How to Scale down Your Mobile App Development Cost

When you want to build an app, the first thing that comes to your mind is – How much does it cost to build an app? How to reduce mobile app development cost? Even after digging into it for days, finding the answer to these question is difficult. Actually, it really is. The cost of building a mobile app with a development company can vary a lot and there are many factors on which it depends.

If you choose to work with an app development company to build an app, the process can seem to be excruciatingly long and tiring. You will have three basic questions in your mind: How does the whole development process work? How much time and money will I need to invest? Different ways to reduce the cost of app development!

Actually, each of these questions is related. You will need to have a basic idea of the app development process to know the amount of money and time it will take. In this blog, we will talk about the process of app development and its associated costs. And along with that, we will discuss tips for reducing mobile app development costs.

Let us take a look at the app development process. The app development process can be divided into 5 stages.

1.Discovery/Pre-Research Stage

Start with App Discovery Phase with Your App Development Team

App requirement discovery stage is a must for client and app developers. This stage clarifies all elements of an app development project, ensuring that the app development company and its clients are on the same page as far as the requirements and expectations for the app are concerned.

App discovery stage also helps an organization analyze whether their app is able to create value in the lives of their target users. Also, it provides them with the ability to measure the value of it. If the app is not going to create value for your customer’s life then it will be a good idea to re-think on the app requirements or the need to get it designed and developed. Hence this step can save you thousands of dollars!

At the end of the discovery stage, an app development firm provides a price quote for the project. Pricing falls into two different structures:

1. Fixed Bid
2. Time & Materials/Price Range

In fixed bid pricing, your project is well-defined and the scope of changes in the requirements is nil. This is ideal for projects of small size. But, if there is a scope of continuous change in the design and features of the app, more work will be needed to be done which will increase the cost substantially.

As per Clutch, nearly 70% of app development firms require a discovery stage and it costs less than $5000.

Minimum Project Size Requirements

A defined minimum project sizes will ensure the relationship between a client and an app developer is equally valuable for both. The typical minimum cost to build a meaningful app is around $5,000 – $10,000. It is important that this is discussed so that the app development company has a clear view as to how much it must invest in it.

average minimum app development

2.Design Stage

Design App first; Build later

After the discovery phase, it will be clear to the designers how the app will look. Now, they will start designing the app pages, icons, and other graphic designs. App navigation flow, Wireframe, and UX & UI design are followed are also designed alongside. While making these designs, the developer must keep interacting with the client so that none of their efforts go to waste.

Agile Methodology

By following the agile methodology, the app design company ensures that the app is delivered in the shortest possible time. This method not only saves time for both the parties but also reduces the app’s development cost.

For an average app that has 11 to 20 screens, the cost of designing the app falls within $5000. The more complex and customization you need, the higher will be the cost.

3.Development Stage

Start With Minimal Viable Product (MVP)

Focus on the very first and basic requirements which are high on your priority list. Make sure that these are met and are easy to work with. You can add other cool features once the basic requirement is accomplished. Note that your main goal should be to increase your ROI which will decrease if you try to add unnecessary features to your app.

The table given below shows the estimated cost of developing an app which includes the features like Push notifications, Rating and Reviews, Native Integration, Web Portal, and Performance Management.

The data shows that 70% of the app development companies agree that a $5000 app will include push notification feature in it. Another fact that is worth noticing is, around 30% companies say that adding web portal will cost more than $15,000.

Note that the above costs are just an estimate provided by the companies. Actual costs may vary greatly depending upon the complexity of the project.

Although the features provided in the app makes up a large portion of the total cost of app development, there are other reasons too which can make a huge impact on the actual cost of deployment of the app. The data below will give you a comparative insight into 12 factors and its impact on the total app budget.

core features and the level of impact on budget

Test your app idea – save cost – with a starter app on AndroidiOS, and Xamarin platforms.

