How Much Does It Cost to Make an App in the UK?

  • Outsourcing
Jul 14, 2023
How Much Does It Cost to Make an App in the UK?, image #3

We at WeSoftYou understand that mobile app development can be a complex and costly process. As a software development company with a proven track record, we have extensive experience in building high-quality mobile apps. In this article, we will dive deep into the factors that influence the cost of mobile app development in London, UK, and provide insights into ways you can reduce those costs without compromising on quality.

What Defines the App Development Costs?

Now that we understand the basics, let’s explore the factors that influence the cost of mobile app development in London, UK.

Developing a mobile app involves various factors that contribute to its overall cost. In this section, we will delve deeper into these factors to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of what drives the cost of mobile app development in London.

Complexity and Features of the App

The complexity and desired features of an app are key factors in determining its development cost. A simple app with basic functionalities will require less time and effort compared to a complex app with advanced features such as real-time data synchronization, integration with third-party APIs, or machine learning algorithms. The more features and complexity involved, the higher the cost.

For instance, if you want to develop a social media app with features like user profiles, photo sharing, messaging, and real-time notifications, it will require extensive backend development, complex database management, and robust server infrastructure. All these factors contribute to the overall cost of development.

Platform Selection: iOS, Android, or Both?

Choosing the platform(s) on which to build your app is another crucial decision that can impact the cost. Developing an app for both iOS and Android will require more resources and time compared to developing for a single platform. Each platform has its own requirements and development tools, which can add complexity to the development process.

Developing a native app for iOS requires expertise in Swift or Objective-C programming languages, while Android apps are typically built using Java or Kotlin. If you decide to develop a cross-platform app using frameworks like React Native or Flutter, it can save development time and cost, but may not provide the same level of performance and native experience.

Design and User Interface

The design and user interface of an app play a significant role in its success. A well-designed and intuitive user interface enhances the user experience and can differentiate your app from competitors. However, creating a visually appealing and user-friendly design requires skilled designers and UI/UX experts, which can contribute to the overall cost of development.

Designing an app involves creating wireframes, mockups, and prototypes to ensure a seamless user experience. Iterative design processes, user testing, and feedback collection are essential to refine the app’s interface and make it more user-friendly. All these design-related activities require time and expertise, which can add to the development cost.

Maintenance and Updates

Once your app is launched, ongoing maintenance and updates are essential to keep it running smoothly and up-to-date with the latest operating system versions. This involves bug fixing, security updates, performance optimization, and adding new features based on user feedback. It’s important to consider these ongoing costs when budgeting for your mobile app development project.

Regular maintenance ensures that your app remains compatible with the latest devices, operating systems, and security standards. It also helps in addressing any issues or bugs that may arise after the app’s launch. Depending on the complexity of your app and the frequency of updates, ongoing maintenance costs can vary.

Moreover, incorporating user feedback and continuously improving your app based on market trends and user demands can contribute to its success. These updates require dedicated development resources, which should be considered when estimating the overall cost of your mobile app.

Development Team Expertise

Another crucial factor that significantly influences app development costs in the UK is the expertise and experience of the development team you choose to work with. A skilled and knowledgeable team can streamline the development process, reducing the likelihood of costly errors and setbacks. Development companies with a track record of successful projects and a deep understanding of the latest industry trends can bring invaluable insights to your project. They can also adapt to changing circumstances and emerging technologies, ensuring your app remains competitive and up-to-date. While working with freelancers or using app builders may save you money upfront, the expertise of a seasoned development team often pays off in the form of a more efficient development process, better code quality, and a more polished end product, all of which contribute to long-term cost-effectiveness.

Options to Make an App?

Hire a Freelancer

For those seeking a more budget-friendly approach, hiring a freelancer can be an attractive option. Freelancers often offer competitive rates and can bring your app concept to fruition. However, it’s essential to note that working with a freelancer may lack the resources and expertise of larger development teams, potentially impacting the app’s scalability and long-term support.

