According to a survey by Forbes, as of 2023, there are as many as 1.13 billion websites around the world while 82% of them are inactive and barely visited or maintained. However, the existing 200,000,000 websites are visited by more than 5 billion people in the world. This means that owning a website can get unparalleled reach for any and every business thereby proving that investing in a mobile application is a modern day requisite for a business to grow.
Contrary to popular belief, web application development costs no longer burn a hole in the pockets of enterprises looking to invest in them. With a huge number of web app development services being offered by an even bigger number of web app development companies, developmental costs have been further reduced. Also, the costs depend on a variety of factors. Let us have a look at all the factors that affect development costs.
What impacts the Web Application Development Cost?
According to a recent survey, the custom web development services market is expected to reach more than $10k million dollars by 2027. With more and more businesses realizing the importance of owning a web application, the demand for reliable software development firms has further risen. Almost all industries, technical and nontechnical, are looking to reinvent their customer experience. These include e-commerce businesses, logistics providers, SaaS providers, etc. However, it is believed the biggest deterrent to investing in web application development is the cost.
The cost of web application development depends on not one but numerous factors, the biggest of which is time. The average timeline for developing a web application is 4-8 months. This timeline has a certain number of dedicated development hours by technical engineers and the cost of the application is calculated majorly by these number of hours. Other factors include the complexity of the application, the tech stack that is used in product development, development team location and expertise, and specific features and functionality you require.
Complexity of the App
The complexity of the custom web apps refers to the number of features and functions it is set to perform. More the features of the application, the higher the expected development cost. On the other hand, basic informational websites are generally less expensive than multifunctional e-commerce platforms or social networking sites.
The tool kit of programming languages, frameworks, and development tools affects the overall cost of development considerably. Some frameworks are more expensive than others as they levy licensing fees for the services.
The cost of the development team that is hired also dictates the overall development cost. It depends majorly on the location and level of expertise of the team. Usually, the hiring cost of developers from regions with a high cost of living is high.
Testing and Quality Assurance
Using expensive and more reliable testing techniques for the development process often adds to the development cost. It is however beneficial for product health in the long run.
Integration with Third-Party Services
Many times the applications need external APIs and third-party services which further adds to the development efforts and costs.
If the application being built handles sensitive client data or information, more security details are required which might increase the cost.
Scalability and Performance
It goes without saying that any application that is developed should accommodate larger traffic volumes in the future. Supporting infrastructure costs can also impact software costs.
Post-launch Maintenance and Support
Ongoing maintenance, updates, and support also contribute to the total cost of ownership of the developed application.
Rushed projects and tight deadlines can lead to higher development costs as the allocation of resources becomes more extensive.
The Complexity of the Idea
Simply put, a basic gaming application with no monetization options and fewer features costs way less. On the other hand, applications with more features and monetization models increase the cost of the basic software application. There are some features that contribute to the value and cost of the developed software application:
- Cart features
- Social media integration
- Payment gateways
- Checkout gateway
- Delivery module
Most of the web applications in the market like eCommerce, online payment apps, management apps, etc., are complex. Complex web applications like these can cost well over $200,000.
Fee of Regulations and licenses
Many applications built for various industries require different licenses which come at a cost. Examples of these are the healthcare industry. Here are a few regulations that need to be cleared before healthcare can be deployed.
- FDA Clearance
- HIPAA compliance(The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (1996))
- EVV-compliance, (Electronic Visit Verification if the application is for remote patient monitoring)
- HL7 Integration (for easy sharing of health-related information): Health Level Seven or HL7 certificates are globally accepted ‘access level certifications’ for the transfer of clinical and administrative health data between applications.
- EHR and ICD-10
Similarly, banking applications demand that they follow the latest national banking guidelines. Also, different locations require different certificates and follow different regulations.
Applications often require third-party or external APIs to combine different parts of the application such as payment gateways, messaging platforms, geolocation, social networks, and many other services. API integrations can be pricey if not done smartly. Apple Store and Google play store provide many free APIs which can help bring down the cost of adding features.
Online shopping portals and e-commerce platforms
If you’re looking to offer web applications for your customers, businesses also have to opt for ready-made ecommerce platforms. Platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and WooCommerce, along with numerous Software-as-a-Software and web app development software platforms provide APIs, SDKs, and even white-labeled, mobile e-commerce experiences.
Geolocation options in web applications are another most sought-after feature. Geolocation can be added to an application using a ‘native’ SDK. One can also availAPIs provided by Google and Apple and integrate directly into the development cycles.
Another most -important factor that affects the web app development cost is its developers. Teams with expert software engineers onboard help create a product that is durable and ahead of the competition in the market. Successful applications often contribute their success to the experience of their developers. While freelancers and fresher developers often charge $15-$40 per hour, experienced developers often charge $50- $80 thus driving the overall cost of the development. Hiring experienced, although costly, brings back better revenue.
Outsourcing Vs In-house Team
For most enterprises, it is difficult to decide, which is a better hiring option for web development – Outsourcing or in-house. It is important to understand that an in-house team always comes with the cost of recruiting and the cost of knowledge transfer — these additional costs are eliminated when you outsource.
Challenges in hiring In-house team and Outsourcing
Hiring an in-house development team comes with a set of challenges, which should not be overlooked. Here are the two most common reasons why Outsourcing is a better option for software development.
An IT unit does not come cheap. An In-house team will need to be backed with network, security, servers, and everything else required for software development. This can be very costly for small-scale enterprises that lack disposable funds.
CTO and project managers
To guarantee the best collaboration between developers and designers, it is recommended to hire Project managers and CTOs with a lot of experience. Recruiting experienced managers comes at a price. These expenses and requirements for them are not deemed important and often overlooked.
There are many web development companies that provide pocket-friendly web application development and consultation services. Enterprises can hire these development firms or outsource their project to them. Having understood the cost involved in the process, enterprises must vet these companies vigilantly and within strict parameters. OpenXcell is a reliable web app development company that has helped many development companies redefine their web applications or develop new ones. Its rich portfolio of 1000+ successful projects is proof of the company’s dedication to cost-effective software solutions for startups and SMEs.
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