How much do app developers charge
What does it cost to have an app developed? - App development costs in 2021
What does an app development cost?
Or to put it another way: What does a car cost?….
For someone who has had little contact with software development, it is often difficult to understand how they work App development costs concrete result.
We try to make this understandable for you by means of a vehicle purchase:
Imagine you want to have a car built and the car manufacturer should tell you the cost of it. To do this, they need some information from you, e.g. which material should they process? What size should the car be? What service? And so on ...
As with any other craft, app is development a creative processthat have different quality levels and can cost different amounts.
Therefore, always think carefully beforehand which functions you need and, above all, what Your long term goal is. Communicate explicitly to your developer what you expect and where you want the project to go in the long term.
This is important so that you don't choose a provider who offers the lowest app development costs, but only offers one trial version builds for a few users that is not scalable.
A motto in development: if you save at the beginning, you pay more later.
It's not about working with the most expensive provider but therefore not to work with the cheapest.
There are certain things in app development Quality standardsthat have to be fulfilled so that you can have fun with your project in the long term and not have to constantly have higher adjustment costs. To make this understandable, the example of Facebook:
Facebook has a so-called “wall” on which you can scroll through and read different content.
Developer A (inexperienced & dumping price):
Gives you exactly what you said: a wall to scroll through. But now you suddenly have over 1,000 pieces of content that have to be loaded on this page, as your number of users is increasing. Result: the app hangs up all the time and you have to pay for the time-consuming reprogramming. In the meantime, the users are running away from you.
Developer B (experienced & fair price): Creates exactly what you asked for and installs a preloader in the backend, which reloads 10 new posts over and over again when the user scrolls. In this way, the user does not notice that the content is being reloaded and can scroll indefinitely - without the app saying goodbye.
Developer C (experienced but expensive): Does exactly the same as developer B, only more expensive.
We have solved the design creation at Applaunch cleverly and inexpensively. We offer our design and concept work to all of our customers at a very affordable price. Why do we do it that way? We want to help you and you to find out how the future product should look and function. The costs for creating a good UI / UX design depend on the number of screens and are around € 3,000-4,500 for an average of 20-30 screens.
What does an app developer cost per hour?
Basically, the hourly rate depends on 3 factors:
- Developer location
- Developer's experience
- Reputation of the developer
Developers abroad are often very cheap because there are often quite a few fraudsters around here who build a solution for you as in the example above (developer A).
Domestic developers are often very expensive because the cost of living in this country is very high. Nevertheless, you can get very good developers abroad who have a fair hourly rate and provide you with the quality you need.
In this country you can get a good developer between hourly rates of 120 - 250 €. Abroad, you can get these from developers with the same expertise for around € 60-80.
Please immediately forget the hourly rates below 10 € that you find so often. Even a good developer abroad knows his worth and 60-80 € / hour is a very good offer in software development!
Then of course there is hybrid solutions(like us), where you have a team of software developers at home and abroad and can expect hourly rates between 60 - 80 €, but experience the support and experience of an entire agency.
What does the required development time depend on?
When you have an app developed, the cost and development time of an app depend on several factors:
- What are your requirements for your app? In other words, what should the user be able to do in the app? Define this before you get offers or discuss it with the development partner first. Please leave these “How much does an app cost you” inquiries.
- On which devices should the app or software run? Smartphone, tablet, web, TV, car?
- Which operating systems are covered? iOS, Android, Web?
- In what quality should it be developed? (Prototype for idea validation or a turnkey solution that can be released on the market?)
- What preparatory work has already been done and what tasks should the agency take on? (Conception, design, development, testing, support?) For example, some customers come to us with a finished design, others have it created by our app designer.
- How quickly do you give feedback? If you haven't answered your development partner's questions for months, then of course he'll have a little hard time. So be available from time to time.
Examples of the cost of an app
The cost of developing an app cannot be quantified across the board. They depend entirely on your individual requirements. However, based on apps that are already available on the market, we can spontaneously say in which regions such apps are located and why.
Example 1: eBay classifieds app
You would like to build an app where suppliers and consumers can meet, chat and post their offers.
App development costs: estimate approx. 30-40 kEUR
- Chat integration with push notifications on Android and iOS
- Extensive testing because the functionality of the chat is very sensitive
- Realization on Android and iOS
- You certainly want a few smaller ancillary functions in the app, so it is always better to plan a little more budget.
- Offers must also be editable, data protection regulations must be met.
- Asynchronous database queries are necessary when many providers create offers at the same time
Example 2: App for company presentation (Vermop app)
App development costs:Estimate approx. 15-25 kEUR
- Lots of static screens with different texts. Up to 100 or more screens may be necessary here.
- Realization on Android and iOS
- Surely you would like to have some additional functions here too, so it would be better to plan a little more budget
Example 3: Pokemon Go
App development costs:Estimate approx. 70-120 kEUR
- Apps made in virtual reality have to be developed in Unity. This is a framework for which there are significantly fewer developers, which means that the salaries are higher.
- Gaming apps need a lot of graphics that have to be created by graphic designers.
- Very complex location tracking in Pokemon Go
- In-app purchases and complex game logic in the app
Where can you save costs in app development?
In principle, there are two factors involved in saving costs:
- Range of functions
- Development partner
Basically, there is one thing you need to internalize when researching the cost of app development: It is reasonable to save money and aim for inexpensive app development.
But be realistic about it and don't be naive. You do not save costs by having your app programmed by a dumping provider that is exclusively based abroad and delivers a low development quality.
But with an app agency that has built up a smart company structure so that part of the development team is based in Germany and the other part abroad (as we implemented at Applaunch).
1st factor requirements
Let's start with thatSaving costs. If you define your requirements together with us, then we always do it against the background of the previously defined goal.
