How Much Does It Cost to Make an App?

More and more businesses opt for app development services in order to boost customer loyalty, increase customer base, and, eventually, generate more income. However, what can be worse than having no application at all? To make an app of poor quality! A very quick way to frustrate your customers is by making them struggle through the bad performance of your app, lack of essential features, bugs that cannot be fixed ASAP, and other problems.

A good-quality app will help your business become visible for a much greater number of potential customers, increase their level of satisfaction, and, generally, boost your business growth. 

Obviously, the very first question that you should ask yourself is “How much does it cost to make an app?” You need to know this info to make sure that you can afford to pay for one. While there are rough estimates on the development services that you can see on the Internet, you will find out the exact cost to make an app after providing developers with detailed info on what you need so that they can estimate your expenses.

In this article, you will find plenty of helpful information on this topic, based on which you will get the approximate idea of how much you should be ready to pay to make an app.

Rough Estimates

Let’s see what research on this topic has been already done. GoodFirms, for instance, has conducted a survey, according to which creating an app will cost the following:

  • A basic app that comes with a few simple features — from about $25,000 to $60,000;
  • A medium complexity app that comes with a range of popular features — from about $36,000 to $85,000;
  • An advanced app with sophisticated features — from about $60,000.

Also, based on the data provided by Applico, Savvy Apps, Fueled, Reinvently, and others, we can conclude that the average price to make an app is around $100,000.

Let’s try to calculate possible expenses based on time spending and rates per hour. If an average price for such work is $50 per hour, then a simple app that takes about 400 hours to be developed will cost you $20,000. If it is a medium complexity app, then it will take from 500 to 800 hours, so its price tag will range between $25,000 and $40,000. Finally, the development of more advanced apps requires from 800 to 1,500 hours, which gives the price range of $40,000-$75,000.

In order to make the right decision on how you can save some money on app development, it is important to understand how the process is carried out and what is included in the price.

The Stages of App Development

Each app development regardless of its complexity, platform, features, and other factors go through several stages, including the following:

  • Planning. It is a very important stage, during which you or a hired specialist set certain requirements for the future app in terms of appearance and functionality. This is when you will find out how much it will cost to make an app by ordering services from a particular company based on its rates;
  • Design. This is when specialists work on UI/UX;
  • Development. During this stage, the application is actually built by software engineers proceeding from the work of the previous experts and project requirements;  
  • Testing. Once the developers complete their work, it should be tested. In case of finding any bugs, the work goes back to the development stage.
  • Deployment. It includes all other activities taken to make an app ready for use. 

Types of App Complexity

There are three types of complexity in app development, including the following:

  • Basic apps
  • Medium complexity apps
  • Advanced apps

Usually, basic apps require no API integration and no or minimum back-end work. It comes with standard components of user interface and a few simple features like an email subscription, log in using social media account, calendar, etc.

Medium complexity apps may include a range of custom user interface features, adaptation capabilities to be used on multiple devices, API integration, payment options, and back-end server.   

When it comes to advanced app development, it goes beyond the capabilities of the two previous versions. For instance, it may include multi-language support, integration of third-party services, top-notch animations, advanced back-end, professional design, and various real-time features.

What Do App Development Costs Depend On?

The price of app development services depends on a large variety of factors. Therefore, it is essential to give a development team full info on what you expect to obtain so that they could calculate expenses.

The main factors the price of such a service depends on are the following:

  • Platforms
  • Features
  • Design
  • Analytics
  • Application administration
  • Development team location
  • Team of specialists
  • App maintenance costs


One of the most important questions you will need to answer is what platform you are about to make an app for? There are two main options:

  • Android (the most used mobile OS in the world);
  • iOS.

When choosing the right platform, you should consider the following factors:

  • OS market share;
  • Which OS your target audience uses;
  • The simplicity of using official application stores for unloading and updating, as well as costs for that.

When it comes to creating native apps for a single platform, the difference in prices for development services is insignificant. You can see this from a table below:

RegionAndroid price per houriOS price per hour
Easter Europe$35$35
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If you need to target users of both Android and iOS-based devices, you have two options:

  • Develop two native apps
  • Build a hybrid app

Native applications have a range of benefits, such as:

  • Showing better performance;
  • Coming in any complexity and including a large variety of features;
  • Ensuring the best user experience;

A single major disadvantage is that you will have to pay for the development of two apps, which means twice greater expenses. Also, you will have to pay larger maintenance costs to ensure the smooth work of both applications. Native apps are usually developed for business, entertainment, and education purposes.

