How To Create An App From Scratch: A Complete Guide for Every Business

A Comprehensive Guide to Building A Mobile App

Do you want to build your first mobile app and don’t know where to get started?

Did you know the mobile app market is predicted to reach $905 billion in revenue by 2026? That’s a 51.7% increase from 2019’s $461.7 billion in revenue.

From fitness to lifestyle, entertainment, and especially eCommerce, apps have become cornerstone business differentiators. If a business owner wants to be seen as a major player in the 21st Century, a mobile app is key to helping their business/brand carve out their own niche.

Significance of Mobile Application

Did you know the average person has 80 to 90 apps on their phone that directly or indirectly represents a massive opportunity for vendors to connect with their potential customers?

A report says that a user spends an average of 3.1 hours every day on their smartphone worldwide and 4 hours a day in the USA.

Food Delivery App and Health and Fitness Applications, among others, are the most downloaded apps during the Pandemic peak.

Mobile app download has significantly increased by 23.3% during the COVID-19 pandemic and is projected to reach 45% by the end of 2021.

A report says that 42% of all sales in the U.K. will be done through mobile apps by 2024. The percentage will be even higher in countries like the USA, Canada, Japan, and other European countries.

The mobile app will bring fortune for your business, but if you think simply creating an app is an easy way to get business success, then trust, you are setting yourself up for failure. You cannot just approach a Mobile app development company and get your app built. It requires proper research, commitment, hard work, and willingness to deep dive into the topic and learn.

What’s the Best Way to Build an App?

There are plenty of factors, such as your industry, requirement, budget, app type, etc. play a crucial role in building an application.

If you have a highly scalable and durable application, building a native app is the way to go. However, the idea of creating a native app can be complex for startups and small business owners. It’s a costly affair, no doubt.

If you have a tight budget, you can consider building a hybrid application. It does not require much upfront investment.

The difference between native and hybrid: when you build a native application, you need to develop two separate applications by hiring respective experts. At the same time, you require to create a single codebase to run across both platforms. Besides, you don’t need to hire separate experts —a single full stack developer, any developer expert in hybrid technologies like React Native, Flutter, etc., can build you the app.

How Long Does it Take to Build a Mobile App?

It entirely depends on the project complexities, the number of features/functionalities, and the expertise of your tech partner. Usually, a standard application takes around 6 months to 8 months to develop, while it can go up to 12 or 15 months. However, you can get the final timeline by connecting your software development company with your project scope.

How Much Does it Cost to Make an App?

The cost of building an app, too, depends on app types, their complexities, and the number of platforms you are making it for. Still, you can calculate the average costs by calculating the average hours and the applicable charges per hour. Take a look at the image to find the top factors impacting app development costs.

The final estimation is possible when you connect with us with your project scope. The average costs you can calculate by applying the formula given below.

The Total Development Hours Hourly Rates ꞊ Total App Development Costs

Usually, an app development cost ranges from anywhere between $25,275.00 to $485,000.00 or even go up, spending on the changes in project scope.

You may explore online or visit our recently written article on app development costs for more detailed information.

Is it Better to Build iOS Apps or Android Apps?

It mainly depends on them;

  • Type of business you have
  • The geographical region
  • And, the kind of audience you have

Though you can connect with your tech partner for detailed information, it requires a bit of market research. They have experts who can help you decide if Android and iOS applications will be better.

Now, let us introduce the core part:

How To Turn Your Idea into An App

Step 1: Do Market Research

Just like you research the market before starting your business, you need to follow the same path to build your app. If you want to develop an app for your existing business, you have an easier task. For example, you need;

  • To create a user persona
  • Research how they interact with apps
  • Research your competitors
  • Get ideas about UI/UX
  • Evaluate your research
  • Explore the outcome

If you are planning an app-based business, you need to take a completely different approach.

You need to;

  • make a business plan
  • conduct market analysis by taking the help of an expert
  • Research your competitors
  • Find the market gap
  • Explore customer pain points
  • create an app idea based on these outcomes

Step 2: Select a Right Software Development Company

Now, you have researched your market and created a project scope; you need to select the right partner or build your own app. Basically, you have two options;

  1. Build an app by creating your own in-house team
  2. Outsource your project to a reliable app development company

If you are financially equipped, then the former option is good. You can create your own in-house team and get the project developed you want. However, it will be extremely costly —you may have to spend 40% additional costs for project development because you do not just have to spend on the development team, but also on the resources, infrastructures, hardware, management, and human resources.