This means that we first think about what we want to achieve with the app. Then we look which functions are absolutely necessary for this and which other functions are more “nice to have”.
1.1 Focus on the benefits of the app
Many offers / cost estimates are set too high if the developer is not actively advising you, but simply assessing your requirements.
The costs of app programming can quickly increase with useless or complex functions. Often not all functions are necessary for a first version, or there is often a simpler, alternative solution.
That is why a good development partner is not just an app programmer who stubbornly implements your specifications, but also gives you comprehensive advice on the project itself.
That's what matters: Concentrate on your core idea and try to push “nice to have” features into a version 2.0. You can always make your app leaner and only then wait for feedback from your users. After that you can always invest your budget and develop new features.
1.2 Bypass complex functions
Some functions are very complex to implement with a certain degree of automation. So think about whether it is absolutely necessary at the beginning, for example, to automatically send invoices to customers, or whether it is sufficient for the first version if you send them manually. If you are overrun by users, you still have enough time and budget to implement such a feature.
That's what matters: Some functions can be implemented much more easily, which means that the costs of the app can be minimized. The benefit is still retained.
1.3 Build prototypes
In some projects you can also lower the costs of app development if you start with a small version or even only on one operating system (for example you start with iOS app development first and then carry out Android app development a hybrid app development make sense).
The advantage lies in the cost savings as well as in the ability to plan.
Since you will get feedback again and again during development or in live operation, or adapt your app, it is always easier to only have to do this on one operating system.
When your app is conceptually perfect, you can follow suit with the other operating system (Android or iOS).
1.4 Logos & Designs
When creating professional UI / UX designs and logos, you can save yourself a lot of money and still get professional results. In the area of logos, many of our customers also work with so-called logo makers, for example. We solve the creation of the UI / UX design by our internal UI / UX designer Louis. He is based in Leipzig and designed and planned all customer projects. This process is usually very expensive as you often have to hire expensive design agencies. It is not even guaranteed that a design agency will build something that is really usable and makes sense. Therefore save yourself expensive agencies and prefer to work with our designer. Our customers love our designer.
That's what matters: Start small, think big!
2. Development partner factor
The second important factor is of course to find the right app developer.
Therefore, you should definitely obtain offers for comparison before starting a project. Please don't do that by writing to 10 app agencies and asking “How much does an app cost for you?”.
Instead, you might look for 3 app agencies that suit you in terms of size, references and reputation and then obtain meaningful comparative offers from them.
What should you look out for in an offer?
- What is the hourly rate of the development partner?
- How high does he see the effort for individual functions?
- Can he justify the effort logically, or do his explanations sound reasonable?
- Are the offers really comparable? Do the providers have the same amount of experience, a similar team setup, are certain quality standards delivered?
2.1 Developer location
We ignore dubious low-cost providers from the outset, which one finds enough on the Internet and focus on serious and qualitative development. There are basically 4 options that open up to you:
- Agency in Germany with German employees:
Legal certainty. Higher salaries result in higher prices. German-speaking contacts.
- Agency abroad with employees abroad:
No legal security. Lower salaries result in lower prices. Communication in English.
- Agency in Germany with cooperation abroad:
Legal security through German agency. Medium price range due to the margins of the cooperation partners. Risk if problems arise with the cooperation.
- Agency in Germany with its own team abroad (applaunch):
Legal security through German agency. Low costs due to the elimination of cooperation costs. Full control over employees. Communication in English and German. 100% transparency
2.2 Developer's experience
Good developers know their worth and are happy to be paid for it. Their advantage is that they work often more quickly and cleaner is done and despite higher hourly rates the costs are only slightly higher. Here we take up the example from above again. If you save on quality, you always pay extra at the back. Therefore, you should definitely try to achieve a good price-performance ratio.
How do you recognize the best price-performance ratio?
If the developer has already implemented a large number of projects and also has a good reputation and the offer is still in the lower third of the comparison offers, then you have probably found a provider with a very good price-performance ratio.
You cannot guarantee a good result in advance, but you can find out extensive information about your potential development partner and also talk to existing customers. In this way you can find out what experience other customers have had, who may have already compared many prices.
Why Applaunch can provide high development quality at fair prices
The Applaunch team was specially designed to implement app projects with the necessary quality standards and the necessary business know-how.
We have built our team over 8 years and we have been with it always focused purely on app development. As a result, we have been able to gain a lot of experience in a single area and program app projects cleaner, faster and at lower costs than other agencies.
The Applaunch team was founded 8 years ago by 5 students. The aim was to build up your own team to implement your own projects. Over time, more and more inquiries came and Applaunch went from the think tank to a professional and long-term development partner for companies and startups.
Thanks to our European-defined standards, we have set up perfect processes that allow us to deliver consistently high quality so that we can concentrate fully on the creative elaboration of projects.
Since we have set up our own company on site in India, we can select, hire and train our developers ourselves according to our standards. As a result, we have exactly the developers we need and at a much lower cost than with German developers.
Today we work with companies and startups as a full-fledged development partner and are perceived as a serious partner in app development.
Have the app developed in India and thereby save costs?
We already knew many back then Horror stories from failed projects abroad. Ukraine, India, Russia and China in particular are popular spots for scammers.
At that time we also tested cooperations and freelance developers abroad and made this experience. But the problem was just working with the wrong people and under the wrong values.
After we founded our own app development team in India, we finally understood why many large companies have their development teams in India, but under German leadership.
The development performance of developers in India is remarkable, if these are properly directed. An employee is only as good as he who shows him how to do it. And that also applies to our team.
When you work with a team in India that has learned our European values over the years and has understood what quality means and how it can be achieved, then you have a very strong partner at your side and costs are always under control.
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