Partner With a Development Company

Collaborating with a professional development company is a popular choice for businesses and individuals looking for a comprehensive app development experience. Development companies offer a wealth of expertise, a dedicated team of professionals, and the ability to tailor your app to your specific needs. This ensures a higher level of quality and support throughout the project’s lifecycle.

Use an App Builder

App builders provide a do-it-yourself solution for those with limited technical knowledge. They offer templates and drag-and-drop functionality, making app creation accessible to beginners. While app builders are cost-effective and user-friendly, they may not accommodate complex or unique app requirements, limiting customization.

When considering the best option for creating your app in the UK, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of each approach. While hiring a freelancer or using an app builder may seem appealing initially, the most reliable and efficient route to app development often lies in partnering with a reputable development company.

Development companies possess the experience, resources, and skills necessary to bring your vision to life while ensuring your app aligns perfectly with your business goals and user needs. With a development company, you gain a dedicated team committed to delivering a high-quality product and providing ongoing support—essential elements for the long-term success of your app venture.

The Process of Application Development

Now that we have discussed the cost factors, let’s explore the typical process of mobile app development in the vibrant city of London, UK.

London, known for its thriving tech scene and innovative spirit, is a hub for mobile app development. With a plethora of talented developers and cutting-edge technology, the process of creating a mobile app in London is an exciting journey filled with creativity and collaboration.

Initial Consultation and Planning

The first step in the development process is to have an initial consultation with your chosen development team. This allows you to communicate your vision, goals, and requirements for the app. London’s development teams are known for their professionalism and expertise, ensuring that your ideas are understood and translated into a comprehensive plan.

During this consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your target audience, desired features, and any specific design elements you have in mind. The development team will provide valuable insights and suggestions based on their experience in the industry, helping you refine your app concept.

Together, you will outline the scope of the project and create a detailed plan, including a timeline and milestones for each development phase. This meticulous planning ensures that the development process stays on track and that everyone involved is aligned with the project’s objectives.

Designing and Developing the App

Once the planning phase is complete, the design and development of the app can begin. This is where the creative magic happens. Talented designers in London will transform your ideas into visually stunning wireframes that serve as the blueprint for your app’s user interface.

London’s design community is known for its attention to detail and user-centric approach. They will carefully craft each screen of your app, ensuring a seamless and intuitive user experience. Collaborating closely with the design team, you will have the opportunity to provide feedback and make refinements to the app’s visual elements.

Simultaneously, the development team in London will be hard at work writing the code that brings your app to life. They will use the latest programming languages and frameworks to ensure that your app is robust, secure, and scalable. Regular communication and feedback between you and the development team are crucial during this phase to ensure that the app aligns with your expectations.

London’s developers are known for their technical expertise and ability to leverage emerging technologies. Whether it’s integrating artificial intelligence, augmented reality, or blockchain, they have the skills to incorporate cutting-edge features that will make your app stand out in the crowded app market.

Testing and Launching the App

After the app is developed, it undergoes a rigorous testing phase to identify and fix any bugs or issues. London’s development teams follow industry best practices and conduct various types of testing to ensure the app’s quality and performance.

Testing can include functional testing, where each feature of the app is thoroughly tested to ensure it functions as intended. Compatibility testing is also essential to ensure that the app works seamlessly across different devices and operating systems. Security testing is conducted to identify and address any vulnerabilities that could compromise user data or the app’s integrity. Performance testing is carried out to ensure that the app performs optimally under different usage scenarios.

Once all issues are resolved, the app is ready for launch. The launch process involves submitting the app to the app stores for approval and making it available for users to download and use. London’s development teams have experience navigating the app store submission process and can provide guidance to ensure a smooth launch.

In conclusion, the process of mobile app development in London is a collaborative and iterative journey that combines creativity, technical expertise, and attention to detail. From the initial consultation and planning phase to the design, development, testing, and launch, London’s vibrant tech scene offers a conducive environment for turning your app idea into a reality.

Approximate Cost of App Development in the UK

Now, let’s dig into the average cost of mobile app development in London, UK, and understand how it varies based on different factors.

London, known for its vibrant tech scene and innovative spirit, is a hub for mobile app development. When it comes to developing a mobile app in this bustling city, it’s essential to consider the various factors that can influence the cost.

