Save Money on Back-End Development for Your Mobile App: Effective Strategies

When it comes to mobile app development, data storage plays a crucial role. Most mobile applications are designed to work with data, whether it's accepting data from users or exchanging data with a server. However, back-end development can be expensive, especially for speculative app ideas.

1. Client-Side Data Storage

One way to reduce back-end costs is by implementing client-side data storage. This involves storing data directly on the user's device. While this approach allows the app to work offline, it does limit interactivity and requires users to update the app by downloading new versions from the app store.
This model is ideal for those who distribute static content that doesn't require frequent interaction. For example, if you're a writer or a magazine publisher, you can use an app to promote your creative works or new issues. The app can update its content with each new version, including text, images, videos, or games. System features like payments can still be incorporated using In-App Purchase, allowing users to enjoy new content within the app.

2. Serverless App Architecture

Serverless app architecture offers another cost-effective solution for back-end development. This approach eliminates the need for specific knowledge and maintenance as the cloud service provider handles the support. Major cloud service providers such as AWS, Azure, and Firebase offer comprehensive capabilities for serverless architecture.
Firebase, in particular, is a noteworthy Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform. It not only provides a NoSQL cloud database but also offers various other services out of the box. All these services can be easily configured through Firebase's interface, eliminating the need to write server code. Firebase provides tutorials and guides for setting up features like chat functionality, analytics, user behavior optimization, and custom scripts. By leveraging serverless architecture, developers can save time and costs associated with building a back-end infrastructure from scratch.

Here are a few examples of Live Typing's projects that incorporate Firebase:
  • Yodel utilizes Firebase Notifications for sending push notifications to users. This solution is free and offers high flexibility and convenient integration, making it an ideal choice for the app's primary feature.
  • Mandu employs Firebase Analytics to track various metrics, including language, font, and color theme switches, WebView usage frequency, sharing, settings reset frequency, usage of article addition options, screen orientation, and special events.

3. Leveraging SaaS Services

In many cases, implementing typical app features from scratch can be challenging, costly, and time-consuming. However, there are Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions available that provide ready-made features and services, which can significantly reduce development efforts and costs.
For instance, integrating a payment feature into your app is easier and more cost-effective by utilizing a bank's payment gateway. Additionally, various SaaS providers offer features like chat functionality and push notifications, which can be seamlessly integrated into your app. These SaaS solutions often provide robust APIs, ready-to-use libraries for different platforms, and regular updates, ensuring reliable and well-tested functionality.

Examples of popular SaaS services include:
  • Helpdesk chats: Chatra, Zendesk, and Intercom
  • User chats: Layer, Applozic, Sendbird, Quickblox, and Pusher
  • Payment engines: Stripe and CloudPayments
By leveraging these SaaS services, you can avoid the complexities and pitfalls associated with developing these features from scratch, ultimately saving time and resources.

4. Integration with Free Tools

Another cost-effective strategy is to utilize free tools for data management and communication. Instead of creating custom forms or admin panels, you can use tools like Google Forms and Google Spreadsheets for data collection and management. Additionally, integrating a Telegram bot can serve as an alternative to developing a dedicated app.
While this approach may seem unconventional, it offers a practical and budget-friendly solution for savvy individuals. Setting up these tools requires technical expertise, but once implemented, they can effectively handle data storage and communication needs.
For example, you can use a Google spreadsheet instead of a JSON back-end to collect and manage data. This method can be particularly beneficial for simpler projects or those with limited budgets.


Reducing back-end development costs is crucial for mobile app projects, especially for speculative ideas. By implementing strategies such as client-side data storage, serverless app architecture, leveraging SaaS services, and integrating with free tools, you can optimize costs without compromising functionality. These approaches offer cost-effective alternatives to traditional back-end development, allowing you to focus resources on other critical aspects of your mobile app project.

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