11 min
Oct 26 2020
Alex К
Alex КTechnical writer
Evgeniy B
Evgeniy BBusiness analyst
Are you planning to develop an E-learning website like upGrad or KhanAcademy, or maybe you even have an ambitious idea to catch up and compete with market leaders like Coursera and Udemy? Digital education is a vast and fascinating world with lots of monetization opportunities – Forbes predicted its growth in 2018, and the development has been skyrocketing ever since. How do you develop an application that will find its place on this vast market and succeed? How much does E-learning mobile app development cost? This article will help you understand what you want precisely and how to achieve it with up-to-date technologies.
It’s essential to know what you pay for – so let’s explore the main functional and technical aspects of E-learning platforms. Pay attention to significant details:


Must-Have Features of an E-learning App

When you’re searching for ways to build an all-in-one E-learning solution, your first move should be studying the target audience. If you want your digital learning application or website to be attractive and engaging, you should find out more about the main things that users appreciate and expect. User-Friendly Interface Nobody likes wasting their time on the app to figure out how to do things and where is what. Set up an intuitive user interface to search through courses, start on assignments, and watch their progress with a few clicks. Multimedia Content The best E-learning application supports various types of information, making students stay impressed, entertained, engaged – and thereby better educated. Gamification Game elements are perfect if you want to develop an E-learning website or application. Gaming systems add some fun in the process, ease the stress, and speed up learning. They also give rewards to students, which is essential to increase motivation. Push Notifications They are an instant, convenient, and non-intrusive way of communication. Users get information on new courses or their progress; questions answered or DMs received; reminders to continue training, etc. Communication Users won’t feel lonely and bored on your E-learning app if they resolve issues, share opinions, compete with each other, and contact their tutors. You can achieve it by setting up course discussions, dashboards, and direct messaging. Offline Learning Inspired learners won’t be interrupted by problems with their internet connection if they can do some activities offline – for example, make drafts or read through material they previously downloaded. This way, using your app becomes a daily habit. Syncing between mobile/desktop and online/offline versions You have to ensure that learners won’t have their progress disappear. One particular version should direct them exactly where they finished on the other. This way, users stay interested and wish to go on.
How much does it cost to develop an elearning app

Functionality for Students, Teachers, and Admins

Users of your E-learning app or website will have various roles, so the service’s functionality must be adjusted accordingly. In this case, how much does it cost to develop an E-learning app? If you’re wondering about the budget, first of all, you need to study the essential options that every successful E-learning platform includes. Students:
Suppose your E-learning app will be available for learners under 18 as well. In that case, you should create functionality for parents that enables them to create user profiles for themselves, pay for courses, and monitor their children’s progress. Teachers:
Functionality for students teachers and admins
Let's sum up the essential features acquired for an E-learning application or website: Sign-in System – most apps use a combination of email or phone numbers with passwords. Signing-in via Google or Facebook is also very convenient and popular. Log-in System – users create profiles to add personal info and userpics, change settings, see their list of active and finished courses, as well as certificates, credits, and payment history. User Profile for Student, Teacher, Admin – each type needs its features and options. Search Filters – make it easier to navigate through the catalog of courses. Popular filters are Level, Price, Rates, and Language. You can also add Categories, Recommendations, and searching by keywords. Course pages – each of them contains Description (with names of creators), List of units and materials, and Review section. Make sure that tutors can add multimedia files: videos, podcasts, quizzes, games, PDFs, presentations, etc. Dashboard – helps both students and teachers to check out information about their study and work. Course-Making Tools – enable tutors and institutions to create and edit course structures, as well as add all types of educational materials and exercises and post links to further resources. Payment system(s) – they should be as easy, clear, and diverse as possible. The most popular methods include bank cards, Paypal, Braintree, Stripe, NEFT, etc. Notifications – inform learners about events, updates, new courses, and personal recommendations. Admin panel – controls users, payments, content, statistics, notifications, etc.

Advanced Features of an E-learning App

You can add some more functions to let users explore all possible advantages of E-learning. Another reason why you should develop an E-learning app with extended functions is that they’re valuable for you, too – they help analyze users’ preferences and make your platform more profitable. Microlearning support will be extremely useful if you wish to increase learners’ motivation. Daily consuming small portions is a more comfortable and effective method of mobile education. Video streaming is an advanced and highly appreciated feature that boosts students’ engagement as they connect with their tutors in live classrooms online. Interactive learning became one of the recent trends in E-learning. AR (advanced reality) and VR (virtual reality) attract more customers and make your app stand out. It’s also a fresh and efficient way of studying complex subjects. E-learning analytics helps students find their knowledge gaps and focus on improving the most needed skills. It’s also useful for teachers and admins to monitor learners’ needs and difficulties, which helps to adapt educational materials, resolve problems, and reduce dropout rates. Leaderboard shows the best learning results. It’s frequently used to encourage healthy competition and to boost users’ interest in the application. Documents Storage is helpful to upload and manage various types of content that tutors share with their students. Users may access PDFs, audios, and videos when required. Integration with CMS is used for monitoring and maintaining all uploaded content. E-commerce is a highly profitable feature in any E-learning application. Giving users options to purchase courses in-app and buy additional training materials will remarkably increase your sales. We also recommend considering In-App Advertisements. Integration with CRM helps to track and analyze users’ search activity which is essential in building a development strategy for the future. Multilanguage is an essential feature if you’re planning to reach the widest audience. Inn-App Chat or Forum may be useful to get feedback from users, including reviews on the existing courses and ideas or requests for the new ones.
Dashboard example of an elearning app like udemy

