The costs for developing dating app from scratch in 2023

Jan 18, 2023
10 minutes to read

The cost of developing a mobile application from scratch for iOS and Android on a custom basis in 2023 depends not only on the planned functionality, but also on a number of factors such as the need for help in preparing documentation, design, server-side development, and technical support. Therefore, the estimates below are very approximate.

So you could have an example, here are the quotes for app development by category:

  • Basic app, like a business card with simple functionality: $2,000 to $6,000 in 1 week
  • Something that involves editing and displaying information from a server: $15,000 to $40,000 in 1-2 months
  • An app with a complex functionality and a non-standard design: $50,000 to $100,000 in 2-4 months

It’s worth noting that these estimates are for development alone, and do not include costs for other services such as design, server-side development, and technical support. In addition, these estimates are based on the average rates of Eastern Europe, development costs in other countries may vary.

We asked five companies that specialize in developing mobile applications for iOS and Android to estimate the cost and timeline for implementing our idea of a dating app. Here are the responses we received:

  • Development cost: $26,000. Timeframe: 4 months. Does not include development of documentation.
  • Cross-platform development: $4,800. However, the main cost here is for the server, which is around $20,000 additionally. Includes support for one year.
  • Development for one platform (iOS or Android): $10,500 to $24,000. Server-side development is included in the estimate. Timeline depends on the depth of the project, can be faster or slower.
  • App for Android or iOS (one platform): $40,000. Very high-quality design and animation, with a focus on that. It is better to use a pre-made server, as it uses standard technologies.

These estimates also include basic features, if you need more features, you should expect the price to go up.


Components of mobile app development cost in 2023

The steps described above are the main stages in developing any mobile application. The most successful teams we have worked with pay close attention to these steps. The more users a project has, the more focused the creators’ attention is on the marketing strategy, starting with the very first step.


Marketing strategy and documentation

Let’s take another idea for a mobile app – a social and dating network for discussing TV shows. Many producers of famous shows (especially in the US) launch mobile apps where fans can discuss possible plot developments, make bets on who the killer is, etc. as the story unfolds. This is a universal platform not directly associated with a specific studio, but allowing to discuss all current series.

At this stage, one can immediately start developing a prototype or design, but it is better to pause and think about how to present the future application correctly. How to attract users, how to monetize it, what should be the main function, what will be the target audience, etc.

This step is called creating a marketing strategy and documentation. It is important to understand that in order to create a really successful application, you need to work on the marketing strategy at the very beginning of development, even before the prototype is created. This will help you to understand what exactly you need to implement in the application and how to present it to the target audience.

The next step is creating a prototype. This is a working model of the future application, which can be used to test the main functionality and usability. The prototype can be created using special programs, such as Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD, etc. It allows you to understand how the application will look,

The cost and effectiveness of all further steps in developing a mobile application depend on the approach chosen at this stage.

There are different approaches to this stage:

  • Some project creators do everything themselves, including detailed technical specifications;
  • Some plan the main strategy (the product should be in this form), and detailed descriptions are ordered from development studios;
  • There are also various combined approaches: everything is there, but a marketing strategy, clickable prototypes, etc. are needed.

However, the experience of successful cases always includes:

  • Analytics – a market review, successful and failed similar projects. Typically, 7-14 working days for one or two specialists, $4,000-$12,800.
  • Marketing strategy – a map explaining the logic of the path to users, planned tests, steps before and after publication. No less than a week’s work, $6,800-$16,000.
  • Detailed technical specification – a document that describes the architecture, features, and functionality of the application, as well as the work of the team and the time frame. A few weeks of work, $13,600-$34,000.

In general, this stage is the foundation of the entire project, and it is impossible to do without it. It is important to understand that the more detailed and accurate the work on this stage is done, the more successful the project will be.



The design phase of mobile app development can include several areas: branding, logo design, UI and UX design, animations, and promotional materials.

The cost and time required for each of these areas can vary greatly depending on the type and scale of the project. For example, branding can take 7-14 days and cost $700-$1,500, while UI and UX design can take up to a month and cost $1,500-$6,000. Animations, while not necessary, are often used to attract and retain users and create emotional engagement. They can take a week to create and cost $700-$1,500. Promotional materials such as banners for advertising and press kits for media outlets can also cost $700-$1,500.

Overall, if minimalistic approach is taken, design can cost around $3,500-$7,000.



