Skip links

How much does it cost to build an app?

It’s the question we get asked more than any other. 

Yes, we get asked what business needs are driving app development, and we are often asked what a company needs to do to make an app successful. But above all else, the six words we get most often are: How much does an app cost?

While there are some general ranges you can plan for (see below), the short answer is that it depends on the features you need and the complexity of the app.

In this article we’ll cover the primary considerations that drive cost for custom app development. If you’re looking for specific pricing for an app for your company, contact us and we can provide a quote specific to your business.

Variable cost elements

Considering the many functionalities and features that determine the ultimate price of an app, it’s important to discuss variable details with a developer. Variables include: timeline, payment expectations, server and operational needs, as well as any potential extra charges that might arise.

Your developer should also work with you to determine how future costs can be reduced based on your specific needs, he says. 

There are cases where server costs can be mitigated by making sure an app doesn’t pull on the server all the time. Implementing something like Amazon Web Services (AWS) can also lower operating costs. Or in the case where a business needs to move a lot of data, data transfer can be optimized to lower cost.

Of course the price of labour is also a factor to consider. Many firms outsource much of the actual development work done on apps. In 2019, the global outsourcing market was worth $92.5 billion, according to Statista, and cost reduction is the primary reason why companies farm out labour, says a Deloitte survey

Vog does not outsource any of its labour because quality control is easier to manage in-house and many clients prefer to engage directly with the people who are working on their app.

If you’ve been quoted what seems to be a too-good-to-be-true price for an app, you should ask your developer where it’s being built and how quality control, security, and client service will work once the process starts. 

A tactic among some lower-quality app developers is to quote low to win business, and then skip over details, QA, and security requirements in the process. Vog has been brought in to multiple projects in order to fix code written by other developers when projects were outsourced or critical components were skipped. It’s ultimately cheaper to do it right the first time.

And if you’ve been quoted $20,000 or $30,000 for what you think should be a comprehensive app, the developer you’ve found is likely offshoring or cutting corners. 

If you’re looking for specific pricing for an app for your company, contact us and we can provide a quote specific to your business.

Payment and financing options 

Other common cost-related questions include payment timelines and financing options. Each developer is going to have her or his own payment guidelines. At Vog, we are flexible with clients so we might bill them in sprints, or if a client pays 30 percent upfront, they can then pay off the balance in monthly payments.

Financing is also an option through a partnered financial institution. The nice thing about going with financing is that your term can be over the course of up to 72 months, so you can finance your software for the long term.

This can be particularly helpful if a client is engaging the developer for a support contract, after their app has been built and launched. Support or maintenance fees typically range from $1,000 to $10,000 a month, primarily just based on hours required and if a team is going to be dedicated to your account.

Annual maintenance or support contracts will typically cover:

  • Server hosting charges
  • Maintaining stability and performance
  • Bug fixes and app updates
  • Developing new features 
  • Infrastructure and 3rd party API charges

All the factors that determine the final cost of your application –– not to mention ongoing support fees ––  might seem overwhelming. But a savvy and efficient developer should walk you through the variables and options available early on in the development planning phase, and help you access the best value for your project.

If you’re looking for specific pricing for an app for your company, contact us and we can provide a quote specific to your business.

Cost ranges for application development

Some examples of specific factors that influence an app’s price tag include: 

  • Moving data to a cloud environment for access and use within an app.
  • The number of platforms the app will live on (web, iOS, Android).
  • How it will use hardware features built into your smartphone, including GPS, augmented reality, and motion coprocessors.
  • Social media platform integration.
  • The complexity of the visual objects included in the application.
  • The level of support or ongoing maintenance it will need.

In general, apps and price ranges will typically fall into three overarching ranges:

Simple app pricing

Producing a simple app that provides basic features and perhaps two to four core functionalities, will typically cost between $60,000 to $100,000.

Standard app pricing

If you start building integrations with other platform providers that necessitate using APIs from platforms like Stripe or Google, this compounds the cost. The average price for creation of this type of iOS or Android app — that potentially includes a web component as well — is typically between $150,000 and $200,000.

Advanced app pricing

If the complexity of the app is more advanced and requires a platform to engage a more expansive set of user groups that also require different or complicated interactions, for example, then it typically costs between $200,000 and $500,000.

If you’re looking for specific pricing for an app for your company, contact us and we can provide a quote specific to your business.