How Much Does It Cost to Build An App in The UK?

Sudeep Srivastava June 13, 2024
app development cost in the UK

In this competitive era of technological advancement, businesses encounter various challenges, such as attracting the right audience, building robust marketing strategies, augmenting operational efficiency, and delivering engaging customer experiences. Developing robust mobile apps serves as a solution to this conundrum, driving positive ROI.

With its strategic geographical location and robust international connections, the United Kingdom stands out as a global leader in app development, reshaping various industries.

 navigating the landscape of app development in the UK

However, navigating the landscape of app development in the UK necessitates a comprehensive understanding of cost considerations. Factors such as project complexity, essential features, and the proficiency of your selected development team play pivotal roles in determining mobile app development costs in the UK.

Generally, the cost of developing an application in the UK falls within the range of £23,780 to £198,180 ($30,000 to $250,000)  or more, underscoring the importance of careful planning and strategic investment in this vital aspect of business growth.

This blog will provide you with detailed insights into the app development cost in the UK, its associated factors, features, processes, and more.

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How Much It Costs to Make an App in the UK – Detailed Insights

As revealed earlier, the mobile app development costs in the UK can vary from (£23,780 – £198,180+) on average $30,000 to $250,000. The overall budget can vary significantly based on factors, such as the type of app being developed, its complexity, features and functionalities, platform preferences (iOS, Android, or both), design requirements, and the development team’s expertise.

Further, let’s dive deep into the complexity stages, features, and development duration related to mobile app development, significantly impacting the average cost of app development in the UK.

App Complexity LevelsFeaturesDuration
Basic

(£23,783 – £47,560)
($30,000 to $60,000)

1. Simple UI

2. Basic Navigation

3. Limited Functionality

4. Standard Security Measures

5. Basic Database Integration

6. Essential Push Notifications

7. Single Platform Compatibility (iOS or Android)

2 to 4 months
Moderate

(£47,560 – £95,130)
($60,000 to $120,000)

1. Enhanced UI

2. Improved Navigation Experience

3. Expanded Functionality

4. Enhanced Security Features

5. Integration with External APIs

6. Basic Offline Functionality

7. Cross-Platform Compatibility

8. Social Media Integration

4 to 6 months
Complex

(£95,130- £158,550)
($120,000 to $200,000)

1. Highly Polished UI/UX Design

2. Advanced Navigation Features

3. Rich Functionality with Custom Features

4. Robust Security Protocols

5. Seamless Third-party Integrations

6. Advanced Offline Capabilities

7. Real-time Updates

8. Advanced Analytics and Reporting

9. Multi-language Support

10. Cross-Device Compatibility

6 to 9 months
Advanced

(£158,550 – £198,180+)
($200,000 to $250,000+)

1. AI and ML Integration

2. Complex Data Visualization

3. Advanced Security Measures (Biometrics, Encryption)

4. Augmented Reality (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR) Features

5. Advanced Offline Access and Synchronization

6. Predictive Analytics

7. Blockchain Integration

8. IoT (Internet of Things) Connectivity

9. Multi-platform and Cross-Device Seamless Experience

9 to 18 months

Factors Influencing App Development Cost in the UK

Let’s explore the key factors of the cost of app development in the UK, revolutionizing businesses in various ways.

Factors Influencing App Development Cost in the UK

App Type

The type of app being developed substantially influences cost. Apps can range from simple informational apps to complex enterprise solutions. Factors such as the number of features, user interface complexity, integration with third-party services, and security requirements all contribute to development costs.

For instance, an e-commerce app with features like payment processing, user accounts, and product catalogues would generally require more development effort and thus incur higher costs compared to a basic content-based app.

UI/UX Strategy

A thoughtful UI/UX strategy is essential for creating a successful and user-friendly app in the UK market. A robust UI/UX strategy includes user testing and iteration to gather feedback, identify usability issues, and refine the design. Conducting multiple rounds of user testing and iterating on the design based on feedback requires additional time and resources, contributing to development costs.

Incorporating accessibility features and ensuring compliance with accessibility standards (e.g., WCAG guidelines) in the UI/UX design is essential for reaching a broader audience and meeting regulatory requirements.

App Platform

Selecting the platform significantly impacts the mobile app development UK costs. Typically, apps are developed for either iOS, Android, or both. Each platform has its own set of requirements, development tools, and design guidelines. Businesses leverage Swift or Objective-C while developing for iOS, on the other hand, Android apps are typically built with Java or Kotlin.

The choice of app platform significantly influences development cost in terms of the tools and programming languages, device fragmentation, app store guidelines, and distribution channels.

