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“How much” must be one of the first questions a business asks itself when considering application (app) development.

Estimating an app development cost is the foundation of any app development budget.

Initially, a business will attempt to answer these two questions next:

  1. How much does it cost to create an app for my business by outsourcing?
  2. How much is this compared to the cost of developing in-house?

Both approaches have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at both app development costs to clarify each type of app development cost.

Application development companies accumulate experience while developing applications. They learn from errors in application projects, so working with such a team would help protect a business from repeating the same mistakes.

Developing the application in-house could reduce the development cost, at least for a minimal viable product (MVP). But over time, debugging, caused by lack of experience, can increase the price more than a development company.

As much as we would like the exact app cost, there can only be an estimate.


Each development process involves many factors and features that influence the final cost.

Below are typical benchmark costs for an app development project:

  • Simple app development – £30,000 to £45,000
  • Medium complexity app development – £45,000 to £90,000
  • Highly complex app development – £90,000+

The cost of hiring a full-stack experienced application developer(s) is from £50,000 /year.

Please note these numbers are just approximations.

They provided to give a general feeling on what would be the size of the app development budget based on the application complexity.

These numbers don’t include costs of ongoing hosting, maintenance, and future application updates (part of any application life cycle).

They all vary based on the application MVP, usage, and any update’s significance.

Application Development Cost Stages

Having an order of magnitude cost for each stage allows businesses to properly allocate capital for the whole project cycle of app development.

When it comes to the plan, team, and roadmap stages, these will have the lowest cost of any stage. They will, however, have the most significant impact on the project’s outfall cost and operational costs once the application is deployed.

  • Plan
  • Team
  • Roadmap
  • Design
  • Develop
  • Test
  • Deploy
  • Maintenance
  • Iterate

See Management of software development for information on each stage.

Application Development Cost Calculator

The application sector is highly competitive, with millions of applications on the web.

The questions of how to reach your users and meet your business objectives are essential. Cada Global understand businesses are keen to find a way to calculate an app development cost upfront. Multiple online calculators have been developed, and we’ll highlight our own.

The calculator guides you through various questions to shape an app development cost. You’re getting development estimates in GBP as you’re making choices.

The calculator is designed to estimate a cost for a web application, giving you a cost estimate for each step of the price calculation process.

The calculator walks you through the set of questions, starting with asking if there is a Functional Design Specification (FDS) available to provide an application development cost.

Cost of Hiring Developer(s)

If a business decides to hire an application developer(s), the question arises – how much does it cost?

According to Talent data, to employ qualified and experienced full-stack application developer(s), businesses need to pay a salary starting from £50,000 / year per developer.


As with all software, the application has a maintenance component for hosting, monitoring, engagement, marketing, updates, and licenses.

The industry average accepted cost to maintain software is roughly 15-20% / year of its MVP development cost.


The decisive factor in application backend data hosting cost calculation is what kind of data the app deals with – text or media, such as photo, video, or audio. A media-rich application would require a higher CPU webserver with more RAM and disk space.

Based on these factors, application hosting may start at between £30 to £300 / month. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud are leading hosting solutions.


Application monitoring is essential for success. As each application has a unique audience and a vastly variable number of users, it’s not feasible to develop a monitoring estimate for an application.

Once you contact the hosting companies above, ensure you get an acceptable range of application monitoring prices.


Application marketing costs include activities to engage the application user base and consist of multiple cost components:

  • Pre-launch
  • Market research
  • Beta testing
  • PR outreach
  • Influencer marketing
  • Viral marketing
  • App promotion assets
  • App launch
  • Post-launch
  • User actions from feedback


Every single application ever released subsequent updates!

It’s simply not feasible to develop the perfect application with the first version from the other – subsequent updates are an excellent tool for continuous user engagement. The time and cost of developing an update will vary depending on an app’s complexity.


An application may incorporate one or more technologies or integrations for which the business needs to pay a license(s).

In that case, it may significantly increase overall application development and maintenance costs.


When businesses estimate a development cost for the application, they need to factor in a development team and application complexity. Both factors significantly impact an overall application development cost.

As the used infrastructure is the most significant contributor to an application maintenance cost, businesses must save on data storage, scalability, and third-party API integration.

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