How Much Does it Cost to Build an App in 2023?

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Are you considering launching a new app in 2023 but feeling overwhelmed by the options and decisions? You're not alone. As the world becomes increasingly digital, many businesses and individuals are turning to app development to improve their online presence and reach more customers. 

However, one of the biggest questions that early-stage founders and startups have is, "How much does it cost to build an app?" An app development cost can range from US $30,000 to $75,000. (Note: this is the cost to develop the first release of the app)

What? Yes. Well, the cost of the app depends on various factors. The final price will come down to things like the number and complexity of screens (in both design and function), platform choice (iOS, Android, or cross-platform), ongoing maintenance, and QA needs. In this blog, we will discuss the various factors that affect the cost of building an app in 2023.

Image of developing mobile application from RossHelen on Canva

Factors affecting app development costs

1. App development costs combine design, development, and testing expenses.

The app development cost can be divided into three main categories: design, development, and testing.

Design costs typically account for around 20% of the total app development budget. This includes things like wireframes, mockups, and user interface design.

Development costs typically account for around 50% of the total budget. This includes things like programming, coding, and ongoing maintenance.

Testing and Quality Assurance (QA) costs typically account for around 30% of the total budget. This includes things like bug testing and user acceptance testing.

2. The type of app you are building.

Native vs. Cross-platform apps.

Building an app native in Swift or Java for iOS and Android will incur more time and cost. Whatsapp, Uber, and Airbnb are all developed natively. These apps provide the best user experience. However, they come with their costs - maintaining multiple code bases. If your app doesn’t have high hardware dependencies, then the best candidate is cross-platform apps. Developing apps in React-Native can save 25% to 50% time and cost.

3. You can choose to develop your app in-house or have it outsourced.

In-house app development has its benefits, such as having overall control of the project and unlimited revisions. However, internally developing an app can have a high upfront cost. So what do other startups do instead? They outsource it!

Many businesses and individuals choose to outsource app development to save money. Outsourcing can cost as little as 25% of what it would cost to hire in-house developers. By working with an outsourced development team, you can tap into a network of experienced professionals who specialize in different areas of app development, such as UI/UX design, front-end development, back-end development, and QA testing.

4. Near-shoring may not be an option.

Near-shoring will cost you more in developing the app. For example, agencies in the USA will charge you around $125 per hour for an app developer, while outsourcing to other countries or Jumpstarter will cost less than 50% of the cost and with the same quality and client engagement. We have plenty of examples to share where clients thanked us for developing their apps with high quality and the right budget! Try us!

5. The cost of app development will also depend on the complexity of the features.

The app's complexity is another significant factor affecting the cost of building an app. The more complex the app, the more resources, and skills are required to develop it. For example, a simple e-commerce app will cost less than a complex gaming app. Integrations like API, Social Media, Machine Learning, Sensors, and IOT will also add up to the cost.

Final Thoughts

All in all, building an app can be a significant investment, so it's always best to weigh your options carefully and keep expenses a priority. No matter the cost, having a well-designed app is always worth the price and can help you succeed over time. The price of your app could be between US $30,000 to US $75,000, with 25% of the initial app development cost going to annual app maintenance.

Ready To Take the Next Step?

 If you’re looking for guidance on creating and launching an app, then help may be just one conversation away. Book a call with us! Our app development team will share insights to help you set up your app for success -- on time and on budget. 

Ranbeer Makin, Founder of Jumpstarter

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Our promise

For startups, price, speed and quality are of the essence. Normally, startups have to choose. But we don’t want to compromise.

That’s why we offer the lowest price, quickest deliveries and some of the best quality on the market.

In fact, if you find someone who does it better for less, we will match their price.

(That would be the first time.)