How Much Does It Cost to Develop An App in 2024 [Overview]

Explore this comprehensive guide on how much it costs to develop an app in 2024.
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Temitayo Michael
Published
7/20/24
Top 10 no-code app builders for 2024: Create apps without coding. Simplify development process

Introduction

What if I told you right now that I know how you feel, would that surprise you?

You have that brilliant idea that could completely revolutionize your industry; a good adventure seeker app to track your bucket list, a virtual closet organizer, an app that connects realtors to roommates - but,

You have no clue where to start, except the bottom line question that is always on everyone’s mind - 

How much does it cost to develop an app?

The truth is, you are not alone!

I did all the research so that the only thing you’ll have to worry so much about is getting users on your app- and even on that, we already provided some tips. 

There’s no denying the fact that developing an app in today’s fast-paced world of technology demands so much, hence, the cost of app development depends on a lot of factors, however, a little research can give you insights on what to expect.

If you follow this article, we’ll break down these factors for you, and provide you with some awesome tips on how to budget effectively, so you can build your app like a pro.

Quick Overview: Cost Of The Essentials; No-Code Bubble.io App vs Custom Coded Apps

Cost Comparison Table

Products Required Avg. Costs Custom Coded Apps Bubble No-code Apps
Domain $10 - $20 per year required required
Web Hosting $50 - $120 (shared hosting) required not required
Security/SSL $0 - $150 per year required not required
Server Side Maintenance $300 - $1,200 per year required not required
Analytics $0 - $1,200+ per year required not required
Total Cost - $30-$214+/month $0- $29/month

The bubble platform is priced at $0 for a no-code app under development on Bubble’s domain and starts at $29/month for MVPs and simple tools with small to moderate user bases. 

Top 4 Factors That Influence Your App Development Costs

1. Complexity

From a developer or an agency perspective, the more complex the blueprint is, the higher the cost of developing your app. 

Usually, apps with simpler features and fewer functionalities- like a simple portfolio web app- tend to cost less, however, as you introduce more features and elements making the app complex - like a SaaS tool, a blog or a CRM app, the development costs rise to meet up with the time and resources required to develop, test and deploy it. 

2. Build Platform: No-Code vs Custom Code

Many sources point to no-code app building being significantly cheaper compared to custom code, and this can be attributed to various resources, such as:

  • How long it takes to build your app idea, which is significantly faster in no-code app development and
  • The price per hour between a custom-code and a no-code agency or developer; 

Also, development cycles, iterations and resources required may be more expensive.

It’s important to understand where the strengths and limitations of your chosen approach lie.

Related Topic: How Much Does It Cost To Create An App? NoCode vs. Code

3. The Operating  System (iOS vs Android)

Building for iOS is considered more expensive than Android, with iOS charging an average of $99 per year for a developer account and Google Android charging a $25 one-time fee. 

Your choice of platform will affect your budget. 

You might go all in for one platform, which is cheaper upfront, but this means your app will only be available within an ecosystem. 

On the other hand, developing for both platforms can cost more initially, but with cross-platform no-code development, building for both iOS and Android simultaneously can save time and money in the long run.

4. Your Team

While hiring freelancers might appear to be less expensive compared to agencies, it often comes with the trade-off of varying levels of reliability and quality. 

Agencies, while more expensive, provide a comprehensive and structured suite of services including project management, quality assurance, and post-launch support. 

In-house teams offer the advantage of full control and seamless communication but come with higher overhead costs, such as salaries and benefits.

The key is to find what works for you, sticking to your friendly cheap freelancer, or full-service agencies for a more quality service but higher tag?

Your choice!

More Services You Will Require and Their Cost Analysis

Now that we know the factors affecting the cost of building your app, let us discuss the process breakdown.

The UI/UX Design - The Look and Feel

App design is so much more than making your app look pretty, although it’s also important. 

Designing an app involves everything, including research, wireframing, prototyping and finally, the UI/UX (User Interface & User Experience) design.

