There is a long way from idea to implementation in any field. However, creating an application and bringing it to market is often a costly and lengthy process. Nonetheless, thanks to our experience, we can advise you on the right methods to optimize both the time and cost of digital product development without losing the uniqueness and high quality. In the following post, I have outlined some of the main factors that affect the price of app development in 2021. 

The first and most crucial stage – planning

A number one rule that can be applied for both big companies and startups is effective planning. The concept behind this approach to estimating the cost of developing mobile applications is to consider all feasible alternatives in your budget and, whenever possible, eliminate unexpected spending. 


One of the first stages of our cooperation in any software product development is filling the brief. A brief is a document that contains all the necessary questions about your idea and product. The brief is not the only stage in which we prepare for the application development. The more, the merrier you describe and convey your assumptions, the easier it will be to advise you. After discussing the brief, we organize a workshop attended by the originator and all the people involved in creating the application. You can learn more about each stage in our Process Book. A greater understanding of the product by the project team means faster project implementation.

Outsourcing or in-house development – which is better? 

A crucial stage of the project preparation is deciding the type of mobile app production team. Your final decision will affect the general budget, the nature of the workflow, and also the idea of quality maintenance. A Deloitte report published in 2020 showed that 70% of app development outsourcing projects are precisely due to cost reasons, while the same ranking, only from 2018, showed that more than 31% of apps are developed through outsourcing. 

Outsourcing development is a partnership with developers that enables you to reduce the expense of office rental and infrastructure, minimize internal workflow, and recruit experts from the global talent pool. You can recruit an entire devoted team of specialists with specific (and rare) experience and collaborate with them on the project foundation. This approach works well in these cases: 

  • You don’t want to employ tech specialists, so in the end, you only get a ready-to-use app according to your PRD (Product Requirements Document);
  • The application will be launched in a specific area, and you need a specialist who may not be living in your zone.
  • You want to optimize your budget for mobile app development by hiring tech experts from geographical areas where the hourly rates are lower.

Consider the right app development method

The software layer has a significant effect on the overall cost of creating applications, as it defines the workflow of growth, the style and sophistication of managing apps, elevated prices, and the level of market risk. Nowadays, the most popular methods in app development are either to create every component, function, or process from scratch or to build an application using existing solutions, open-source code, or in case of refreshing an existing application, working with older code.

The first approach is characterized by the unique creation of functions using programming languages present on the market. This is a more time-consuming process and, therefore, more expensive and less frequently chosen. 

The second method is based on creating applications using existing tools or components, which requires a much smaller budget. This is a way to optimize the application development process significantly, and it is on this method that I will base further guidance.

Choose open-source code and available solutions 

Most of the solutions we propose are related to technologies with open-source libraries, for example, Python-Django or Ruby on Rails. The specificity of these languages is continuously updated by users. So your app performance will keep up with the technology. Thanks to open-source libraries, you can implement many adequate solutions according to the needs of your application. Using open-source libraries or creating typical features from open-source code, such as dashboards or user authentication modules, will optimize app costs. 

In general, it is much more beneficial for startups and medium-sized companies to use any of the standard all-in-one solutions since their knowledge base is extensive, and there are plenty of professionals whom you can call for development, testing, or maintenance difficulties. Such application stacks are also highly integrative and scalable.


Pick the platform for your mobile app development 

Another vital consideration in lowering the budget issue in app development is choosing the right platform. The platform solution will also influence your marketing budget. Conduct industry analysis to select a platform (it may be Android or iOS). Try to figure out what the audience’s dominant app system is. These factors for your target consumers will help you with the problem:

  • age
  • location
  • gender
  • mindset and lifestyle
  • level of income.

As for the expense of making an app, they also vary based on the platform you select. For various factors, Android is harder to manage. Second, there are many Android displays and the iOS platform is more standardized. This suggests that you need to recruit experts for a more extended period to create an Android version.

There is also a solution that can create applications directly for both platforms and responsive web browsers. Cross-platform development is a modern and cheaper alternative to the native development approach. You can build a cross-platform app with one codebase with React Native or Flutter technologies. There are many advantages to choosing these languages as the basis for your application. One of them is budget-saving – it is one developer responsible for creating one application simultaneously for 2 platforms. In that case, is choosing React Native or Flutter the most sensible decision? You can find the answer to this question on our blog: Flutter vs going native.


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What can you gain from app development optimization? 

There are many advantages to designing apps using innovative, established solutions. Let’s reflect on the most relevant one:

  • It saves a great deal of development time. We all know the time, particularly in development, is money.
  • The quicker you release the product to the market, the sooner your users can receive valuable feedback and make better strategic choices. 

It is necessary to find ways to make the process quicker and reduce costs, as many companies develop software that pushes their businesses forward. It can also go a long way by following best practices, leveraging agile methods, and using some current solutions and resources, helping you save money and time.