Team Size

The size and skill diversity within the development team enhances project costs. A robust team encompassing a spectrum of expertise, including designers, developers, QA testers, and project managers, is indispensable for tackling complex projects or meeting strict deadlines. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that a larger team inherently entails higher labour expenses.

App Development TeamHourly Rates (Approx)
Project Manager$25 to $30

(£20 – £23)

Tech Lead (Backend / Frontend)$28 to $30

(£22 – £24)

Sr. Mobile App Developer$24 to $30
(£19 – £24)
Sr. Web & Backend Developer$24 to $30
(£19 – £24)
DevOps$25 to $30
(£20 – £24)
Business Analyst$20 to $25
(£16 – £20)
UX/UI$20 to $25
(£16 – £20)
QA$20 to $25
(£16 – £20)

GDPR Compliance

App development regulations in the UK encompass a variety of legal and compliance requirements that developers must adhere to when creating and distributing mobile applications. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has a significant impact on app development costs in the UK market due to the requirements it imposes on the handling of personal data.

GDPR compliance imposes various requirements on app development, including enhanced data protection measures, privacy considerations, consent management, and legal compliance. GDPR mandates that developers need to implement privacy-enhancing features and transparency about data processing practices. Very importantly, under Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA), app developers need to mitigate privacy risks associated with their apps. They need to engage legal professionals to review privacy policies, terms of service, and other legal documents, adding to development costs.

Meeting all these requirements necessitates additional development efforts, resources, and ongoing maintenance, contributing to increase in mobile app development UK costs.

Developer Expertise and Location

App development costs in regions such as the UK, Europe and the US are generally higher compared to regions like Asia. This is primarily due to factors such as the higher living costs and greater demand for tech talent in major cities like London, Manchester, or Edinburgh.

Conversely, developers in smaller cities may offer more competitive rates due to lower living costs and less competition for talent. Additionally, the reputation and track record of developers, as evidenced by their portfolio of successful projects, also play a significant role in determining pricing and influencing overall development costs. Here is the estimated hourly development rate as per multiple regions.

RegionHourly Rates of Development

UAE$60 to $65 

(£48 – £52)

US$95 to $100
(£75 – £80)
Western Europe$80 to $90
(£55 – £72)
Australia$70 to $90
(£63 – £72)
Eastern Europe$50 to $55
(£40 – £43)
Asia$25 to $40
(£20 – £32)

Testing and Quality Assurance

Testing and quality assurance are essential components of app development in the UK market that impact the overall costs. The extent of test coverage, including unit testing, integration testing, regression testing, and user acceptance testing, affects development costs. Furthermore, compliance testing also adds to development costs but is essential for meeting legal and regulatory requirements.

While investing in testing and QA may add to upfront development costs, it helps ensure the final app’s quality, reliability, and compliance, ultimately leading to better user satisfaction and lower long-term maintenance costs.

Technological Innovation

While integration of innovative technologies in the app development process offers numerous benefits, such as improved performance, scalability, and competitive advantage, it can also lead to increased development costs due to factors, such as complexity, customization, and upfront investment in learning and implementation. The main reason being businesses may need to invest in training or hiring experts in new technologies, which can increase development costs initially.

More so, the time spent on R&D to explore new technologies like AI, blockchain, and metaverse can also lead to increased costs associated with project management and resource allocation.

It is vital to understand that embracing innovation strategically can result in higher-quality apps that deliver value to users in the UK market.

Complexity of Features

The complexity of features significantly impacts the cost to make an app in the UK.  Complex feature integration may require additional architectural considerations to ensure scalability and optimal performance, especially as the user base grows.

Developing scalable and performant solutions usually require additional development effort and investment in infrastructure, contributing to higher development costs.

Businesses should carefully assess the complexity of features they require in their app and plan accordingly to ensure successful development within their budget constraints.

Some of the features that are typically complex to develop include, integrating ML algorithms, multi-language support, live chat, offline functionality, and geolocation services.

Hidden App Development Costs

It is indispensable for businesses to examine the hidden costs while budgeting for app development. Firstly, design fees can often exceed initial expectations but it is recommended to emphasize on the importance of investing in a visually compelling and functional app interface.

Additionally, ongoing maintenance is crucial post-launch, as regular updates and compliance with evolving standards are necessary to uphold user satisfaction and app performance.