A hybrid app might be the right solution for you if you want to save some money and make an app compatible with several platforms. In this case, you will have the same team working on your project using a single code, which means that you will save money on the development and maintenance of your app. A hybrid version may be a good choice when it comes to low and medium complexity apps that do not need plenty of sophisticated features and the use of complex technical tools. Hybrid applications are not as good as native ones in terms of user experience, but they will still be of decent quality if built by professionals.


While an application should include certain features to be convenient for users, remember that each feature you add to your application will increase its costs. Therefore, you should think through what features are crucial and which can be omitted.

However, app features also differ depending on the complexity. If it is a simple calendar that you need to add to your app, there is nothing to worry about in terms of extra costs. But when it comes to integrating third-party services using API or writing codes, the price of your app will go up significantly.

Just to give you an approximate idea of how much some features cost, we have created a table with relevant information.

FeatureHow long it takes to develop, hoursApproximate cost based on $50 per hour rate
Login (email, social media account, password recovery option, log out)up to 42up to $2,100
File uploading (photo, video, etc.)up to 30up to $1,500
Profile (initial info, country, photo)up to 29up to $1,450
Profile editing options (edit info, change email/password, add/remove payment details)up to 62up to $3,100
Search with suggestionsup to 18up to $900
Messaging (online or offline status, conversation details, send a file, etc.)up to 170up to $8,500
Push notifications (users receive notifications)up to 32up to $1,600
Admin panel (see, edit, create, delete, or block users)up to 90up to $4,500
Payment management (browse payments, refund)up to 44up to $2,200
Creating and sending push notificationsup to 14up to $800
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The design of your app may not be breathtaking, but it surely should be pleasing to the eye and convenient to use. At least, it should not annoy your users with weird color combinations and poor navigation. Remember that your app design is the very first thing that your users see after opening it.

The cheapest way to go is to use items supplied by an OS and to build a user interface utilizing standard elements. It is also possible to create something unique if you have ambitious plans to get a decent share of the market. In this case, however, you should expect to pay much more.


You want to be provided with essential analytical tools, allowing you to monitor the behavior of your users and track the performance of your app. The price for analytics depends on the data you wish to obtain.

Application Administration

An admin panel is a tool that allows you to manage your app content, notifications, statistics, users, and more. It is possible to use existing templates, but it may be challenging to find a perfect one. Therefore, you may need to have one created from scratch to meet each requirement.

Development Team Location

The prices on app development services vary depending on the country.

You have two options here:

  • Find a local company
  • Opt for services provided by a foreign company

We have already given you the prices of native app development services based on the country above, from which you can clearly see the difference. It is obvious that the work of US specialists is the most expensive. Software engineers from Eastern Europe offer medium-priced conditions, and the cheapest app may be developed in Indonesia and similar regions. However, you are not looking for the lowest price, but for the best value for money. Before hiring an overseas team, consider all pros and cons.

Individual approach and all the possibilities for effective communication between customers and developers are essential for delivering expected results. Sometimes, customers know that they need to have an app to boost their business success, but they have no ideas on its design, features, technical stack to be used, and other important matters. The most effective communication is carried out during personal meetings.

At least, the specialists you are about to work with should perfectly speak your language to get a full understanding of your requirements and clearly convey their own ideas.

Also, when it comes to hiring people from abroad, you should take into account possible risks. What will you do if the work is of poor quality or you do not get anything at all? There is a range of reputable foreign developers you can trust, but you will need to make an effort to find them.

When making a decision, you should consider the complexity of your app. If you need to save as much money as possible and you need something simple that does not require lots of time, complex features, and sophisticated design, then hiring an inexpensive team based in a different country may make sense.

However, if you need something more complex and want to be sure that you will get exactly what you want within the agreed time frame, then opting for the services of local developers (at least within your country) would be the right option.

Team of Specialists

Depending on your app complexity, you may need to hire different specialists. At the same time, even the simplest app should be built by a team of different experts. So, if you believe that it is enough to hire one person, forget about that. While you can find smart people with knowledge of different technical aspects, you need that each development stage is supervised by a real professional specializing in it.

For the development of a basic app, you will need to hire a team consisting of the following specialists:

  • Project manager
  • User Interface and User Experience designer
  • Developers
  • Quality Assurance engineer

More complex app development may require more developers and designers. Also, you may need a system administrator, back-end developers, and a business analyst.

