How to Reduce App Development Cost?

Topic: Costs

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How to create an app and not go bankrupt? How to reduce the app development price? Sooner or later, every entrepreneur asks themselves these questions. It's good if this happens before the start of app development. However, it often happens when app development expenses are already out of control. What does this mean? The entrepreneur and the development team had agreed on a certain amount, but the budget has long since exceeded the acceptable limit.

This is the worst nightmare for any entrepreneur who dreams of bringing their idea to life as quickly as possible, but the developers fail to meet the deadlines and budget. As a result, the development process does not go as planned. At this stage, the customer is not so much interested in the causes, but rather in effective ways of solving the problems and getting the development process back on track.

Our company has helped dozens of customers develop engaging apps without breaking the bank. In this article, we are ready to share our experience and give some useful recommendations.

Use Cross-Platform Development Frameworks

Cross-platform development frameworks are tools that allow developers to build apps that can run on multiple platforms, such as iOS and Android, using a single codebase. Instead of building separate native apps for each platform, developers can write code once and deploy it across multiple platforms. Cross-platform development frameworks can potentially reduce app development costs in the following ways:

  • Reusability of code: Cross-platform frameworks allow developers to write their code once and reuse much of it on multiple platforms. This eliminates the need to develop a separate code base for each platform, reducing development time and costs. It also simplifies maintenance and updates as changes can be made in a single code base.

  • Faster development: Cross-platform frameworks often offer tools and functions that streamline the development process. They offer ready-made components, libraries and plugins that can be easily integrated into the application and speed up development.

  • Simplified maintenance: Maintaining multiple codebases for different platforms can be time-consuming and costly. Cross-platform frameworks enable centralized maintenance, allowing developers to make updates or bug fixes in one place and deploy them across all platforms simultaneously. This reduces the time and resources required for ongoing maintenance and support.

Leverage Open-Source Technologies

Acquiring most software products can be quite challenging and expensive as they often involve various payments such as monthly license fees, costs for antivirus protection, upgrades, support, and additional fees for new users.

In contrast, open source technologies are provided at no additional cost. They are usually released under licenses that allow free use, modification and distribution. This means that project owners do not have to pay upfront license fees or recurring costs, which can be substantial with proprietary software.

Because of the ease of access, the use of open source technologies does not require the installation of special software or the expense of having to fix a bug. There are minimal or no maintenance fees.

Reuse Existing Components

The reuse of existing solutions in app development refers to leveraging pre-existing software components, modules, libraries or frameworks to accelerate the development process and avoid reinventing the wheel. Rather than building every aspect of an application from scratch, developers can utilize existing solutions that have already been developed, tested, and proven to be effective.

By reusing existing solutions, developers can save on development costs by minimizing the effort required to build and maintain certain components. This is especially relevant when leveraging open-source solutions that are freely available.

Focus on Essential Features

The entrepreneur needs to analyze the feature set of their application and prioritize the essential features over the non-essential ones. They should identify the features that are critical to the core functionality of the application and the usability of the application. If the customer focuses on what is really important, it is possible to allocate development resources more efficiently and reduce the cost of creating and maintaining less important features.

For example, our company has developed a resource dedicated to analytics. To better perceive analytics, it can be presented in the form of charts, which come in different forms (bar chart, pie chart, line chart, etc.) In principle, they all fulfil the same task - they visually represent numbers, data. If we only see a list of numbers, it is difficult to be perceived by a person. But when we see a diagram, information is presented visually, and it is easier for us to understand it. However, there is no point in making a huge number of widgets that display the same information with different types of charts.

As the customer wanted to reduce the final cost of the product, we explained to him that despite the fact that the charts are almost identical, each of them requires a lot of time for implementation. And the final result may not be very meaningful for users. That's why we convinced the customer that we could make three charts instead of ten, and it would be enough at the first stages to analyze the feedback from users.

Optimize User Scenarios

One to five screens can be used for the same function of a mobile application. Of course, the implementation time is different in these cases, and the same applies to the budget.

A well-thought-out design will allow developers to optimize the user's interaction with the application and painlessly reduce the number of screens that a designer needs to develop. Such a decision will lead to a reduction in development costs.

Optimize Testing and Quality Assurance

Effective testing and quality assurance processes should be put in place to identify and correct problems at different stages of development. Conducting comprehensive testing and using automated testing tools can identify and eliminate bugs and performance issues before they become more costly to fix later in development or after the application is released.

Outsource Development

The geographical location of the project and the chosen outsourcing model (onshore, offshore or nearshore) play an important role in the overall costs.

  1. Nearshore outsourcing means that software development tasks are delegated to an extended team in a neighboring country, usually located in a similar time zone.
  2. Offshore refers to outsourcing to distant countries with significant time zone differences.
  3. Onshore refers to outsourcing to service providers located in the same country.

If the entrepreneur is not satisfied with the current state of their project, they can change the outsourcing model and choose another development team that can take over the project and bring it to fruition. When choosing developers, they should first pay attention to experience and expertise, and then their cost.

As for application development costs, they tend to be higher in regions with higher labor costs, such as North America and Western Europe, compared to regions with lower labor costs, such as Africa and Asia.

  • Development teams in North America ($77) and Western Europe ($75) tend to have the highest hourly rates.
  • Developers located in Eastern Europe ($58) usually have lower hourly rates compared to North America and Western Europe.
  • Development teams from African ($33) and Asian countries ($28) tend to have the lowest hourly rates.

Work With Experienced Developers

Saving money makes sense, but not when choosing developers to build your digital product. Hiring cheaper developers can come with certain risks and challenges. They may not have the necessary skills, experience and attention to details to create a high-quality application. This can lead to poor code quality, inefficient development practices, and an overall lower standard of work. As a result, the application may be less reliable, less secure, or less user-friendly.

Cheaper developers may not provide comprehensive support and maintenance services after the initial development phase. This can be problematic when entrepreneurs encounter issues, need updates, or require ongoing maintenance. Lack of ongoing support can result in additional costs if the entrepreneurs need to seek assistance from other developers or teams.

So the only recommendation here is to look for reputable outsourcing companies like Cyfrania that offer competitive prices without compromising on quality.

Throughout the history of our company, we have repeatedly had to help app owners not only get their project back on track but also stay within budget. How do we do it? We offer emergency assistance from a team of experienced and highly skilled engineers familiar with the most effective technologies. Whether it's a problem with the codebase or a working application, we'll take it on and solve it.

  • We always plan each development phase together with the customer - the owner of the project.
  • We always prepare an estimate so that the project costs do not exceed the planned budget.
  • We deliver a new working software build every week so that the customer can try it out and choose the next feature to be developed.
  • We write simple and high-quality code that is easy to maintain and extend. This keeps long-term development and maintenance costs low.


Mobile application development costs start at a few thousand dollars, and some project budgets can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars. This amount may be insignificant for a large company, but for small businesses or startups it is enormous. Such customers usually want to reduce app development expenses or find some cost reduction strategies.

It's true that there are various ways of reducing IT costs. But it's important to know that there is no single cheapest way to build an app. The cost usually depends on several factors, including the complexity of the app, the desired features, the target platforms, the development approach, and the expertise of the development team. Only an experienced development team will be able to take these factors into account and complete the task at hand within budget.

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