Flutter - a free and open-source UI development toolkit that’s commonly deemed perfect for creating mobile and cross-platform applications. To date, it powers over 80,000 websites, boasting numerous selling points and avoiding past drawbacks. Its SDK is not limited to specific industries, making it a choice for at least 46% of developers out there. So, is it that ideal? More importantly, can Flutter adoption drive business profits?
We are confident in Flutter's immense potential, which is why we delve into the components that make up Flutter app development cost and explore ways to optimize it in this article.
Factors that Influence Flutter App Development Costs
Every other software project is unique, making it impossible to provide universal pricing. However, we've compiled factors that influence the overall costs of using Flutter at the core of the project.
Complexity and size
The complexity levels of Flutter applications can be categorized as "low," "medium," and "high." The more features required, the more time and skills the development team needs, increasing the cost as a consequence.
What technology solutions and third-party services are to be integrated? What’s the project team size? In our experience, a simple Flutter project takes about 2 months, a medium one around 4 months, and a complex one up to 6 months.
Design typically consumes up to a quarter of the allocated development budget, depending on the type of application you’re building in the first place. Apps like games or those employing complex animations and graphics are more design-intensive and, thus, more expensive.
The platform of choice for code development depends a lot on user requirements, and different technologies may result in varying costs for the same product.
If an app deals with sensitive data, guaranteeing security against leaks and vulnerabilities is crucial. The Flutter app development team will need to implement complex features and technologies, requiring more knowledge, skills, experience, and work time.
To achieve expected results in the long term, clients must maintain and bring the product to the Minimum Marketable Product (MMP) level. What costs are associated with this stage?
Marketing. Good app sales rest on efficient advertising and promotion. Marketing costs vary depending on the chosen methods and platforms. On average, promotion services are estimated within the range of $10,000. However, the overall costs can be reduced through social media campaigns and corporate events.
Sales. A well-organized sales funnel is essential. To achieve it, strategize product deployment to help the audience support it purposefully. Testing ideas and determining the best sales funnel may cost up to $10,000.
Support. Tech support usually takes around 20% of the initial MVP development budget. However, it largely depends on the application's complexity and the development team's location. Consider server rental costs and API integration costs, which may vary across different regions.
Developers decide whether to charge a fixed sum for the project or an hourly rate. The fixed price requires a meticulous project scope with clear expectations and everything well planned out. The hourly rate model gives you more flexibility and freedom to fix things on the go. Sometimes, both strategies are combined, where the initial project cost is combined with hourly payment for all additional work done.
Rates of Flutter developers
Available project specialists set rates based on personal qualifications, project complexity, and client needs. Typically, project pricing can be hugely affected by the cost of a developer’s living in a certain region.
Local price disparities can be significant for tons of reasons, even within the same region. Here are some relevant data on how much Flutter specialists cost across the globe.
After in-depth research, we can confidently say the optimal choice is a team from Eastern Europe, more specifically, Ukraine. Firstly, specialists there are more affordable while their level of qualification is not lower (often higher) than in other more developed countries.
Secondly, they have a European mindset, positively impacting the whole approach to work and communication. Ukrainian employees are frequently deemed more responsible and reliable than specialists from other regions, which is worth the investment!
Approximate Flutter Pricing Estimate
The application development process is built on several key stages: research and planning, prototyping and design, programming, testing, and release and maintenance. The complete package always costs more, and we do not recommend cutting corners. Likewise, it is important to compose a balanced team of specialists, where each fulfills their role and excels in their field.
Project team payments
Below is an approximate calculation of the required specialists and working hours for a small project:
Business Analyst – part-time ($25-65/hour)
UI Developer and Deployment Specialist – full-time ($25-65/hour)
UX Designer – full-time for one to two months ($30-70/hour)
QA Specialist – half-time throughout the project ($20-55/hour)
Project Manager – full-time ($30-40/hour)
If you need more people, you can temporarily hire specialists at different stages of workflow, considering travel, transit, communication expenses, and so on. On top of that, consider the time spent on management and coordination. These issues are best addressed by partnering with specialized IT companies.