App Development Expenses Based on Complexity

The development cost can vary widely depending on the complexity of the app. On average, a simple app can cost anywhere from £10,000 to £50,000. These apps typically have a straightforward user interface, limited features, and basic functionality. They are ideal for startups or small businesses looking to establish their presence in the mobile market.

On the other hand, a medium to complex app can range from £50,000 to £150,000 or more. These apps require more advanced features, intricate design elements, and sophisticated functionality. They often involve complex backend systems, integration with third-party APIs, and extensive user interaction. These apps are well-suited for established businesses or enterprises looking to deliver a robust and feature-rich user experience.

These estimates are based on industry standards and can be influenced by factors such as the number of features, design complexity, platform selection, and additional integration requirements. It’s important to consult with experienced app development agencies to get a precise estimate tailored to your specific project needs.

Cost Component Estimated Cost Range (in GBP)
Development £50,000 – £200,000
Design £10,000 – £50,000
User Interface (UI) Design £10,000 – £50,000
User Experience (UX) Design £10,000 – £50,000
Platform Compatibility £20,000 – £100,000
Feature Complexity £10,000 – £50,000
Backend Integration £10,000 – £50,000
Testing £5,000 – £30,000
Deployment £2,000 – £10,000
Maintenance and Support £20,000 – £100,000
Total £137,000 – £590,000

Marketing Expenses for Your App

Developing an outstanding app is only half the battle; ensuring it reaches your target audience is equally vital. Marketing expenses can vary widely based on your promotional strategy. Costs may include app store optimization (ASO), paid advertising campaigns, influencer partnerships, and social media marketing. Be prepared to allocate a significant portion of your budget to marketing, typically ranging from £5,000 to £50,000 or more.

Application Maintenance Costs

Post-launch, your app will require ongoing maintenance to fix bugs, add new features, and ensure compatibility with updated operating systems. Maintenance costs are often calculated as a percentage of the initial development budget, ranging from 15% to 20% annually.

Expenses for App Release on App Store and Google Play Store

To make your app accessible to users, you’ll need to publish it on app distribution platforms like the App Store and Google Play Store. Both platforms charge an annual fee, which is currently £20 per year for the App Store and a one-time registration fee of $25 (approximately £18) for Google Play.

Understanding these key expense categories is essential for planning your app development budget in the UK. Keep in mind that while these estimates provide a general guideline, the specific cost of your app project will depend on factors unique to your idea and goals. In the upcoming sections of this article, we’ll delve deeper into each expense category, offering insights to help you make informed decisions and navigate the world of app development with confidence. 

Ways to Reduce App Development Costs

Detailed Project Scope

Before diving into development, invest time in creating a detailed project scope. Clearly define your app’s objectives, features, and functionalities. The more comprehensive your initial plan, the less likely you’ll encounter costly changes or additions during development. Effective communication with your development team is key to ensure everyone is aligned with the project’s goals.

MVP Development

Consider adopting the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach. Instead of building a fully-featured app from the start, focus on developing a version with essential features. This allows you to launch quickly, gather user feedback, and make informed decisions for subsequent phases. MVP development can significantly reduce initial costs and minimize the risk of investing in unnecessary features.

Comprehensive Testing

Thorough testing is crucial to avoid costly post-launch issues. Identify and fix bugs, usability issues, and performance bottlenecks during development rather than after release. Comprehensive testing not only enhances the user experience but also reduces the expenses associated with emergency fixes and updates.

Agile Approach

Embrace the Agile development methodology. Agile encourages flexibility and iterative development, enabling you to adapt to changing requirements and market conditions. It allows you to prioritize features, ensuring that critical components are delivered first while keeping a close eye on the budget.

Outsourcing App Development

Consider outsourcing some or all aspects of your app development to countries with lower labor costs. Outsourcing can be a cost-effective way to access skilled developers while maintaining quality. However, it’s essential to choose a reputable outsourcing partner and ensure clear communication throughout the project.

