Developing an App is an expensive process. Whether you are a startup or an established organization with a great idea, execution is the hardest part, especially with the costs involved. Being able to cut App development costs is the ideal situation. However, the nagging worry about the quality of the output cannot be ignored.
But, here is some good news. You can explore some avenues to turn your great app development idea into reality within your budget. The best part is that you don’t have to compromise on the product you release into the market. Read on to learn more.
The Main Steps of Developing an App
Every application must go through the various stages of development to become fully functional. Here are the primary steps of developing any mobile application:
Ideation: This is a stage with no costs involved. The only thing you need to do is identify a gap in the market and think of the best solutions for it. However, you need also to understand what you can deliver from your end in terms of expertise or services. So, in this stage, you need to set clear goals for your app and establish the MVP or minimum viable product. This means you identify the application’s basic features that must be in place before it is released to your customers and be exciting enough to grab their attention at the same time.
Wireframe: The wireframe is like a blueprint for your application. It determines the structure and flow. The wireframe is essential for your graphic designers as well as your developers.
UI design: This step determines what the user experience will be like. The look and feel, colors, and various design elements are implemented. This stage is crucial because it defines the brand identity. It would help if you created a memorable yet highly efficient interface in delivering the best possible user experience.
Coding and programming: You bring the whole idea to life at this stage. This is the crux of your app development procedure which makes all the features functional. Depending upon the complexity of your thesis, the complexity of programming also changes.
Testing: Before you release your product into the market, you must make sure that everything works. That is what the testing phase is for. If there are any bugs in the program, you can fix them before the product is released. Experts also recommend releasing a beta version of the application before releasing the final one. It helps you get feedback directly from your customers to make changes accordingly.
The Primary Costs of Building a Mobile App
Here is a breakdown of the cost involved in developing a mobile application. It will help you identify hidden costs and estimate the cost of your upcoming project.
Before developing an application, you need the proper infrastructure to support and sustain the functionality. This includes the management of your data and content. The infrastructure costs include server expenses, data storage costs, CDN or content delivery network, and tools you may require for app development. Most of these involve recurring annual fees. You may also have to enhance the server space or data storage as your app develops and is used by more people.
#2. Content Development
Content includes both text and graphics used on your user interface. These costs depend upon various factors such as the volume of content you need, the experience of the professionals you hire, the type of content you require, etc.
#3. App Development Cost
This includes the coding and programming of your application. App development cost mostly depends upon the complexity of the features in the application. You can also have the cost of plugins required for certain functions like payment gateways, notifications, social media feed integration, etc. The development cost must also include testing and correcting bugs before releasing the final product.
This is an ongoing cost that you must incur after the application has been released. Maintenance and IT support are a must to make sure that the application’s backend and frontend function seamlessly. It would be best if you also had quick assistance in case of any issue with the application to continue the positive engagement of your customers. Your maintenance team will also suggest upgrades based on the activities on the application and provide you with a detailed report on the user interaction so that you can make changes or enhancements accordingly.
6 Ways to Reduce App Development Costs
Some practical options can help you reduce the overall costs of developing your application:
#1. Reducing Development Costs
Find a development partner: Sharing the costs is the best way to minimize your expenses. You can think of a lucrative profit-sharing option with a development partner that you trust. The advantage of this is that you automatically cut down on testing costs and maintenance costs.
Make use of open-source frameworks: You can find many open-source codes that fit the functionality requirements of your mobile application. These are much cheaper compared to developing your codes from scratch.
Avoid too many custom functions: Custom functions need to be developed specifically for your application. They are the USP of the application. However, in the initial stages, make sure that you limit them to stay within your budget.
#2. Reducing Design Expenses
Creating a seamless user experience is the most crucial part of app development. You cannot compromise on quality. However, you still have options to manage these expenses:
Use UI templates: You can use and even customize several UI template kits to match your brand. It is more affordable and helps you develop a prototype that can be enhanced once you start raking in the revenue.
Avoid too many graphic elements: Keeping it simple when designing is the key to reducing costs. First, it is cheaper to design. Second, you don’t have to invest in server space as your application is not as heavy.
#3. Reducing QA Expenses
The quality analysis or testing process helps you fix any bugs or glitches in your application. Here are the best ways to reduce these costs:
Fix testing goals: Do your research to understand what issues you could potentially face concerning the application. Then, chart out a clear testing goal that states what you need to test, the outcome you expect from each testing stage, and the testing frequency.
Automate: With the growing popularity of DevOps, you can easily integrate the testing process into the development and operations stage. It creates a continuous testing and feedback cycle using various automation tools.
Start testing early: It is best to test the various elements of your application in the initial stages. If you wait for the entire application to be released before your test, you might get overwhelmed and even miss out on essential testing procedures.
#4. Reducing Infrastructure Costs
This is a recurring cost that you cannot avoid. However, you can make some changes to your development plan to reduce these costs:
Aim for the MVP in the initial stages: Aiming for the MVP or Most Viable Product allows you to control the features you wish to put out in the initial stages of your app. This means that you can reduce your server-related expenses.
Do your research: Look for all the possible options before hosting your application. You can even find local hosting servers that may be willing to partner with you on the project and give you a subsidized cost.
Make the most of cloud computing: Data storage is the most expensive part of your application infrastructure. Cloud computing gives you the advantage of scalability. You can increase the storage space as your application develops and progresses.
#5. Reducing Maintenance Costs
As mentioned before, you can reduce maintenance costs significantly by partnering with a development team. Other options are:
Use DevOps tools: DevOps automates the entire process of testing and fixing the issues in your application. This helps you reduce any problems and, as a result, cuts down on maintenance costs.
Automatic performance monitoring tools: These tools continuously check your program’s health. They even send notifications to your team in time to avoid having to face serious issues that are more expensive to fix.
#6. Be Aware of Hidden Costs
App development includes various hidden costs that you should be aware of. Here are the top hidden costs that you should be mindful of so that you can manage them accordingly:
Social media integration
Content Development Networks
iOS and Android updates
When you sign up with a development company, make sure you address these hidden costs so that you can plan your budget accurately. With a clear goal for the features you want to offer in the initial phase of your application, you can reduce most of these costs.
Research and understand your market and target audience
Develop your MVP
Invest in a cross-platform application for better reach
Optimize your team and define their roles accurately
Decide between outsourcing or maintaining an in-house team
Focus on security measures
Invest in scalable storage options and server hosting
Learn about the resources that are available to automate processes and reduce your costs
Managing the Final Stages of App Development
Once the app is ready for release, here are some tips that will help you immensely:
Create a solid marketing and pre-launch plan
Beta testing is highly advised before the final product is launched
Continuous deployment processes help you make changes and fix issues on the go.
Think about DevOps before you launch your application. This can reduce a lot of costs in the future.
If you need any assistance with your app development costs, get in touch with Bitcot today. We help you find the right tools and support to give you the outcome you want at the best prices possible. From assistance with hiring to suggesting the best automation tools, we provide you with end-to-end consultation and necessary services to build the best application for you within a reasonable budget.
Raj Sanghvi is a technologist and founder of BitCot, a full-service award-winning software development company. With over 15 years of innovative coding experience creating complex technology solutions for businesses like IBM, Sony, Nissan, Micron, Dicks Sporting Goods, HDSupply, Bombardier and more, Sanghvi helps build for both major brands and entrepreneurs to launch their own technologies platforms.