Is the cost of building an app coming down?
Looking to build an app for your business? Then you may be researching the costs of app development and seeing a general downward trend. So is the cost of building an app actually coming down?
As a highly specialised process with many different phases of research, development, and testing, the task of building an app can be accompanied by a myriad of ‘hidden’ or ‘unforeseen’ expenses. Thankfully, if you know what to expect from the process itself, there’s actually not much about app development costs that’ll take you by surprise.
If you’re looking for a baseline to help guide your expectations, consulting an expertly curated development pricing guide can be a great preliminary step to take. Alongside this, it’s important to develop a strong understanding of the process of app development from start to finish.
So without further ado, here’s a quick overview of the costs you can expect to bear when enlisting the services of an app developer or development agency. We will also be looking at the impact of no-code and low-code app development tools and methods to provide a thorough dissemination of the present and projected future costs of app development.
App development costs as dictated by project scope
It’s safe to say that larger, more complex mobile apps are going to cost more on average to develop than smaller or even single-page or single-function mobile apps. For larger apps that consist of multiple pages that are all interlinked, app developers must consider UX design principles to create a concise user journey map.
Larger app development projects are also required to maintain strong and clear project goals, so that the whole development team can work towards a defined outcome and ensure that their final product delivers all the clients’ desired results. Because of this need to develop project goals and define desired outcomes prior to commencing on development work, it’s common for larger projects to require substantially more management hours and meetings over smaller app development projects.
Business owners may be able to save on development costs for larger projects by working with offshore or nearshore development teams rather than locally based teams. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that enlisting the services of these remote teams comes with its own share of challenges, ranging from managing communications with non-native English speakers, and organising appointments and deadlines around different time zones. Business owners are encouraged to weigh up the pros and cons for all their shortlisted development agencies and teams before signing any contracts or commencing on development work.
The impact of no-code and low-code app building platforms
There is one particular innovation that has played its own unique role in the decreasing costs of app development. We are of course, talking about the introduction of no-code and low-code app development platforms. Unlike manual app development processes which required developers to write thousands upon thousands of lines of code in order to create apps from scratch, no-code app development platforms instead utilise an intuitive, graphical user interface wherein virtually anybody could build their own fully functional mobile app.
But does this mean that it’s no longer a requirement for app developers of today to be proficient with Python and other coding languages? Well, not quite. Although no-code app development platforms do make it easier for people with less technical skills and experience to delve into app development and become what the industry has dubbed ‘citizen developers’, these platforms still require a level of technical proficiency in order to achieve the best possible results.
For those looking to build larger apps using no-code platforms, you’ll find that the graphical interface can be accompanied by some frustrating limitations, which can result in your app having to be scaled back in order for the project to be feasible for market release. In other words, building an app without using any manual development processes means sacrificing on your overall control as a developer.
Because of this, low-code development processes have been a preferred method for many business owners who are looking to build their own business app on a budget. With low-code processes, a business can develop its own app by building a devs team that possesses foundational coding skills, or just enough experience and knowledge to know how to address roadblocks like incorrect formatting or other errors in code and UX design when these issues may arise.
Costs of app maintenance and software updates
Yes, no-code and low-code app builders can help you develop your own app with minimal expenses. But what about managing that app after its release? After all, app development projects don’t just stop at market release, especially in the context of business apps.
For an app to be an effective tool for both your business as well as your consumer base, it will need to be updated on a routine basis. In fact, the need for regular app maintenance is becoming increasingly crucial due to the evolving nature of computer viruses and other forms of malware. With rates of cybercrime on a steady rise all over the globe, mobile users are growing more wary of the applications they install on their devices. Any apps that are known to have security issues may deter consumers from engaging with your brand rather than prompting them to do so.
The last thing that you want is for your passionately developed app to become a detriment to your company’s reputation rather than the asset it was intended to be. This is why the costs of app maintenance and software updates should always be factored into your project budget.
With all of these considerations made, now may be the perfect time to answer our original question: are the costs of building an app coming down? The short answer is, well, yes. As app development is becoming more accessible to a wider number of companies and organisations, this particular method of digital advancement is being adopted by many modern business owners as a means of diversifying their enterprise’s digital footprint.
Alongside this increasing accessibility, however, comes an evolution in the way that apps are developed. The introduction of no-code and low-code development processes may be heralding a new era where businesses take app development projects firmly into their own hands by investing in internal development professionals or working with affordable local agencies rather than outsourcing to faceless offshore dev teams.
The growing flexibility of app development as a process also extends to app maintenance and the creation of patches or software updates. In other words, it’ll likely become more affordable to both build and maintain your business app as we travel further into the digital age. So why not invest in your own business mobile app?