When entrepreneurs and businesses consider creating an application, one of the questions they often ask is, “How much will it cost to hire a mobile app developer?” Unfortunately, the answer isn’t straightforward. Software development services typically depend on many factors but hopefully, this guide will give you the information you need to find your answer.

1) Type of App:

Simple apps, like calculators or flashlight apps tend to be much more affordable compared to ones like social networks or augmented reality games. You can probably find a few Fiverr developers just starting out to do these for a few hundred dollars.

2) How Much Functionality:

The cost of an app increases with the number of features it offers. Features like user accounts, payment systems, and advanced graphics can drive up the expense. If you are looking to build something like a new social media network, an app similar to Uber but for a different industry, or a fully equipped e-commerce product it could easily take 3-4 months of full-time development to bring your idea to life. A great way to get an accurate estimation is to put together a “Feature Set” that lists out the exact features that need to be in your app. If you have a lot of these, break them out into multiple phases. A developer can use this feature to get you a realistic estimation.

3) Which Platforms Will You Be On:

In the earliest days of mobile development, if you wanted a quality app you needed to program two separate code bases, one for iOS and one for Android, which drastically increases the time and cost. Also, developing for iOS may have pricing considerations compared to Android. Nowadays, there are great cross-platform development tools that can help save costs. But, they might not be suitable for all types of apps. If you go cross-platform we typically recommend using a technology like React Native or Flutter which allows you to write one set of code for about ~80% of your project and then you only need to spend 20% of your time bridging it into the native language for Apple and Android.

4) Custom Design vs. Prebuilt Theme:

A custom-designed, high-end interface will naturally cost more than a basic one. If you are building a simple website maybe you can use a theme that’s already created, like Divi or Salient on WordPress. By leveraging a theme you are saving the time it takes to create a custom design. However, when you use a theme you are sometimes locked into its preexisting style. If you go this route take the time to make sure you pick a theme that matches your idea as close as possible. It’s always easy to change colors, images, and fonts, but it’s typically much more difficult to change the structure and layout of your site. So, pick wisely. Themeforest is a great site for searching pre-built themes.

5) Development Team:

Hiring a US-based team may come with a larger price tag than outsourcing abroad. However, you may de-risk your project simply because you might be geographically closer to your team. This is extremely helpful in case something goes wrong (do they have an office in your nearest city?). Going abroad might save you money on the hourly rate, but if you are getting a brand new developer you will be dealing with countless issues, including rebuilding modules or maybe not ever getting the piece of software to run in the first place.

That’s why at Founders Approach we take pride in combining both US-based project managers with talented global developers so we can bring your idea to life without compromising on quality or cost.

6) Maintenance:

It’s important to note that the initial development phase is part of the cost. Regular updates, bug fixes, and potential new features will incur expenses over time. You’ll need to make sure your app is hosted on a server somewhere so your users can still use your app. At the small scale, we recommend expecting to pay on the low end ~$20 per month and on the higher end $100 per month to host your application. We love great services like Digital Ocean which let you scale up your server over time as your business scales and gains users and traffic.

When it comes to hiring someone to develop an app, the expenses can vary significantly. A basic app built by someone overseas might cost a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, while a more complex and tailored one could reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s why we recommend you always get multiple quotes from different teams. This helps you see the entire industry and get multiple opinions. Then, you can take what you learned and pick one final team that you trust with your investment.

If you’d like us to be that team we would love to hear from you. Please reach out to us via our Contact Us page.