How Much Does It Cost To Develop An App?

As you might imagine, the cost to develop an app varies widely and depends on many different factors. But still, it’s possible to lay out a general range of costs that is based on certain definable boundaries. Like the overused but useful house metaphor, you can have an app that is the equivalent of a mobile home and an app that is more like a mansion. There are factory homes and custom homes. Every home has different features and so it goes with apps. Let’s take a look at the costs involved with developing certain types of apps.


One of the simplest and least expensive ways to develop an app is with a pre existing template. These apps will have a framework and a structure already built with a certain set of features. You would purchase the template and then customize it to fit your needs. For example, there are many game apps that have essentially the same functionality. There are first person shooters, driving games, various projectile based games, and so on. What differentiates them from one another might just be the theme, like one game might be a pirate themed game, and another one could be essentially the same except it uses princesses instead of pirates. Other types of templates besides games include city guides and workout apps, and there are numerous others. Licenses for these templates can be cheap at around $120 for a template that you can customize into a saleable app.

Once you’ve purchased the app, you will have to either customize it yourself or hire a developer to customize it for you. Developers’ costs depend on their skill, experience, and where they are located in the world. You can find developers from India, Pakistan, and other countries for less than developers from westernized countries. For example, in Asia you can expect to pay between $15 to $25 per hour for a developer, while in North America and Western Europe the cost is more like $50 to $100 per hour.


If your app idea is very unique or specialized for aunserved niche, you may not be able to find a suitable template. That will mean getting into a custom app, which of course will be more expensive. And here, costs vary widely and add up quickly. A simple custom app might cost between $1,000 and $5,000, while a complex multi featured app could be $50,000 to over $100,000. Below are some rough costs for adding various features. For instance functionality such as social media sharing, integration with contact info, internet connectivity and other features many have come to expect in an app will drive up the cost.

In App Purchasing

To offer in app purchases will cost from about $1,000 to $3,000 depending on how many options you have. This includes the ability to purchase a full version from within the app.

Web Services

Web services will allow your app to connect to data servers on the internet to update information or the app itself. Expect to pay between $1,000 to $5,000 for incorporating these features into your app.

Share Capabilities

Sharing capability to social media sites, email and other apps will cost about $1,000 to $1,500. There are lots of APIs that make this a somewhat straightforward process so in the grand scheme of things is not too expensive.

The functionality that has been detailed so far really only applies to the programming and development costs associated with building an app. But that’s not the whole story. When budgeting for your app development, there may be substantial cost associated with graphics and sound, content, writing and such.

So in the end, the cost of developing your app is somewhat predictable based on its functionality and sophistication, but can vary widely due to many variables. It’s best to do as much planning and research as possible before you start spending so you have an idea of what you’ll be getting into. Also, when it comes to hiring developers, get at least three separate quotes and talk to each of them extensively about your plans. This will ensure you don’t spend more than you have to, and that you get quality service.