With any new trend in mobile app development, there is always someone who jumps on the board immediately. We are seeing more and more companies getting into mobile app development. Many businesses get into mobile app development with limited understanding of the process and true cost of developing an app. My advice is to wait to make sure that the trend will take off.
Companies that jump into mobile app development for the first time make a big mistake, when it comes to understanding the cost of developing a mobile app. Many app development companies believe that that development cost starts and ends with the developer. However, there are a number of factors that plays an important role in app development cost.
In this post, I am going to highlight hidden costs that should be anticipated before starting your mobile app development project. After reading this post, you will be able to answer questions like –
· What unexpected costs should you plan for?
· What expenses might surprise you during the process of app development?
· How to face unexpected expenditure?
If your company is getting into mobile app development for the first time, go through the 8 hidden app development costs and avoid them.
1. Multi-platform development cost
App developers face many hurdles while building an app for the first time. It could be due to lack of experience or unawareness of certain facts. Many novice mobile app developers make the mistake of building app on multiple platforms. As every platform needs different set of programming languages, the app designed for Android is useless for iPhone. Developers have to craft a separate iOS friendly mobile app, which will eventually increase the app development cost.
To overcome this problem, app developers should focus on developing hybrid apps that work on different platforms with just a few tweaks and modifications.
2. Installation and maintenance expenses
Mobile app development is a long-term process. You might think that the job of developers is completed, once the app is developed. However, there is a lot of work after completing the development phase. Once the app is developed and installed, it needs regular maintenance.
There are several issues to look into such as –adding improved features, security updates, Android/iOS updates, user support links and many more. Such times, regular maintenance can be expensive and adds to the budget of your mobile app development.
3. Marketing and advertising
Advertising and marketing plays an important role in making the app successful. However, app publishers make the mistake of spending more on marketing and advertising. When you develop a useful app and put it in different app stores, you expect people to download it. If you want the app to be identified by people, you should develop a perfect marketing strategy.
If you want to begin with a marketing strategy, you should be ready to spend at least $5,000 — $10,000. Building and advertising a mobile app can drain your finances. Before jumping into mobile app development, you should consider the advertising and marketing costs.
4. Spending more on first release
No doubt, the first version of mobile app is very important. After launching the app for the first time, you have to spend on maintenance. If you want your mobile app to be successful, it should be updated with additional features. If you don’t want new features, you app has to be adapted to the changing environment. Whether it is security updates, bug reports or web browser inconsistencies, it has to deal with everything on its own. You should test your mobile app pro-actively to keep it up with the change in the eco-system.
As it is just a beginning, you should not spend much on the first version itself. You have to make necessary changes based on the feedback and bug report from the users. You should have enough funds for the next release.
5. Poor app design
Mobile app development companies assign the task of deigning the app to in-house team. They even outsource the task to freelancers and other professionals, as per their requirement. However, the developers do not put 100% efforts and come with a poorly developed app. Such issues are usually noticed once the app is launched and people start using it.
In such cases, the app store removes the app and the app development company faces huge financial loss. As the app is poorly designed, they have to spend again to make a new mobile app which will eventually increase the cost.
6. Outdated technology
There are several things that come to mind when developing an app. Lifespan of the app is one of the important things to consider when developing an app. Now, the question is — what decides the lifespan of mobile app? Well, technology and OS plays a very important role in deciding the lifespan of mobile apps.
When you look at the lifespan of an app, you should focus on prioritizing development speed. Choose a technology that is perfect for your app. In most of the cases, creating an all-in-one mobile app using frameworks like Knedo UI, Ionic or Mobile Angular UI etc can be more than enough. These technologies are perfect for mobile apps with limited functionality.
7. Testing and troubleshooting
For most of the mobile app developers, testing is nothing but a formality. Developers are more interested in designing the app and think everything is done. However, it is must to test the app multiple times to make sure that it is perfect in every aspect. If you think that your app will work perfectly on the first try itself, you are mistaken.
You will anticipate the issues better when they arise. Testing is definitely something that is worth spending. It will help you avoid problems in future. By testing your app on a regular basis, you can save unnecessary expenditure in the long run.
8. Diversions in project plan
Mobile app developers might give an estimate based on the MVP or initial specifications. However, initial specifications tend to change as the project progresses. You may feel like adding new features or tweaking existing features. This will ultimately increase the app development cost.
Not having a well- defined purpose for developing the app is the biggest mistake developers make. Check the objective of your mobile app and run concurrent tests throughout the development process to avoid any diversions in the project plan.
Building a mobile app can be a daunting task, if you are not ready to face the hidden costs. Whether it is designing, installation, testing or marketing phase you should be prepared for unexpected expenditure. If you want to avoid hidden app development costs, choose a technology/platform that fit your app. You should get a second opinion based on the recommendations. Be ready for changes and plan at least 20% of budget for post launch.
You are an important part of the team and the cost of mobile app development will depend on your final decision. Take an active part in project and budget discussion with your developer to avoid the above hidden costs.
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