With every new venture, there’s bound to be surprises along the way. While more and more businesses are launching their own apps, many commit a mistake: they go into the mobile app development process without fully understanding the true cost it entails. In fact, many are under the (false) impression that development costs end with the release of the app.
The reality is that the true cost of an app extends far beyond actual development. So which costs should your prepare for when building a mobile app so that you won’t be caught like a deer in the headlights? We’ve gathered a list of hidden mobile app development costs to help your company prepare better and mitigate risks early on.
1. App Store Costs
Did you know that releasing and keeping your app in an app store isn’t free? Apple and Microsoft both charge $99 per year to keep your app in their stores. Google, on the other hand, charges a one-time fee of $25. While these costs won’t break the bank, it’s still nice to anticipate them
Our Advice: Choose to begin development in a single platform that works best for your app. Usually, most businesses opt to release in iOS first. Once your app gains traction, you can move onto other platforms.
2. Reaching Multiple Platforms
People who are new to mobile app development are often shocked when they realize that mobile platforms require different programming languages. An iOS app won’t work on Android, and vice-versa. iOS and Android app development can prove to be more costly since you’ll need engineers that specialize in either platforms.
Our Advice: Instead of branching out to multiple platforms at once, choose to work with just one platform at first.
Another misconception in mobile app development: the developer will handle the design. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Developers are not designers. To build a truly successful app, you need experienced UI/UX designers who can understand what your users need.
Our Advice: Design might cost you a pretty buck but don’t skimp on it. It’s an important investment that pays off even after your app has been developed or released. You might have a brilliant app but if it’s poorly designed, no one will use it.
4. Unforeseen Midway Project Changes
Mobile app developers might be able to give you a reasonable cost estimate based on initial specs or minimum viable product (MVP). However, this is definitely bound to change. In the middle of development, you’ll likely want to add features or tweak designs. Each change you make will affect the overall costs of your app.
Our Advice: Choose what level of UI/UX level you’d like to use: base (simple and functional), stock (looks similar to most apps in the market), and customized (polished design with special icons, backgrounds, among others).
For most people, testing is nothing short of simple: just install the app, use it, and done, right? Don’t rush. Don’t mistake of thinking that your app will work perfectly on the first try. Not exactly cheap but you’ll anticipate issues better when they arise.
Our Advice: Testing is definitely worth spending money on since it will help me avoid problems in the future. Don’t worry: you’ll save more money in the long run if your app gets tested regularly.
6. Post-development Costs
Mobile app development is not a one-time project. It’s a dynamic activity. To keep up with mobile app trends as well as users, you’ll need to actively maintain your app. In fact, maintaining and supporting your app is where the real expense comes in.
Our Advice: If you plan to sustain your app in the long run, allocate enough funds for app maintenance and support. This is to make sure that issues such as bugs or security updates are resolved accordingly.
7. Marketing Costs
You can’t expect people to just start using your app. The reality is that marketing is a real expense that you must prepare. Marketing costs can range anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000. If you haven’t factored in marketing into your app development plan, it’s now time to include it.
Our Advice: Plan ahead and formulate a strong marketing strategy that fits your budget, before and after the release.
To build a good and functional app, your expenses will definitely exceed the initial budget. Do remember that expenses go beyond development and design. Take an active part in estimating and discussing your budget with your developer to avoid being surprised by these hidden costs.
If you want to know more about mobile app development, we are ready to help you. We’d be happy to bring your app idea to life.