No software development company can immediately tell you the cost of building a web application. Each project requires individual expense calculation since there are too many aspects to consider.
That’s why the aim of this article is not to disclose the exact price of any given web solution type. Instead, we’re going to provide you some insights into the key three price ranges, major cost-determining factors, as well as the ways of controlling the budget of your web app development project.
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Average Cost of Web Application Development
The price of any software product is made up of all the time and material resources you have to spend on its development. So, how much does a web app cost? While there’s no precise answer, we can break down the web app development price range into three categories:
Low cost ($5K – 15K) – Simple Web Applications
This category includes simple web solutions with a standard design. Such apps typically have few features, and the development process is relatively straightforward. Simple applications can be developed using pre-built templates or with minimal custom coding.
A weather app, a calculator, or a blog are all good examples of low-cost web development projects.
Mid cost ($15K – 50K) – Medium Complexity Web Apps
Medium complexity web apps require a higher level of development skill and expertise, as well as more development time and resources compared to simple web apps. Among the features of medium complexity web apps are user authentication, real-time data processing, and billing functionality.
The examples of medium complexity apps are, therefore, ecommerce websites, booking systems, video conferencing tools, and job search platforms.
High cost ($50K – 200K+) – Complex Web Apps
This range covers large-scale, complex web products for streamlining business processes, automating workflows, and providing advanced functionality to large groups of users. Such apps require a high degree of development skill and expertise, and may involve a large development team and significant resources. Some examples of high-cost apps are enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, online marketplaces, social networks, and Software as a Service (SaaS) products.
Factors that Affect Web App Development Costs
It’s important to note that the cost ranges mentioned above are only for general reference. The actual expenses of developing a web application vary significantly, depending on multiple factors. Let’s look at some of them.
Essentially, the more ambitious the project, the more expensive it is. A basic web app with limited features will require less time and effort to develop, and will thus be cheaper. Once you expand the scope of work, for example by adding custom integrations, designing dynamic user interfaces or introducing advanced features (AR/VR, AI and ML), the overall cost soars.
Creating a high-end UI with custom graphics, animations, and other advanced design elements in your web app prolongs the development time. Moreover, it implies the assistance of skilled designers apart from software engineers. The more striking you want your web design to look, the more time and effort you’ll be investing in it, which will increase the cost.
Even the smallest web apps often exist in large ecosystems, which brings out the advantages of your solution and makes it more functional. However, integrating a web app with your internal business software, social media networks, or payment gateways is a complex and time-consuming process. The more integrations you need, the costlier the project will be.
Different platforms and web browsers may have different technical specifications, features, and requirements. Ensuring platform compatibility requires additional testing and quality assurance, as well as ongoing maintenance and updates to ensure the web app remains compatible with new platforms and web browser versions. Therefore, the cost of web app development may increase when developing a web app with platform compatibility in mind.
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If your web app will deal with sensitive data – for instance, clients’ addresses or financial information – you will need to ensure a high level of security in your application. However, doing that implies hiring data security experts, who will work on developing and rigorously testing your solution.
Testing and quality assurance
Testing the web app’s functionality, usability, security, and performance to ensure it meets the desired quality standards can also impact the cost. One of the evident reasons is the need for skilled QA specialists to execute the testing process. There are also different types of testing – functional, usability, security, and performance – and each type needs time and specialized testing tools.
Team composition and expertise
The number of experts in your development team and their tech skills also impact the cost of your web app.
- Experience: Junior developers typically have lower rates compared to seniors. People experienced with popular technologies like .NET or Java are more available on the market, while those with skills in artificial intelligence development or legacy tech can be rarer and charge more for their services.
- Location: The location of web developers can have a significant impact on web development costs. Businesses and organizations should consider the hourly rates, availability of skilled developers, communication costs, and legal and regulatory compliance when choosing between onshore, nearshore, and offshore development.
- Size: Quite naturally, the bigger the team – the higher the costs. However, if your project is of a large-scale, hiring a bigger team and finishing faster will be more cost-effective than working with a small team for over a year.
Using a popular and widely supported technology stack can save time and money, as it’s easier to find experienced developers and pre-built components. At the same time, using newer or more niche technologies can lead to higher development costs, as they may require unique expertise.
