29 June 2022
  • Industry Insight

How much does an app cost to build? (2022)

Let’s start by saying it’s entirely possible you DON’T need a mobile app just yet. 

Here are three reasons why.

If you feel pretty set on building a mobile app and want to get an idea of how much it could cost you, then you’re in the right place.

Every business is unique, and so are its app development needs. Some require basic features, while others require more robust features. The app development cost depends on the type and complexity of the app you need.

What is the average cost to develop a mobile app?

How much does it cost to build a mobile app?

The cost to develop a mobile app depends on many factors, such as the type of app you need, its features, who will develop it, and more. To give you a ballpark estimate, the starting cost to develop a simple app is £30,000, while a more complex app can cost £80,000 upwards.

Of course, these are just averages – your app’s development costs could be higher or lower than these estimates, depending on your specific needs.

Several factors can affect the cost of app development, including:

What type of app are you looking to build?

There are three main types of apps: native, web, and hybrid.

  • Native: Native app development is usually more expensive than web or hybrid development because it requires specialised skills and knowledge. It also takes longer to develop a native app, as the developer must build each app specifically for a certain operating system (iOS, Android, etc.).
  • Hybrid app development is a mix of native and web app development, so it usually falls in the middle in terms of cost.
  • Web: Web app development is typically less expensive than a mobile app, but it still works on a mobile device. It is used from the user’s browser, rather than downloaded from the app store. Read more about this here.

What does your app do?

There are various app projects, each with its unique set of requirements. Some common app project types include:

Community platform: Once your community outgrows the likes of Facebook or Twitter, you may need something bespoke to your own community, something to call home. These could include complex features such as live chat, live video and more. These include examples like; Fusion Conferences or Strava.  

Marketplace app: A marketplace app is an app that connects buyers and sellers, such as Etsy or Love It Stitch It. This type of app usually requires a robust backend and features like payment processing and user management. These platforms often use Stripe Connect to help distribute payments. 

Customer relationship management (CRM) app: A CRM app helps businesses manage their customer relationships, such as Salesforce or Zendesk. This project type usually requires data storage, analytics, and user management.

Content management system (CMS) app: A CMS app helps businesses manage their content, such as Statamic or WordPress. Project requirements for this app type vary depending on the business’s specific needs but may include features like data storage, user management, and content creation.

Learning management system (LMS) app: An LMS app helps businesses deliver educational content like Coursera or Udemy. This app type usually requires course creation, data storage, and user management.

The features your app needs

In short, the more features you require for your app, the higher the cost. Features such as push notifications, use of the camera and GPS all introduce another level of complexity. This is why we suggest that you start with a cupcake.

Simple apps with only a few basic features will cost less to develop, whereas more complex apps with multiple features will cost more. 

For example, an app that only needs to display information (such as a weather app) will cost less than an app that allows users to create accounts, make purchases, and so on.

If you’re looking to integrate your app with other platforms such as Facebook, Salesforce, Xero, Zapier and so on, this will increase the cost of your platform.

Be open to building in phases. It’s a great way to expand on your initial app once you have a stream of customers using your product.

What next?

If you’re looking to reach out to developers or an agency to find out in more detail how much your mobile app idea will cost, your next step is to write a brief.

An initial brief is an overview and list of features for your product – it outlines what the product is and what you would like it to do.

You can find our free template here!

Want us to price up your product idea?

Fill our the brief template above and send it to us at , we’d be happy to give you a ballpark figure or start work on the discovery phase of your project.

 

Pete Heslop

Managing Director at Steadfast Collective, Pete's key focus is on building a team of smart creatives who build community-focused web applications.

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