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Low-Code Development Cost: Here's How to Save 60–80% on a New App

February 21, 2024

Build your next app 3 times faster, at less than half the cost – we crunched the numbers on low-code development cost, and think it’s a great option if you want to move fast

How much does it cost to build a low-code app?

Between 60% and 80% cheaper than normal code-based development. And, as we’ve already shown in our post on how long it takes to build a low-code app, it’s also 3 times faster to build this way.

Here’s what you need to know about low-code development costs.

First: Consider the cost of normal code-based development

Normally, code-based app development cost is between R1.2mil and R4.3mil to develop and roll out a game-changing new app. The scope, complexity, and app development time all impact your development costs – see our breakdown of the complete app development process for more details.

App Development Cost breakdown

  • R1.2mil (3 months active development) for a simple app or MVP
  • R4.3mil (12 months) for a complex build

Note: Because we are a South African app design team, it’s already up to 25% more cost-effective for complex builds in the US, UK, Europe etc..

But, this excludes UX/UI design, which is extremely important. So you’ll need to factor in additional time and costs for UX/UI designers:

App Design Cost Breakdown

  • R150,000 for a simple app or MVP
  • R300,000 for a complex app MVP.

Again, this is up to 90% cheaper than international rates, because of our favourable South African exchange rate. However, when you add up the development and design costs, you end up with a cost range of R1.35mil to R4.6mil. 

And you can build way faster and affordably with low-code development.

Now: Compare low-code development cost 

With low-code you’re dropping that cost down to a mere R649,400–R734,400 for three months and R1,305,600–R1,446,800 for 6 months. That’s between 60% and 80% cheaper than code-based, and it’s 3 times faster, too. Here’s how:

Low-Code Monthly Cost Breakdown for a 3-month MVP

  • Month 1: R217,600
  • Month 2: R217,600
  • Month 3: R214,200
  • Total Costing: R649,400

Low-Code Monthly Cost Breakdown for a 6-month MVP

  • Month 1: R217,600
  • Month 2: R217,600
  • Month 3: R217,600
  • Month 4: R217,600
  • Month 5: R217,600
  • Month 6: R217,600
  • Total Costing: R1,305,600

Continuous Low-Code Dev Monthly Cost Breakdown for a 3-month MVP

  • Month 1 R244,800
  • Month 2 R244,800
  • Month 3 R244,800
  • Total Costing R734,400

Continuous Low-Code Dev Monthly Cost Breakdown for a 6-month MVP

  • Month 1 R244,800
  • Month 2 R244,800
  • Month 3 R244,800
  • Month 4 R244,800
  • Month 5 R244,800
  • Month 6 R244,800
  • Total Costing R1,468,800

Why is low-code so much more affordable?

At Specno, our low-code development combines the UX/UI design and the actual development into one package, so you have one price that includes both – already a huge saver. But the biggest differentiator is the massive time saving you get with low-code. 

See, in software development, you mainly pay for Expertise, Resources, and Time used. And low-code development was specifically designed to save you on Resources and Time. 

You still have the same level of Expertise – our low-code development includes a product owner, as well as a scrum master, and everything is done according to a full agile development framework.

Yet, because it makes the build time so much faster (see our post on how long low-code development takes), it requires fewer resources, which allows us to pass those savings on to our clients. What’s more, it’s even more beneficial to build a low-code app in South Africa…

You save even more if you’re outsourcing development to South Africa

Since we’re an app development agency located in South Africa, international clients can take advantage of the favourable exchange rate. If you start building low-code with us today, you’d save between 60% and 80% on the full cost of developing your app compared to almost anywhere else.

Also, see why it's important in our roundup of the impact of digital transformation on South African businesses.

What are low-code apps best suited for?

Prototyping and MVPs

Utilising low-code platforms enables startups to swiftly create prototypes and develop Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) to assess ideas and collect input. See our guide to the ultimate MVP method for e-commerce.

Internal Tools

Businesses frequently necessitate tools for internal processes, such as managing data, tracking tasks, or facilitating employee onboarding. Low-code applications can promptly address these requirements without the need for extensive development efforts.

Simplified Customer-Facing Apps

When your application primarily demands fundamental user interactions like forms, data input, and basic workflows, low-code solutions can promptly provide these capabilities.

Automation of Processes

Low-code applications can streamline repetitive tasks and automate workflows, enhancing organisational efficiency.

Swift Iteration

In situations where rapid adjustments to app features or functionalities are needed based on user feedback, low-code development permits swift modifications.

Proof of Concept

Prior to committing significant resources to custom development, low-code tools can be employed to validate your concept and gather data regarding its feasibility.

Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

SMEs often face resource limitations and may prioritise cost-effective and efficient solutions for their software requirements.

Mobile Applications with Fundamental Features

For mobile apps that require basic features like forms, straightforward databases, and user interactions, low-code development can serve as a quicker alternative.

Note: These Costs are Based on Specno App Development

The costs and timelines in this post are based on Specno’s own turnaround and delivery processes. Our dedicated team of developers is adept at delivering final products swiftly, catering to the needs of corporations and well-funded startups that prioritise speed and precision. Of course, we can only attest to our own performance in the industry.

And to get the full picture of timelines and options for launching a new product, see our guide to how long it takes to create a new app.

Engage Us for Your Low-Code App Development

Developing an app that functions seamlessly from the start requires meticulous attention to detail. That's why, at Specno, we have invested years in assembling one of the industry's top-notch teams for multi-speciality app development, now including expertise in low-code solutions.

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Specno Team