How Much Does it Cost to Make an App?

Do you want to make your business more accessible on different platforms? Are you looking to develop a mobile game? Or do you have a new idea that would be perfect for mobile platforms? Then you might want to consider investing in making an app. But, how much does it cost to make an app?

When the idea of creating an app is brought up, the first thing many people think is, “how much does it cost to make an app?” This is a reasonable question. Creating an app is a serious investment with a lot of variables that determine the cost. Many people want to know how much does it costs to create an app because they want to see if they can afford to make the investment. In this article, we will tell you how much it costs to create an app and some of the variables that affect the cost of app development.

how much does it cost to create an app 

So What Variables Affect the Cost of an App?

App development cost can dramatically vary based on several variables. This is why the question, “how much does it cost to make an app?” cannot be answered with a simple estimate. The more features your app has, the more expensive it is likely to be. When budgeting for your app, you must decide which features are a necessity and which could be left out to save some money. 

Some of the variables that affect an app cost include:

  • The platforms your app is on 
  • When you want your app to be completed 
  • Localizing you app
  • E-commerce transactions 
  • Maintenance 
  • Developing for Android or iOS 
  • Additional add-on features 

How the Platform of Your App Determines the Cost 

When researching app development prices, it is important to keep the platform you are developing the app on in mind. There are two different types of platforms for apps, native and cross platform apps.

Native apps are apps that can be installed directly on the phone without the user having internet access. Cross platform apps can be installed on multiple mobile platforms. The advantage of creating a native app is that they are usually more reliable than cross platform apps. Additionally, they have access to information within the user’s phone, like contacts and the phone’s camera.

The downside to native apps is that they are usually more expensive than cross platform apps. The are two main advantages to creating a cross platform app. The first is that they are cheaper. The second is that they can be installed on both iOS and Android platforms. For this reason, cross platform apps often can reach a larger audience. However, they are at risk of having more issues than a native app.  

how much does it cost to make an app

How the Timeline for Your App Impacts its Cost

How quickly you want your app to be completed also affects the cost of your app. The sooner you need your app to be completed, the more it will cost you. Unless you need the app before an already scheduled product launch, it is probably not worth the additional cost to make the app quicker. After all, creating an app can be very expensive, so it is recommended that you have a realistic timeline otherwise you are risking inflating the costs. 

Additionally, by rushing the timeline to create the app quicker, you risk running into more bugs and defects. You can, of course, always put out patches and updates to fix any issues that were caused by a quick development time. The problem with this is that you only have one chance to make a first impression with users. The last thing you want to be known as is the company with an app that is unusable because it has too many bugs. Especially in the app industry, where there is so much competition, it is important that your app is as flawless as possible. 

How Localizing Affects Cost

Localizing your app also impacts its cost. As you may have guessed, localizing your app increases the cost of developing an app. It is important to decide which markets you want to focus on. The more markets you wish to reach, the more expensive your app becomes. It is not just simply translating your app to different languages either. Different regions have different requirements that apps must meet to be published there.

Additionally, you will have to provide customer support for each region you publish your app in. You have to factor in the language and time in which makes sense for that region to be awake. One way to save money is to start supporting the app for one region, and then as you start to regain your investment, expand to different regions. A lot of app companies use this strategy to save money. 

how much does it cost to develop an app

E-Commerce Transactions 

When researching how much does it cost to create an app, something important to keep in mind is if your app includes e-commerce transactions. Adding e-commerce transactions into your app can inflate the cost of your app. This is because to add e-commerce functionally there needs to be a SaaS system built in the app.

SaaS, or software as a service, needs to be included to complete e-commerce transactions because without it your app cannot natively process banking information. Additionally, a SaaS is required to make sure your users feel that the payments they are making are secure. Users have to feel that their banking information will be safe to make a purchase. If you feel that your app needs e-commerce functionality, it is important that you spend the money necessary to make it work. This is not a good area to cut corners to save money on development.  

Recurring Maintenance Costs

Unfortunately, app development costs do not stop occurring once your app is complete. Making sure that you set aside the necessary funds to keep up with the maintenance cost of your app is crucial. There are more costs involved than most people think when they wonder how much does it cost to make an app. There is no set maintenance cost, because every app is different and therefore needs different amounts of maintenance after launch.

A general rule is to set aside 15-20% of your initial budget aside for additional maintenance costs. This money could be used in case of malware attacks, bug fixes or additional improvements. Regardless of how your maintenance costs are used, you will be thankful you set aside the money beforehand when you incur unplanned maintenance costs. However, if your app is successful, it might make you revenue you can use for these maintenance costs. Even free apps can make money

app development cost

How Much to Build an App: ioS vs. Android

Developing on either iOS or Android devices can dramatically influence your app development costs. Obviously creating a cross-platform app that is available on both iOS and Android devices will be the most expensive. Assuming you cannot afford to create a cross platform app, which is cheaper, iOS or Android? iOS apps are cheaper to develop than Android apps.

However, it is crucial to not only think about how much does it cost to develop an app, but how to maximize your profits from an app. Even though it is cheaper to develop for iOS devices, you may want to consider developing for Android instead. Android has a higher market share compared to iOS, so it may be worth incurring the initial extra development costs.

This also depends on what type of app you are creating. If you know a majority of your audience is on one platform compared to another, it is probably beneficial to develop for that platform.

Additional Features That Increase Mobile App Development Costs

When researching how much it costs to build an app, it is important to note that additional features will increase your development cost. Features that can increase your development costs include user login, location integration, chat features, push notifications, and the ability to change between landscape and portrait view.

The reason these features will increase the cost of your app is because it will take the developers more time to implement these features. Making sure that you add only the features that you need can save you a lot of money in the long run.

For example, say you are developing a mobile game that revolves around the user waiting to complete tasks after a certain amount of time. It is probably worth the added costs to implement push notifications to incentivize users to frequently come back to your app. However, it may be smart to save money by not allowing the user to switch between landscape and horizontal view. 

The cost to build an app depends on several factors, including who you choose to develop your app. From paying an independent contractor an hourly rate or hiring experienced app developers, you have options. Check out who makes some of our favorite apps in the app stores or ask for advice on social networks.

Now you should have a better understanding of how much it costs to create an app. Get out there and start creating your dream app today! Financing your app is one of the most important steps to making your dream app real. There is no one easy answer to the question of how much does it cost to create an app. 

App Design and Development at SEO Design Chicago

Hopefully, this article has helped you learn how much to create an app and what variables can increase and decrease your development costs. This will help you stay within your budget. Identifying what features are needed at the launch of an app can be tricky. But they are worth identifying in the long run.

SEO Design Chicago is a software development company that can help you with expert app development means to help you with every app development stage. For help developing your own app, contact SEO Design Chicago today!

how much does an app cost to make


  • What affects the cost of making an app?
  • What are native apps?
  • Are iOS or Android apps cheaper to develop?
  • What are cross-platform apps?
  • How much should I save for additional app maintenance costs?

Contact Us Today!

Call Now