Denis Grankin Head of Sales Department

How much does it cost to make an app

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cost to develop an app

With increasingly growing mobile web browsing and smartphone usage growth globally, mobile apps started to play a significant role in today’s user’s experience offering unlimited opportunities for companies.

Statista states that consumers downloaded 205.4 billion mobile apps to their connected devices (smartphones, tablets) in 2018. It forecasts that about 258.2 billion apps will have been downloaded by 2022. That means digital solutions - mobile apps - are considered to be a powerful and robust tool for increasing traffic and fostering sales, which automatically leads to the company growth. When creating a mobile solution, companies always face some issues like:

  • cross-platform/native/hybrid app,
  • app functionality,
  • custom/standard UI elements.

All these issues should be taken into account at the very start to produce a user-friendly consumer-driven app to grow your business. Generally, apps are divided into simple, moderate, and complex in regards to different timelines and a diverse level of complexity. Let’s take a closer look at them:

  • Simple apps usually do not include 3rd-party solutions and backend architecture. They require some standard UI elements, basic features/functionality.
  • Medium complexity apps present excellent special UI elements, objects; minimum features/ third-party services are included; sometimes they require backend infrastructure that adds more complexity.
  • Complex apps usually come with advanced functionality and performance, unique features, special animations and UI elements, 3rd-party services integrations. There may be a complex backend architecture including relations with the database.

cost to build application

What exactly influences the app development cost?

We have highlighted the top 7 factors affecting an app development cost. Let’s delve into the details below:

1. App features & functionality

Below we have provided a list of potential features. Let’s have a closer look!

  • User registration. By entering an email and a password, users register their own accounts in the app.
  • Integration with social media. It simplifies the process of accessing an app, automatically creates a user profile and collects all public data about s user.
  • Notifications. These real-time updates and alerts keep users informed about any events or any activities related to an app or service.
  • Payment gateway integrations. It should be installed in order users can make purchases within an app online.
  • Multi-language support. It allows users from different countries to work in different languages.
  • Sync. It is essential when you are working on a wide number of devices, such as computers, smartphones, tablets or PDAs and data should be updated simultaneously.
  • Streaming. This feature allows displaying audio and video content over the internet in real time before the entire file has been transmitted.
  • Chat/Messaging. Instant messaging service allows users to chat individually or in groups.
  • Offline mode. It allows users to see chat history before losing the connection.

2. Number of specialists involved

A team of developers usually builds an app. Generally, there are two categories of teams - basic and advanced. A basic team usually consists of a UI/UX designer, project manager (PM), quality assurance engineer (QA), and two programmers. An advanced team involves in the process if an app requires more complex integrations like server infrastructure/API, admin dashboard, etc. It usually consists of a project manager (PM), business analyst (BA), 2 UI/UX designers, 2-4 software engineers per platform, quality assurance engineer (QA), 2 backend engineers. Let’s have a look at the table provided below:


3. Devices & operating systems

Developers usually employ a mix of approaches, build up concepts, utilize well-established technologies to deliver great mobile solutions. There are no essential price scissors to create Android/iOS-powered apps, however, to develop an Android-based app takes 10-20% more time than iOS one. That means you should mull over what app type to create - native/cross-platform/hybrid - at the very beginning. Also, you should remember if you choose more platforms, the more engineers (Android/iOS) you need to hire. With a limited budget, you can find and hire one team to develop a hybrid app that does not raise the price. We want to mention that it is a good practice to develop an iOS-based app first and then to convert it to Android.

4. Design

To design an app is as crucial as to develop. Perfect design solutions make users sign up, use and share your app with others. Designing an app with excellent UI solutions which include complex visual effects, animations takes considerable time and is more expensive than creating standard UI elements. Our designers' team has a vast experience in delivering the design of diverse level of complexity. Based on your budget, we can deliver a solution suitable to your business needs.

5. Data security

Secured data is a vital part of the entire app development process. All security concerns should be settled down before the app goes live. User data, passwords and other information linked with the app should be protected. This part is affordable and takes considerable time, but very essential to deliver an excellent and smooth user experience. In order not to fail, you should think twice to install a robust security strategy at the very start to protect users from malware attacks, security breaches, viral infections or system attacks.

6. Technical issues

There is a wide number of solutions to be implemented in your app. Below you can reveal what exactly adds more complexity during app development.

    • Backend integration

Typically, the backend implements all functional business rules and logic, accesses the information/data that users require through the app. It combines and transforms it, and finally returns information in a new form. Shortly, the backend facilitates data exchange.

