This is one of the most popular questions asked by those who have ever wanted to get a web application developed. The bad news is that there is no fixed price for web app development. The good news is that it is not that difficult to calculate the approximate web application development cost.
Before proceeding to cost estimates, let’s define what a web application is. Such information will help you decide whether it’s what you really need. A web app is an application software that runs on a web server, unlike computer-based software programs that are stored locally on the operating system of the device. Web apps can be accessed through a web browser with an active internet connection.
One of the reasons why web applications are popular is that they are not dependent on a particular user’s operating system. Due to the responsive design, it is much easier and cheaper to develop a web app that is user friendly across multiple platforms and screen sizes. What is more, since all users have access to the same version of the web app via a URL, they will always be accessing the latest version of the software.
Web Application Cost
The cost to build a web application depends on several factors.
Those who want to minimize expenses usually utilize free standard UI templates. However, if you want your app to fully comply with the business requirements and stand out from the crowd, you can’t do without a unique design. Here, again, the end price depends on the overall complexity, features, extra elements, animations, etc. Ideally, the UI must be attractive, intuitive, and not cluttered with unnecessary components.
These are single-page apps, landing pages, and usual online stores with a standard design and the very minimum of functionality. Such apps typically include basic interactive forms and a small amount of content. A simple website or a web app might cost you $3,000-$15,000, while the development process will take about a month.
This category of apps includes small to medium-sized company websites and e-commerce sites. Such apps have many interactive elements, as well as a considerable volume of content. Their cost may vary between $15,000 and $50,000, and the development may take about four months.
These are mainly exclusive websites for large-scale enterprises. They can include large databases, unique features, and tons of unique content. The average costs can reach (but are not limited to) $250,000 and the development will require 6 months and more.
2. Custom Design
Startups and companies on a tight budget often choose web apps with a standardized design. Since such apps come with pre-built templates they don’t require close designer involvement, and therefore their cost is much lower. The more custom elements you want in your app, the more money you will need to spend on the development. If you enough budget to spend then go for a sophisticated web app with a fully customized user interface design. The more unique your app is, the more chances you have of beating off the competition.
The Developer’s Location
Offshore development tends to be cheaper than local development. An hourly web app development cost ranges from $80 to $250 in the USA, Canada, and Australia which is the highest rate in the world.
According to Clutch, UK web development companies charge $50-99 per hour while Eastern European companies offer rates twice as low – in Belarus and Ukraine, for example, it costs $25-50 per hour to create a web app.
Niche is an important factor that affects the final cost. The development process for an online clothing shop and a specialized platform for a medical company will vary greatly. In the first case, we’re dealing with a popular mass-market project that is not too complicated and, therefore, cheaper to develop. The development of a medical platform will be more costly and time-consuming since it will require close collaboration between developers and medical experts.
Different APIs, databases, hosting, mobile compatibility – the more intelligent the web app is, the more time it will take to develop, and the more it will cost. Project requirements are rarely carved in stone. As your audience grows, you may have to launch new features and this, again, affects the overall development price.
And don’t forget about the consistency of the code. If the development team is placed within a strict budget, they may not have enough resources to write a clear high-quality code and test it. In this case, you can rest assured that every bug that wasn’t fixed during the development process will come out after the release.
4. Post-Release Maintenance
These typically include Bug fixing and Infrastructure.
In fact, no app is safe from post-release bugs. They can occur even if your app is being developed by the most brilliant developers. It would be wise to retain a part of your budget for the unforeseen glitches that might occur after the release. Post-release bug fixing typically requires 10–25% of the development budget. Besides that, you will need to pay for infrastructure costs, such as the registration of a domain name and web hosting.
There are too many factors that affect the price of a web app. Building an app isn’t cheap; and an advanced app will obviously cost much more than a flashlight app. If you have a limited budget, you may need to consider building a minimum viable product.
When striving to save money, you may be in danger. If the app cost offered by a development company is lower than you expected or much different from other candidates’ estimations, don’t hurry to hire them. It’s better to ask for a detailed estimation.