So you want to develop an app, and you want to build it from scratch? First you need a vision. What kind of an app do you want to create? What do you want your app to do? Who will use the app you want to design? How much money do you have to invest in your app, and how much time do you have to spend on building it? There are a number of variables involved in building and launching an app, but it’s actually a fairly straightforward process. The good news is that the more apps you develop, the better your apps will become. Here are 5 simple tips to help you get started.

1. Get A Solid Understanding About What Apps Are

Regardless of complexity, all apps do essentially the same thing:

  • They collect data from their users.
  • They decide what to do with the data they collect.
  • They provide information for users based on the data that users submit.

Once you understand these basics which are true of all apps, the easier it will be to fit the app you want to create into the basic structure of what an app actually is.

2. Choose The Device You Want Your App To Use

Will your app be a mobile app, a laptop app, a tablet app or a desktop app? The device that you want your app to use will have a strong bearing on how you develop it. If your app is for a mobile device, you would build either a hybrid app that’s based on HTML/CSS/JS, or a native app that’s based on Java for Android / Objective C or Swift for iOS. If your app is for desktop, you would build it based on HTML/CSS/JS. You could also conceivably create a single page application based on Backbone.js or Angular.js. The only problem is that a single page application won’t help with SEO.

3. Select A Backend Language

If you decide to use a hybrid web technology for your app, you will need a backend language such as PHP or Ruby on Rails in order to send content and presentations to your clients. These languages will work well for your app because they were developed specifically to be used for that purpose. If you choose a native app, you’ll be sending your clients raw data/content in JSON format while your UI code/presentation will be sent to your clients in the native app. Amazon Web Services is an excellent choice for your backend infrastructure/servers, and it offers all the services you’ll need.

4. Optimize App Performance

Your app will require thumbnails for images. Thumbor is a basic service and it’s easy-to-use. You can make your app extra fast worldwide if you use Cloudfront CDN. If your app isn’t performing quite as well as you would like, no worries. It’s easy enough to tweak performance issues as you go along.

5. Do Your Market Research

Take an in-depth look at today’s top trending applications and look at how you can fit your app into the current equation and make it more marketable. Try out some of today’s most popular apps to see what customers want, and identify what all of today’s top apps have in common.

Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to be a programmer to create a winning app, and you don’t need thousands of dollars to launch it. There are three basic ways you can monetize your app: (1) Charge a download fee at the get-go, (2) Offer a free download that comes with purchasing and upgrading options within the app, or (3) Offer a free app that generates profit by using Ad Networks. Although cost-per-click advertising will lower your overall profit, it’s still a great way to launch your app and increase your brand exposure.