Consider cross-platform app development

While developing an app, you will be asked to choose between Hybrid Apps and Native Apps. Native app development means having to develop one app for each of the mobile operating system (iOS, Android, and Windows). This will add to the cost since the whole code will need to be rewritten. On the other hand, a hybrid or cross-platform app works on both of the major mobile OS i.e. iOS and Android. Also, hybrid apps are easy to build as its development requires open-source software and are developed in languages like HTML and JavaScript only.

Native vs hybrid apps

4.Testing and Deployment Stage

Mobile app testing
App testing is the most critical part of the whole project. This is when you come to know how much your efforts have paid off. It is important to test every aspect of the app such as navigation, user-experience, and overall performance. This will also help you in resolving technical issues and bugs in the app. In-depth app testing will save your hard-earned money in long run.

Following are the major categories of app testing:

  • Compatibility testing
  • Interface testing
  • Functions and features testing
  • Low-level resource testing
  • Usability testing
  • Operational testing
  • Over-all Performance testing
  • Security testing

Related:- App Security threats and Solutions.
Every operating system needs updates. These updates might stop some of the app’s functions to work properly if they are not updated. Hence, the apps themselves need to be updated. Clients need to know this and set aside some expenses for maintenance of the apps too. As per, the average cost of maintenance of an app is usually around $5000 to $10,000.1

cost of app testing

5.App Marketing

There’s no point in investing so much in the app if it does not reach its target audience. It needs a good amount of visibility and downloads to give your intended result. Marketing your app is a vital part of the app development process and this is the reason we have added it to our list.

You deployed the App Marketing can get you actual customers to use it. Learn more. If you miss out this phase, all your efforts will go in vain. This phase should include the following app marketing techniques:

  • App store optimization: It is important that your app ranks high in the app marketplace (like Google Play or App Store). Users only download applications which are at the top of the app list.
  • SEO: Many people look for new apps by first doing a research on Google and reading blogs. SEO will not only help your blog in ranking high through link building but also through direct blog promotions.
  • Website: Make a separate website/landing page to educate your potential users through, videos, screenshot, and other information. Add badges to a store, QR codes and feedbacks too to this page.
  • Mailing list: Many apps build anticipation before it is launched and create a group of fans who are ready to participate in its beta testing.
  • Public relations and influencers: PR and influencer marketing is making a significant impact on the app downloads.

This type of marketing strategy is really popular on platforms like YouTube and Instagram.

Mobile App Building Platforms

Recently, new kinds of app building platforms have become available. One can make their own app without knowing a single line of coding. These app building platforms have templates, plug-ins, and backend systems to build and support your apps. Tutorials are provided in these builders and anyone can learn to build their own app from these tutorials. The good news is, many of these platforms are available at a very low price and some are even available for free!

The only downside is, you will have to choose designs which are available on the platform, will have to invest some time in the tutorials and then on app development. There are still many features which are not available on these platforms and you will need a developer to add those features.

If you want to create an app like UBER, you should understand that it takes an enormous amount of time and efforts to create it. Experienced design and developers invest their time and do a lot of research to optimize its performance. Updating the app when the OS upgrades can be another problem which will need you to go through another set of tutorials and invest your time again in the process. Also, it needs an immense amount of knowledge to know what kind of apps do well in the market and what features are absolute necessities. Thus, sometimes, hiring an app development company could be just the right thing to do. This will take off the entire headache from you and will save you a lot of time. And when it is a great business idea, time is indeed money!

Developing a high-quality mobile app requires much effort from the design and development team. It not only takes skilled manpower, but also licensed software, infrastructure, documentation, and regulatory compliances needed to deploy an app. Also, if you need some API integrations, the cost of APIs will increase your overall app costs, depending on which APIs are integrated.

The app development is a long process and you need to be careful from the start until the end to ensure the costs doesn’t go high unnecessarily.

About Author:
i-Verve is a successful enterprise mobile app development company with a proven communication strategy, global customer base, and expertise in developing MVP [minimum viable product] to high-end applications like UBER. Highly skilled team of app development professionals builds solutions for a range of industries from typical e-commerce or a media and entertainment to enterprise apps.