How Much is it to Develop an App? 

An illustration of app development cost

10 Nov, 2021

In the Industry 4.0, the urge of develop an app is on its peak. As research shown that more than 55% percent internet users use mobile phones to purchase products online. And almost 70% of them decided to use the shopping app on their mobile devices to make purchase. (Data Reportal, 2021) 

Thus, Mobile app continue to be a critical priority for organizations to attract, engage, and delight target customers. These are the main reason for business owners joined the race of digital improvement in order to improve their customer touchpoints. Quoting from Thomas Husson – Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, “Mobile is becoming not only the new digital hub but also the bridge to the physical world. That’s why mobile will affect more than just your digital operations — it will transform your entire business.” 

Finally, this leads us into a question? How much is to develop an app? Is it costly to build an app? What makes it expensive? And Etc. Those are the most simple and common question frequently asked, and sadly, there’s no simple way to answer these questions. The cost of building an app will be determine from these factors, Niche, Operating System Platform, Technical Complexity, Your Goals, Design, and Architecture. The more robust and complex your app, the deeper in the pocket you have to reach for the money.  


“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” 

– Red Adair 


Estimate Cost of Developing an App 

In Melbourne Australia, cost of develop an app is starting anywhere from 15000$ to $500.000. It all depends on the variables / complexity of the app, how many users and roles, what server are you going to use and many more. Work hours rate in different countries might varies the price.

To summarize, here’s the breakdown; 

  • A Simple App with Basic Features: 
    – Estimate Budget for a starter / first stage app: Start from $ 15.000 (Might varies in different cities) until $70.000
    – Work Hours needed: 500-800 Development Hours (Timeline around 3-6 Months) 
  • A Medium App with Moderate Features: 
    – Estimate Budget for medium sized app: Start from $75.000 – $190.000
    – Work Hours needed: 800-1200 development hours (Timeline around 6-9 Months) 
  • A Complex App with Robust Features:
    – Estimate Budget for complex app: Start from $200.000 – $500.000
    – Work Hours Needed: more than 1200 hours, depends on the scale of the project. Could be more than 12 Months. 

The thing to consider is that, you need to have clear vision of your app going to be. Over idealism means more robust features, and of course more money to spent. When you don’t have a clear vision, there will be a fatal miscommunication between you and the developer that ended up disserve both parties.  Every time you decided to add more features, it will adds you more time to develop, and more money to spent. 

Communicate Your Vision 

A lack of or poorly defined vision will foster uncertainty and doubt amongst project team members and organizational stakeholders. Project teams will find themselves debating what they think the vision is or will present differing unofficial visions they have heard from different leaders. 

Failed to communicate your vision would be a waste of many investments. Besides money, developing an app requires you to invest time, effort, energy, thoughts, and your soul. There are a lot of clients who’s ended up changing the whole scheme of the app which totally different from the agreement on the first phase of the development. Obviously, that action can make the developers disappointed and angry, and possibly abandon your project.  

Pro Tip: Always Write Down Every Ideas, Changes, Notes, and Suggestions 

You need to set several meeting appointments to visualize your project to the developers. Remember that you need to trust the developer on what’s the best practice to build the type of the app that you want to develop. Sometimes, forcing the developer to use some third-party application to be implemented your app while the developer has better ideas for your app, is not a wise thing to do.  

Wisely choose a developer who understood your vision and mission, and surely knows how to amplify your idea become better. Don’t rush the development process, find a developer who has that “click” / “the feel” with you.  


Developing an App is an investment 

As our Co-Founder, Roderich Hartono said, develop an app is like a long-term Investment. If your current economic situation of your business is not feasible for big investment, then it is not a wise thing to do. He also added, “Business owners should carefully calculate the Return of Investment (ROI) of your App. And developing an app is more than just investing your money. It’s also matter of investing your time, thoughts, and energy into the App.” 

Hence, you need to make sure that your company’s finance is stable enough to support developing apps, buying the server, publishing the app, market the app, yearly maintenance and many more. You need to have a clear vision on how your app will be. Remember that Investing an App is a Long-Term option. You need to be patient, yet must keep on point with the initial vision. Be wise with your funding. Don’t over budget, or forget to budget several important things.  

According to research, Prior to the pandemic, business apps were highly popular—but the growth rates in the few weeks after the 200th confirmed case of COVID-19 are colossal. Business apps skyrocketed by 180 percent, Health & Fitness apps by over 140 percent, and Education apps by almost 110 percent. The numbers remain 20-35 percent higher than before the pandemic. No one could predict Zoom’s success but that also reminds us to stay aware of the surrounding changes as the opportunities might be less predictable. 

Your app could be as successful as Zoom or could be a bonkers depends on how you develop the app. Therefore, you must work right away from the project’s beginning on the kind of return on investment (ROI) you want to obtain.  

Choosing the Right Developer is Vital in Developing an App

As we previously wrote before, Choosing the Right Developer is very vital for the success of your app development project. Similarly like to choose a life partner, choosing the right developer for you is a hard task. You need to choose a developer that is credible, cost effective and communicative.  

Some companies try to overseas outsourcing, to reduce cost. Consequently, – based on our own clients’ experiences who’s now collaborating with us – ended up with bad quality project / code, abandonment, or even has to re-do the app completely.  

Look for a developer who is resonate / has a same vibe with you, actively communicate with you regarding with the projects, and interested with your business, not just the developments.  

As for the quality, seek developer whose code is clean, and expandable. So, whenever you have your own internal developer team, your team will get no hassle in working on the code.  

Avoid Red flags 

As previously stated, you need to be wise in funding, and choosing a developer. But also, as a project owner, you need to avoid several things as well. These are the red flags you should consider to avoid at all cost: 

  • Avoid developers who is over promised but cannot deliver your vision become true.  
  • Avoid developers who cannot communicate well with you or difficult to contact 
  • Avoid developers who gives a messy code  
  • Avoid developers who gives a cheaper price than the average. 
  • Avoid developers who has minimal portfolio, and less bigger / notable clients. 
  • Avoid developers who does not have a clear payment plan 
  • Not listen to the developer on what’s the best practice on implementing a technology into your app 
  • Over idealism, telling the developer to stick to certain features or third party program. 
  • Too controlling the developers, not giving the developer freedom of creativity 


Build an app never was cheap, you must plan everything ahead to make your project development not turn into a waste. If you ever need a hand in planning your app, please do not hesitate to contact our tech experts to help you get a grasp on how much to develop an app. 






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