7 Practical Ways to Reduce App Development Costs (Step-by-Step Guide)
Ways to reduce app development cost

7 Ways to Reduce App Development Costs and Improve Your Success Rates

We have helped dozens of clients worldwide develop 100+ world-class, engaging apps without breaking the bank. We consolidated our learnings and experiences from developing these apps over the last few years in this blog, so you know ways to reduce app development costs before you start.

All great products start with an idea—familiar names such as Uber, Airbnb, Groupon, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and many others began with an idea and are indispensable for us today. If you’re an entrepreneur or a startup who has decided to jump the app bandwagon, you will need more than just a great idea. You need to hire a team of app developers that can transform your idea into a product and get it to the masses while ensuring that you have the finances to go through with it. This blog will help you to know how you can reduce app development cost without impacting quality.

Building an app on a diet

If you’re on a shoestring budget, the chances are that you might feel dejected at the average cost to develop an app. To put things into perspective, a survey about mobile app development costs by GoodFirms says that creating a mobile app like Bumble or Tinder can cost around $40,000. Instagram clones can cost nearly $100,000, and high-load, feature-rich apps can cost upwards of $200,000.

Understanding the cost of developing mobile apps

So how much does it cost to develop an app? Before you decide to throw in the towel and drop the idea of creating your app altogether, here’s what impacts the cost of app development:

  • Platforms:

    Clubhouse is an excellent example to illustrate this factor. Clubhouse social app initially launched as an invite-only, iOS-only app. Users could download it as long as they had an invite and an iPhone. Choosing one platform gave the Clubhouse team time to see if developing an Android version of the app was viable. If they decided to develop for both platforms in one go, their development and infrastructure costs would essentially double.

  • Technologies:

    Choosing the right tech stack will make all the difference in the final cost of your app. Integration with third-party platforms, AR and other extra features can drive up the average cost to build an app.

  • Scope:

    Your application feature set will impact costs. Adding features will also drive up costs and take more time to launch your app in the market.

  • Development partners:

    If you choose to outsource your development needs, your development partner’s pricing and collaboration strategy will reflect in the cost.

  • Constantly changing requirements:

    If you cannot zero down on the initial set of requirements, your development costs can escalate quickly as you constantly iterate to create a “launchable” product. This can also cause delays in implementation and release.

Process that influence app development cost

How to reduce app development costs without compromising on quality?

App development can be expensive—especially if you do not know how to go about it frugally and efficiently. Here’s what you need to do to keep your costs down while keeping the quality up:

 1. Carefully plan and finalize your product requirements when you start

Entrepreneurs often go with the vision of the end product that they have in mind. However, as your development progresses, your idea of the end product might change, and you may end up increasing the development time and associated costs. Planning the development of your product using a Product Requirements Document or PRD is essential to keep everyone on the same page and set your expectations + budget at the outset. A PRD is critical for your product, whether you’re outsourcing your app development needs or creating your product in-house. A product requirements document will help you to

  • Create a finalized list of features you need for your idea (product)
  • Add requirements for UI design and the UX of your product
  • Set timelines for development stages
  • Build estimates for each of these stages
  • Define the platforms for your app

Ensure that your requirements document is detailed, specific, and understandable for everyone involved. Volumetree’s excellent PRD template ensures that everyone is on the same page and improves clarity between various teams and vendors (if any).

Product requirement document for startups

 2. Create prototypes

Creating a clickable prototype of your mobile app is a great way to keep costs low. Your design team can easily dish out a clickable prototype using tools such as Adobe XD or Figma that will showcase the flow of your app. You can use this to fine-tune your user experience and decide if you’re ready to start development.

3. Outsource your app development

If you already have an in-house development team, your work is half done. All you need is to present your PRD to them, get estimates, and begin your idea-to-product journey. However, if you do not have your team or lack the necessary tech skills, it is best to outsource your idea to a reputed third-party development partner like Volumetree.

Outsourcing has many advantages:

  • Reduced development costs
  • Access to a global pool of talent
  • No need to hire your own team
  • Scale resources on-demand

Read here about: How to outsource Mobile App development?

Outsourcing development needs to a quality outsourcing partner (like us!) can also decrease common risks associated with outsourcing:

  • Communication issues
  • Workforce time zone issues
  • Hidden costs
  • Security risks
  • Code quality
  • IP theft
  • Quality constraints

4. Create an MVP

Building an MVP or a minimum viable product can help you test the waters before creating a final product. MVPs are a scaled-down version of your product with a minimal set of features that satisfy your target group’s expectations. Your MVP will help you to launch in time, get user feedback and improve your final product. Great products such as Groupon, Airbnb, Uber, and many others began with an MVP. Following MVP development best practices can ensure that you create a lean, high-quality product.

Do you how much time needed to create a mobile app? If not then click here.

 5. Create cross-platform mobile apps (iOS & Android)

Every entrepreneur who wishes to launch a mobile app faces a dilemma: whether to launch for just iOS, Android, or both. Creating native apps for both platforms is not cost-effective.  Creating an app for just one can potentially let you miss out on a large chunk of customers on the other platform.

The best way is to develop cross-platform apps that are essentially web apps that work on both platforms. Twitter is a well-known example of a cross-platform mobile app. Popular technologies for developing cross-platform apps include Flutter, Unity 3D, React Native, amongst others.

6. Use existing platforms

It is better to use a stable existing platform or technology instead of creating your own. Third-party libraries exist for nearly every function that you can think of. For example, using a third-party messaging service or integrating an existing ordering system can significantly reduce development costs and development time.

7. Automate manual, repetitive tasks

Automate tasks that are repetitive and have chances of error. For example, tasks such as testing apps before release, sending out milestone emails, change notifications, and many such trivial, yet easily automated tasks can help you reduce costs and save time.

Parting thoughts

Developing an app is a significant decision. Every step you take will impact your mobile app development cost, the time spent creating your app and bringing it to market and your product’s acceptance. Ensuring that you work in a well-organized, well-planned way will get your product to your customers on schedule and reduce unwanted expenditure and delays. At Volumetree, we keep your best interests in mind. We believe that low-budget app development should not equate to low-quality app development. 

Our project management teams ensure clarity, efficiency and reliability throughout the development process and beyond. This helps your project stay within budget and release a world-class product that your customers love. 

Do you have a fantastic app idea in mind? Schedule a quick 30-minute call to transform your idea into a product today

Read here:


We’re glad you asked. We have an excellent blog on how to build a successful app with an effective mobile app development process. Read more here.
Generally, developing a mobile app can cost anywhere between $10,000-$100,000 depending on its complexity and feature set. The exact cost of a mobile app can only be determined after an expert consultation. Know more about how much it costs to clone popular apps in our blog here.
The time taken to develop your app will depend on the complexity of your app. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation to understand the development timelines for your mobile app.Read this article to know more about how long it can take to develop your app.
Your customers may be looking for you 24/7. Having a digital presence ensures that people can get the answers they need about your products even during off hours. You will be able to grow your business, increase your profits and service your clients better without geographical boundaries or time zone constraints.
There are dozens of ways to monetize your app. From paid memberships to advertisements and premium paid features, you can choose the model that suits your app the best. We have a great article that describes various ways to make money from your mobile app.

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