How to reduce the App development costs without compromising the quality?

Looking to reduce app development costs without compromising the quality?

Below you'll find 7 ways to do just that.

So, let's dive in!

How to reduce the App development costs without compromising the quality?

A mobile app has become an integral part of tech startups and businesses today. There are several ways to plan your tech startup budget and the mobile app development costs. Businesses with continuous programming flow choose in-house developers that work full-time for them on projects. 

On the contrary, small startups opt for outsourcing to reduce app development costs while working on short-term projects. Non-tech companies dealing with few digital products hire part-time developers or get services from digital agencies.

The question arises if there is any proven way to reduce app development costs without losing the quality? This article will help you design a strategy to minimize the development costs in 2021.

Compile the list of product requirements for reduced app development costs

Planning efficiently is on top of our lists of rules, as it serves both small and large corporations alike. This is to include all the possible expenditures in your budget from the very start and avoid any extra expenditures wherever possible. This should be applied to all businesses, as this helps greatly in maintaining the app development budget throughout the process.

A product requirement document, known commonly as a PRD, is a highly structured list of all the features of your application. Following are some of the key PRD features:

  • Outline project idea and objectives
  • Company background and objectives
  • Product features
  • Timelines to be followed
  • Platforms
  • UI and UX design requirements
  • Estimated budget by the development team

Reduce app dev costs

These requirements can be handed out to your team (in-house or remote) in any form you like. Turning it into an official document will be helpful for transfers and understanding as everyone will be on the same page. It will minimize misunderstandings due to the lack of clarity between different teams and control the expenditures.

It further helps to align the marketing and development departments, confirms if you’re ready to move into the app development stage or need to spend more time researching your market niche and targeted audiences and marketing campaigns. This will allow you to not compromise on the quality of the product.

In-house or outsource

The next stage of planning is to choose whether you want an In-house app development team or a remote team. The decision will impact the workflow structure, development costs, and overall project management. 

Deloitte’s outsourcing research of 2018 showed that approximately more than 31% of app development gets outsourced globally. The major task is to strike a balance between in-house development and outsourcing projects to keep the budget in check while making no compromise on the quality. 

Development outsourcing is to work with developers from around the globe to cut costs, e.g. the rental costs and equipment costs, the recruitment costs, and the freedom to choose employees from the global talent pool. You can hire an entire team of dedicated developers having expertise in different areas, to work on individual projects. The approach works well if:

  • You don’t want to spend time on hiring experts, but want a ready-to-use product according to your PRD.
  • You need programmers and other experts for just a short-term project.
  • You want to explore talent in your field from around the world.
  • You want to reduce app development costs by hiring experts from different regions where the rates are comparatively lower.

Well, these are some of the benefits of outsourcing, now we will enlist some of the negatives to outsource:

  • Heightened security risks
  • Language and communication barriers
  • Hidden or sudden development expenditures
  • Compromised quality of the products.

If you want to learn more about outsourcing, read our detailed article:


Cooperative Model selection

The third step is to choose your cooperative model while planning to minimize your app development costs. There isn’t a cooperation model that guarantees no risks in outsourcing but you can choose the one that best suits your project. 

But how does the cooperative model determines the costs to build an app? First, it is important to understand that the cooperative model applies to outsource tasks only. In-house projects mean that you provide your team with the required resources, software and hardware, and the space to work on projects. They work on fixed salaries as well. 

There are two options to outsourcing:

  • The fixed price model:

What type of companies opts for a fixed price model? This model works for companies that have a detailed PRD, deal with small projects and MVPs.

A fixed-priced model entails an agreement between the client and an outsourcing team that the client will pay a decided fixed price for the final product. Before this, the client will have to share the requirements and specifications of the project with the team to avoid any misunderstandings during the project. The outsourcing team will provide you with an estimated budget and milestones in response to the requirements.

This model has the advantage of not having to pay the extra money and the project can be easily evaluated towards the end, but it won’t allow you to make changes to the product idea or suggest anything during the project.

  • The time-and-materials model:

This model works best for startups that have long-term projects with dynamic and flexible requirements. 

If you don’t have a clear PRD, your app development costs should be flexible. The time-and-material model requires you to pay the team for the hours spent and provide them with the material they might require at any point during the project. This includes software, equipment, subscriptions, etc.

The model allows you to inculcate changes on the go, adapt and change according to the situations, and monitor your team’s efficiency better. The risks to this model are the unforeseen soaring costs within no time and less control.

Employ credible technologies for your project

The benefits of using credible technologies for your project are numerous. The technological stack is a set of programming languages, frameworks, and digital tools used by developers and specialists to craft entire projects in the technical arena. The employed Tech stack impacts the average app development costs as it decides the development workflow, complexity of app maintenance, style, increased costs, and commercial risks. 

Any tech stack comprises front-end and back-end components. Most of the common development tools work best on both the client’s side and the app server. A proven tech stack can help you optimize the development process and save team resources.

Using some of the popular and most-used stacks will reduce the app development costs: LAMP, Python, Django, MEAN, MERN, .NET, Ruby on Rails. To learn more about the technology stack read our article Best Mobile App Development Tech Stack

Choosing the right platform for your Mobile app

Another way to reduce app development costs is to choose the right platform for your mobile app. Before choosing a platform (Android or iOS), do your due diligence, as this will influence your marketing budget. Research the dominant platform used by your targeted audience. Following are a few of the points about the targeted audience that will help you in deciding the platform:

  • Age
  • Geographical location
  • Gender
  • Annual income
  • Lifestyle and intellectual level

Both the platforms attract different audiences and conducting thorough research on this will help make an informed decision and hit the right market in the first attempt. This will help you minimize the costs, as you won’t have to make changes afterward.

Start with an MVP

An MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is a product with only essential features. The MVP is a Lean development approach that focuses on demonstrating the main idea of the product based on developing product versions, assessing the results, and using this data to make the product better and cost-efficient.

Moreover, this approach helps you to build a sales funnel and test it. Our main focus must be on evaluating consumer-critical choice parameters, in-demand features, and the cost of fetching new customers.


Lean Startup methodology has numerous advantages, including:

  • The budget does not go to waste in developing a full-size app that no one may need.
  • It helps to analyze the in-demand features and make subsequent improvements in your app tech structure.
  • It provides you the liberty to change your direction in case your target audience does not prove to be profitable.
  • An MVP approach should be employed for your product testing to reduce app development costs. Feature-by-feature testing or constant code quality assurance checks are more feasible and cost-effective than a complete overhaul of the core codebase of your app to improve its performance.


The article serves as a guide as to how you can reduce app development costs without compromising quality. If you still have queries regarding the process, you can contact us for Mobile App Development services and we will guide you throughout the process.