1. Get a Professional App Development Team
Many small companies think they can save significant money by creating their own apps. However, if you do not have a professional mobile app development team, the costs can start building up as your IT team struggles to learn the nuances. When you have a professional on board, you can know the costs upfront, while they can also suggest you ways to keep the prices low without comprising with quality. At the same time, hiring a professional means you can focus on your business to improve revenues while the app development team does what it do best.
2. Simple is Better
While little customization can set your mobile application apart from the crowd, too much of it can cause your costs to go out of control. At the same time, keep the UI simple and unique. The simpler your app, the better! Having said so, it does not mean you have to compromise with the quality of your app. Trust on your app developer’s brain and expertise to achieve a mid-way that is interesting and engaging for your users, as well as at a price that is reasonable for you. The key focus should be on making the app useful, rather than overdoing with customizations and animations. This would unnecessarily increase your cost of app development.
3. Embrace Responsive Design
Suppose you want your mobile app to run on both Smartphones and tablets. Since both the devices have varying screen sizes and resolution, you have to create two separate designs. It goes without saying that this would increase your cost considerably. However, since you are in penny-saving mode now, you can adopt a smart way of creating responsive design for your app. A responsive design is one that renders same look and feel across all screen sizes and resolution. A good mobile app developer should be able to achieve this within your budget, but they will also try to convince you to have two separate designs. However, you shouldn’t because having a single, responsive design is the best option when you want it cheap and effective at the same time.
4. Stay Away from Money-Sink Features like Push Notifications
If you are witnessing a financial crunch situation, and want to save money in building an app, avoid features like push notifications, unless it is an integral feature of your application that users really demand. Many companies and app developers do not know that features like push notifications can increase the cost of your project by almost 20-30%. In addition to initial set-up costs, there are expenses related to ongoing maintenance. For instance, certificates have to generated, installed, and tested every year. Besides, there are many more activities pertaining to push notifications, which would definitely increase your cost. For many companies, the expense is worth investing because your users might really want to have those notifications. But for others, it does not make sense.
5. Consider Building for Multiple Platforms
Creating individual apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, etc. can be expensive for small and mid-sized businesses. At the same time, these mobile platforms have a dedicated fan base that should not be ignored. The ideal solution is often to create cross-platform mobile applications that work across multiple platforms. Well-designed hybrid apps render similar look and feel just like native apps, and are inexpensive as well. Cross-platform mobile apps can keep the budget under control while targeting multiple platforms. While building a hybrid app is not as cheap as having a native app for a single platform like iOS or Android, but it can be 30-40% less expensive than creating separate native apps for each platform.
6. Cut on Configurability Where Possible
Global configurability of elements such as text and color is considered a best practice in app development. However, when you are trying to save money, it is not always required because making each and every element configurable can be time and cost consuming. So, talk to your app developer to focus on the elements that really matter and likewise, make them configurable.
It is highly challenging to balance app customization and functionality with cost. But if you can achieve the same, it can ensure better cost savings and higher ROI in the future. With a little bit of creativity and compromise, there is no reason why cost constraints should prevent you from building the app of your dreams.