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If you were searching for the cost of web application development, the results could vary from a couple of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Hundreds of times difference, are you serious?!
You may think that it's so generic and confusing. But the truth is that many factors affect how much web app development can cost. The complexity of the product, scope of features, uncertainty of the product, and the development team location – all that affects web app development cost.
So you'd better stop looking for the accurate figure but study the factors that will get you as close as possible. My goal in this article is to give you a closer look at these factors. Along with that, I'll tell you about the process of well-known apps and how to save some dollars on web app development.
Get yourself comfortable, and let's start!
When Do You Need to Build a Web Application (And Not A Mobile Application)?
In the current era of world digitalization, people spend more time on their smartphones and tablets and tend to use mobile devices as their primary source of internet access. Web applications are becoming one of the best solutions to fast and efficient services across all platforms without any specific model requirement.
Web apps allow a business to provide consumers with information while automating business processes at far higher levels. For example, consumers can process transactions, book reservations, edit documents, or just learn product information.
Use Cases: When It’s Better to Build a Web App
- When building a web application, you end up with something that'll work on any device or operating system for as long as it supports web browsing — PC, Linux, Android, Mac, or iOS.
- Web application development doesn't require any approval from app stores — Google Play, Apple App Store, Amazon App Store, etc.
- When you want to save up time and money, and web app suits your idea. Web apps are ultimately easier to develop. There is one codebase to work with in comparison to mobile apps. It means less development time and fewer developers to code your app.
- If you want to follow tech trends. The progressive web application is the feature of multi-platform development. Plus, it's budget-friendly, easy to develop and maintain.
- The web app is internet-based, which means that users don't have to download and install anything on their device for it to work, which opens access to reach more users.
When It’s Better to Build a Mobile App
- When you need to work with specific mobile hardware including the camera or flashlight.
- If you are willing to develop a game. Currently, games that require tons of memory such as Pokemon GO are better suited as a mobile app.
- Personal Services such as Uber and Gmail mobile apps offer better experiences than their web versions.
- If you need to support an offline usage of your app, it’s also a reason to select a mobile app.
- Sometimes you need to reach a wider audience (for example, users who don’t have access to a computer or work mostly with mobile devices).
How The Web App Development Cost Is Calculated
When clients ask me, "what is included in the cost of web application development?" I always highlight that web app development isn't just coding.
It's a common misconception that a web app is just a piece of code. In reality, it requires a multi-functional team. I'm talking about several engineers, QAs, analytics, designers, and product managers. Some are responsible for formulating product hypotheses, setting the project timeline, and managing the process. Other roles take the design and development parts.
Now when we've looked at the web app development process from this angle, it becomes clear that the cost of web app development consists of several factors. Below I described the most common ones.
App Development Scope
What features will the web app have? Depending on the answer, you can either end up with a simple app with standard features (payment systems, inventory management, etc.) or a mighty complex and expensive one (banking apps, stock trading apps, etc.).
The background performance of a web app also weighs into the cost of web application development. This includes the speed, scalability, capacity, and level of security afforded to users.
Also, you may have heard terms like low-loaded and high-loaded web apps. These merely refer to the number of users expected to use the web app concurrently. Web apps designed for hundreds of thousands of users will inevitably cost a lot more than, say, an internal web app that caters to a few hundred users.
Like features, web apps that feature a lot of complex UI and UX elements will cost more than a simple one.
A web application development project on a tight deadline will be much more expensive than a similar one with a more reasonable timeframe. This is because more development resources are needed to complete the project at the given time.
The bigger team you’ll need to develop a project, the greater the cost . Not just because of size, but because you’ll need project managers to coordinate the process for each of the involved teams (one for WebApp, and one for iOS, for example).
Location of Development Team
Last but not least affecting factor is the location where you hire a development team. Rates are different in different countries. For example, hiring a Developer from Canada will cost you nearly $160, while in Ukraine, it'd be $60.
The type of outsourcing also matters. Offshoring is always the best option in terms of money, and onshoring – will cost you the most.
Check the table below to get more exact numbers.
So to calculate the web application development cost, you need to mind all these factors. "But what if I don't know what the non-functional requirements are at my project?" you may ask. It's ok if you're not aware of everything. You actually shouldn't be.
We at Uptech help with web application development cost estimation. You can simply write us and describe your product idea or take some time and prepare the RFP.
Average Web App Development Cost
It takes quite a bit to get a web application development cost, doesn't it? Now that we've done an overview of factors that affect the final cost let's come as close as possible to the accurate figures.
We will calculate backend and frontend work with a rate of $50 per hour but also additional works like design, QA, project management, and others that may be added by request.
So, it's a bit like Lego. Now, you might be wondering: "But how much will my application cost?" Well, unique applications include unique requirements, but here we can also separate web apps by functionality to provide cost ranges that may help you get rough numbers.
Note that here I listed estimates of different but not all features. The numbers can change depending on your project and design complexity. If you have any questions or need a more precise estimate of the app development cost, feel free to contact our team. We’ll be happy to help you.
2 Ways To Reduce The Web App Development Cost
I've never met a client who didn't want to cut the price when there's such an option. So the question "How to reduce the web app development cost?" is probably the second most popular after "how much does it cost to build a web app?"
Ok, I'm just kidding. But I think that reality is more or less the same.
The good news is that the web app price is never a verdict. There are always options to cut the final cost, and here are my 2 recommendations on how to do that:
Cut the features set
I have one rule that works for me all the time-release minimum features to maximize quality. Minimizing features saves time and money, but it also allows to make each one successful. In addition, you always have a chance to add the rest in the next app version.
Use template solutions
Using UI kits, 3rd party solutions, templates – any of that will work, and there's nothing bad in involving read-made solutions. It cuts the designer's and developer's resources, and if you really pick good ones, the product's quality will only win.
The Price of Well-Known Apps
If you are thinking of developing a successful video streaming app like Netflix with all the original content, the ability to stream on multiple devices at once, the option to download content, multiple profiles, and great video quality that Netflix offers – set aside from $10,000 to $25,000. Note that it's the price for one platform only.
How can I write about web apps and not mention Amazon? Building the Amazon-like eCommerce app will cost you around $30,000 to $80,000. Yep, an building eCommerce app is more complex than a streaming one. It involves three user roles: User, Seller, and Admin, which means three separate modules with different features.
With the rough estimation, I can say that the development of a music streaming app like Spotify will take around 700 working hours for a single platform. With the $50/hour rate it will cost you approximately $35,000.
How We Make Estimation at Uptech
We at Uptech treat every project as our own. It means that we care about the final result, aim to find users' needs, and create solutions. We involve a cross-functional development team and follow the next app development stages:
- Product requirements analysis
- Launch and Support
It seems like a lot of work to do. And it's so, but it helps us ensure that the resulting app matches your requirements and, more importantly, is completed within your budget.
Usually, the team involved in the app development consists of Product Managers, Developers, Designers, and QA Engineers. The average cost of each specialist is $50/hour.
Of course, we form the development team and make estimations based on your product needs. So the number of specialists may change, and the amount of product development time varies.
To Sum Up
By now, you've realized that building a proper web application isn't as straightforward as it may seem at first sight. The development process includes the multi-functional team and different stages, from formulating product hypotheses and sketching the prototype buttons to testing the final product.
All that affects the final cost of web app development. And calculating the approximate cost of building a web app is a part of the process. If you're afraid to do something wrong, drop us a line. We'll be happy to hear about your project, help you with estimations, and collaborate.