Science, Uncategorized

The Cost of Making an App





The mobile applications market has been flourishing. A lot of people are interested in applications for communication, games , business , food , sports , lifestyle and pretty much everything else.  The best part is that applications are not as expensive as many people would like to imagine. The majority of the resources that enables creation of an application are freely available.

Let’s first look at the cost of application development and the main considerations

The platform, complexity and talent involved matters a lot. The primary factors that usually influence development costs include:

  • Business
  • Functionality
  • Platform
  • Design
  • Development




The need to build app will be anchored on the business plan and the business model that will bring in revenue. These are what will determine the cost that will be required to build an app.

Some other important aspects include how the app will be monetized, whether money will be earned via in – app purchases, whether the experience the client is looking for will be based on access to information or a unique experience, whether the app will be used for advertising products or third part ads will be the monetization method.

It will be much easier to come up with an application that is sold at a fixed, upfront price. In – app purchases may take much longer to implement and may be more costly in the long run.


The only way to know whether you are building an application that will actually make money is price point of the app and the monetization strategy.  It is very important to do research on market needs , pricing and revenue model. An app could be free or a paid app.

When setting the right price for an app you can factor in development cost , the marketing positions and the market’s willingness to pay. Price points could be anything between a dollar and twenty dollars.



Pricing of the app will be pegged on :

  1. Identifying the demographics and psychographics of the ideal user


The first step is finding a niche and coming up with a persona of a buyer. This will be very important in determining the positioning and ultimately the ideal price point. It will be crucial to take note of demographics  such as occupation , age , gender  et al.

  1. Conducting a competitive analysis

Competitors normally familiarize themselves with ideal price points for similar apps.

  1. Identification of prospective buyers

Once you have come up with your buyer personas you , find people who can fit the criteria. You survey them and get to find out if they are willing to pay for the app and at what cost.

  1. Finding the middle ground between what the customers say they are willing to pay and what is profitable.

Customer feedback is very important , but the business profit margins are equally important. One must not neglect that aspect while setting the price.

In the case of free apps , there are a few key issues to consider such as the drive – in app purchase , generation of income from advertising and affiliate marketing , expansion value of an existing product  , building of brand equity  and creation of a user base that one can sell to.





As soon as you have identified what the app needs to do , the next phase is determination of who it needs to reach now that you know exactly how it will be monetinzed. You can build an app that can be accessed on many devices such as Ios , Android , Windows , the Web or all of them combined.

The platform you pick will determine the price of the app development. Sometimes you will need to create an app that can run on all platforms. If you build your app with BuildFire , the app will support both Ios and Android while being maintained by a very simple dashboard.

Generally Android Apps are less expenseive than iOS Apps. Apple has stricter guidelines when it comes to entry barrier which would translate to higher app security and quality which makes the cost of development and maintenance higher.

A platform decision is made mainly based on the target market. The costs for both is much closer than they used to be since Android takes longer to develop which translate to relatively higher costs.

Launching an application to both platform without using a development platform like BuildFire , you’re likely  to pay double the amount it would have cost you  on a single platform.



After picking the platform, the next step is to get into building the app. The type of app you want to develop and the technical specifications will be the biggest factor in the costing. Apps can be table /list , database , dynamic and games. Additional features are also an important part of app development.

Additional features include log in credentials , personal profiles , in – app purchases  , payment integration  , customization , search function , connectivity , geolocation , push notifications , chat / messaging , rating/ review system among others. These additional functionalities take up many hours of development that have to be factored in while costing. Their maintenance costs also have to be factored.



Design is very important in app development. There are several elements to design such as graphic/ visual design, user interface and user experience design.

A customer will want an app that can attract their attention. A visually appealing application is very important. This catchy design comes at  a cost. If you want a good design you will need to fork out some good cash for the design to create a great icon , a splash screen  interface elements like tabs and buttons.

User experience ( UX ) is equally essential. This specifically refers to the way the features layout and how users interact with the app. The UX design success will change user experience and this will definitely feature in  app development costs.




The person you hire to design the app is a very important aspect of app development. The developer could be a freelancer , a small agency or a large agency.

The degree of quality assurance , consistency , timely delivery will affect the cost set by either of these developers.

Your pick will manifest on the kind of application. Large agencies tend to charge higher since they are dealing with complex apps , have highly  qualified teams and have better experience. Smaller agencies step in when it comes to providing a middle ground that is attractive to clients with moderate budgets.

Ultimately ,get a developer with a documented and proven track record , one who is well – versed in your niche and your type of application , one who can operate within your budget and timeline , oen who is detail oriented  , one who has worked on a project of similar magnitude before.


Hidden app development costs


There are app development costs that have to be factored in such as planning, infrastructure, testing and deployment.

Protection of intellectual property will also be factored in. This will be a legal cost. The marketing and launching of the app will be an inevitable and obviously a very huge expense. Organic methods such as referrals , mouth marketing  and third party review sites will come in handy.

Other unmitigated expenses include facilitation of app updates , management of user profiles , collection of data  and  monitoring of user behavior.

Maintenance costs will account for about 30 % of the total development costs.

Building an app can be incredibly expensive or cost effective depending on which factor motivate the app you need.

Originally published on Premar Tech










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