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How Much Does it Cost to Build an App? 8 Things to Consider

How Much Does it Cost to Build an App? 8 Things to Consider

Lateral | 25/08/2015
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How Much Does it Cost to Build an App? 8 Things to Consider

As an app development specialist, one of the most common questions that we get is, ‘how much does an app cost to build?’ This is a difficult question to answer, because no two apps are the same. With so many elements to consider, an exact figure can’t be defined until we have more information about the scope of the app.

We have put together a list of some of the important things to consider and questions to ask yourself when identifying what you require from your app in order to give you a better estimate of price.


1. What platforms will your App run on?

The more platforms/devices (i.e. Android, Windows, web etc.) you need your app to run on, the more it can cost. The reason why the price increases per device is that sometimes a completely new application needs to be developed for each device/platform.


2. How will the App be used?

Have an understanding of how the end user will use the app and how they will work with the app. For example, if the app is for internal use, users potentially could be trained to operate it, so this could save on the amount of design and testing required for user experience (UX). However, if the user is expected to download the app and know how to use it instantly and intuitively, the more design and UX testing time will be required. 


3. Who is the target audience?

Ensure that your app is designed with the features of the target audience in mind. If you’re looking to target professionals, these users will generally want more advanced features, which can increase the complexity and increase the cost. If you’re looking to target average app users, this type of user will need an app that is intuitive and guides them, also increasing the complexity and the number of screens required, which can also increase the overall cost.


4. How Secure does the app need to be?

How important is maintaining your app’s privacy of data and security? The more secure your app needs to be, the more expensive it is to develop, test and maintain to keep it secure. Keeping an app bulletproof from data leaks and hacks requires continuous testing and upgrades to patch security holes for each device and operating system the app is developed for. 


5. How complex will the app be?

Complexity is an obvious way to bloat the cost of the app. The more complex the app, the more expensive it’s going to be. But what is considered complex?  Below are some of the features and functionality that can make the app complex:

  • Non-standard navigations
  • How the app data is handled
  • How is data collected?
  • How is data retrieved?
  • How is data stored? 
  • How secure the app needs to be
  • How errors are handled in the app
  • How the app needs to connect
  • How intuitive the app needs to be


6. Ongoing Cost

Not many people realise that there are ongoing costs for an app once it has been launched. As operating systems and devices update/change, an app should be revised to ensure it still works desirably. There may also be other costs in order to maintain the uptime of the app and third party services. Having an ongoing maintenance budget is a must to ensure the longevity of the app.


7. The WOW Factor 

How important is it for your app to be memorable, intuitive, engaging and beyond expectations? Getting users hooked and motivated to use your app requires extensive iterations of design, user testing and programming to refine the app, thus costing more. If WOW factor is an absolute necessity, costs can be reduced by creating prototypes for each iteration, instead of the full blown app. 


8. Scope Changes 

Changing the scope of the project can make or break your app and budget. Making changes during development may improve the value of the app and user experience, but it can greatly increase the cost of redeveloping and redesigning, and can push out the launch date. All of these factors can quickly accumulate and blow your initial budget out of the water. The initial scope of the project should be well-thought out to prevent this from happening and ensure the methodology your software developer is using factors in an allowance for scope changes.



So what is the overall cost of developing an app?

This is a ‘how long is a piece of string?’ question. Every app differs, and the cost of each can vary vastly. To find out more, get in touch with us today, and we can help you to identify your requirements and provide you with the best cost-effective solution for your needs in the following areas;




At Lateral our team of business analysts and expert software developers are on hand to design, create, develop and implement prototypes to solve your needs. 



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