We recommend dividing the process into sprints and stages according to Scrum. Clearly defined requirements for functionality and technologies help determine the time you need to implement each project stage and the specialists you need to involve.
For example, analyzing and assessing a project of medium complexity requires an average of 50 hours of work from a Business Analyst. Developing MVP may take from two weeks to two months. Developers will spend around 1000 hours implementing functionality. A QA specialist will test the application for about 500 hours. A Project Manager will participate in all project stages, spending at least 150 hours. Simply multiply the rates and add up the amounts.
Are There Any Extra Expenses?
So, you've considered all the main costs, but what about additional and potentially hidden expenses? How much more and for what might you need to allocate funds during the development and launch of a Flutter app?
Developer recruitment model
There are two main hiring approaches - you can go for either freelancers or dedicated teams. The advantage of freelancers is that they usually cost less. Considering the average hourly rate, you might pay around $4,000─6,000 for a month's work of a developer and UX designer from Eastern Europe and $2,000 for a Quality Assurance specialist.
We prefer the second approach because experienced dedicated team members won't have to spend much time building professional relationships and communication. Moreover, hiring a ready-made team may require less time and could come out cheaper than hiring several different specialists separately.
The finished application needs to be published. This final stage is not very expensive, but it can impact the cost of maintenance. For a standard release (where anyone can find and download the application), Google Play charges a one-time fee of $25, while the App Store charges $99 per year.
For an internal release (where access is limited to members of a specific organization), Google Play can publish an app for free, but the App Store may charge up to $299 per year. So there’s a risk that you'll pay almost $1,000 over three years and lose a significant portion of revenue.
Your server must be powerful and secure, and you'll have to pay for it. We recommend Amazon EC2. You can determine the exact rental cost using the AWS price calculator. On average, it amounts to about $2,000 per year.
There are thousands of ready-made APIs, but for the implementation of a unique and well-thought-out application, custom integrations are a must. They enhance the performance and interaction of your application with other corporate systems but may require significant expenses. It varies case by case.
Flutter only powers the operation of the client-side software. To make an application with a complex structure and high loads function properly, you'll need to create a reliable server stack. This will provide seamless real-time data exchange and storage of large volumes of data.
How Much Does Flutter App Development Cost?
Now that you know the all-around factors influencing the Flutter project cost, understanding the final cost of the application is not difficult:
- Discovery stage ~ $2,000
- UI/UX design ~ $10,000
- Development and testing ~ $90,000
- 20% for maintenance and support per year ~ $19,000
- Other expenses (server hosting, release, risk insurance, APIs) ~ $10,000
Summing up, we get $131,000 for an average project. Of course, this figure is very conditional, as there are no industry standards for time norms at each development stage. An accurate calculation calls for careful analysis, which is why we recommend turning to a trusted partner.
Optimizing the Cost of Flutter App Development
Despite difficulties in determining the final price, there are ways to reduce it. We recommend taking the following steps.
Set clear requirements
Properly conducted discovery phases can reduce the initial budget by a quarter and help avoid unnecessary product iterations. Thorough planning will help you better understand market trends and form your vision of the future product and its monetization strategies.
Choose only critically important features
A careful approach helps cut expenses in the initial stages of the application's life. A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with basic functionality allows you to evaluate the product’s drawbacks and advantages based on real user impressions. It will start selling, and missing features can always be added during the process. On top of that, Flutter apps are easily scalable.
Hire a professional team
In most cases, outsourcing is more cost-effective than recruiting in-house staff. It helps avoid workspace infrastructure and equipment expenses as well as the need to spend time on interviews and onboarding, allowing you to immediately focus on optimizing the workflow.
How much does it cost to make a Flutter app? Make sure to consider all the above factors to find out and assess your next project. Beyond that, some statistics are suggesting that, on average, a simple app costs between $50,000 and $100,000, while medium-complexity apps can go up to $150,000, and high-complexity apps start at about $200,000.
The Requestum team is ready to deliver your project more affordably and effectively without sacrificing a bit of quality. Reach out to us and let our team help you create truly competitive software solutions.