Making an App Is Not as Expensive as You Think

cost to build an app

So you’re making an app?

When it comes to making an app, there are two things that any app development company seeking your contract is concerned with:

  1. What’s the level of complexity your software revolves around? Most importantly, is it dynamic or static? Is it a simple open and close framework or is it complex?
  2. How deep are your pockets? Like many other fields, information technology and software are overpopulated. And like all overpopulated fields, their market isn’t stable with respect to pricing.

If you hire a software developer who has been looking for a job for the past two years, you’re likely to hire him or her at minimal cost. But in reality, you don’t do that. Your contractors do. The companies you hire to do your job go out and seek the most needy and most useful people to employ. And then they literally look at you, try to get as much information about you as they can on you, and try to tell how deep your pockets are.

How much does it cost to build an app?

So all in all, how much does it really cost to build an app? The first point goes to build the backbone of the pricing plan of your app contract in the following ways.

  • Is you app static or dynamic? A static app is one that doesn’t require a constant back-and-forth connection with the server. A dynamic app, on the other hand, needs to fetch crucial elements of operation from its server database repeatedly.

Is your app standalone or an element of a larger network? When you hire someone to make you an app, you’ll be asked these questions for a quotation on development fees and costs. Dynamic apps cost a lot more than static apps.

  • It’s not a features-buffet. Companies will charge you separately for every feature that you want added to your application. Features like sharing and in-app purchasing cost around $5,000 each. Email logins cost around $6,000. Geo-Fencing, which is very important for apps that make use of the location of the user to perform other operations, costs around $20,000.
  • Server and hosting fees. Moreover, you should clearly know if your app is going to be a single-platform app or a multi-platform app. Sticking to either iOS or Android might sound simple, but it has the obvious drawback of missing out a percentage of users.

how much does it cost to build an app

If you run a restaurant and you’re making a delivery app for it, you don’t know if your customers use iPhone or Android smart phones. During the stage of development, adding more platforms is a pain that’s not manageable; if you decide to avoid this pain altogether today, you might end up losing business tomorrow.

  • Are you going to stick a particular device? Apps can be only for smart phones, only for tablets, or for both. What’s going to be your choice? Again, as a small business, your company doesn’t have the choice of leaning towards one instead of the other.
  • Keep in mind the cost of graphics. Are you building a small app that’s the entire business identity by itself? If you are, you should keep the brand and the app separate. It’s okay that you don’t have a brand, something other than your app. But even so, you should focus, right from the beginning, on creating a brand idea that’s more than just making an app. People need to connect to more than one application. Perhaps a company. Pay attention to your corporate logo and other things that reflect on the brand. Your brand graphics as well as app graphics might cost you between $1000 and $10,000.
  • The cost of architecture. Hiring an architect is a good thing if you’re building the house yourself. It’s the most important thing if someone else is building the house. If you don’t know the specifics of the design that the developer is going to employ, you’re very disconnected from the product in the making, the product that you’re going to own. A good designer can strip of you as much as $10,000. But design is something you can’t compromise.

The second point (companies will look at how deep your pockets are) is the tricky part. If you hire a company, they’re going to look all-reasonable and charge you for specific items that you add to your cart.

But the thing is, they’re going to come at an expense. What’s likely to happen is that you pay them thousands of dollars for making an app, and they outsource the entire development for ten times less the price that you pay. That’s why people look towards other development options, including off-shore companies and freelance developers.

These are excellent options to reduce the overall cost greatly. But they come with the added disadvantage of risk. There’s a great chance that the offshore company you hire is either a complete fraud or complete non-sense.

Freelancers are the same. Landing on one freelancer that you can trust with your demands repeatedly is pure luck. And most people who take this chance end up disappointed. Even if your freelancer isn’t incapable, things can get complicated because you don’t know Chinese or Hindi and his/her English isn’t very good. Communication barriers can be a serious problem. So it’s always better to rely on a company in your own country of stay. But, like established before, they charge a pile of money, right?

So what’s the solution?

making an app and app costs

The thing with hiring software companies is that they’re overcharging in a trend. Because it’s happening in a trend, no one seems to notice that they’re overcharging. Rather than going to the internet and hiring a company or a person to make your app, be sure to consider hiring a service.

Just like there are Content Management Systems for websites, there are options that allow making an app without expert knowledge. Take, for example, the Bizness Apps app maker. This service comes at a cost of only $59 a month. Couldn’t be any cheaper, right?

WYSIWYG app solutions are an up and coming trend that afford small business the app development and management they need to stay abreast the current technology trends at a fraction of the cost.  The most established companies have developed app solutions that offer simple development with a custom look.

Choosing to avail an option like this would not only reduce your overall costs, but it also has the added benefit of a steady rate of return; you don’t invest all your money at once, and you get consistent returns on your investment. In this way, you can not only avoid having to go through the pain of investing so much money all at once, but you can also analyze and update things about your application.

Also, consider the scenario where an app has a shelf-life, after which users lose interest in it. If a simple app has a shelf-life of one year, does it seem reasonable to spend $25k on building it when you can do it for $720 through Buzinessapps? Moreover, this comes with the added benefit of simplicity. Giving instructions to and collaborating with a programmer can be tough, but making your own business app in an extremely simple and easy environment can be fun.

App development companies like Savvyapps, Otreva, and Kinvey cost at least $25,000 for developing simple apps for small businesses. If you run a small restaurant that’s struggling to pay its bills, spending $25,000 on building a delivery app is going to be a serious mistake. But, what if, your restaurant badly needs a delivery app to increase sales? Does spending $25,000 seem a smart option then? Perhaps not.

If you can get an app for as low as $60 a month with design and features of your own choice, why spend a quarter of $100k for it? And even if your restaurant wasn’t struggling with standing on its feet, spending $25k still seems like a bad choice.

Related article: Avoid these app maker marketing mistakes.

For starters, do you know that your app will generate sales worth $25k? Nope. The really effective way to do this is to spend more on your marketing and less on your app. Perhaps building an app isn’t as expensive as you think and as you’re told on the internet, if you know just where to look. Before you move on with converting your app idea into a wonderful reality, it might be worthwhile to sit down and ask yourself “Do I very clearly understand what I want in this app?” If you go about making changes to the entire idea while your app is being developed, you’re going to end up spending a lot more than your projected costs.

Comments (1)

  • Fadella Mar 13, 2016 at 21:03 PM

    Very well said.

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