September 1, 2023

How To Save Money on Building an App


Delving into the realm of app development opens up a world of possibilities, and unfortunately, your purse strings. But, don't let the app development costs put you off, there are plenty of ways you can save money so you can make more of it elsewhere. 

Here are a few strategies to help with the cost of developing an app:

1. Define Clear Requirements and Prioritise Features

Before you start development, have a detailed and well-defined set of requirements. This helps prevent scope creep, where additional features are added during development that can increase costs.  Identify the core features that are essential for your app's functionality. Focus on building these first before adding secondary or less important features. Start with a basic version of your app (MVP)  that includes only the most crucial features. This allows you to launch quickly, gather user feedback, and iterate based on actual usage.

2. The KISS Principle

Keep it simple, Stupid! This is v1.0 of your app, the world wasn’t built in a day, and all of the other mantras you’ve heard peddled over and over again.

If you are building your app on a tight budget, one of the best ways to save money on the build is to keep it simple.

Plan out the ‘Minimum Viable Product’ the set of features that has to exist to get your app out there, show off your secret sauce, your killer feature and the other basics required for the app to be usable. Once you can demonstrate its value, and bring in users, you can supplement your app with further features, either by way of seeking investment or adding monetisation.

3. Use 3rd Party, White Labelled Integrations

There are so many tools or ‘features’ out there that people produce, that they offer as white labelled for you to use. Things like Messaging Functionality, Online Shops, Event Management and more. Often unless your killer idea intertwines specifically with one of these features, there is no point reinventing the wheel. To get your app off the ground, it's much faster and cheaper to integrate a 3rd party version of a tool like in-app instant messaging. This can shave weeks off your app build, but beware, they often have a monthly cost, albeit low at the point of entry, if your app scales up quickly, like any other subscription service as you add users this cost will rise.

4. Choose the Right Platform and Technologies

Decide whether your app will be for iOS, Android, or both. Native apps can be costly as they require separate development for each platform. Cross-platform development frameworks like React Native or Flutter can help save development time and costs by allowing you to write code once for multiple platforms. You can find out more about Native vs. Hybrid App building in our article ‘The Difference Between Native App vs Hybrid App Development’, click here.

Avoid Over-Engineering, build only what is necessary for the current version of the app. Over-engineering can lead to wasted time and resources on features that might not even be used. Leverage open-source libraries and third-party tools whenever possible. This can save development time and reduce the need to build everything from scratch. Instead of setting up your own server infrastructure, consider using cloud services like AWS, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure. These services can be cost-effective and scalable.

Remember that while cost-saving is important, it's equally crucial to maintain the quality and functionality of your app. Cutting corners too much might lead to a subpar product that fails to meet user expectations. Balancing cost-saving measures with delivering value is the key to a successful app development process.

If you are worried about costs spiralling, speak to us about Discovery. The Discovery process with Fortnight will help make crucial decisions about your app build and afterwards, we will offer you a guaranteed Fixed Cost for the delivery of an app, upfront. We agree with you on a detailed list of features and what will be included so you can stop worrying about cost overruns. Click here to find out more.

How To Save Money on Building an App