The cost of an app is a very interesting topic.
There are so many variables, so I am going to deep-dive into the topic of app-build costs.
Let’s start with quality. Just as it does anywhere else, quality determines the price of an app. I like to categorise app development into three levels:
Basic – Intermediate – Premium
I won’t settle for anything less than premium in my business. Why I say this will become clear shortly, although you could get away with intermediate. If you were looking at going for the basic level, then I would question this, and advise you very strongly that you need to aim higher. Basic will not cut the mustard in such a competitive market.
You must get both the design and the coding elements right: often people are duped into believing they have achieved premium quality because the visuals are outstanding. But the code behind the scenes is critical to success, and unless that’s also of a premium standard, then you will find yourself running into problems with your app.
A starting point for the app development without any additional features — the shell:
There are some basic features which your app will need, and these features will add to the cost, so by the very nature of the additional components, the basic app category goes out of the window. So, start your estimate from £5,000.
If you wish to create sessions for your users and ensure that the app has a memory, or if you wish to save details such as names or interests in a database, then you will need a quality login facility.
Base platform £1,250
+ Username & email login £450.00
+ Social login (per network) £450.00
We highly recommend that you have the option to log in with two social networks, e.g. with Facebook, Google, LinkedIn etc.
Running total £7,150
Now, where do you want your app to live?
Apple or Google?
Let’s make the obvious assumption you want both. You should be aware that Apple will accept nothing less than premium products in their stores, so this is where we have to abandon the notion of having a basic or intermediate app… and yes, that means you need to add 10k to your budget.
Running Total £17,150
Add your time investment to this too, and the costs are in excess of £20,000 to get a premium quality app into both Apple & Google Stores, and that’s assuming you don’t face any red tape when submitting your app.
So many people invest these sums in an app without realising that the technology moves at a rapid rate — apps constantly need upgrading to accommodate new releases of phones, software and devices. It’s not like a filing cabinet that you can stick in the corner and forget about. You must nurture it.
Phone manufacturers release a new model between one and three times a year, and they release software updates at least once a month. The technology will often need tweaking to ensure it provides an optimum customer experience.
The demand to keep up with the latest developments is high because competition is high. The number one reason an app will fail is because it was bought as a product and not a business. Competition is strong, and unless you move with it you will be left behind.
To help put this into perspective, remember these? They were not that long ago, right?
Do you want the burden of having to pay for app developers to upgrade your platform on a regular basis? The costs could run into thousands of pounds per year…and if you decided to ignore the maintenance needs, this is where you would end up, rendering your initial investment useless.
The costs of running an app mount up, remember this is the basic level pricing if you want something that is all singing all dancing then be prepared to invest heavily, I know many that have invested 6 & 7 figures in their APP technology.
There is a way around it!