Cybersecurity is another valuable component; prioritizing user privacy may not be included in the development package. Hence, you can better manage your app development expenses by acknowledging and budgeting for these hidden costs upfront.

unclear about app development costs specific to your industry and project

Cost Optimization Strategies to Build an App in the UK

The overall mobile app development cost in the UK includes various components, such as initial consultation and planning, design and user interface development, coding and programming, integration of features and functionalities, quality assurance and testing, etc.

Different factors enhance the development of the application, but by taking a strategic and analytical approach, businesses can save money and time, building result-driven applications. Let us look at multiple cost optimization strategies for building a robust app in the UK market.

ost-Efficient Approaches for Mobile App Development in UK

Outsourcing Development

Outsourcing development can be an effective strategy, offering advantages such as lower labor costs, access to specialized expertise, and streamlined resource allocation. Additionally, it facilitates accelerating time-to-market, reducing infrastructure expenses, and enabling a focus on core competencies.

Using Open-source Technologies

Open-source technology can be an effective strategy for optimizing the cost of app development in the UK as it helps in eliminating licensing costs, leveraging community support, offering customization options, providing continuous updates, promoting vendor independence, facilitating interoperability, enabling scalability, fostering innovation, and reducing the total cost of ownership.

Open-source technologies are typically free to use, eliminating the need to purchase expensive licenses for proprietary software or frameworks. They are continually improved and updated by the developer community, providing businesses with access to new features and security patches at no additional cost.

Taking the MVP Approach

The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach effectively reduces mobile app development costs in the UK, optimizing resource allocation, encouraging iterative improvement, and facilitating data-driven decision-making.

Starting by prioritizing essential features and avoiding unnecessary complexity, businesses can significantly reduce development costs compared to building a fully-featured app from the outset. Furthermore, MVP development allows them to test the viability of the app concept and validate market demand with minimal investment.

Adopting Cloud-Based Infrastructure

Cloud-based infrastructure can be an effective strategy for optimizing the mobile app development cost in the UK market by offering a pay-as-you-go pricing model, reducing infrastructure costs, providing scalability and elasticity, reducing maintenance costs, ensuring high availability, accelerating time-to-market, offering managed services and automation, and providing cost optimization tools.

Also Read: Cloud-based app development: Benefits, development process and costs explained

Unraveling the Steps to Build a Robust Mobile App

The app development process in the UK typically follows a structured and iterative approach to ensure the creation of high-quality and effective mobile applications. Let’s understand it!

The Stages of Mobile App Development

Defining App Objectives and Strategizing

One of the first steps in building an app is comprehending client requirements, desired features, and target audience. Additionally, businesses should concentrate on understanding competitors’ methodologies and market trends which can help them in defining the project scope, goals, and deliverables clearly.

UI/UX Design

In this phase, businesses should prioritize establishing interactive prototypes as a valuable step in the UI/UX design process while developing an application in the UK. Interactive prototypes serve as crucial tools to visualize the app’s flow and functionality, allowing businesses to iterate and refine their design concepts effectively.

App Development

Frontend and backend development are essential steps to creating a functional application. Companies should implement the user interface design by building server-side logic, databases, and APIs to support the app’s functionality.

Quality Assurance and Testing

During this phase, the development team focuses on conducting thorough testing to identify and rectify bugs and performance issues within the app. Gathering feedback from real users to ensure the app meets their expectations.

App Deployment

During deployment, the team is responsible for meticulously preparing and submitting the app to relevant stores, including the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Simultaneously, they strategically plan the app’s release, carefully considering aspects of marketing and promotion to optimize its launch.

Post-Launch Maintenance and Support

Following the app’s launch, the team is dedicated to providing ongoing support, addressing issues, and releasing updates as needed. Additionally, they actively monitor performance, analyzing user feedback and app analytics to inform and enhance future versions.

It is vital to understand that selecting the right app development company is crucial for success. An experienced firm can guide you through essential app development steps like conceptualization, design, development, and maintenance, resulting in streamlined communication and timely delivery.

How to Choose a Reliable App Development Company in the UK?

Selecting a trustworthy and suitable app development company in the UK requires thorough consideration. Let’s delve into the various factors that hold significance when choosing a reliable app development partner.

Consider Portfolio and Expertise

When choosing an app development company in the UK, it’s essential to thoroughly examine their portfolio and expertise. This allows you to ensure their past projects align with your needs and demonstrate proficiency in the required technology and industry.

Assess Quality Assurance Processes

Evaluate the company’s quality assurance processes to ensure the app’s performance, security, and user experience meet industry standards. This step is crucial for guaranteeing the reliability and effectiveness of the final product.

