How Much It Costs to Develop a Business Application
Female Software Engineer. Photo: ThisIsEngineering/Flickr.
One of the biggest factors in determining how a company does anything is always going to be cost. When it comes to custom web or mobile application development, there is a multitude of factors that can go into determining the cost of the project.
For example, one of the first questions a business might have is, “Should we hire a team on-staff to handle the project, or should we hire a third party to develop the app for us?”
The first option will have a greater cost, obviously, but may be worth it in the long run because of the benefits of having an in-house team of developers always on hand. However, hiring a third party to develop an application has its share of benefits as well.
Let’s take a closer look into how much it costs to develop a web application, and explain why there are so many factors that can go into those numbers.
While we’d love to throw out a concrete price and say definitively that this is how much it costs to get a custom web application developed, the truth is that number varies wildly.
There are some projects that may only cost $20-$30 thousand, while there are others that can stretch into the hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars.
If you’re building a brand new application that has sophisticated features and will be used by a very large user base, you might be looking at some of those higher ranges.
If you’re building something small, or you’re building on top of an existing application, those costs might be a little lower.
The important thing is to be realistic and detailed about your needs when talking to a developer to get an accurate picture of the necessary budget.
Factors that Affect Cost
The size, scope, and needs of your project will ultimately determine the cost. For instance, what type of web application are you looking for?
Will it be a content driven website? If so, that means that content will have to be hosted somewhere, which means server costs and cloud solutions.
Think about the following questions about your project and how the answers might affect cost:
- Can you build on what you have? Building on an existing web application will be a cheaper solution than building something from scratch.
- Will the web application need to support a large user base? Supporting a lot of users is going to require greater accessibility, more robust security, and more server support than something that is built for a small community or group of users. All of these things will add to the price.
- What are the necessary integrations? If your application needs to integrate with credit card payment gateways or share data with an e-commerce engine, that’s something to consider. The same is the case when using Google logins or other third-party platforms.
- What sort of features will it need? Think about and make a list of all the tools and functionality your application will require to make it as user-friendly as you want it to be.
- What will the post-release support look like? Most third party developers have support options to aid you after your application is released. Consider your needs carefully and choose an option that adequately serves those needs. Support is not something to skimp on.
When you’ve answered those questions, you should be able to get an accurate quote from your custom application developers corresponding with your particular project requirements. Then, you can add or remove functionality and scope as needed before development begins.
Is Custom Development Worth the Cost?
The short answer is yes, it’s worth the cost to have your application developed by a third party. When you hire a developer, you’re getting access to the team’s experience in the field and experience working together as a cohesive unit.
You’re also getting the expertise of development veterans (presumably) who are used to working on projects of various sizes and complexities, and delivering them successfully for different clients. This is something you might not find by hiring an in-house team one at a time.
Most importantly, when you hire an experienced developer, you’re sure to get what you want. A good developer will be in frequent communication with your people to ensure the project is proceeding in the way that you want and a manner that aligns with your vision.
The caveat to all of this is that not all developers are equal when it comes to skill, expertise, and experience. Make an effort to find one that has all of those things and more, and has the portfolio to back it up.
Customer testimonials and reviews speak to the ability of a third party developer's ability to deliver high quality custom web application development services in a manner that satisfies clients’ needs. Reviews and testimonials are very important.
If you or your company is looking to hire a software developer who will give you the most value and best product for your money, be sure to check out their customer reviews and testimonials, then contact them for a free consultation for your project.