So, in the cost equation, the requirements and the complexity of the design process can significantly affect the app development cost.

Keep in mind that a well-designed app is an investment in the user journey, which is essential for your app’s success.

Development - The Main Course

The app development itself is the main deal where your app is born. 

The core of app development surrounds coding (or no-code app building), integrating all the amazing features you couldn’t stop thinking of, and a series of thorough tests. 

Depending on how complex these features are, your choice of platforms and the overall time it takes in development, your cost equation is either how you like it, or a little over. 

However, with proper planning and clear requirements, you can streamline the whole process and manage costs.

Consistent  App Maintenance

Following the launch, your app will need constant maintenance to perform at optimal levels. 

This will include malfunction fixes (often termed bug fixes), and new features. 

Maintenance is an ongoing cost, so be sure to keep that in mind if you intend to have your app running smoothly, and keep your users engaged.

Strategies To Reduce Your App Development Costs

Strategy 1: Use The MVP Approach

Building a Minimum Viable Product-your app with a core set of features and introducing it to an isolated and limited audience to get valuable feedback- can help you significantly reduce your app costs. 

You can leverage this version of your app before committing to a full-scale, more expensive app development. 

This process helps you validate your app concept quickly while minimizing your cost risks 

An MVP approach also ensures your final product already appeals to your target audience. 

Armed with enough insight, you learn what to prioritize, how much of your resources to allocate and how effectively you can make the allocations.

Strategy 2: Use The “No-Code App Building” Route vs. Custom Code

While custom code gives you more control and more flexibility for the customization of your app, it can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

Meanwhile, no-code platforms like Bubble.io allow for speed as coding is not required. 

Also, you incur low development cost with no-code because lesser man-power is required, and, 

Using prebuilt templates and modules can further increase the time for releasing your product to market. 

While earlier versions of no-code platforms like Bubble.io & Webflow did not offer as much flexibility for app building and scaling for highly complex apps, more recent developments are beginning to prove otherwise.

Case Points & Real-Life Estimates

Understanding real-world use cases can be valuable in terms of the insights you need into the app development costs. 

Let’s ground things in perspective;

According to an article written by the CEO of SpD Load, a custom-code web design agency, 

Simple apps cost between $10,000 and $60,000, average complexity apps fall between $60,000 and $150,000, and highly advanced apps start at around $300,000.

Also, according to Business of Apps, simple app development is tagged at $16,000 – $32,000, medium complexity app development is tagged at $32,000 – $48,000 and complex app development is tagged at $72,000

However, when building with no-code, according to a project manager from the Nerdheadz team, a simple app costs between $2,000-$5,000, a medium complexity app costs between $5,000-$15,000 and, a complex app costs $15,000+

A look into these real world estimates reveals how important defining your app’s features, proper planning, and proper consultation and estimation will help you estimate your app development costs accurately. 

PLEASE NOTE: These are just estimates and your project may cost lesser or higher to achieve than the set figures. For more details on how Nerdheadz estimates project prices, go here.

Senior Content Marketer

Temitayo Michael is a seasoned professional in copywriting and content marketing, known for his strategic mindset and innovative approach to problem-solving. With extensive experience in building marketing funnels, he has consistently driven growth and efficiency in his roles.

Temitayo Michael

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Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to develop an app?

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The cost of developing an app can vary greatly depending on complexity, platform, and development approach. Custom-coded apps can range from $10,000 to over $300,000, while no-code apps can be much cheaper, starting from $2,000 to $15,000+.

What factors influence app development costs?

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Key factors include app complexity, choice of development platform (no-code vs. custom code), operating system (iOS vs. Android), and the type of development team (freelancers, agencies, in-house).

What are the benefits of using no-code platforms like Bubble.io?

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No-code platforms allow for faster development, lower costs, and reduced need for extensive technical skills. They are ideal for quickly bringing an MVP to market and iterating based on user feedback.

How can I reduce app development costs?

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Strategies to reduce costs include building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to test the market, using no-code platforms, and carefully planning and defining app features to avoid unnecessary complexity.