Enter your Email Address to get subscribed to our Blog.

“This app development cost makes me crazy” – common thoughts of a first-time founder.

A lot of business owners on the way of getting an app developed say so in frustration. It’s understandable. Building an app for the first time is not at all easy. One must strategize well to execute well, especially when it comes to building software to last. As per statistics, 16% of startups fail due to financial problems. This is what you need to keep in mind and work on cost estimation before you begin.

Why do we say so?

Several factors affect the app development cost and may derail or halt it. To prevent it, we have curated a list of all the important factors to help you in the process.

What points affect the cost to build an app, how, and why?

So, how much does it cost to build an app?

The average cost of any app depends on the design and the integrations required to build it as envisioned.

On average let’s assume, it takes $50,000 to $70,000 to build a basic application, whereas a medium complexity app costs anywhere between $70,000 to $120,000.

Here, we will discuss the four main factors that affect the cost of developing an app:

  • The design
  • Complexity of features
  • App Host
  • Hidden costs

The Design

Design is an integral part of an app development process. An app features both the user experience and the user interface. Defining goals, understanding the market, experience for the end-user are important elements of an app.

Just like the development process, the time taken to build an app increases along with the cost as we add more features and integrations. However, if you use pre-made templates, the cost can be controlled.

Simply put, the intricacy of the design, business logic, and number of roles significantly influence the app development cost. 

Let us discuss how this works.

  • Simple design

A minimal design with basic features, simple functions, three to four screens, and no data storage encompasses a simple design. Few integrations and frameworks ensure the functionality as needed and nothing extra. 

In a nutshell, only the features essential for the app are added. For instance, if your app does not contain a large amount of data, no backend development is required and is not created. This helps control the cost.

A few examples of simple web apps are different calculators or time trackers, like the Pomodoro one.


  • Custom Design 

With customization comes more specific features and functionalities. Different libraries such as React.js, Vue.js, Angular support adding the features and animations. So, when implementing third party integrations, frameworks and libraries, expect the app development cost to rise.  

More customization is equal to more price. Remember, a simple design is cost-effective.

In factom, all web or mobile apps you use in daily life have custom design: TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Salesforce and so on.

There is an example of main screens of a telemedicine application.


Complexity of Features

The price to build an application is also based on the complexity of business logic: number of roles in an app, number of features, complexity of features.

  • Cross-platform or native apps

Whether you decide to build for a specific platform or multiple platforms, you cannot afford to go wrong. Talking figuratively, cross-platform apps, i.e. apps, that build for different platforms: Android, iOS, or web, are cheaper to build and maintain than native apps, i.e. software builds especially for Android, iOS, or web. And that’s the key difference between cross-platform and native ones.

Decide the platform, Android or iOS, or both for your app before building it. For this, consider factors such as the market share, device, and prevalence. Only after ascertaining these aspects, move ahead. 


  • Complexity of databases

Adding a database has a direct effect on the development cost of an app. Some additional features such as in-app purchases, social media integration, location tracking, better security, geolocation require more data storage.

At the same time, it is important to understand the customer base. This, too, helps in estimating the cost. More customers mean more data to store. 

For example, video storage services like YouTube or streaming services like Netflix require significant server rental costs. Because video files take up a lot of storage space.

Though, applications that store less resource-intensive files require several times less space on servers, and therefore are cheaper. For example, to-do lists like a Todoist.

  • Number of roles (complexity with roots)

In a customized design, the designer may have to define user roles to make sure the business logic will be valuable for all sorts of users. Usually, this involves determining “who can see what” within a software. This helps to create a suite with multiple functions. 

This kind of functionality is created with common workflows, modular widgets, universal navigation placement, and customized text for each user. Such customization, if required, takes time and escalates the cost.

  • The number and sort of integrations 

Once you decide on the features, the developers work on the integration method. Importing codes is cheaper than writing codes from scratch, which is costlier. 

Let’s say, your app needs payment integration to make users able to pay in-app. There are a few ways on how you can get this integration. Use ready-made solutions like PayPal or Stripe. Or write your own.

The second option will be much more expensive, as it requires coding many complex features and legal licenses to deal with banks.

Also, some applications require dual segments – the user and the admin panel. Such integrations require more synchronization and work. The development cost will rise accordingly.

  • Recurring payments

Recurring payments such as in eCommerce apps need a higher level of security and functionality. They also need more storage for data. Moreover, every product requires a different page, and thus the information storage becomes essential. 

Integrating these features for a better user experience requires time and consequently adds to the app development cost.

Hosting an app

An app must be hosted on remote cloud infrastructure or a server to be available and accessed on the internet.


Amazon Web Series or AWS is the most widely used hosting solution that offers low cost hosting solutions for mobile or web apps. You can try a few AWS services for free. However, you can pick as per your requirements. For instance, Cloud Hosting plans at ResellerClub start from as low as $3.99/month

If you are looking to take complete advantage of scaling and computation, react server-side rendering can be a great addition. However, it scales price.

Use of Redis or Kubernetes

Redis is an open-source in-memory data storage store. It can be used as a cache, database, and message broker. The response time is in milliseconds allowing millions of requests per second. Amazon offers a fully-managed Redis service, and the trial is available for no cost.  

Open source Kubernetes is free on Github. AWS, too, supports running Kubernetes. However, if you are using EC2, you need to pay for AWS. There are no minimum fees and no hidden costs involved. You only pay for what you use.

If you want to carry your app hosting process seamlessly, you can get in touch with ResellerClub. They are the experts of email marketing, enhancing website traffic, and mobile business solutions.

Hidden costs 

Not just the above, a few more factors can hike the overall cost of making an app, including:

  • Admin or Management cost
  • Infrastructural cost
  • Content Development
  • Functional Cost 
  • Application security
  • Testing and Bug Fixes
  • IT support services and 
  • Marketing

The overall hidden cost that may comprise marketing, sales, and maintenance of an app may vary from $20,000 to $30,000.

The last expense, marketing is by far the most forgotten one. However, it is essential. The target audience must learn about the app and this communication strategy, and implementation needs resources and money. It may need you to invest around $10,000.

These hidden expenditures may vary from app to app and from service to service. It is best to seek information on the charges levied on the above services beforehand to stay safe.

So, once you decide to build your own application, you need to pay attention to many different factors to make sure, that the development options would fit your budget.

Except for the complexity of an idea, you need to think through the business part of a startuping: where to get customers and how to make them pay for you? Where to scale your solution?

Thus, make sure to do in-depth research of your future technical partner to build a beneficial relationship. You can start with platforms like Clutch, GoodFirms, or The Manifest.

Remember, app development isn’t an easy walk to go, but an expensive and risky business quest, so plan wisely.

Check out more articles that can help you develop, secure, host and offer incredible tech tips for your website!

There is no ads to display, Please add some
Maksym BabychMaksym BabychMaksym Babych, a founder and CEO of SpdLoad, a software development company for startups at an early stage.View all posts by Maksym Babych