How Much Does It Cost To Develop An App in 2023
In 2022, approximately 6.6 billion people used smartphones worldwide. In 2027, that number is expected to reach 7.7 billion.
Are you thinking about developing an app for your business in 2023? If so, you have the potential to reach billions of potential customers!
Creating an app offers numerous benefits for your business, from increased customer loyalty and better brand awareness to more referrals and sales revenue. However, app development can also be expensive — especially if you’re interested in creating a high-performance app that provides a unique and streamlined user experience.
Before diving in and developing an app, you need to consider your budget and make sure you can afford to see your vision through.
How much does it cost to make an app in 2023? Find out everything you need to know below.
Factors That Affect App Development Costs
Before we get into the specific cost of building an app in 2023, let’s talk about some of the factors that influence the final price tag. The amount you spend can vary significantly based on several things, including the following:
The type of app you choose to create will influence the cost of the development process. Here are some of the most popular types of apps in 2023:
- Medical Apps: Healthcare providers often use these apps to assist with appointment scheduling, check-ins, reminders, etc.
- Health and Wellness Apps: People can use these apps to track workouts or to monitor health metrics like weight, calorie intake, and water consumption.
- Grocery Apps: These eCommerce apps simplify the grocery shopping process and often include extra features like coupons, delivery scheduling, etc.
- Education Apps: From language learning apps to apps that teach about the solar system, education apps are popular among users of all ages.
- Restaurant and Food Delivery Apps: People love having food delivered to their door, even in a post-pandemic world. They can also use these apps to order food ahead or make reservations.
- Internal Communication Apps: These apps allow for more streamlined and secure communication between managers, employees, and other colleagues.
In general, the more complex your app is, the more expensive it will be to create. The specificity of your app can also influence its cost. For example, a general health and fitness app with basic features will cost less than an app for a grocery store that totally revamps and modernizes the customer’s shopping experience.
The scope of your app will also influence the final price tag.
For example, let’s say your app needs to integrate with other third-party apps to function correctly and provide users with a positive experience. These integrations and complicated and take a lot of time to set up.
In general, the more functions your app is meant to perform, the more expensive it’s likely to be, too. This may be the case even if the functions are relatively simple. At the end of the day, more functions typically mean more work for the developers.
The following are some other features that can expand the scope of your app and make it more expensive:
- Dynamic content (the app gets regularly updated by an external source)
- Location-based features
- Extra security features
- Building for multiple app platforms (it costs more to build for iOS and Android instead of just one or the other)
If you require user registration and database management tasks, that will also add to the final development cost.
Developers get to set their own fees and decide how much they’ll charge for their services. They also determine how they’ll request payment.
For example, does the development team require a significant downpayment? Do they expect the project to be paid in full before launching the app? Do they charge extra for after-hours communications or revisions made to the finished product?
Your app price will also vary depending on whether you work with a development agency or a freelance app developer.
Freelancers may charge less for their services. However, they may also be less reliable than an experienced agency.
Freelancers may also have different quality assurance standards than agencies. As a result, you may end up with a defective product that requires a lot of updates and fine-tuning to continue functioning correctly.
App Maintenance Fees
Don’t forget that app development costs don’t end once the app has been finalized and launched. You’ll also need to factor in maintenance costs to keep it functioning properly.
App maintenance may include making updates based on customers’ complaints, correcting bugs that showed up after the app was launched, or adaptive maintenance based on changing technological standards.
Ideally, you will work with a developer or development team that offers ongoing maintenance. However, if you partnered with a freelancer, you may find it harder to get in touch with them when you need to update or improve your app.
This is why working with an agency can often be a better choice. They’re typically more reliable and likely to be around still when you need their help in the future (assuming you did your due diligence when researching and hiring a development agency — more on that later).
Average Cost to Develop an App in 2023
On average, brands working with an intermediate-level app development team pay between $15k and $60K to create and launch their product.
Here are some fundamental price breakdowns to keep in mind:
- A simple app with no complex features: $15k to $35k
- An intermediate app with a few custom features: $30k to $50k
- A complex app with many custom features: $60k minimum
As a business owner, you know that surprise expenses typically pop up when working on any project, including developing an app.
