How Long Does It Take to Build an App?

Build an App

Have you ever considered making your own app for computers and smartphones?

An app is a lucrative opportunity that any smart investor should consider. Once you make a great app, all you have to do is worry about promoting it. 

Each time someone buys your app, you’ll earn royalties from it. Your app can also improve someone’s life. Whether it’s a fun game to pass the time or a productivity app to help users get tasks done — there’s an app for that!

But how long does it take to build an app?

There’s no set duration, but here’s what you need to keep in mind:

What’s the Scope?

The first thing you have to consider is the scope of the app you’re trying to build. Will it be a simple app with limited functions?

Or will it be a more complex app that can help you with a multitude of tasks?

One of the initial mistakes that new app creators make is that they request too many features for the first version of an app. This will greatly delay the release of your app.

You want to learn from Crowdbotics what mistakes to avoid when building your first app and your app design.

With your first app, try to take a minimalist approach with your features. This should take between 4 to 6 months to build.

Planning Your App’s Blueprint

Now you want to decide how to plan the design of your app. One of the most important aspects of building an app is to create a blueprint to present to your developers.

This is often the part that many app entrepreneurs rush through. After all, you’re eager to present the blueprint to developers. You want them to get started on creating an app as fast as possible.

But this is where you have to spend the most time. At the bare minimum, you should spend one month preparing your blueprint.

With your blueprint, you want to outline what you want your app to accomplish. You want to include the following in your blueprint:

  • The functions you want in the app
  • The graphic design of the app
  • In-app features that customers pay for
  • Navigation protocols within the app
  • How the app creates and stores data
  • How users can communicate with the development team

These are just a few examples of what you can include in your blueprint. Think about the apps that you use the most.

You can jot down what you like about these apps to help you prepare your app’s blueprint.

Finding Your Developer

The next step is to find your app developer or to hire a development team. This is another aspect that many app investors want to rush into. But once you choose an app developer, you’ll likely get stuck with them.

The first step is to look at your developer’s p ortfolio. Ask them about the apps they’ve created. Create a shortlist of developers who have made several apps.

You should then download these apps to test them out. If you like the quality of these apps, these are the developers you should consider.

If you don’t like the apps, move onto another developer — even if these apps are popular!

You want to also have a few consultation calls with the developer. You want to make sure you click with them and that they can understand your vision. If they don’t communicate well or are unreliable, you’ve got to find another developer.

You can use freelance platforms to help you find the best developer. It’s imperative that you learn how to assess a developer using these freelance platforms.

You want to make sure they have between 4-5 stars as their average rating. Their most recent 10-20 reviews should be overwhelmingly positive as well.

It’s also imperative that you don’t look for “budget” developers. You must go with the mantra of “you get what you pay for,” and you can’t expect to hire a quality developer for $5!

Take as much time as you need to find your developer. If it takes 6 months to find the ideal developer, then this is how much time you should take. Don’t rush into this only to get stuck with a mediocre app developer.

Finding Your Testers

Once you’ve hired your developer, you want to look for your app testers. As your developer works on building an app, you want to find a small group of users who’ll give you honest feedback on it.

It’s best to use a freelancer platform to hire professional testers. These are professionals who have expertise in trying different apps. They’ll notice any flaws in your app and how it can improve.

A professional tester should assess your app based on the following criteria:

  • How often does the app crash?
  • Does the app offer options to protect the user’s privacy?
  • What pricing do the testers feel is fair for the app or in-app features?
  • How easy is it to navigate within the app?
  • How original is the app? (This is especially useful for games)
  • How useful is the app?
  • How often a user would use the app?

These professional testers will help you determine whether it’s time to launch your app or go back to the drawing board. At the bare minimum, you should give 1 month to professional testers to assess your app.

The testing process can involve a lot of back-and-forth dialogue. For newcomers, the process can be frustrating as you’re eager to launch your app, but the testers suggest otherwise. 

But this is the most important part of the process of building an app. You want to make sure the app is thoroughly tested before you launch it to the public!

Now You Know How Long Does It Take to Build an App

Now that you know how long does it take to build an app, you can start working on building your own app!

Take the time to lessen the scope as much as possible. Save your bigger ambitions for future versions of the app.

Next, you want to prepare your blueprint to share with your app developers. Be open to listening to their suggestions on how to build the best app.

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About the Author: Andrea Parker

Andrea Parker is a reporter for Zobuz. She previously worked at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Andrea is based in NYC and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe coffee addiction, she's a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.