The Team and the Technology Stack to Develop an E-learning App

To succeed in the mobile education industry, you need to hire a qualified development team. How much does it cost? The number of required specialists depends on the sophistication of your future app.
Basic E-learning Application/Website Complex E-learning Application/Website
Project Manager Project Manager
UI/UX Designer 2-3 UI/UX Designers
Graphic Designer 2-3 Graphic Designers
iOS/Android Developer 2-3 iOS/Android Developers
Front-end and Back-end Developers 2 Front-end and Back-end Developers
2-3 Programmers 5-6 Programmers
QA Tester 2-3 QA Testers
As for the tech stack, the following list is required for smooth functioning:
Feature Technology
Cloud Data Storage AWS
Database MySQL
Amazon RDS
Frontend iOS Development

Frontend Android Development
React Native
Android studio (Java)
Adobe Illustrator
Real-Time Analytics Google Analytics
Big Data
Push Notifications Push.IO
Amazon SNS
Email Registration and Communication Mandrill
Amazon SES
Email Verification via SMS and Voice Nexmo
Payment Integration PayPal
credit/debit card
Streaming System LiveStream
Here at Exceed Team, a wide range of technologies is used, including Angular, Node.js, React, JavaScript, Python, MongoDB, and some others. Would you like to develop an E-learning app that is fully functioning, attracting users and keeping them engaged? Let’s find out how much time and money it takes depending on the complexity of your project. We’ll also explore how to monetize an educational platform most effectively.


Main Factors of Pricing in E-learning Development

If you wish to develop an E-learning application or website, you should pay attention to three main factors affecting the cost.
  1. Type and complexity. Decide on the list of functions you wish your platform to feature. If it’s a mobile application, choose between the native and the hybrid types. Also, decide how many third-party APIs you need.
  2. Platforms. Determine whether your app will be on Android or iOS – if you’re planning to have your project on both mobile platforms and on the Web, the price rises.
  3. The development team – size and location. According to your future platform’s complexity, review how many specialists are required to achieve the goal. We also recommend comparing costs for app development in various parts of the world. It is well known that Eastern Europe and Asia offer more favorable prices for high skilled professionals’ work compared to the US, Canada, and Western Europe.

Estimated Time and Cost to Develop an E-learning App

How much does it cost to develop an E-learning app? You can find approximate numbers in the chart below.
Feature Hours Price
and Log-In 60+ $1800
Payment Integration 80+ $2400
Chat 250+ $7500
Push notifications 40+ $1200
In-App Advertisements 50+ $1500
Offline Work 150+ $4500
Video streaming 150+ $4500
Your requirements determine the final price. It can be roughly estimated at $16,000–$20,000 for an educational platform with basic features. The more sophisticated your platform is, the longer time developers will spend making it work smoothly, and the more it will cost.
Cost and monetization of an elearning app

How to Monetize your E-learning Platform

Now, when you found out the cost to develop an E-learning app with the options you want, it's time to discover the three primary ways of making money with it. We have already touched upon some of them, now you’ll see the whole list with a more detailed description. E-commerce A convenient way for learners to purchase courses and materials in-app for later use online or offline. Include a function that allows them to view 15-20% of a product for free and then buy it. You can display parts of a text or minutes of a video/podcast to get your customers hooked. It’s also possible to choose an anti-piracy feature that enables learners to watch content only on the app. Two kinds of subscription A free subscription normally allows users to use the basic functions and explore the app’s main advantages. As long as they get comfortable with E-learning, it’s time to offer the advanced version. A premium subscription gives all possible benefits, such as no ads, personalization, and unlimited access to all content and functions. Some companies opt for another strategy: they allow learners to use all functionality after signing-in, but for a specific number of days, and then ask to purchase a premium subscription. In-app advertisements They are one of the popular methods of monetization, mostly appropriate for E-learning apps with free content. Enable a function of sharing educational materials in social media, and learners will actively promote your application. As long as it’s popular enough (you can monitor via E-learning analytics), you’ll start showing your audience paid ads for relevant products.


We hope that our suggestions will help you develop an E-learning app by deciding what kind of platform you want and how much you need to budget for it. Here at Exceed Team, we offer top software development services and follow E-learning app development trends, so your concept becomes a reality.
Most popular questions

What is the basic functionality of an E-learning app?

Any successful E-learning app (like Udemy, Coursera, etc.) includes the following: User-Friendly Interface, Multimedia Content; Gamification; Push Notifications; Communication; Offline Learning; Syncing between mobile/desktop and online/offline versions.

What are typical user roles on any E-learning app?

You should build separate functionality for Student, Tutor (Instructor, Teacher), and Admin.

What advanced features can be added to an E-learning app?

Here are some extended functions that are valuable for you and your users: Integrations with CMS and CRM, E-learning analytics, Documents Storage, Video streaming, Inn-App Chat or Forum, Microlearning support, Interactive learning, Leaderboard, E-commerce tools, and Multilanguage support.

How much does it cost to create an E-learning app?

The price usually depends on three main factors: the app's type and complexity, platforms to launch, and the development team's location and size and location. For example, Eastern Europe and Russia offer more favorable prices for high skilled professionals’ work: around $16,000–$20,000 for an educational platform with basic features.

How to monetize a new E-learning app?

The most popular ways include E-commerce (you can sell exclusive educational materials and fun merchandise in the in-app shop), different kinds of subscriptions (for example: free, freemium, and premium), and in-app ads from third-party businesses.
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