The world today, the fast-paced, technology-driven, smartphone savvy world, it is expanding every second. Even as we speak right now. It expands by leaps and bounds. Mobile app development, as a result, is becoming more and more competitive with each passing day. As a rising organization, you need to stay ahead of your competition, which is why you need the best approach towards your app based startup.

by James Grills

Creating a successful mobile app needs not just a systematic approach but also financial management. With a little bit of caution and a meticulous approach, your app based startup cost can lower down.

Factors affecting application development costs

Mobile apps for startups are a crucial element and they come in a variety of sizes and types. Added with the functionalities and the UX they provide, their costs can waver up and down. There are a lot of intricacies determining the actual cost of a mobile app.

The following are some of the most significant factors that affect application development costs:

  • Your business model
  • The audiences and platforms you serve
  • The functionality your app offers
  • The UX and design
  • The development team

Of course, the costs are not restricted to just these factors, they are also dependent on certain hidden costs, but we will talk about them later.

  • Your business model

You, of course, want to get started with your application ASAP, but you should step back and think about the implications of hurrying. Once you have a definite idea about what you are trying to do and what steps are you supposed to take to achieve the same, only then should you be proceeding with your application development.

The business model here plays a major role in the same. Having a platform business model here is what you should be focussing on, similar to the lines of Airbnb, Snapchat, Uber, YouTube, etc.

Once you are done with this, you should now be focussing on detailing your application functionalities and how is it going to be interacting with your consumers in the end. Having a detailed idea about this is always going to be beneficial for you. If Uber would not have thought about this, it would not be a successful global cab service today. Uber thought it through and managed to connect all the riders to prospective drivers almost seamlessly. Focussing on the initials, therefore, is your best bet.

You can always go ahead and add more features in the later stages but having a basic efficient idea about your application is what is going to help you lower your mobile app development costs down.

Therefore, to sum this point up: Focus on the areas that form the basic premise of your application. Focus on the resources that are going to develop that basic premise from a mere idea to a real thing.

  • Audiences and platform

Creation of a successful mobile app also depends on the kind of audience and the kind of platform you are serving. Both of these combined do happen to add up to your app development costs.

Having a clear vision about your target audiences if going to define not jut the success ratio of your mobile app, but also its actual development cost. Before you go into the development procedure, sample a group out and look for people who would actually be interesting in buying your app, or anything in it. Creating a group of people to test your app on or just the basic idea is going to leave you with a brief idea about the people who fit your vision. If the vision looks great and successful, you should, of course, go ahead with the actual development process.

The same goes for the platform.

The platform you serve must also be kept in mind before you go ahead and determine the costs. This also entails hardware, battery, peripherals, network connectivity, device support, overall device performance, etc.

The concern about the platform further gets divided into two segments: Native and Hybrid.

While native applications are developed for a particular device, for example, an application specifically coded in the Swift language and caters only to iOS devices, Hybrid applications are cross-platform applications. Hybrid applications, thus, in turn, are less expensive as they can be built for multiple devices and platforms in one go.  

A brief summary of the point: Audiences and the kind of platform you choose play a heavy role in your app development costs. If the platform you choose does not support the application or the audiences you choose are not willing to invest in your app, your application is doomed, to begin with.

  • Application features and functionality

The kind of features and functionality your application offers to its users is another significant factor that determines app development costs. A simple application can be improved and bettered for the ultimate users by adding additional features and functions. However, this definitely leads to a rise in costs.

Most mobile apps that are willing to offer more functionalities, as a result of its coding process, tend to be highly placed in development cost graphs. Gaming apps are a great example the same. Gaming applications that provide users with multiple levels and simulations are higher on the price charts. The same goes for applications that have multiple sharing interfaces. 

The functionality of an app, however, is not restricted to the above-mentioned facts. It goes beyond them in certain cases. This includes: the capacity to have in-app purchases, integrating social media, launch costs, server backups, introducing new technology, user customizations, etc.

To sum it up: the number of functions and features your applications hosts, the more is its cost going to be in the end!