To account for these potential surprises, we also recommend setting aside an additional 35-75 percent of the estimated app cost. This extra amount will help you pay for unexpected expenses and ensure your app stays on track and gets launched on time.
How to Save Money on App Development
Are you intimidated by the prices mentioned above? Are you unsure of how you’ll manage to scrape together the funds needed to create your app?
The good news is that several options exist to make app development more affordable (without sacrificing quality or user experience). The following are some of the most effective ways to save money:
Ask About Financing
Many development agencies offer financing to make the cost of creating an app more manageable. If you aren’t able to hand over $60,000+ to build an app, that doesn’t mean you can’t use one to expand your business.
Some developers may let you divide up the cost of the app over the development period. For example, they may be willing to break up the price into six payments if it takes six months for them to develop your app.
In some cases, financing your app won’t cost you a lot of extra money in interest. The development agency may offer 0% financing, for example, so you’re not penalized if you can’t pay in full.
Be Specific About What You Want
If you aren’t clear about what you want and need from an app right from the start, you may end up paying more in the long run.
Let’s say you ask a developer to build an eCommerce app for your business. They create the app, but they don’t include some of the features that your competitors’ apps offer because you didn’t specify you wanted them.
If this happens, you have a couple of options:
- Accept the app as-is, even though it’s not as sophisticated as your competitors’ apps, OR
- Pay more money to have this developer (or another developer) fix the app, so it does include those additional features
If you choose the first option, you might not see the same results from your app that you were hoping for. It may also take longer for you to see a return on your investment.
If you choose the second option, you’ll get the app you wanted, but you will also spend way more than you initially planned.
Do Your Research
Don’t go to a team of app developers without doing some in-depth research.
Here are three essential questions to ask when deciding on the type of app you want to create:
- Who makes up your target audience? Get clear on the people who will use your app and their needs, interests, preferences, etc.
- What problem will the app solve? How will it make your target audience’s lives better?
- Do your competitors have similar apps? What features do they currently offer? Are there any gaps that you can fill in with your app?
When you take time to conduct in-depth research, it’s easier to be specific about what you want and how you want your app to function.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
Of course, your app should be unique. You don’t want any of your competitors to accuse you of copying them, right?
However, remember that you can create a unique app without reinventing the wheel. If you try too hard to make an app that’s totally different from anything else on the market, you may end up spending a lot more than you need to get a great product.
Choose App Features with Care
On a similar note, when deciding on the features you want to include in your app design, be particular about the options you choose.
It might be tempting to add every single feature you can think of. However, ask yourself if your customers or clients genuinely want and need all of those options. Sometimes, less is more.
Don’t weigh your app down with a bunch of unnecessary features.
Not only will this make the app development process more expensive, but it can also slow down your app and hinder its functionality (especially if you’re not working with a very experienced or skilled developer).
Keep It Simple
Simplicity in all elements of your app — not just its features — will help you save money. It takes less time to create a simple, streamlined app, after all, and it doesn’t require as much labor from your development team (all these benefits lead to fewer costs for you).
In many cases, a simply designed app is often a better-looking and easier-to-navigate app, too. This means you’ll give your customers a better user experience and increase their chances of engaging with your app regularly.
Choose Your Development Team Wisely
You can also save money — and get a superior finished product — when you choose your app development team with care.
It’s worth it to take your time when deciding who will help you create your app. After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of money on this product that will, hopefully, provide incredible results for your customers or clients and your business.
Consider Quality Assurance
The quality assurance process is one of the most important factors to consider when creating an app. Quality assurance ensures that your app works properly and doesn’t have any bugs or functionality issues.
It might be tempting to skip the quality assurance stage to speed up the development timeline and reduce costs. Remember, though, that if you do this, you could end up paying more later.
It’s better to spend money developing a quality product than to pay developers to fix mistakes made during the initial development process.
Interact with the Developers Often
Some business owners assume that when they hire an app developer, they can just sit back, relax, and wait for their app to be finished.
It’s true that you won’t be doing the actual coding and app-building. However, you should still be involved in the process.
If you interact with the development team often, it’s easier for you to monitor the app’s progress and ensure it aligns with your vision and goals. You can also pick up on and correct potential problems earlier — before they have a chance to escalate into more expensive issues.
