How to create a successful app from scratch in 2021 – The complete guide

Do you want to build an app? Looking for the best way to design, build, and stand out from the competition? We have you covered – we can help you to create an app that could be the next big thing! Learn everything you need to know about creating an app in 2021.

The key to building a successful app in 2021 is already here. We made a complete guide so you can follow it step-by-step. This guide breaks down all the steps you need to create a successful mobile app in 2021. It walks you through pre-development, beta testing, and finally launch. We’ll even show you how to choose a business model that works for your unique idea, no matter what that might be!

The popularity of mobile apps is on the rise. As of the first quarter of 2021, there were 3.48 million apps in Google Play Store and 2.22 million apps in Apple App Store (Statista). And this trend will continue to accelerate through 2021 – as smartphones become more affordable, people are buying them at an increasing rate as shown by the number of downloads – 218 billion in 2020 which is a 6.86% increase from the previous year and by 2022 the number is predicted to reach 258 billion downloads globally (Finances Online). In fact, it is projected that “in 2023, mobile apps are projected to generate more than 935 billion U.S. dollars in revenues via paid downloads and in-app advertising.”

A lot of people are now pursuing their entrepreneurial passions and looking forward to building successful mobile apps – with consumers spending “a record $111 billion in 2020, up 30% from 2019” via their mobile apps, it is easy to understand why.

If you’re one of these people, this blog post is for you. The information in this blog post will show you how to build a mobile app from scratch. We cover all of the steps and provide tips on how to save money and time along the way. Ready to get started? Read below for everything that we’ll be covering today!

Steps to Build a Successful Mobile App

Step 1 – Start with your app idea

In order to start building your app, you’ll need an idea. It’s best if the idea is what people want – not just what you want.

Note: If you have an existing idea, you can skip this step and move on to the next.

In any case, make sure your idea is feasible and can be accomplished well in the app world of 2021 – especially if there are already similar apps out there that do a better job than yours will. If not, consider adding features to improve on those aspects. 

Tips to help you generate an app idea:

  • Watch for trends by looking at the top charts in the App Store. 
  • From competitors
  • Checkout developers’ portfolio for inspiration
  • Consider doing some surveys to find out what people are interested in and talking about the most right now.

Step 2 – Market research 

This is where you figure out what your competitors are doing and make any adjustments based on their success. If they have an app that has a lot of downloads and high ratings, then you need to think about what they’re doing successfully.

What are the most popular apps out there? What features do those successful mobile apps have that mine doesn’t? How can I match up with my competitors in terms of market research? 

You should be looking at other websites or blogs where people may be looking for an app in your niche. You should also be checking out what other people are talking about on social media and forums to see if you can find any patterns or trends. 

In order to find out what people want from your app, you should start by looking at the reviews for similar apps. You can also ask questions in surveys and polls that will give you a better understanding of what features are popular with users who have downloaded or tried these types of apps before. 

Identify your target market:

This is important because you need to make sure that your app will appeal to a large number of people. For example,  if you’re creating a mobile game, then you need to make sure that the graphics are right for the target market and there is enough content.

You should be looking at things like who are the people using this type of app? What do they want from it? How often will they use it or how much money might they have to spend on a monthly subscription? These can help you decide what features would work best.

Once you know who your target market is, then you can move onto outlining features you want to include in your mobile app.

Step 3 – Outline the features of you App

Now, you can let loose your imaginations and list the features of what your perfect app would be like. The features of your app should be what people are excited about, and what would make them want to download your app.

If you are having a hard time coming up with some features, try brainstorming ideas on your own or with friends.

For example:

If you’re planning to build an e-commerce app for your online store, features might include:

  • A search feature “tab” that shows you the best products to buy
  • New products every day, as well as discounts and other specials 
  • A shopping cart where you can add items to your order and then checkout
  • A dashboard with up to date sales figures, so that you know how your store is doing
  • A customer service page for easily contacting the company to fix any issues that arise

The list can go on and on. However, the point is to come up with an idea of what you want your app to include in order to make it the best.

Have it at the back of your mind that not all features of your app idea would be used in the final version of your app. It is also possible that a different idea will pop up and you would change around some features, so don’t worry about it and just start brainstorming away. 

Decision on the eventual feature of your app would be based on  a variety of factors, such as testing, feedback,  and popularity. No matter what features you list, just make sure they are something that would turn people’s heads as opposed to being too ordinary and mundane.

Step 4 – Find a developer to help you 

The next thing you want to do is find a developer who can help you. There are many freelancers and small companies that will build your app for a cost. You will want to find someone who has experience building apps that are similar to the one you would like to create and is proficient in a top programming language and mobile app development frameworks.

