How to Reduce App Development Cost

Given the high competitiveness of modern markets, a mobile app could be a rather beneficial addition to your business (or become a great source of profit in itself). However, when thinking about launching an application, it's crucial to understand how to reduce software development costs. For there is no need to rush starting your project, you had better consider all the pros and cons first. And we’re ready to assist you by providing a few useful tips which might come in handy.

In our blog post, we’re going to discuss the issue at length. Among other things, you’ll find the description of models able to help you in developing a personal budget to meet your financial capabilities.

On your marks!

Imagine: you decided to enter the mobile app business and you’re full of ideas… but your budget, alas, is quite limited. What should you do then? The main thing is not to despair, just find a solution to reduce development costs without losing the quality of the final product.

But is it even possible? Happily, yes! 

Project participants

To start developing a budget for a business, estimating possible costs, and considering the best way to allocate them, you need to have a clear notion of all project details. Let's look at the most likely participants in the process of creating a new mobile application:

  • Client-side: Project Manager(s) and/or an owner of the startup (the one who came up with the idea);

  • Contractor-side: Project Manager(s), UX / UI designers, mobile developers, server developers, QA team.

These people are responsible for building the application, which so far exists only as an abstract idea. Your task is to find efficient tips to reduce mobile app development costs and carefully follow them. Ask yourself what else you can do on your end to hasten the whole process.

Don’t reinvent the wheel

Development budget planning requires caution. You should act wisely from the very beginning. Before you hire a team of experts, think of the results you want to get and define the main idea behind your future product. The clearer you describe the idea, the easier it would be to cooperate with developers. So you'll reach the desired goal faster and cheaper. And this is exactly what you have in mind, right?

Project participants
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Of course, it's hard to come up with an idea of a completely unique application with no market analogs and still interesting and helpful to a wide range of users. If you succeed, you should consider yourself lucky! If not, don't worry: it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel. Just find the example of an app in demand and improve it to offer your user a better and updated version. 

To achieve this, follow our simple guidelines:

  1. Define your target audience. What kind of users do you want to attract? Think of your potential customers with their habits, routines, and needs.

  2. Explore the market. Without a doubt, the ideal option would be to hire a team of professional researchers. However, it requires extra costs. Do you want to know how to reduce these expenses? It's very simple: perform your own research. It's easier than it seems at first sight. All you need is mindfulness, perseverance, and diligence.

  3. Assemble a team and brainstorm ideas. Write down each one, even if some of them seem weird. Practice shows that it is a great way to find the right answer.

  4. Narrow down your ideas. Now your ideas need "to be polished". Analyze everything you have come up with during the brainstorm session and discard ideas that would be hard to implement. Leave only the “tastiest” and the most prospective ones and test them.

  5. Be ready to have your ideas discussed and corrected many times. It's the only way to achieve the desired results.

Now that you have the app idea, you must learn how to save money on its implementation.

Useful tips on how to reduce development cost
Okay, you have a great app idea... and what's next? Read our tips!

Useful tips on how to reduce development cost

how to reduce software development costs

Unfortunately, there is no universal way to reduce development costs. But don’t worry: it would be easier if you follow our little tips! Learn them and create your personal "cost-cutting scheme".

  1. Provide detailed project requirements. Developers love detailed project specifications. This is understandable: a detailed technical brief makes the development process easier. Otherwise, your experts would spend a lot of time asking for clarification. So, before you start building a mobile app, describe your functional requirements as fully as possible. A lack of such requirements can lead to a product unable to meet client expectations (as well as additional working hours and missing deadlines).

  2. Minimize the app functionality. In most cases, an app has features that don’t coincide with its main objectives and only distract the team from what's really important. To save time and money, you must remove unnecessary features and focus on the main ones. Simply put, if you want to reduce mobile app development costs, start with the prototype model. Software Prototyping helps to clarify customer requirements at an early stage. Also, such a model provides interaction between developers, designers, users, and clients.  Advantages of Software Prototyping include:

    • well-coordinated communication with fewer errors and less rework;

    • better mutual engagement;

    • involving the end-user in the process;

    • an effective cycle of ideas and better interaction.

  3. Choose the developers' team wisely. Weigh all pros and cons and select a company with vast expertise and a noticeable experience. Skilled professionals work faster and more efficiently. With a team of true experts, you can achieve smart cost allocation and receive a high-quality product. 

  4. Remember about errors and rework. As IEEE notes in its report "Why Software Fails", developers spend at least 50% of their working time to avoid project rework. Fixing errors at the last stage of development could be significantly higher (up to 100x and even more) than before it. Just compare: the developer needs about five hours to fix a bug at the coding stage, whereas the number can increase up to fifteen hours in the production phase ("The Economic Impacts of Inadequate Infrastructure for Software Testing, 2002"). Fixing new bugs as they occur is less painful and cheaper than trying to deal with them in the final version of the app.

  5. Don’t skimp on the QA team. You may think you don't need a QA team and can handle testing on your own. However, this is a misconception. The testing process is much more complicated than it might seem. An experienced QA team would perform necessary testing and ensure bug-free product, thus avoiding additional expenses.

  6. Interact with the development team. Don’t forget that the development of any product involves the interaction of both parties: a developer and a client. The more often such an interaction occurs, the better the team understands the client's vision of the project. And a better understanding of the project increases the chances of app features being implemented as intended.