Another way to save money on app development is to be patient. In other words, don’t rush your developers and push them to complete the app as soon as possible.
Furthermore, if a developer promises that they can get your app done in a super-short time period, remember that faster isn’t always better.
On average, it takes at least six months to create a functional app. It may take even longer, though, if your app has a lot of complex features.
Be willing to wait. If you rush to complete your app, you may sacrifice quality and give your customers a bad experience.
Launching a poor-quality app might mean you have to spend more money in the future fixing it and making it better. Also, users may be less likely to continue engaging with your app long-term, or they may even decide to work with one of your competitors instead — meaning you’ll lose their business altogether.
How to Choose the Best Miami App Developer
As we mentioned above, partnering with the right development team can help you save money on app creation. What should you look for in a group of app developers, though?
Here are some of the most important factors to consider:
Ask About Experience
Start by looking into the developers and their experience.
How long have they worked in the app development world? What kinds of projects have they worked on in the past? Are they familiar with businesses like yours and the specific solutions your customers are looking for?
An experienced development team will have an easier time understanding your goals and helping you create an app that aligns with them. Experienced developers will also know how to identify potential issues early on and correct them before your app launches.
Look at Their Portfolio
Whether you work with a freelancer or an app development agency, you should have access to a portfolio of past app development projects.
Take a look at these projects and ask yourself if you like what you see.
Do these apps seem well-designed? Are they easy to navigate? Are they accessible to people of varying abilities?
Remember that the best developers will be eager to show off their work. If they seem hesitant to provide you with samples, that’s a red flag.
Visit each developer or development agency’s website to see the list of services they offer.
Of course, they should offer app development services, but they should also be more specific. For example, can they create apps for iOS and Android devices? Do they offer UI/UX design services?
Make sure the developer can do the kind of work you’re looking for before you commit to partnering with them.
In addition to perusing the developers’ websites, you should also check out some third-party review websites to see what past clients are saying about their work.
In general, the more five-star reviews a developer has, the more likely they are to provide quality services. However, pay attention to the writing that accompanies the reviews, too.
Doing this will help you get a more holistic view of what the developers offer and ensure they’re a good fit for your business and your specific goals.
Always ask for references before agreeing to work with a development team.
Reach out to some of their past clients and find out what they liked or disliked about working with those developers. Would they hire them again for another project? Would they recommend their services to a friend?
Checking references gives you a more up-close-and-personal view of what the developer offers and the quality of their work.
Ask About the Design Process
A reputable development team will be able to explain what they do and how they do it easily.
They should be willing to break down their design process and explain the stages they’ll go through when working on your app.
If they can’t clearly define this process — or if it skips crucial steps like quality assurance — they might not be the right fit for you.
Meet the Entire Team
In general, when you hire an app development agency, a whole team of people will be working on your app.
Ask to meet with every person who will play a role in the app development process, from the project manager to the member in charge of quality assurance.
Make sure you trust everyone involved in the project so you can feel confident that your app is in safe hands throughout the entire process.
Get a Quote
It’s always a good idea to get a quote from a developer before you agree to hire them.
Getting a quote makes it easier for you to budget and ensure you can afford the developer’s services. It also gives you a clearer idea of what steps the developer will go through when creating your app.
Most developers will give you a free quote, so don’t hesitate to ask if they don’t offer one. Then, ask them to go over it with you so you can understand exactly what you’re spending and what you’re getting.
Think Beyond the Final Price
When it comes to app development, you get what you pay for.
Say you try to save money by hiring an inexperienced developer or one that doesn’t have a robust profile. You might spend more money and time later on to get the app you originally wanted.
Investing more upfront in a skilled developer may mean you get a better return in the future. After all, if you provide a positive user experience, more people will download your app, use it consistently, and support your business.
Invest in Quality App Development Today
Now that you know more about the cost of developing an app in 2023, are you ready to get started with your next project? Remember the guidelines mentioned above — especially the tips on choosing a qualified app developer — so you can set yourself up for success and see the best outcomes from your app.
Do you want to work with an award-winning Miami app developer? If so, we’ve got your back at Digital Engage. Contact us today to get a free estimate!