When it comes to mobile app development, cost is usually the key concern for startup leaders and decision-makers. In this regard, Flutter has already gained a reputation as one of the most profitable frameworks in terms of price-quality ratio. Generally, Flutter app development costs from $25,000. But what are the specific figures? How to estimate the budget? What factors influence Flutter app development cost? This guide provides a comprehensive look at the mentioned questions and beyond, so keep reading.
Why consider Flutter framework for your app development?Flutter is an open-source framework by Google that allows developers to build high-performance apps for iOS and Android platforms. Over the past couple of years, more and more tech-savvy startups lean toward this approach over native development to stay competitive and successful. Google reports that around 500,000 developers worldwide use Flutter monthly. These stats are pretty impressive considering that Flutter only appeared in 2018. What’s in it for developers? Well, since Flutter development eliminates the need to build two different apps for two different platforms, programmers can exhale with relief and wave goodbye to maintaining two code bases. Plus, Flutter offers a cool feature, hot reload, which empowers Flutter developers to see updates in the code in real-time, streamline testing, and improve team collaboration. What's in it for business owners? Based on the above, businesses no longer need to hire separate Android and iOS teams, which means double savings. Besides, Flutter-based applications are highly competitive with native ones in terms of app performance and UX/UI, so founders may not worry about their app productivity. The entire process of Flutter app development is quicker compared to its alternatives, so you can also expect increased time to market. To learn more details about Flutter specifics, check our previous post.
Key factors influencing the Flutter app development costObviously, each Flutter project is unique and has its own peculiarities – that’s why it is hard to name any precise rates straight away. However, we’ve collected the top five factors that you should keep in mind when estimating the cost of Flutter app development.
1. Project complexity and sizeSpeaking of complexity levels Flutter mobile apps can be distinguished as “low”, “medium”, and “high”. The more features you want to add, the more time and skills the Flutter development team will invest to deliver an app. No need to say that the price will be affected accordingly. In our experience, a simple Flutter project would take around 2 months; a medium one – 4 months; a complex app requires around 4-6 months of production. For instance, building a simple messaging app usually doesn’t take much time. However, if you aim to create Flutter apps with payment getaways integrations – be ready for extra costs. More sophisticated functionality connected with artificial intelligence, like AI-fueled voice assistants or image recognition, will require deeper expertise and more expenses.
2. UX/UI designThe design is the cover that influences the user's first impression of your app, so its importance can’t be underestimated. UX design ensures a smooth user journey within your app, while UI design makes the experience aesthetically pleasing. By providing customers with a unique in-app experience and personalized approach, businesses stand out from the competition. For example, our recent client even had a major objective to create a Flutter-based app for job search that would be extremely intuitive yet simple. As a result, the app has become the best business app in App Store within the first month after the release.
Though a well-thought-out Flutter app design can “eat up” around 20% of the whole development budget, this is worth the cost. The most design-demanding apps by industry include gaming, fitness, and e-learning, to name a few. These types of applications often use advanced animations and complex graphic solutions. To delve deeper, read how to develop a fitness app.
3. SecuritySecurity is another critical matter you just can’t skimp on. In case your app deals with sensitive customer data, it is your duty to guarantee safety from leakage or any other vulnerabilities. Find a trustworthy vendor with a solid portfolio, preferably with projects of a similar domain, who will be able to keep security standards high. Again, a lot depends on your business domain. A color-by-number paint or a to-do list app hardly need to meet strict security requirements. But it’s a different scenario with fintech or e-commerce Flutter app development when you need to hold payment details and personal info. Here, you have no choice but to make security an utmost priority. Remember that Murphy's Law still exists, and if something suddenly goes wrong, you’ll be the responsible party.
4. Post-release supportDeveloping a mobile app is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. It doesn’t come as a surprise that a ready-made app requires investing even after its release. Regular bug fixes, new version updates, and design improvements are only the beginning of the list of possible future needs. Remember that your Flutter app is like a live creature, so it demands proper care to stay relevant and provide a flawless user experience. Thus, make sure you include an extra 15-20% of the total budget for future support.
5. Team locationWhen searching for a team offering Flutter app development services, you should keep in mind that costs greatly vary by location. As of today, average hourly rates of Flutter developers start from $15-20 in Asian and African regions and can reach $200. Traditionally, the USA, Australia, and Canada are the most costly regions in terms of hiring.
Nowadays, numerous startups tend to hire experts in European countries like Poland and Lithuania, as IT outsourcing has remarkably scaled there. Moreover, the team is not limited to Flutter developers only – you will need other specialists like designers, testers, and project managers. That’s why opting for European expertise at compatible prices seems to be the best choice.
What else may affect the Flutter app development cost? Above we have listed the most basic factors that form the Flutter price, but here are a couple of bonus ones for those who have a complex Flutter project on the agenda.
Custom integrationsIn fact, API integrations are a nice way out when you don’t want to invest much time and resources on writing code. There’re thousands of ready-made APIs available on the market, but they may not always be enough to meet your business requirements. In some cases, you need a unique well-tailored solution. And that’s when custom integrations come to the rescue. Though custom integrations empower businesses to achieve better app performance and interaction with other corporate systems, in the context of the Flutter pricing, they can cost a pretty penny.
Backend developmentUnfortunately, Flutter has no default backend solution since it powers only the frontend side. Hence, you need to come up with a solid backend stack that would guarantee the smooth operation of your Flutter application. It is especially important for messengers, social networks, and similar apps that have complex structures and undergo high loads. A well-tuned backend is essential to ensure uninterrupted real-time data exchange and storage of large amounts of data.
The average cost of Flutter app developmentLet’s do some math on the example of a small and simple app. It’s important to remember that the development of a convenient and functional Flutter mobile application requires a multifaceted approach and deep expertise. In addition to Flutter developers, the team should also include a backend developer, designer, QA, and project manager.
Below are the average hourly rates of these specialists:
- Flutter developer: $50
- Backend developer: $50
- Designer: $45
- PM: $50
- QA: $40
Let's take a look at the timeframes needed to develop key Flutter app features on the example of a real case – a mobile application for making medical appointments.
Now let’s calculate the total cost: Flutter development: 202 * $50 = $10,100 Design: 48 * $45 = $2,160 Backend development: 172 * $50 = $8,600 In summation, we get $20,860 only for design and development. Additionally, we should include the work of a project manager who controls the whole process (160 * $50 = $8,000), and a QA tester who is responsible for the bug-free app performance (160 * $40 = $6,400). To sum it up, you should invest around $35,260 for a similar simple Flutter-based app. Though these calculations don’t cover post-release maintenance, compared to native app development, creating a Flutter app is 30%-40% less costly.
How to reduce the Flutter app development costIf you have read this far and already feel concerned that you will not meet your planned budget, we are here to dispel your worries. There are a couple of proven tips to help you approach budget planning wisely and even reduce the overall Flutter app development cost.
Set clear project requirementsThe more clearly you define the requirements and expectations for the final product, the more likely you can avoid pitfalls and possible cost overruns at the development stage. How to prevent the Flutter app development cost from skyrocketing? We strongly not recommend skipping the discovery phase of the project. For example, thanks to a discovery phase we managed to reduced the initial development budget by 25% and avoid unnecessary iterations during product development.
Proper preliminary planning and detailed research allow you to get a better understanding of market trends, identify your strong points, and craft your own vision of the future app. As an outcome of this process, you will obtain a clear picture of your project objectives, monetizing strategy, tech stack, and set of necessary features. For more guidelines about the discovery phase, check out this post.