How to plan your budget for mobile app development?


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Transforming a unique business idea to a mobile App requires a lot of brainstorming, development and testing effort. But before you bake all the things together, you need to define the idea and the budget of the mobile app. The idea behind the project is a rough idea that may deviate as the App development progresses but the budget of the projects cannot be wary.

Defining the budgets and the budget brackets requires an in-depth understanding of the market requirements. When you know what the App must look like and how it must perform, it is all that you need to budget the app development before you hire mobile app developer or Company. Easier said than done as these factors are variable and even a well-informed budgeting may not be exact.

Finesses of the Mobile App development ecosystem also have a huge impact on the budgeting. Some vital aspects that impact the price of an App are generally missed to be considered by the experts. The comprehensive list is all you require to create the estimate of your App development.

Plan the budget of Mobile App Development

Every step of App development comes with a cost. The stages of mobile app development primarily are consultation, market research, wireframing, backend development, frontend development, and testing. But these are not the only things that impact the cost of the App, the timelines and quality you desire also impacts the final bill.

Know the project

Before you budget the App, it is important to decide on its feature set, the timelines of the project and the resources that are required. The clients come to an App development company with a high-level idea of the project and the developers guide them in listing the final features, operations and performance stats of the Application. Having a well-defined requirement document ensures the budget will within the 5-10% deviation range.

Having a clear idea on the timelines of the project will give you a clear idea of how many developers, designers, and testers will be required to carry out the project successfully. If the timelines are stringent you may require more resources that will increase the project cost.

It needs to be decided as per the marketing strategy of the client whether he requires an iPhone App, Android App as native or cross-platform. Selection of the platform makes a big impact on the development costs, testing, deployment, and marketing costs.

Stage-wise pricing of the App

The developer hours are costlier than the designer hours and the tester hours. Before you set out a budget it is important to understand the hours that will go into each stage of SDLC and keeping aside a budget for App development, deployment, publishing, integration, testing and quality control is a wise move to get an exact idea of the budget. Keeping a little margin over the exact figures is always a good practice.

Functions and feature selection

Each function or feature that is added to the App will add to the price too. Having the right set of features in the App will help you stick to the planned budget. Brainstorm well with the development and designer team to understand the resources and cost of each feature in detail.

Third Party Integrations

Not all third part integrations come free. It is important to know the themes, plugins and other integrations that will impact the cost of the App. Using the pre-existing set of plugins and themes lowers the budgets. But in case you require a certain feature you must be ready to add it to the bill too.

UI is vital

Having an intuitive UI is very important for every App. The changing trends in UI generally lure the clients and they may ask for the high-end UI development. It must be made clear to the client that each UI element adds a specific cost to the budget as it might have a license or it may have longer development cycles.

Future of the App

An App is delivered to the client at multiple stages. It is important to ask the client whether they require prototyping as it will impact the budget. The Alpha and beta launches are followed by the final launch of the App. As the time progresses, the App may need improvements and upgrades. Generally the maintenance cost and upgrade cost of the App is considered to be a bare minimum but it is a good practice to make it clear to the client how much the both will cost.

Assessment of project risk

At the management level, it is important to identify the risk items for the App development. At a broader level, some of the risks a Mobile App is exposed to – the experience of the designer, developer and tester, the technology selection and the market trends. These factors may cause a sudden shift in the outline of the project. For example, the client selected a particular feature of the Mobile App but now that feature is not available with the technology set suddenly. There will be a change in the code and it is a risk to the budget of the App. To make sure such risks are covered beforehand, the risk assessment is also necessary.

There has to be a cap on the risk assessment amount and that is to be defined by the client. You can offer your experience to this as the past project postmortem gives a clear idea of what kind of risks are your mobile apps exposed to.


Once the budget is set, it is important to monitor it is being utilized in the same way. The elements that must be monitored are the man-hours, the usage of license based tools, preparation time of the project, design, style, branding and how everything is progress close to the decided outlines of the project.

The art of budgeting the mobile app development acts a very detrimental factor in the ROI of the entire project. The development company needs to make sure the budget is well padded and also does not scare away the clients. Having a budget in place ensures you do not overspend and end up in trouble while settling the bills with the client. It is important for the relationship building with the client too.


  1. Budgeting is a complicating process, and so is app development, so budgeting for mobile app development can be particularly complex. Every app has its own goal and its own objective for the client. For any business, two factors that impact the cost of mobile app development are the the material costs (function and features) and the cost of labor.


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