In the business world, time is money. The longer it takes you to build an app, the more you spend. If you started looking for app developers and compared price range, you realised the process is far from cheap. Mainly because each app is unique, and your requirements impact how long it takes for the developer to deliver a product that suits your needs.

In the app development world not only time means money, but also money means time. Why? Let’s put it this way, you have a great app, and you’ve been waiting a long time to launch it. Now you are close to hiring the best team to develop it, but they charge for their services on an hourly basis, and because your app has a myriad of features, you’ll spend a lot. The average app takes 6 months to develop, but if you’re lucky and you want a simple app with basic features, and the developing team is the best in the market, it can take 4 months. But there are also cases when it takes more than 12 months to build an app.

You want the app to get built fast to keep expenses at a minimum and start making money.

But should you rush the process? Check the app development timeline to understand if it’s worth trying to shorten it.

2-4 weeks – Identify app requirements 

At this stage, you brainstorm ideas and put them on paper to provide the web design company with information to build the app. They’ll ask you some typical questions like:

  • What is the function of the app?
  • Is the app essential for your company?
  • Who is the target user?
  • What tasks do the users need to complete?

Even if the process doesn’t take long, this step is crucial because it determines the purpose of the app. If you write information down in a vague way, the developers will fail to create the product you expect. When building an app, specificity wins the day.

As the creator of the app, your role is to share your ideas with the development team and make sure they understand your vision. The duration of the process varies from 2 to 4 weeks according to the complexity of the app and the availability of the developers.

1-2 weeks – Planning

Once you determine what the features of the app will be, it’s time to figure out how to build it. With the information at hand, a skilled developer will break down the job and identify the stages required to design it. The app development process includes multiple tasks that have to be accomplished based on their priority and dependency on other processes. Similar to building a house, you cannot install the roof before you build the frame.

3-6 months – Development

Coding the application takes the largest amount of time. During this stage, the developers create the code that magically powers the app, and design the interface to engage with the users. It’s a slow process, but it brings your app to life.

If you want to accelerate the process, this is the best time to do it. You can hire multiple developers to design different parts of the app.

3-6 weeks – Testing

To make sure that you deliver a high-quality product, examine the app. Spend as long as you need to test it and check its features. As the creator, you decide how detailed testing should be. It’s best to conduct testing at each demo, and end-to-end testing to understand if your system is completely functional before launching it.

Testing is essential because it shows whether what was built meets the original requirements. After basic testing, check  it for various conditions to check its performance on multiple devices and versions of operating systems.

Factors that influence the development timeline

To understand if you can shorten the app design timeline, we listed the factors that impact it.

App quality

If you choose to shorten the development timeline, make sure it doesn’t impact the functionality of the app. It’s best to start with a realistic goal; otherwise, the quality will suffer. Let’s say you want to create an app that improves your clients’ experience and generates extra revenue. But if you start developing the app in January, don’t tell your clients they can use it in March because quality takes time. Excellent apps take time. If you try to shorten the timeline, the quality will suffer, there’s no alternative.

App size

The size of the project impacts the length of the process. Games and navigation and educational apps are complex, and take longer to build. Four main factors influence the app size and determine the length of the development process: purpose, features, depth and scope.

App cost

As the article first pointed out, the longer the development process is, the more money you spend. It isn’t a bad thing as long as you afford, and you’re sure it’s worth it. Sometimes it’s best to invest in the development process and come up with a top-notch product.

But as in all instances, money talk and you need to make a budget. Be reasonable and realistic when you try to foresee the expenses the process implies. Don’t assume you’ll build an app to compete with Snapchat or Instagram with $10,000 in your bank account. To estimate how much you’ll spend on building the app, research to get an idea of how much each stage costs.

There’s nothing worse than getting through 80% of development and running out of money. And even if you find it hard to believe, many app creators faced this scenario.

And while a big budget is reasonable when building apps, too much money only makes you spend unnecessarily..

Wrapping up

As you concluded, the app development timeline differs although you can estimate it. When you try to find out how long it takes before your app is available to users, check the above stages and make sure you consider the factors.

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