  7. User acceptance testing (UAT) in the early stages. This kind of testing plays an important role in developing effective and affordable software projects. Imagine: you publish the application in App Store and Google Play and then see that users don’t accept your product. Let’s agree, it would be very expensive to fix the problem! Don't wait until the end of functional testing, start UAT during the prototyping stage. Of course, when your app is ready to launch, you should repeat UAT again. There are a lot of UAT schemes and each of them has its benefits. Which one is better to choose? The best way is to resort to professional assistance. Experts’re more likely to advise you on the proper solution.

  8. Laconic design. Intricate design requires a lot of time spent on its implementation. Therefore, try to avoid too expressive UI/UX style. Fortunately, iOS and Android offer their own design guidelines, which greatly simplify the designer's work and helps to save money on development. But it doesn't apply to cases where the mobile program requires a complex user interface with unique custom elements.

  9. Use automated tools when testing your app. The danger of the human factor leads to the need for bringing down all manual processes to the minimum level. Using automated tools would greatly reduce the monetary costs allowing you to avoid human mistakes.

  10. One project — one team. Find the company with a full software development lifecycle (application logic, development, design, etc.). When several teams work on the same project, communication and project coordination can be a real problem. Delays caused by the complicated interaction turn into very noticeable extra costs. 

  11. Take your time with the project deadlines. You shouldn’t hurry the developers' team to complete the project as quickly as possible. This would inevitably lead to excessive rush, carelessness, and most likely errors. And the more errors, the more time developers need to fix them. If you want to find ways to reduce the costs of software development, be loyal to your developers.

Factors affecting the development budget

development budget

There are a number of different pitfalls in mobile app development able to impact the overall workflow. Let's see what risks are most dangerous and how to reduce software development costs by keeping out of them.

Examples of such risks:

  1. Investment in an unpopular product. It's rather annoying to spend a lot of time, money, and effort and launch an application nobody needs! How to avoid such an outcome? We’ll give you a few tips:

    • describe the features of the future product and assess its value/complexity/market orientation;

    • select the most meaningful features of the product;

    • think through the user experience within the system;

    • enter the market with MVP (minimum viable product);

    • develop the new system modules only after post-launch results.

  2. Delays in project implementation. Over 40% of IT projects face the risk of deferred deadlines. The reasons may be different and not always due to the contractor’s fault. In general, we’d like to list the following examples:

    • a client's excessive criticality. Perfectionism sometimes becomes a real problem. It happens when the client expects the most perfect (and often impossible) result, instead of launching a good product.

    • excessive creativity. A lot of ideas are necessary at the initial stage of app development. However, when the project is already approved, it is necessary to adhere to the functional requirements document. Otherwise, you should accept the fact that the deadline would be delayed and expenses risen.

    • wrong choice of the constructor. As we've already mentioned, you should not save on developers! New-born companies usually lack experience, so they’re unlikely to predict how much time a particular project might take.

    • different understanding of the project goals and objectives. Before proceeding to the stage of mobile app development, make sure both parties of the process properly understand each other. Still further, the client's requirements must be well-documented in order to avoid possible problems in the future. Such an approach would also help the developers' team borne in mind project restrictions.

  3. The exceeded development budget. The development budget can be exceeded for the same reasons as a postponed deadline. A few examples:

    • poor project specifications. Sooner or later, the client realizes that some of his requirements aren't taken into account (due to imperfection of the documentation). Further rework of the project implies more costs;

    • change of requirements to the final product (when a client suddenly comes up with new ideas about his future application). 

  4. The change in the product concept. We've already discussed such a problem indirectly: it is the change in the product concept that affects the project deadlines and prevents developing a budget correctly.

  5. The change of the developers' team.  The wrong choice of the developers' team leads to the necessity of choosing the new one. This means extra costs as well.

  6. The problem of product acceptance by the customer. We’re talking about the most painful and stressful stage: developers focus on finishing the project and the client wants to be sure the product meets all his expectations. If communication was initially built properly, conflicts won't appear, and the project will be completed on time.

In order to minimize the risk, you should carefully formulate project specifications at the first stage and actively interact with developers during the whole process. Constant communication is one of the answers to the question of how to reduce app development costs.


save money on development

Summing up, in order to reduce software development costs you need to:

  • discuss the project details at its start;

  • constantly interact with the development team;

  • conduct preliminary research and find out what the market demands;

  • constantly test the application (it is cheaper to prevent the problem than to solve it in the final version of the product);

  • discuss the project process all the time;

  • be laconic everywhere: both in design and in functionality. Choose the required minimum of features and add new ones when the application starts being profitable;

  • save costs reasonably;

  • choose professionals.

Agilie team

It becomes obvious that the most important thing is to find the right team: a company with sufficient experience and ability to build a quality product even within the limited client's budget. 

Agilie is perfect for the task. We'll create a good application while reducing app development costs in the process.

Why Agilie?

  • Our experts perform each project stage. You’ll get a finished product that meets your requirements and expectations.

  • We’re experienced specialists with a lot of successfully completed projects in our portfolio. Take a look if you want to see it for yourself.

  • Our company employs experts of different profiles: professionals who have already become a cohesive team of like-minded people. Our specialists work consistently, confidently, and therefore as efficiently as possible.

  • If necessary, we’ll consult you on all the questions and suggest the best ways to save money by developing a project budget given your financial limitations.

Before starting developing an application, we always make sure our experts understand the client's requirements. Therefore, you can totally rely on our team.

Factors affecting the development budget
We’re more than happy to help your business grow! Let’s cooperate.


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