entire team, your project’s total cost will rise for good. Apart from a cluster of skilled professionals, another benefit of hiring a company to develop your application would be the transparency in past projects and your mobile application development. 

You can closely analyze the company’s past projects, understand how they deliver these apps, and even talk to their previous clients for valuable feedback. This way, you can efficiently conclude your decision. It is convenient for small companies and freelancers to withhold a failed app’s information from their potential clients, but this becomes nearly impossible for an established company. 

Therefore, you need to analyze every relevant project of the company you hire and investigate clients associated with it. Making an informed choice in the start itself would save you from many unwanted troubles down the road. Although the surface cost of hiring a company would look more, it is always better than choosing an alternative that doesn’t even complete your project or delivers an unfurnished application at the end. 

Understand every cost factor of development: 

Okay, till now, we have only discussed the pricing tiers of different developers’ pricing, but that’s not the only factor affecting your app’s budget. 

Although your focus should be more on hiring the right help, you should also consider other factors that this particular resource may not be equipped with. 

For example, if you hire a JavaScript coder who knows nothing about app designing, you will have to recruit another resource specialized in designing. 

Or, down the line, you may have to hire quality assurance(QA) agents or project managers, depending on your project’s need. The project management team will encompass a lot of professionals, thus increasing your total cost. 

Also, several other factors can influence your application’s cost, such as server cost, startup fees, legal fees, etc. All these are important to consider when you wish to turn your project into a successful business. 

Do not make the common mistake of overlooking such costs. The last thing you would want to do is run out of money to continue your mobile app development. 

Developing an app with a tight budget: 

Say you have a great idea in mind but are running low on cash. In such cases, is backing down an option? NO! 

There are many ways you can start your project with a tight budget. Try developing a proof of concept app or a Minimum Viable Project (MVP) for a start. Since a fully functional application would require a hefty budget, a simpler app would be a good start for your business.

An add on to this is that an MVP would work as an income source for your budding business and help you secure funds from investors. Then you can continue with turning your idea into an innovation. 
Here’s how you can keep your cost low while developing a bang-on application:

Choices you have: 

While developing a mobile application, you will be exposed to two development choices- either you can create a hybrid application or opt for native app development. The choice you make will directly impact your budget. 

If you develop a native application as your project, you will have to either develop for one single platform- Android or iOS, or you will have to hire two separate coders for each platform. A native application requires a coder to code, particularly for one platform. For example, if you have to launch your application on Apple’s App Store, you can hire an iOS developer and code individually for that platform. However, if you later decide to take your app to Android, you will have to code the entire application again. 

Even though creating a native application is lengthy and costly, it is desired since it surpasses any other application in terms of UI/UX and performance. 

Whereas a hybrid application is a lot more convenient, time-saving, and affordable. These applications require a developer to code the entire app just once and launch it on any of the two popular operating systems (Android and iOS). Therefore, an app coded once will run in the exact same manner on all platforms. 

Instagram, Twitter, Gmail, and Uber are all examples of hybrid applications. Thus, one thing is clear; these applications are a sure shot competition to the traditional native apps.

So what you choose depends totally on your requirement and budget. 

However, a little market study will only provide a better insight into what’s trendy. Once you make sure to know what you are stepping into, the choice would be crystal clear in front of you. 


In the ever-going war of economic vs. expensive, an informed entrepreneur would know the right corners to cut. If you take some professional help from any company offering their mobile app development services, you will make a visionary decision. 

Don’t hop on to what you “think” will work; make sure some substantial market study backs the choice you make, and the resource you hire understands the requirements and niche of your project. Once you get that sorted, developing a mobile application will become a piece of cake for you!

Sakshi is a technical content writer at Hestabit. She understands the intricacies of writing, and her writing style is eloquent and compelling. She focuses on facilitating growth and cherish writing blogs that are informative and worthy. She understands the market scope and always targets the highest goal.