As you have already found out, the price depends on the region. In the table below, you will find how much specialists charge per hour, depending on their position and location.

price per hour
Eastern Europe
price per hour
price per hour
Business Analyst$110 - $205$40 - $63$30 - $42
Project Manager$133 - $233$45 - $70$35 - $48
Developer (depending on the level, from junior to lead)$105 - $187$25 - $70$18 - $42
Quality Assurance Engineer (depending on the level, from junior to senior)$77 - $169$25 - $63$15 - $36
Designer$79 - $163$35 - $56$25 - $36
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It is also important to remember that during the development process, additional costs may occur. While they should not make a significant difference to the initial estimates, plan your budget accordingly to have enough financial resources and some room for maneuver.

The descriptions of the responsibilities based on the position are provided below.

Business Analyst

The work of this specialist lies in identifying technical and business requirements for your project. In particular, this person is responsible for the following:

  • Determining project requirements;
  • Identifying technical and business problems;
  • Analyzing products of competitors;
  • Determining project value;
  • Creating project specification.

Basically, this specialist does his or her job during a planning phase. Carefully thought-through planning is a key to a hassle-free development process, low or no additional costs, and quick project completion.

Project Manager

This person coordinates the work of other specialists from the same team to make sure that the project is being done according to the plan and that it matches all the requirements. While this expert is essential to ensure that everything will be done in a smooth and efficient manner, hiring one will increase the costs of your app.


While you will share your smart ideas on color choice, layout, and features, a designer is the one who will put everything together to create a beautiful and user-friendly product.

The responsibilities of a designer are as follows:

  • Going through similar applications to analyze their advantages and disadvantages;
  • Analyzing the preferences of your users;
  • Creating wireframes;
  • Creating the final version of your app design.


Depending on the complexity of your application and the number of platforms you want it to work on, you will need a different number of developers. They build applications based on technical and business requirements.

Quality Assurance Engineer (Tester)

The responsibility of this specialist is to conduct a range of tests for the comprehensive check of the app. They make sure that the app matches initial requirements, ensure the absence of bugs, and determine any problems with performance.

App Maintenance Costs

Another important thing you should consider when estimating how much you will pay to make an app is maintenance costs. Maintenance services are crucial to ensure the high quality of your app on an ongoing basis. They may include fixing bugs, releasing updates, optimizing code, and doing other things to improve app performance and user experience.

Approximately, such services will cost you 15-20% of the total app development costs. This means that once you get your app, it is not the time to say “Bye, Bye!” to your development team. You will likely need their help again. In fact, this is another important matter to take into account when choosing between local and overseas companies.

How to Save Money on App Development?

Even a millionaire thinks of how it is possible to save money, and you surely do this as well when looking at your app development budget. If the price exceeds your limits, you can try to find ways to decrease the costs.

Things you can do in order to minimize your expenses include:

Adding Only Necessary Features

A range of features that you add to your app should be sufficient to keep your customers satisfied with its functionality. If there is something “good to add, but unnecessary,” do not ask your development team to include this feature. Remember that when you start getting profit thanks to the app, you will be able to implement changes and improve its functionality. 

Hiring an Experienced Team

While professionals with many years of experience may charge more for their work, they will help you save lots of money at the same time. Such experts know very well what is crucial and what is unnecessary, which tool to use and which way to go to save money. Also, hiring professionals means that you will get a high-quality bug-free product, which you will be able to start using for attracting more customers and generating greater income quicker.

Opting for a Hybrid App Development

We have written already about the pros of hybrid app development but just want to point your attention to this option one more time. While allowing reaching a greater number of users, it will be much cheaper than the development of separate applications for different platforms.

Why Should You Choose Us?

If you are looking for somebody to make an app for you, search no more! We aim at making high-quality development services affordable, so you can count on reasonable prices.

Based in Philadelphia, our company has built a diverse team of experts. While being capable of completing the most complex project, we work with businesses of all sizes. Our services are available for customers wherever they are.

We create apps for different platforms as well as cross-platform solutions that will please your users with their smooth performance and beautiful design. While we are looking forward to hearing your ideas on what you need, our specialists will give you helpful insights into which option is the best for you, what can be improved, how can you save money, and other useful recommendations.

High-quality app development is impossible without an individual approach. We know how it is important to closely cooperate with our customers and to get a full understanding of their needs, expectations, and budgets to offer the best possible solutions.

If you are looking for a team you can entrust with a task to build an app that will open new business opportunities for you, then just contact us. How much does it cost to make an app with the help of our company? We will provide you with detailed info on our pricing conditions right after getting initial information about your project.

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