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Infrastructure refers to hardware and software elements including servers, storage, databases, and networking components. They are needed for hosting a web app, and their scale is determined by the app’s size, traffic volume, and security requirements.
Opting for a cloud-based infrastructure, such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure, can provide greater scalability and cost-effectiveness, as the provider is responsible for the management. However, using a private or hybrid infrastructure can offer greater security and control at a higher cost.
How to Control Web App Development Costs
Controlling web app development costs is an important consideration if you want to develop a web app while staying within budget. Here are some strategies that can help you keep costs under control.
Prioritize features and functionality
Instead of trying to build everything at once, focus on the most critical features and create a minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP includes only the most essential features that the web app needs to function, and it can be used to get feedback from users and validate the product idea before investing more resources.
Leverage Agile methodology
Agile methodology emphasizes collaboration and adaptability as well as the possibility to iterate web app development and roll out one feature at a time. This helps to control costs by allowing for changes and adjustments throughout the development process.
Choose the right technology stack
Tech tools selected carefully with your team, project, and business requirements in mind can help you reduce the time and effort needed to build a web solution. Here are some ways how the right tech stack slashes costs:
- Efficient development — using technologies that are familiar to the development team can significantly reduce development time and, in turn, lower the project cost. Additionally, using tools with built-in libraries and components speed up the process and shortens the amount of custom code required.
- Scalability — by selecting a technology stack that is flexible and able to scale with your business needs, you prevent costly rebuilds or system overhauls down the road. What is more, you can avoid the necessity to switch to a new tech stack or platform.
- Community support — opting for technologies that have strong and supportive communities can be beneficial in lowering development costs. Communities provide helpful resources, libraries, and open-source tools, which can make the development of custom solutions cheaper and quicker.
- Cost-effective licensing — picking frameworks that have cost-effective licensing has a positive impact on your budget. For instance, using free open-source web development frameworks like Laravel or Ruby on Rails can help you save a significant amount of money on licensing fees compared to charged frameworks.
In general, it’s important to work closely with your development team to evaluate the available technologies and select options that meet your business needs while remaining within budget.
Reuse existing code
Reusing existing code from other projects or open-source libraries can help you control costs by reducing the amount of code that needs to be developed from scratch. You can also achieve this by turning to an experienced vendor since they often have ready-made components which they can reuse for your project.
Use cloud services
Instead of making costly investments in on-premise hardware, you can reduce your web app project costs by using cloud services. Although Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and other cloud service providers do also imply subscription expenses, these are still much more cost-effective options compared to setting up and continuously maintaining an infrastructure of your own.
Introduce regular testing early on in the project
Any bug becomes more expensive to fix when it already has created hundreds of interdependencies in the web app code. By testing early and often, your development team can pinpoint and solve any code issues early in the development process, which will help avoid costly mistakes and delays later in the project.
Outsource your development
Outsourcing web app development to a reputable development firm can help control costs by reducing the need for in-house development resources and expertise. There are many software providers available, each with different pricing structures, expertise, methodologies, and processes.
To choose a software development company, research and compare various vendors who provide the necessary services at a reasonable price. Look for a development team that has experience in your industry, has worked on similar projects, and has a portfolio that showcases their capabilities. Feel free to clearly communicate your budget constraints to be on the same page with your partners.
By implementing these strategies, it is possible to control web app development costs while still delivering a high-quality product that meets user needs.
Rely on SaM Solutions
We at SaM Solutions place great emphasis on selecting the appropriate technologies to ensure successful project implementation. Our approach involves close collaboration with our clients to explore their business needs and select the most suitable tech stack. We conduct a comprehensive analysis of various technologies, weighing their pros and cons, and recommend the optimal tools that are in sync with their budget and objectives.
Our team comprises highly skilled developers, architects, designers, quality assurance specialists, and project managers who work together to deliver top-notch web solutions. Following industry best practices, using agile methodologies, and leveraging a variety of web technologies (React, Java, .NET, PHP), they ensure timely delivery, impeccable quality, and customer satisfaction.
SaM Solutions is a reputable web development provider that has been in the industry for over 30 years. We have a proven track record of delivering high-quality software solutions, including web, desktop, IoT, and mobile apps, to small and large companies worldwide.