How much should I charge to build an App?

Hello Bubblers,

I started my journey on Bubble a little over a year ago and I’ve built my first app. A friend of mine saw what i built and now she wants me build her a website.

Being that I’ve never built a website for anyone before and this isn’t an area of expertise for me, i’m not sure what to charge.

She wants an app that gives caterers and chefs, etc, to be able to list their profiles on the website where they showcase their work. It will include having the ability for customers to search for a specific type of professional, e.g., Baker, chef, catering companies, etc. They would be able to request the services of the professional, by paying a deposit and fulfilling the remaining payment once services have been rendered. She wants to be able to show on a calendar, who has placed orders and when the order is due. She wants to have a ‘reviews’ section, the ability to upload videos, and the ability to share to social media.

I think it maybe simple to an extent, but can probably require quite an extensive build. So that’s why I want to ask how much would be a good starting point as a quote that I can deliver to them.

Keep in mind that I’m not an expert and don’t have any prior projects that I have delivered to anyone else as a reference for her to consider hiring me.

Any advice would be helpful. Looking to give her feedback by Thursday, January 30th.

Thanks in advance.

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The friend dynamic makes it tough, but can offer some flexibility.

Start by treating it like a client project. Understanding their budget and prioritized features at the outset will go a long way to make it a successful build where you’re both incentivized the right way.

I’d suggest breaking down the project into smaller deliverables that build upon each other. A lot of new devs (and clients) may try to build this in one big release, which puts you at higher risk to never launching or launching with broken/untested/missing features. This will also help you wrap your head around estimates more easily. Write all these things down so you can both see, in written form, what you’re planning to do.

For example:
v1 could just be a directory of catering professionals (no customer user accounts) with the ability to contact professionals via email. Users could immediately start testing this and you can start getting feedback. Something like this could be built over a weekend.

v2 could add the ability for customers to create accounts and pay deposits via Stripe. This would add a bit of the payment complexity, but only introduce a small amount so you as a developer could get exposure to Stripe Connect. You could also introduce the calendar and order management view for the caterer.

v3 could introduce the full payment fulfillment and reviews and any of the other features.

In short, don’t try to build all at once, break it down into small steps that each create a usable version and tie payment to those milestones that represent the value delivered.

Happy to chat more

(one of my favorite product development visuals)


Hey @gaffneyantonio

In my opinion something like with a typical interface and workflows can be anywhere from 80-110 hours. This depends on your speed, number or elements in the screens and how they interact between each other.

Just remember to properly scop this out as this can grow to be a monster real quick especially its your friend. A small change here can result in lots of work in other areas.

Divide your work while keeping each phase small and specific. Don’t add features cause they are just nice to have

Best of luck :santa:

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I always loved this pic. one of my all time favorites

@eric3 Thank you for this input. I didn’t even consider this as an approach. My thought was to gauge how much work would be needed and determine the price off of that. This is very valuable insight.

One thing I was worried about is offering my services for an initial amount and then having to do a lot more work than expected. Because frankly, I’m sure that she will see something else that can be added and expect it to be done because of the agreed amount.

@AliFarahat I know. This is a major concern of mine. I will definitely take your and @eric3 advice and take that approach.

Thank you guys so much!

Yep, this is why it’s better to define what users can do on each page, before agreeing to doing it. It may feel like a silly exercise (e.g. “of course every app should have a password reset flow”) but it’s easy to commit to the cool, fun features and forget about the less fun, but important features until it’s too late.

A good way to start would be to ask them to define exactly what they want, and then you help them refine that. This way the onus is on them to be explicit and if it’s not written down, it’s because they didn’t feel it was important. This is also a good way to filter out fluffy features – e.g. while a cryptocurrency checkout feature sounds cool… your app probably doesn’t need it for v1 and you shouldn’t spend time writing down how those unnecessary things work.

Another best practice is to wireframe the app before you build it. Bubble is so easy to get started, but as soon as you start building features and simultaneously designing, you’re going to be at risk of making poor decisions/decisions based on what was easy to implement in a particular moment and not what’s best for your app in 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years from now.

Best of luck!


Hi @gaffneyantonio

Always deliver more than expected! It’s always “what we don’t know and forgot to predict”. Friends are under ‘abnormal’ conditions, it’s family. Best advice, if you hesitate, don’t take it. If she have money, take it :slight_smile: (just kidding). After, share your experience. If you do a good job, people do not complain about the amount you charge (a limit applies :slight_smile: ). For me, it sounds like a 10k-20k job.

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