    • 3rd-party solutions

3rd-party services offer a deep pool of resources to be integrated or implemented into your app. That helps business owners to focus on more valuable things and developers to reduce the development duration. One example is the payment gateway that can be easily integrated with Stripe/Braintree services. The second example is instant chats/ instant messaging implementation that can be leveraged by Pubnub/Actor/Socket/Layer. Social network APIs like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ can be utilized to add social media integration.

    • Monetization

It is a key part of your app success. It should be figured out in the beginning. The quicker you can begin turning a revenue with your app, the more likely it profits. Monetization model may include a great number of tasks to be put into practice. They often present some challenges in a technical sense.

    • Phone sensors usage

Nowadays, mobile phones are equipped with several sensors (global positioning system, fingerprint and light sensors, barometers, accelerometers, bluetooth). If you want this hardware to interact with your app, it may extend the duration and raise the price as well.

    • Admin dashboard

Being a powerful and convenient tool admin dashboard boosts your mobile app. It helps to keep an eye on your users, their behavior and their messages; allows managing what users post, how they interact with each other, view analytics, etc.

7. Post-production maintenance

Once your mobile apps are deployed, you should think through a maintenance plan that is connected to your digital strategy. You should mull over what new features or functionalities you would like to be introduced later. Server support, hosting, SMM, ASO, copywriting and analytics should be also taken into account to drive your app growth and stay ahead of the digital curve.

The process of mobile app development in our company

We, at DDI Development, provide full-cycle development services aligned with your business needs. Hence, the process of developing mobile apps breaks into the following stages and time share:

  • planning 10%
  • design 15%
  • development 53%
  • testing 12%
  • deployment 7%
  • maintenance 3%

At the planning stage, our team communicates with clients to clarify their expectations, discuss the basic features and functions, specify the client’s budget, etc.

At the design stage, we provide the visual app concept, create visual elements (simple or specific), animations and try to deliver the application features corresponding to the client’s expectations.

During the development stage, our team creates app architecture, implements a wide range of features and functionality, integrates APIs, third-party solutions, etc.

At the testing stage, we explore app functionality to ensure that it operates correctly and meets the requirements.

During the deployment stage, we get the application into production so that users could install the app and try it.

At the maintenance phase, we make some changes according to the client's needs, add features/ functionality or prevent potential security issues.

Our approach to project estimation

Estimatimating is a time-consuming and critical process of calculating how much a project might cost and in defining the project’s parameters. Below you can discover what steps we follow to estimate project properly:

  • Rough estimate
  • Client’s review and approval
  • Detailed estimate

At the time of the rough estimate, we didn't have all the details for client’s project. We try to understand client’s brief and the app idea. Based on that information we send the rough estimate to our client via e-mail or via a private URL with some basic features and hours required to develop them. A client can accept or decline the estimate. Once the client approves a rough estimate, we start to work on a detailed estimate to identify and calculate features that will be built within a range of iterations with hours allocated to implement them.

How much does it cost to build an app

The cost of the mobile app development depends a lot on the company’s location. Here you can find out an average app development hourly rate in different parts of the world according to Statista report:

  • North America: $60-$250;
  • Western Europe: $40 -$120;
  • United Kingdom: $60- $150;
  • Eastern Europe: $20-$100;

Rough estimate: our example

Below you can see a rough estimation based on UI/UX elements, backend infrastructure, admin panel, third-party integrations, but this list of features does not cover everything that can be offered to serve app users.

rough estimation

As you see above, the mobile app development hourly rates range worldwide. That's why we have presented our rough estimate based on minimal and maximum hourly rates accordingly: $20 and $250 for frontend and backend, $25-$150 for design.

  • Frontend (iOS): $7 000 -  $87 500
  • Frontend (Android): $5 600 - $70 000
  • Backend: $3 560 - $44 500
  • Design: $2 875 - $17 250

Bottom line

New technologies and innovative mobile solutions are emerging every day, and hence businesses should always be well apprised about current trends and events in the mobile technology industry. Currently, mobile apps have become a crucial component of our daily lives. They have changed the way people are making payments, shopping and communicating.

DDI Development company has a vast experience in building mobile digital solutions. We offer a wide spectrum of services and can create robust apps for any business verticals. Our talented developers can turn your idea into a successful and efficient mobile app that will boost revenue and flourish your business. Let us know, and we can discuss all the details to make your dream come true.

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