Whereas, partnering with a mobile app development service provider can help you cut these added costs and even provide your quality projects on deadline. There is another option to hire individual contractors or freelancers, though you may end up messing up with your project if you don’t find reliable freelancers. So, let’s stick with these two options. Finding a software development company can be more straightforward:

  • select some of the top I.T. firms
  • Go through their portfolios
  • Read online reviews about the tech firm on independent channels, like Clutch, GoodFirms, etc.
  • Take interviews of software engineers
  • Negotiate prices
  • And, select the one which fits your requirement

Step 3: Create a Tech Specs

Once you have selected your tech partner, you need to focus on creating tech specs and dig deeper into your app’s inner workings. Creating technology specifications helps you visualize your goals, find ways to clear away obstacles, precisely help you outline how the app will be developed, its features, technologies, and more.

Step 4: Create Wireframe

Now, it’s time to evaluate your idea by applying prototyping and wireframing. That means you may create prototyping or a wireframe to validate your idea. Based on the project complexities, your development partner will suggest if you need to create prototyping/wireframing or adopt the MVP development model.

Prototyping is the skeleton of your app, which you or your hired engineer can help you create.

Wireframing is the basic or a rough layout that bestows you with the direction of your app. You can create prototyping or wireframe using a piece of paper or whiteboard or even the help of digital wireframing tools.

MVP refers to Model View Product when you create an app created with minimal or essential functions to give an idea to the users what this app is going to be. And, based on the suggestions, inputs, and feedback, your app development team makes changes and adds more functionalities and features into it.

Step 5: Choose the Development Methods

Whether you want to build a native app for each platform or develop hybrid apps will depend on your requirement. However, if you have a low budget, you can choose hybrid app development to use a single codebase across both platforms. We have discussed native and hybrid app development in detail in the paragraphs written earlier in this article; you can refer to them again for more clarity.

Step 6: Build Your App

If your software development company uses the MVP model, then your app is actually being developed. If MVP is not in place, you can divide the app into many categories and divide the entire project into smaller chunks. And, based on your set milestone, you need to ensure that your app is getting developed.

Usually, an app is developed using different phases, but two main phases happen simultaneously: front-end and back-end programming.

The front-end refers to the UI/UX part, which is your application’s users’ facing side, while the back-end is server-side, where the data is stored and accessed as requested. Now, your team, including designers, developers, and Q.A., will work on this part. The designer team will design the app, the developer team will write a program, and Q.A. will validate the app by initiating rigorous testing.

Step 7: Take Final Review

Now the app is ready, but wait; you still have to do your part. Distribute the app among your friends or take the help of another expert and get it reviewed.

  • Check its features
  • Ensure the features are working flawlessly
  • Make sure the app is designed with excellent UI/UX
  • Test plugins, such as Payment getaways and others

Step 8: Deploy the App

As the app is ready and tested, it’s all set to embrace your business. Ask your development partners to deploy the app across platforms.

Post Development Phase

Once the app is deployed, you need to analyze your app and take necessary measures based on the feedback you receive from the actual users. Here’s what you can do post-development.

Market your app

You have an app, but if nobody knows about it, what is the use of creating it? You have to get it known. You need to market your app. Do the following things to market the app.

  • Create a popup banner on your website
  • Share your app across social media channels, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Ask your users to download the app and use services
  • You can also promote your app using blogs and small articles

Update Your App Regularly

Last but not the least, you have developed the app deployed, but you need to keep updating the app based on the suggestions you get from users. Besides the O.S. changes, you need to update your app to stay compatible with the devices. Your software development partner will help you with all of these.

Final Thoughts

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR, or Industry 4.0) has left no business an option to run without the advent of technologies. So, if you are running any business, you need digital support to keep your ever-growing business smooth and functioning. Besides, if you are exploring app based business, your idea and the app (based on your idea) will play their part.

This guide may help you understand the basic nitty-gritty of how to develop an app from scratch. If you have such an idea, we can help you actualize and make it a profitable business. So, let’s connect today with us.

We’re technology experts with a passion for bringing concepts to life. By leveraging a unique, consultative process and an agile development approach, we translate business challenges into technology solutions.
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