Tips for choosing a app developer to build your app:

  • Take the time to research and compare companies before making a decision. You will need to stay in contact with this person throughout development as you will need to continually provide feedback on the app.
  • Find someone who can answer any questions you have about their process or will be able to help you if you have any difficulties.
  • Look for someone who has experience with app development and programming in Android , iOS, or cross-app development (depending on your needs).

Note: If you have a small budget, there are many freelance developers who will work with you to build the perfect app for your needs. Often, they’ll work with you to scale down your mobile app  to essential features to cut cost without compromising on quality.

The other alternatives to hiring an app developer:

This includes building it yourself or using app builders. Unfortunately,  both of these options are not recommended. It can be very difficult and time consuming to create a successful app on your own even if you have the necessary skills and almost impossible if you don’t. While app builders and templates often have many restrictions that will not allow you to build an app of your dreams with the functionalities and scalability  you’d desire.

Keep this in mind: App development is a complex process that requires  many different skills and specialists – such as QAs, app designers, UI/UX. Chances are even if you’re a good programmer, you might be lacking in other areas, which means you will need to find the perfect developer for your project.

Crucial services a freelance app developer can offer you

  1. Consultation: They will be able to answer any questions you have or help guide you through the process.
  2. Project management: They are an expert in app development and will be able to manage your project efficiently from start until completion. This includes keeping you updated with the current progress of your project.
  3. Creative input: They will be able to give you feedback on your app and offer creative input that can help make it a success.
  4. App Development: They will be the one to actually build your app, which can save you time and stress. 

A typical app development process include:

  • Research and planning: They will research the market to find out what apps are successful in your niche.
  • Graphic design: They will be able to offer you their creative input and graphic design skills when it comes to the logo and app design.
  • Wireframing, prototyping, and testing: They will create wireframes of your app, prototype it to see how it would work in the real world, and test it with users to see what needs adjusting.
  • Development: They will develop the app, which includes coding and implementing all features (depending on your needs). Whether it is for Android, iOS or a Cross-platform “Hybrid” app.
  • Testing: They will be the one to test your app before it is released, which can help ensure that there are no bugs or errors.
  • Release and App store optimization: They can submit your app to the appropriate app store and also optimize your app to meet the guidelines for quick approval and success when it launches.
  • Maintenance: They will provide updates and fixes to the app for any bugs in addition to continued support.
  • Marketing: They will be able to handle marketing your app or help guide you through this process. 
  • Public Relations: It is not uncommon – They can handle any public relations that might arise from the app’s release.

Step 5: Release and promote your App

This is the exciting part. You have a finished product that you need to release into the world and get people using it! 

Submit your app to App Stores

The first thing you need to do is submit your app to the different app stores and wait for approval. The process varies slightly for the respective stores but include creating developers accounts and meeting their app store guidelines. Again, you would need an experienced app developer for this process to move forward smoothly-with all necessary information included and relevant app store optimization activities.

After a successful review, your app would be published.

Promoting Your App – Getting Seen by the Right People

The easiest way for this is through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. You can also create a video trailer of sorts which includes features and screenshots from the product-a great addition if you’re having trouble drawing attention to your product. 

Be strategic and thoughtful when you promote your app-you want it to be seen by the right people, so think about what kind of person would download it given its features and content before promoting on a social media channel.

There are many ways to market your app. The one that works best for you might depend on what type of apps you have and who the target audience is.

Influencer Marketing:  This is a great way to reach people who might not be interested in your product. In most cases, it involves paying influencers to “introduce “your app to their audience.

Offline Marketing: You can also use offline marketing by creating a flyer of your product and posting it in public places, like on the bulletin board at your school or in a public library. If you have an offline business like a coffee shop, put up posters there too!

Paid Advertising: This is one of the most effective ways to market an app because it’s targeted, which means that people are only seeing what they’re searching for. You should also consider targeting people who are most likely to download your app. Paid advertising can be expensive, but you’ll have a higher chance of getting an app downloaded if it’s the only option. Examples are Facebook Ads and Google Adwords.

Bonus Tip: This can seem a bit overwhelming, that’s why it’s important to be strategic when selecting your app developer with the right experience because they’ll know what works best for the type of app that you have.

Step 6: Continuous app improvement and upgrades

The most important part of building a successful app is to constantly keep it updated and adding new features. Top freelance app developers understand how important that is – performance improvement will make users happy that the app owner cares about the app, which will attract more users.

The most common reason for updating an app is to add new features. But you also need to keep up with the latest trends in app design and development, which is why it’s important to seek out top of the line app developers.

This is also important because as people use your app, they might find areas for improvement and if you don’t make the changes that are asked for then they’ll likely uninstall your app and never download it again.

The updates should be small, so as not to confuse users or cause any inconvenience; but there’s no harm in having a few major updates every year to keep things fresh.

The best way to know what your users want is by listening to them and taking feedback seriously. Survey them or reach out on social media, but don’t be afraid of criticism – it will make your app even better in the end!

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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