The cost of creating native apps has increased significantly in recent years and development delays can cost businesses dearly. However, as cross-platform development becomes the go-to technique for modern businesses, they are looking for ways to reduce costs further without compromising on quality. Flutter is one such solution that enables fast and cost-effective application development. Of course, with any development framework, the cost varies according to the marketplace, business objectives, features, functionalities and more.
Why is Flutter Cost-Effective?
Flutter is Google’s open-source, cross-platform application development framework. The framework requires a single codebase to run applications across iOS and Android devices. While only developed in 2017, Flutter has been continually improved by Google and has a huge amount of community support which adds to its ongoing credibility and popularity.
The Flutter framework is purpose-oriented, relatively easy to learn and comes with libraries, customisable widgets and everything required to create an app, from navigation to graphics and animations. It’s used to create unique designs and layouts and deliver incredible performance across multiple platforms simultaneously. As such, it has become a popular choice for businesses looking to keep costs low while still creating an incredible user experience.
What Influences the Cost of Flutter Development?
It’s widely touted that cross-platform frameworks are more cost-effective than native development for those wanting apps to work on multiple platforms. Of course, the cost will be directly related to the number of hours required and the cost per hour; however, it’s more complicated than that. There are several factors that impact the cost and make a difference to any given development project with Flutter:
- App Complexity – the more intricate the programming required to develop an app, the more it will cost. This is due to more time and effort required for features, functionality and third-party tools and integrations. There are also administrative functions and management systems to consider.
- App Categorisation – the purpose of an application, its required features and the size of its intended user base will all impact upon development cost; this is what determines which features need to be focused on to fulfil user needs.
- UI/UX Design – as well as features and functionality, the form and function of an app account for a significant amount of the app building budget. User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design are fundamental to creating an appealing look and feel and ensuring great usability. However, animations and interactive features will add cost to the overall project.
- The Backend – the backend of an application is often far more complex than the frontend. After all, the user only sees the outer layer. The backend handles functions including data storage and connectivity, interactions and data security.
- Development Team – the experience and expertise of your development team will have a significant impact on the cost of Flutter development. However, it is vital to balance the cost against the quality of work you will receive.
- Support and Maintenance – the cost of an app doesn’t end once it’s launched. Afterwards, there is maintenance, bug fixes and updates to account for. However, by only having to update a single codebase, this should be a lot less than maintenance of several native apps.
How to Optimise Flutter Development Costs
By developing an app using the Flutter framework, you’ve already done a lot to reduce your overall development costs. However, there are ways to optimise your budget further; consider these tips and tricks before embarking on your next project:
- Set Clear Requirements – it’s vital to have clear project requirements and specifications from the outset of your development project. Being clear about the details allows you to set a budget and have confidence that there won’t be any large-scale changes in scope down the road. By being organised, you create consistency and clarity and avoid miscommunication and costly mistakes.
- Remove Non-Essential Features – it can be really tempting with any development project to include all the bells and whistles, newest features and functionality. However, what is most important is the user experience. Strip everything back and focus on your user and you’ll save yourself time and money and get a better result.
- Follow Best Practices – as with any development framework, following best practices can help keep your Flutter project on track. Flutter’s hot reload feature makes it easy for developers to develop iteratively. This allows you to make small incremental changes, adapt your solution and create business value at each step of the way.
- Outsource development – as Flutter is open-source and accessible to your internal team, it can be tempting to keep your development project in-house. However, you need to consider the drain on resources as well as your team’s experience in cross-platform development. By outsourcing to an experienced Flutter development consultant, you can hit the ground running and cut costs in the process.
Will You Develop an App with Flutter in 2023?
If you’re considering developing a mobile application for your business, you’re certainly not alone; nor are you alone in making the difficult decision of which framework is best to use. Flutter should most certainly be a consideration, with its single codebase reducing the cost of application development from the outset. However, you’ll still need to pay attention to your budget and, ultimately, the goal of your application; the complexity of your app will have a significant impact on cost. Make sure you set clear requirements, remove unnecessary functionality and follow best practices. And, if you really want to keep costs to a minimum, consider how an experienced flutter app development company can help.
An experienced Flutter consultant can save you the cost of infrastructure and equipment, not to mention recruitment and onboarding costs. Bringing an app to life’s a challenging task, especially with limited resources, experience and intense competition. With the right team on board, you can optimise workflow and improve efficiency to reduce costs while still ensuring an amazing result.