The management aspect of developing a mobile app can also play a significant role in the overall process. The work of a project manager can take up anywhere from half to a full workload throughout the entire development period. In terms of cost, it can be roughly $7,000 to $28,000, depending on the complexity and scope of the project.


Coding the mobile app

One of the key decisions that teams face is whether to opt for cross-platform or native development. Cross-platform development allows for the creation of one app that can run on multiple operating systems, while native development involves creating separate apps for each specific operating system.

Both options have their own set of advantages and drawbacks, and the choice ultimately depends on the specific needs and goals of the project.


Building server environment

The development of the server side of a project can be more complex than its visual aspect, particularly in applications such as messaging apps and services with complex databases. This is due to the need to not only plan the logic of the product, but also its architecture. Databases must be duplicated in real-time for backup purposes, user data must be protected and stored separately from the main information, and the service must be fast on its own. Factors such as containerization and documentation can also affect the workload.

A modern backend typically includes two zones with database replicas, automatically expandable servers and a load balancer using Amazon AWS. It is important to always start with the simple and in practice many products are developed in stages, with a minimal version first.

The cost of developing the server side ranges from $7,000 to $25,000, depending on the complexity and size of the project.


QA Testing

A well-designed development architecture can help avoid countless errors. However, not all scenarios can be checked from both a technical and logical point of view.

For example, what if the internet connection is lost on a user’s device immediately after money is debited from their card? What should the user see in that moment to prevent them from worrying about it?

Different screen sizes, different technical device data, peripheral devices (headsets), incoming calls during application usage, which are highly undesirable to interrupt, and many other factors in each case and in combination can lead to a different user experience than what you would like to create.

Although all possible scenarios can only be checked in real life, testing after development is necessary. Usually, this takes at least a week of hard work by one specialist or $280 – $900.



It typically takes only a couple of days to prepare (screenshots, screencasts, description, keywords) and send, but it’s important to ensure that all the nodes of the application work correctly.

For example, before publishing, the work of external links in the mobile application, analytical tools (App Metrics, Firebase Analytics, etc.) is checked, and especially payment systems when they are present.

Test accesses are also configured for the Apple and Google review teams so that they can check all the product’s functions.


Technical support

Technical support for iOS and Android applications is essential to keep them up to date and running smoothly.

Regular updates are necessary to show users that the product is active, alive and evolving.

Basic technical support requires 3-5 work days per month and costs between $5,000 and $15,000. More intensive work is considered as separate product improvements.


Marketing support

Marketing support is essential for the success of a dating app. When the app has its first users, it is important to provide high-quality service by responding to all reviews in App Store and Google Play, addressing all customer support inquiries, and resolving any issues that users may have according to analytics.

Additionally, analytics, community building, and user acquisition must be carried out. This includes creating weekly analytical reports and forming hypotheses, checking the accuracy of analytical tools, managing the project website and social media presence, and negotiating with opinion leaders and media representatives.

Furthermore, many teams start marketing from the beginning of the project and don’t stop, such as launching a page for pre-orders a month or two before the app is released, creating a landing page, running a blog, and developing social media groups.

The costs of this work vary depending on the scale and depth of the approach, but typically $1000 – $5000 per month are allocated, including budget for test traffic purchases.


Example of mobile application development cost estimation:

Based on the development stages listed, the implementation of the idea described at the beginning of the article can be evaluated differently depending on the focus.

If the service is being created as a new business, then special effort should be shifted to forming a marketing strategy:

Marketing strategy, Specification – $4,000

Design – $1,000

Management – $500

Mobile application development – $3,000

Server development – $500

Testing – $700

Technical support – $1,500

Marketing support – $1,000

Total cost of development – $12,200

Note: The above costs are approximate and may vary depending on the specific requirements and complexity of the project.


The price of developing a dating app for IOS and Android from scratch

The average cost of developing an iOS and Android mobile app to order is currently between $6,500 and $26,000, depending on the category of the app, its complexity and the tasks set.

To determine the cost and development timeline of a specific mobile app, a systematic approach is required: potential developers need to be asked a specific list of questions and the answers should be compared based on the emphasis on certain stages of the work.

As a comparison, Dating Pro offers ready-made iOS and Android app for $2499 which is only 38% of the bare minimum you’ll spend on developing the dating app from scratch.

Let’s make bright, useful and profitable services together!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)