  • Design and UX

If it does not appeal to the eyes, it is not going to appeal at all! This is very true in cases. Designing a great app takes a lot of innovation, creativity, enthusiasm, and energy. A breathtaking design is what people need when they are looking forward to using an application. Visually pleasing applications, though a budget breaker is what everyone favors. Ultimately, a well-designed application is what users are most likely to use and refrain from keeping their smartphones away!

For a great design, an application requires the following basics:

An app icon, a good screen ratio, interface elements and buttons, and other engaging user features.

However, it is not just the design alone that takes away your app development budget. Added to the design the UX also plays a key role in the same. Both emerge out as clear winners when budgeting for an application.

Of course, a $0.99 app is not going to be anything like a $100 app!

UX forms a structural pillar of your application. How the users are interacting with your app is what determines its viability in the market.

Given the price range and your budget constraints, you can achieve brilliance with teamwork and passion. Compelling designs can work in your application’s favor at any cost. All it takes is the people who are looking to throw in their expertise.

To brief the point up: Having a competitive design works wonders for your application. Added to it its UX, your application can stand out; provided you shell out a few extra bucks for each step here.

  • Development team

The people who are ultimately developing your mobile app determine the cost of your application development process as well. For a startup, you would, of course, want to keep the cost as low as possible because of fundings and other issues. However, your costs can vary depending on the kind of work you are seeking.

The development team costs are as imperative as the cost of designing and functionality.

The one thing everyone should keep in mind before choosing an app development team is that cheap development teams might have proven good for some, might not be great every single time.

The process of hiring people who can develop your application adds up to your overhead costs as well, if you yourself cannot build the application.

There are three ways development teams are formed though.

  • There are offshore teams
  • There are freelance app developers, and
  • There are established app development companies.

All these routes include hiring people.

  • As far as offshore app development teams are concerned, they are working for you on a part-time basis, which is why they are cheap. You could hire anyone anywhere in the world, as remote as possible and you could get your work done. It is as simple as that.

However, this could result in the demeaning quality of work. You are not actually supervising the team at every step, which could lead to a conflict of interests.

Though million-dollar applications are not built this way, this sure is a great way for a startup or any workplace to outsource their app development process.

  • Freelancers, like an offshore app development team, are also great options for app development. They are cheap if they are not experts. Of course, expert freelance application developers will always come at a cost. However, anyone who is still trying to establish their name and image in the industry and is great at what they have done in the past might suit your budget as well. You never know!
  • A full-service mobile app development company, though expensive, is always a great option for anyone and everyone looking to expand into the market with a mobile app!

Certain mobile app development companies are innovative and experts at what they do, and apart from offering you with servicers rendering the application development process, might as well offer you services related to its designing, promotion and other app development and marketing prospects. Experienced teams are somewhat hard to find, but not impossible. A great app development company will have the resources to serve you with. They will have the potential to meet your desires. The costs sure are high as compared to the above two options, but the option is not really bad.

To sum it up: There are three major ways to meet application developers: either through offshore development teams, freelancers or full-fledged app development companies. It all depends on the kind of developer you are choosing and your meticulous eye to screen for the best. Trust your gut feeling and instincts.

Hidden costs

We will mention the hidden costs of your application development process in brief.

The factors that affect the ultimate budget of your app based startup are

  • The costs and time taken to test the application out.
  • The costs of protecting your intellectual property, including copyrights, trademarks and patents.
  • Marketing your mobile app
  • The cost that goes into launching the same
  • The cost of getting it listed on the desired app store or play store.
  • Administration and technical support costs, if any.
  • Data security costs
  • Application maintenance costs

The total cost

This brings us to the end; what exactly is going to be your cost?

The actual number and figures always vary. They depend on your needs and desires and your business model and the features you need. Depending on the kind of factors and the complexity of the factors mentioned above goes in the actual development process, the app development costs can be determined. Added to it the hidden costs, the costs no one really considers in the first estimates also end up adding up to your app.

Author Bio: James Grills is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of mobile application development and IoT technology. He is a marketing advisor – currently associated with Cumulations Technologies a mobile app development company in India.



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