App development cost can range from 20$ an hour to 600$ an hour, depending on who you ask. You might think you are getting the same thing but you are not. The quality of the product, your experience with the process, extensibility and how the app works will range.
Sometimes you might get overcharged and you end up with something you can’t pass on to other developers if you decide to do so, for whatever reason.
What usually affects the price, quality of the product and customer experience.
- Complexity of the project
- Time frame
- Quality project management and documentation
- Tech Stack (programming languages and tech used in development)
- Size of the team
- Team’s overall experience
- Team availability
- Company size and running cost
- Where the company operates
- Client’s understanding of the project
- Clients team management
- Client’s availability and participation on the project
- Server cost
- User experience strategy and testing
- UI design process
- Quality Assurance
- Other time and management related costs.
A simple app development scenarios
1. A single, junior developer can take your simple app idea, download a similar open source (free) project written in his desired language, modify few things and give you what you want.
Pros: Cost and time to build
Cons: questionable quality of code, sustainability, maintenance issues, extensibility, no Ux/Ui strategy, look and feel, reliability of the developer
2. A single, mid-range or senior developer can do the something. But it will cost more.
Pros: better code, cost
Cons: app look and feel, senior developers won’t even work without proper design and project documentation. Why? Because they are not crazy, and they hate wasting time.
If the project is complex just add other elements in to the mix, like project complexity, research, creating valid project documentation, team experience, ux/ui strategy, management. Now you have more than a few people on the project and the cost goes up.
Can you build a more complex app with just one person? Sure. But it takes longer to make and it might cost more than you thought.
We had clients come to us with very complex web apps built by one person that quit the project. The app was a complex mess, un populary stack was used to build the entire thing, constant issues and user frustration. Even the developer, who made it, didn’t know what was wrong with the app sometimes. No other developer wanted to touch the code to fix it. They all wanted to build a new app from scratch.
3 years of development, and the client is stuck.
This doesn’t have to be your scenario.
It’s just one of many.