How to Choose an Application Development Company

Selecting the right application development company is a critical decision that can profoundly impact the success of your app project. To help you make an informed choice, consider the following factors when choosing an application development company in the UK:

Experience & Skill Set

Evaluate the company’s experience and expertise in app development. Review their portfolio to assess the diversity and complexity of projects they have undertaken. A company with a proven track record in developing apps similar to your concept is more likely to deliver quality results.

Collaboration Approach

Assess the company’s approach to collaboration. Do they involve you in the decision-making process? A collaborative development approach ensures that your vision is understood and incorporated effectively into the project. Look for a company that values your input throughout the development cycle.

Communication Channels

Effective communication is key to a successful partnership. Inquire about the company’s communication channels and responsiveness. You should have easy access to project managers or developers to discuss progress, address concerns, and make timely decisions.

Data Protection

Data security and confidentiality are paramount, especially if your app involves sensitive user information. Ensure that the company has robust data protection measures in place, complies with relevant regulations (such as GDPR in the UK), and is committed to safeguarding your data and intellectual property.

Ongoing Assistance

App development doesn’t end with the launch; it’s an ongoing process. Inquire about post-launch support and maintenance services. A company that offers ongoing assistance, bug fixes, and updates ensures your app remains functional and up-to-date, saving you time and resources in the long run.

Cost Estimation

Transparency in cost estimation is essential. The company should provide a detailed breakdown of the project costs, including development, testing, and any additional services. Beware of hidden fees or vague pricing structures. A reputable company will be upfront about expenses and potential cost fluctuations.

Choosing the right application development company in the UK involves careful consideration of these factors. Conduct thorough research, request references, and engage in discussions to gauge their commitment to your project’s success. Ultimately, a collaborative and experienced development partner will not only help you navigate the complex world of app development but also contribute significantly to the cost-effectiveness and quality of your app.

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In conclusion, the cost of building a mobile app in London, UK, varies based on factors such as app complexity, platform selection, design, and ongoing maintenance. By partnering with an experienced software development company like WeSoftYou, leveraging cost-saving strategies, and embracing emerging trends, you can develop a high-quality app that meets your business goals while minimizing costs. Contact us today for a free consultation or project estimation, and let’s turn your app idea into reality!

Read how much does it cost to create Hybrid app in London, UK. 


How much does it cost to build a basic app?

The cost of building a basic app can vary widely depending on factors like complexity, features, and location. In the UK, including London, building a simple app with minimal features can start at around £5,000 to £10,000. However, this estimate can increase as you add more features, integrations, and customizations to the app. For moderately complex apps, you might be looking at a budget of £20,000 to £50,000 or more.

How long does it take to build a mobile app in London?

The timeline for developing a mobile app also depends on factors such as complexity and features. A simple app with basic functionality can take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months. Moderately complex apps may require three to six months, while highly complex apps with extensive features and integrations can take a year or more to develop. Keep in mind that these are rough estimates, and the actual timeline may vary based on your specific project and development team’s capabilities.

Can I develop my app in-house with an internal team?

Yes, you can certainly develop your app in-house with an internal team if you have the necessary expertise and resources. This approach allows you to have direct control over the development process and maintain confidentiality. However, it’s essential to consider factors like the skill set of your team, the availability of resources, and the potential for longer development timelines. Additionally, it may be more cost-effective to outsource certain aspects of development if your team lacks specific skills required for your app project.

Do I need a separate app for iOS and Android?

In most cases, it’s advisable to develop separate apps for iOS and Android platforms. While there are tools and frameworks that allow for cross-platform development, separate apps provide a more tailored user experience, take advantage of platform-specific features, and can reach a broader audience. Users of both iOS and Android devices should have access to your app to maximize its reach and effectiveness.

How much does ongoing maintenance and updates cost?

The cost of ongoing maintenance and updates can vary depending on the complexity of your app and the frequency of updates. As a general guideline, maintenance costs typically range from 15% to 20% of the initial development budget annually. This budget covers tasks like bug fixes, compatibility updates, security patches, and the addition of new features or improvements based on user feedback. It’s essential to budget for ongoing maintenance to ensure your app remains functional, secure, and competitive in the long term.

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