How to plan a Budget to Develop Your Mobile App


Keval Padia

The cost of software development depends on many factors and the way mobile technology has branched itself out, there is a solution to every kind of app idea in the market.

Whether its a low budget app or a high-budget one, every app has to face the public ordeal of demands and expectations that makes or breaks an app.

The mobile app has to go through these critical developmental stages:

  • Analysis/Consultation
  • Market Research
  • Wireframes and Mockups
  • Backend Development
  • Front End development
  • Testing

Factors that influence Development cost:

  • Business Model
  • Platforms
  • Features and Functionality
  • Design
  • Developers

When crafting an app, every step has to be deliberated upon because of the considerable time, resources and money that is on the line. There are other factors such as the quality of the mobile app development services on chooses that impacts the overall spending.

Things to take care while planning the budget:

Defining a budget requires an in-depth understanding of the market. The look, the feel and the performance of an app eventually helps one increase mobile app engagement but without proper documentation and objectives in place, an app risks losing credibility soon after its launch.

1. Analysis/Consultation -

Before sketching ideas it’s important to define clear objectives that begin from understanding the target audience and drawing business goals. The demands of apps have skyrocketed and there’s an increasingly larger burden on mobile app developers to meet the expectations of the users.

Choosing Platform:

Well choosing a platform seems easy on the surface. However, there are cost implications (to the choice of platform) which can have a direct effect on one’s budget. Apps now can be built parallelly on platforms like iOS and Android without having to worry about the app quality. However, one ends up paying more to developers in cross-development. Before going full scale, its advisable to stick to one platform. Include only those features that keep users engaged for a long time and analyze data on how your competitors managed to bring forward a solution in a similar situation. Create an MVP product in your ideal platform and push for the final product after gathering enough feedback and reviews.

Pricing Models:

From large professional mobile development agencies to freelancers, figure out the price that you’ll be paying. It's important to understand the number of hours that will go into each stage before you set out a budget. Get an idea on app development, development, testing, deployment, quality control, integration, and publishing before you choose the development team. Every mobile app development company has a set model for its clients. Hourly or fixed prices come with their pros and cons. Hourly rates are more flexible whereas fixed prices limit the degree to which one can explore areas of improvement.

2. Features -

Features are functional elements that impact the user experience and are one of the biggest drivers of costs. Apps that are highly contextualized, personalized and offer top of the pile features are expensive. Meeting user expectations through a budgeted app might be a little challenging but isn’t impossible.

These are the must-have features for your budgeted app:

  • Login/User Account/ Profile
  • Chat/Messages
  • Monetization Schemes
  • Search
  • Geolocation
  • Push Notification
  • Social Integration

Hardware features can also have a significant impact on the budget. If an app would like to tap into camera features, voice recorders-assistants, etc, there will be cost implications to these add ons.

Make sure the features are simple and intuitive in the development phase.

3. Design and Developers -

When you have finally locked down on pricing models and development cycle, its time to work with designer and developers.


Design is the cherry on the cake and every successful app is build on user-centric designs. Crafting a User experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design in budgeted apps is a blessing in disguise for a designer. A well-experienced development team working under limited resources and constraints has the potential to pull off apps that can set the benchmark for others to emulate. This environment makes one more creative in finding solutions and enable them to turn complex ideas into cost-effective one.


App developers will continue to write codes even after its initial release. Whether it's to handle updates, test new features and debug errors, they’ll be as important as your product is and will continue to shape it over time. The cost of the mobile developer depends on the technologies required to build the features that you want. Hiring has a direct impact on cost.

Wrapping up:

A report published by flurry analytics highlights that the average session activity growth rate has significantly declined over the years. The mobile app market has grown exponentially. However, the average time that the user spends on an app has decreased. Apps that are made on a constrained budget can leverage this shift in user behavior to their advantage. The recent rise of minimal apps has gained considerable trend. Without having to worry about over the top features, these apps are successfully meeting user demands and expectations with simple yet intuitive designs. A low budget app with minimal features are likable, shareable and have a better chance of enjoying the success in today’s world.

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