When you think about building your own web application, not only do you have to find developers, but it is also crucial to calculate the budget. However, it is impossible to say how much developing a web app costs down to the penny.
Estimation depends not only on the hourly rate for developers’ services, but also on the following factors:
We are inviting you to take a closer look at all the factors that impact the final cost of your application development below. Knowledge is power, and knowing about these factors is going to allow you to make an estimation of future expenses as precisely as possible.
So, let’s find out what stages the process of working on a new project is divided into and what factors on each stage have a direct influence on its pricing.
Actually, market research is the most important stage on the way to launching any web application. It allows establishing how relevant, needed and competitive the future product is going to be. It is absolutely necessary when a web application is intended for a wide target group that has not been narrowed down. However, you may want to create a web application for business purposes (for instance, you plan to build a solution solely for corporate use). In such case, this development stage is limited to planning functionality and creating documentation.
One way or another, we recommend you to build Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first in order to minimize the risks for your financial well-being. MVP is a product that has a limited set of features (which is beneficial in terms of planning the budget), yet can demonstrate its target group all the main perks. MVP is capable of clearly showing what it has been created for in the first place. For instance, such startups as Airbnb, Dropbox, and Buffer, started their way to success from building MVPs.
Most part of project costs are developer salaries. They can vary due to the type of cooperation: you can either hire in-house experts, freelancers or specialized web development companies. To give you an example, here’s Upwork’s 2018 hourly-rate statistics by project type:
|Type of Project||Description||Average Hourly Rate|
|Basic One-Page Site||Just one-page coding. A basic lead-gen page or landing page.||$15-40+|
|CMS Code Customization (WordPress, Joomla, etc.)||Basic customizations of your theme’s code or general functionality of a common CMS platform.||$30-75+|
|Full Custom Site Code (typically enterprise)||Building a design from scratch with custom code and design elements. Usually, a large project that requires coding from the ground up.||$75-150+|
The next stage of product development is researching how it can be implemented and, afterward, choosing the development tools. Considering that most frameworks and SDK are not cheap (sometimes, the license per one developer costs up to several hundred dollars), it makes perfect sense to include the use of licensed software into the budget outline for your hired development team.
Besides that, when you calculate the website development cost, you are quite likely to have to take into account the cost of quite expensive plugins or connecting to payment getaways (the latter one is necessary for e-commerce websites).
This stage is all about making a plan for developing and testing your web application. All development team members should be given clear tasks that must be done within a certain amount of working hours. This is why, as a rule, clients receive a precise estimation of their products’ development and are able to evaluate whether invested resources are worth the result only after creating a detailed plan. Costs for this stage, on average, can comprise 8 - 15% of the total project cost.
Development is the most time-consuming process among all the stages of creating a product. Sometimes, in case there have been some misunderstandings or something has not been discussed properly between the client and the development team, a huge number of new additions and adjustments can appear during this stage. Obviously, such a situation leads to additional expenses that amount to thousands of dollars for the owner of the product.
In order to avoid this, we strongly recommend you to turn to experienced and fully staffed IT companies. Companies that are worth your trust follow the approved methodologies (e.g., generally accepted Agile methodology) and the working processes are supervised by competent specialists that are used to working in teams.
It is also worth pointing out that web app designing can be a separate object of expenditure. It is especially crucial when the product itself is intended to be used on a large scale. It takes IT companies a lot of time to develop a modern design that is inspired by the latest trends. Besides, they may need to outsource certain aspects of web design to companies that specialize, for instance, in creating animations, 3D models, etc.
Obviously, following the Agile methodology, the developed solution is tested during each sprint. However, such testing is done in the so-called “office” conditions. Testers are well-familiar with how a certain part of the application is supposed to be working. Yet, when the application ends up in the hands of end users, they expect its UI to be intuitive and understandable. Besides, end users prefer to be able to launch the application on any device and any OS. These expectations are quite often underestimated by developers and, therefore, cannot be fully met. As the result, the application may not survive in the field conditions.
In order to minimize such risks, the development team searches for volunteers who are willing to be beta-testers. Such volunteers are, basically, average people that can be unfamiliar with the world of IT development and even with using web application daily. In most cases, such services can be free only if your brand has acquired a certain level of fame among your target group. If this is not your case, you will have to invest a certain amount of money in your product being used for some time by random groups of people in order to receive feedback based on real user experience.
Considering that your application is based on web technologies, it is obvious that you need to reserve a domain name and hosting to launch it. Obviously, these services are not free at all, and you will need to pay for them regularly.
Besides, this whole stage is likely to be accompanied by a marketing campaign, including, perhaps, advertisements of your new product (of course, only in case you launch a product intended for mass use). Marketers’ high-quality services don’t come at a low price either.
After your web application is launched, you should be prepared to users’ complaints regarding bugs. Sometimes, the reason is not developers’ negligence towards the developed product, but completely illogical user behavior that couldn’t have been taken into account before because beta testing was not long enough.
Sometimes, the product owner makes a decision to modernize or expand the current functionality of the web app after a certain period of time. In this case, he or she needs to turn to developers to implement the desired changes. One way or another, technical support of an already launched solution is not free as well.
Planning your project total budget, keep in mind also the possible risks that can provoke additional expenditures.
Most of these issues concern the development with an hourly-rate format of payments. You may avoid many cumbersome moments if you work with the Fixed Price model.
To finish off the feature and get to an ultimate conclusion, let’s also take a look at the following expenses:
At this point, you must be expecting to see a table with ultimate end prices and rightfully so. But there are many aspects affecting the final pricing of a particular project which all must be reviewed and analyzed. Well, let’s do it the following, approximate way:
|MVP for different project types||Approximate cost|
|Simple app with humble functionality||up to 15 000$|
|SaaS app with access to website functionality by subscription||up to 25 000$|
|SaaS solution with separate sub-resources for each customer (SaaS CRM systems, marketplaces)||up to 50 000$|
|Business automation systems (CRM, ERP development)||up to 20 000$|
Notice that all prices are very approximate. Contact us for detailed calculations.
Let’s sum up. As we can see, developing your own web application is a multi-stage process. That’s why it is obvious that the cost of web development can’t be calculated until developers make a plan on its development, launch, and further technical support.
If you have come up with an idea for a startup, or you are willing to create a corporate web application for your company, feel free to reach out to us. We are always clear and willing to provide our clients with the most cost-efficient ways to implement the desired functionality. As the result, you will get an effective and well-operating product at the best quality-price ratio for your budget restraints.
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