As app developers, we get asked this question many times, not only by clients but by pretty much everybody we know. The reason is simple, people just don’t know. It’s not a simple question of giving each feature a price. Creating an app requires time, research, talent and a whole lot of love.
Small piece of the puzzle
First of let’s start by looking at our screens, while I know this may differ between normal and power users, most of us have downloaded and use several applications on our smartphones. Some were free and others very expensive. But they all have one very important thing in common. Somebody or a group of people had to put allot of time into them to make them work, to test them and to make them beautiful. And once they were made they had to be marketed and in some cases even changed because of feedback. All of these processes take time and cost money.
I understand that not all of us are programmers and, therefore, have no idea of how long something like this takes. Combine this with the complexity of the clients needs and the different level of skills by developers and it’s a miracle price can be guessed at all.
There really isn’t one, one developer may spend a big amount of time building a crappy application and charge you 10000 euros. Another one may be very good but think of his work as “inferior” and charge you 2000 euros for the same application. Get some managers involved and you might see prices dance between the thousands and hundreds of thousands depending on complexity and service levels. So what’s a client to do?
Get involved with your developers and get to know them. Look for developers that love their job and are genuinely happy to be building your application. Try to get them enthusiastic about your idea and share in the pleasure of seeing it flourish and grow.
A developer that shares your enthusiasm and understands your application may charge you 30000 euros for an app, but he’ll deliver something made with love that has great features, users will notice and appreciate this. Another developer may charge you half as much but make something cold that “works” according to their interpretation of your needs without ever really asking you or your users what they wanted. Users almost always notice this and will shun the app.
So how much does an app cost? Depending on how involved you get it might cost you more than your budget. It might cost you your reputation amongst your users and leave you with a useless app. So get involved because most of us really do love our jobs.
But what about my budget?
I understand you have a budget and that the world is not perfect. Try to get a developer involved and work together to get the best possible app that fits your budget. But don’t be naive, apps can go from a few thousands to hundreds of thousands of euros.
So even though you might have a small budget, getting the best possible result with your budget should be your first priority. It’s better to have a synced mentality with a short list of great features. Instead of having many features that don’t really work that well.
Building an application takes time, hard work and love. Make sure that not only you but also your development team shares this mindset. You will not only guarantee a great app for your money but also a great journey creating it.