More and more people are interested in creating apps, especially for the two main mobile platforms – iOS and Android. The demand for apps is driven by companies and startups’ need to find solutions that can address many areas of life, from entertainment and health to relationships and money. But how much does it cost to make an app in 2020?
Once a reserved market for large software development firms, the average cost of app development was considered to be prohibitive for most people. The traditional way of building an app requires teams of programmers, web developers, and designers. Therefore, it often results in hundreds of thousands, and even millions, of dollars for a single app.
However, the proliferation of various online tools and increased competition in the market has helped to reduce the overall cost to build an app gradually. With that said, the cost to build an app depends on several factors:
- The number of features
- The complexity of the design
- The length of time it will take
- The backend components
- The size of the development team
- The location of the team
- The intended platform (Android, iOS, or both)
As you can imagine, the price to build an app can vary drastically. The bottom line is that you will need some capital to build your app, unless you already have the necessary skills and access to all the resources required to develop, test, and launch an app. Most likely you don’t, so the question is really what features do you want and how much are you willing to pay to get the app you want?
It can be difficult to nail down an exact price as to how much it costs to make an app, but we have spent some time analyzing the app building market and created an overview of the different ways you can create an app. Each of these routes comes with a different cost, its own pros and cons, and depends on the type of app you want to create. We have also thrown in what it would cost to use Kodika in comparison, so read to the end to see the shocking results.
The cost to build an app with a mobile development agency or studio
This is the traditional way of building an app. The company or individual with the app idea would meet with the agency to discuss what type of app is needed. Assuming that the cost is agreed upon, a team would then be assembled based on what is needed to bring the app to life.
When hiring this option, the fee charged will be based on how much each worker will be paid, the cost of the initial consultancy, the agency’s overhead costs, app maintenance, marketing costs (if they will be handling that for you), and other miscellaneous costs. Depending on the level of features and complexity, a design agency can probably complete an app in 3 – 6 months. Considering that they tend to hire the best, each member of the development team can be paid an average of anywhere between $50 per hour, to over $250 per hour.
This also depends on where each team member is located (labor costs tend to be highest in North America and lowest in Asia). Based on those rates, a team of 6 at a design studio, working 40 hours per week to build an app in 6 months would require between $288,000 and $360,000 just to pay for labor. That amount does not include the cost for backend implementation, app administration or maintenance. Also, that amount would be for a simple app with very few functionalities and features. A more feature-rich app would likely require a bigger team, so you can easily see how quickly the cost of an app can balloon to over $500,000 and even surpass $1million. As a result, a mobile development agency is usually the most expensive route when building an app.
Of course, they tend to also be more reliable since a full scale development agency will usually have an in-house team of engineers, programmers, designers, etc. at their disposal, or have the wherewithal to outsource top talent. They will also be more likely to complete the app on time and within the agreed price, so that is a plus.
How much does it cost to develop an app with independent creative teams?
Over the years, many independent creative agencies have emerged as alternatives to global mobile development agencies. The cost to build an app with these teams is largely based on the same criteria as their bigger counterparts. The difference is that they tend to find ways to cut costs (reduced overheads, for instance), generally have smaller teams, and are more willing to outsource tasks to cheaper talent who can also get the job done. Hiring a developer in some Asian countries, for instance, will see a creative agency paying him or her around 10 – 12 times less than hiring one in USA or Canada. While it is not as easy to nail down an average rate for labor when it comes to small-time app developers, a general observation reveals that the comparative apps they create are usually around half the price of developing an app with a mobile design studio.
There are also small app development shops that can help you build a basic app. Here, the operation is pretty small, consisting of 2 – 3 persons, so the apps created with this option will likely be low on features. In addition, the time to develop an app can be higher than using a mobile development agency or a small creative team. With limited complexity and lowered labor costs, the generally accepted average cost to build an app with a small shop ranges from $50,000 to $100,000.
Individual freelancers (local or remote)
You can also hire individual freelancers to build separate components of your app and put them together. For example, you could have one person working on the U/X design, someone else on coding, another to do testing, and so on, so forth. With this option, you can probably work out your budget based on each freelancer’s hourly rate. On freelancing sites such as Fiverr and Upwork, for instance, you can find freelancers for as low as $5 per hour and up to over $100 per hour depending on experience. Cheap talent comes with its own problems but there are many talented freelancers on these platforms, so with the right amount of due diligence, you could find people who do great work for a fraction of the cost it would take working with a creative team or agency. Again, due to the variances in the cost of talent, deciphering how much it costs to make an app using freelancers is a bit tricky. However, it’s safe to say that you can build a basic app for under $50,000 by hiring freelancers.
No code builders
Thanks to technology growth, it is now possible to avoid hiring expensive development teams to build an app. Using Kodika, for instance, you can quickly develop iOS apps using simple drag and drop features. Kodika also comes with a range of design and testing tools, allowing you to fully create your app without the need to source talent, and it also allows you to maintain the app at a low cost once it is launched.
How much does it cost to make an app with Kodika? Well, the most basic version is free to use, with only a requirement to pay €79.99 to release your app to the App Store once complete. This is a very basic app, of course. For an app with more functionalities and features, a subscription costs €24.99 / month, which works out to €299.99 per year and free release to the App Store.
There is also a €29.99 / month plan ($359.99/year) if you prefer to pay as you go and this also comes with free release to the App Store. Whichever plan you choose, it is easy to see that using the no code app builder Kodika is by far the cheapest and easiest app development option.