Thursday, December 2, 2021

How is the price of an app or software determined?- in 2021

One of the first questions when developing software is often: what will it cost? The answer to that question naturally depends on several factors, which are mainly related to the complexity of the app or software. The development costs of an app or software consist for the most part of working hours. In this article, we’ll show you what those hours are spent and roughly what different types of apps cost. price of an app or software determined

Factors Affecting Working Hours

To start with, we list the factors that influence the number of working hours:

  • Preparation
  • Structure of the software application
  • The complexity of the functionalities
  • The complexity of the design
  • To test

Other costs

  • Implementation
  • The chosen platforms
  • Freelancer vs larger software developer
  • The location of the developer
  • Maintenance

Examples of development costs of well-known apps


During the preparatory phase, planning is drawn up with the development team. In addition, the app is further developed and functionalities are prioritized and estimated. This process will obviously take more hours as the complexity of the app increases.

Structure of the software application

The software communicates with APIs (application programming interfaces) in various ways. Think of iDeal and Google Maps, for example. The more of this kind of interaction that takes place in an app, the more hours that go into building it. Software that uses user management also needs support and maintenance. Changing a password or scanning a QR code requires the development of an administration panel, also called the backend. These are all structural elements that increase the cost of the software.

The complexity of the functionalities

The more functionalities, the more expensive an app becomes. Logical, because it takes more hours. Do you have to take into account a limited budget? Then first list for yourself which functions are absolutely essential and consider (partially) deleting the rest. Are you dealing with a large budget? Then you can make the list of essential functions a bit longer, but don’t try to cram too many functionalities into one application here either. If you don’t, you run the risk that your scope will become too large and you will run into higher costs. It also increases the chance that your project will fail as a result.

The complexity of the design

Here too it is obvious: a complex design will cost you more money. Simply because it takes more hours. So if you want to keep the budget within limits, opt for a simple design. For example, if you want detailed symbolism and animations, you’ll have to dig deeper. price of an app or software determined


Software testing should be done thoroughly. You don’t want to launch software that is full of bugs. You can only leave one first impression, so you’ll want to go through every aspect of your software multiple times. If you find out that your app has bugs too late, it can cost you a lot of extra time if you have to get it through the app store approval again. Also have the app tested by beta users, and give them plenty of time to experience the app. Their feedback is very valuable!

Based on our experience, we have made the distribution of the budget transparent. This one looks like this:


The costs for placing an app for IOS are €99 per year, compared to €25 once for Android. If it concerns an app that will be used within your own organization, an enterprise distribution license must still be taken out. This costs about €299 per year. IOS is updated very regularly and so apps for this platform should also be updated. Of course, this update also entails additional development costs.

Chosen platforms and administration

Platform-specific apps have generally worked better than cross-platform or hybrid apps in the past. Today that no longer has to be the case. At 7Lab we work with NativeScript, among other things, so this difference between the platforms is negligible. However, the costs are often higher for apps that are specifically made for a platform, also known as ‘native’ apps. Keep in mind that developing an app for Android will generally take twice as much time as an app for IOS.

Freelancer vs larger software developer

The choice for a freelancer may initially seem obvious since an app can often be made cheaper by a freelancer than by a software company. However, the choice for a software developer has many advantages compared to an app developed by a freelancer. We list the most important ones:

  • You enter into a reliable and long-term relationship with a software developer.
  • You can count on service, something that is less obvious with a freelancer. For example, a software company is usually easily accessible and can also be visited on location. A freelancer will have little time for you once he/she has moved on to the next job.
  • Liability is better arranged with a software developer, you are often insured.
  • The quality of the end product is often better when you work with a reputable software developer. This is because we work together in a team that keeps each other on our toes and because code quality scans are often used.
  • Software companies use specialists. For example, 7Lab uses a Scrum Master and an IT Accelerator. The Scrum Master facilitates and coaches the team. He/she tries to solve any blockages and is also the contact person for the customer for non-development problems. The IT Accelerator helps the Product Owner to set out guidelines for the backlog. In addition, he/she helps with setting priorities and translating business requirements into technical solutions.

The location of the developer

The hourly rate of a developer can vary enormously per continent. For example, the hourly wage in India is around 25. In Europe, this is usually about 110 per hour. North America takes the cake with prices often over 150 per hour. So having an app developed in India can seem like a cheap choice. In practice, this often turns out differently. The lack of communication often requires rework, which increases costs and increases the risk of failure. The advantage of a developer close to home is that you can maintain direct and personal contact, allowing you to work faster and more efficiently. price of an app or software determined


Keep in mind that software maintenance can amount to 10% of the development costs on an annual basis. If you had an app developed for 25,000, then you will also lose about  2,500 per year on maintenance. The cost of hosting (keeping it up and running) the software is between $75 and $250 per month.

Learn more: What is Data Science?

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