Obtain Client References

Requesting client references from the company provides valuable insights into their reliability and customer satisfaction levels. Hearing about previous clients’ experiences first hand can help validate the company’s capabilities and reputation.

Evaluate Pricing Structure

It’s important to assess the company’s pricing structure to ensure it fits your budget while maintaining quality expectations. This ensures transparency and helps avoid unexpected costs or compromises in the development process.

Appinventiv has been recognized as the ‘Best Mobile App Development Company’ by Entrepreneur and ‘Tech Company of the Year’ by Times

Appinventiv’s Expertise in Mobile App Development

Appinventiv’s experts have been instrumental in propelling the app development efforts of major industry players. Let’s explore the impact of their significant contributions!

KFC

We significantly expanded KFC’s digital presence by launching seven mobile apps across global markets. Our strategic UI/UX enhancements led to a remarkable 22% increase in conversion rates, with over 50% of total orders now originating from the apps.

JobGet

Appinventiv’s collaboration with JobGet led to the client securing $52 million in funding, establishing it as the top choice app for blue-collar workers. Custom innovative features, including AI and GPS integration, transformed the job-seeking process, resulting in 2 million+ app downloads and connections between 50,000+ companies and 150,000+ jobseekers.

YouCOMM

Appinventiv significantly contributed to the development of YouCOMM, a healthcare platform revolutionizing patient-caregiver communication efficiency by connecting in-hospital patients with nurses through a multi-request format app. This collaboration led to remarkable outcomes, including a 60% growth in nurses’ response time and high CMS reimbursement for hospitals, underscoring the impact of our expertise in healthcare technology.

Vyrb

Appinventiv played a key role in developing the social media app, Vyrb. Leveraging our expertise, we created a cutting-edge platform enabling seamless interaction via audio commands and Bluetooth wearables. Vyrb gained 50,000+ downloads and secured $1M+ funding, highlighting our successful partnership in innovation.

How to Earn Money From Your Mobile App: Monetization Strategies

While we have discussed nearly everything related to app development costs UK, it is also essential to look at its RoI. Here are multiple ways businesses generate revenues by pioneering innovation and augmenting customer experiences through app development.

Monetization Strategies for Applications

In-App Purchases

In-app purchases represent a dynamic monetization strategy employed by countless mobile applications, enabling users to seamlessly purchase digital goods, upgrades, or access premium features directly within the app ecosystem.

Subscriptions

Subscriptions provide users with ongoing access to premium content, features, or services in exchange for a recurring fee. This model is common among content streaming apps, news publications, fitness apps, software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms, etc,

Paid Downloads

Paid downloads involve charging users a one-time fee to download the app from app stores like the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Users pay upfront to access the app, and no additional charges or in-app purchases are required. Paid downloads can effectively monetize premium apps with high perceived value, niche audiences, or unique features that justify the upfront cost.

Freemium Model

The freemium model provides a basic version of the app for free while allowing users to upgrade to a premium version for additional features or content.

How Appinventiv Excels in Guiding Your App Development Journey

Appinventiv is a renowned iOS and android application development company that allows businesses to create exceptional mobile applications. With a proven track record of success, our experts combine technical proficiency, creative innovation, and a client-centric approach to deliver tailored app development services.

We begin by conducting thorough consultations to understand each business’s unique requirements and goals. Leveraging their extensive experience, our experts then employ cutting-edge technologies to craft highly functional and visually appealing mobile applications. The development process is marked by a commitment to quality assurance, ensuring that the final product meets the highest industry standards.

Connect with our experts to elevate your brand through innovative mobile app development.

FAQs

Q. How much does it cost to build an app in the UK?

A. The average app development cost UK varies significantly, typically falling between $30,000 and $250,000 or more (£23,780 – £198,180+), contingent upon the complexity of the project and its features. The range is influenced by factors such as the intricacy of design, level of customization, integration of advanced technologies like AI or AR/VR, and backend infrastructure requirements. Get in touch with our experts to get clear cost estimates based on your business requirements.

Q. How long does it take to develop a mobile app in the UK?

A. The app development timeline in the UK varies based on the overall app complexity. Simple apps with minimal features may take a few months, while more complex ones with an extensive feature set can extend to a timeframe of 9 to 12 months or even more. The duration is influenced by factors such as features, design intricacies, and the overall scope of the project.

Q. How does UK regulation affect app development?

A. The UK’s regulatory environment significantly influences app development, as businesses must adhere to strict data privacy regulations such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and ensure compliance with cybersecurity standards. Additionally, regulations related to accessibility and consumer rights also shape app development practices in the UK.

THE AUTHOR
Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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