An online presence is essential for transforming a business or personal project into a success in the 21st century. However, the question remains: how much does building a website or application cost?
This article will teach various methods and solutions for reducing web application development costs. You will also learn how to calculate the approximate cost of your web application by the end. It should be noted that you will not get an exact price for web application design in this article. It is best not to work with someone who immediately gives you a precise web development price.
Application development companies do not have a specific price list for each application, except for purchasing ready-made products. With basic information and an application business plan, it is possible to estimate how much it will cost to develop a web or an application for a specific project.
We will discuss the factors that affect web development costs. After reading this article, you can estimate the cost of building the website or application you need and know what budget you should allocate.
Why should we create a web application?
If you intend to develop an app for your business, you can choose from three development approaches:
Native app development
If you want the best-performing app, develop a native app for each platform. However, it’s important to note that the development costs for this approach will be considerably higher than other options.
Native App Development is a set of activities to develop computer or mobile applications using a specific programming language and framework.
Native app development builds apps using an application programming interface (API) and the features of a specific operating system, such as iOS or Android. These programs typically use Java, Kotlin, Swift, and Objective-C.
Native application development can be costly and requires separate design and development efforts for each operating system. This leads to developers needing different knowledge and skills in programming languages and operating system APIs for native application development.
Hybrid app development
With this approach, you can create a hybrid app once and customize it for each platform. A hybrid application costs less than a native application but may not deliver the best performance. The hybrid approach is particularly suitable for creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as it enables quick delivery of your app to users and allows testing of your concept without a significant investment.
Hybrid apps combine two different technologies, especially web and mobile. In other words, hybrid applications include a web user interface for displaying information and application components, using specialized programming codes for mobile platforms. Consequently, hybrid apps can be published for both iOS and Android platforms.
One advantage of developing hybrid programs is the speed of development and the avoidance of duplicating work for each platform. Hybrid applications can also utilize mobile device capabilities, such as camera and GPS access. However, they may execute more slowly than native applications. Additionally, their implementation and maintenance might be more complicated due to integrating different technologies. These applications are typically developed with React Native and Flutter.
Web application development
Web-based applications are the most efficient option for reducing development costs. They can run on any device with a built-in browser, such as smartphones. With the development of wearable gadgets and the Internet of Things (IoT), web applications are continuously increasing. And where is the most exciting part? Web applications cost much less than developing a native or hybrid application.
If you have decided to develop a web application, you should know the types of web applications you can build. There are three main models to choose from:
- Multi-page applications (MPA)
- Single-page applications (SPA)
- Progressive Web Applications (PWA)
Each of these types of programs serves different purposes, and depending on what your business needs, custom development costs will also vary. But before we dive into the numbers, let’s look at another factor affecting development costs.
Other factors that affect web development costs
Software development costs depend on several factors. We have discussed the type of web application and the technology on which it is built. Other factors influence application costs.
Scope of work
Development costs directly depend on the complexity of the application you want to build and the services required to build it. When creating an application, you likely need to handle all the stages of the software development cycle, including:
Needs discovery stage
At this stage, as the project owner, you interact with a business analyst to convey your expectations about your website or application. This helps understand the market and develop a suitable strategy to enter it. Simultaneously, discussions with a project manager occur to clarify your needs. The project manager analyzes risks, develops a risk mitigation plan, estimates your project’s time and cost, and manages a team of web application developers. During the requirements discovery phase, you will receive a product prototype to ensure your idea is technically feasible.
User interface/user experience design stage
At this stage, a user interface/user experience designer works on the user interface of your website or application. The design is based on your needs, the target population’s characteristics, and the company’s business objectives.
MVP development stage
After creating and designing the prototype, it’s time to produce the real product. MVP development addresses software engineering in actual conditions. Back-end and front-end developers work together to ensure that your Classic Web App or PWA meets all business needs. At the same time, QA engineers review new features to ensure your app works correctly.
Maintenance and support stage
Once you’ve launched your MVP, you can gather early user feedback to determine if your target audience is satisfied with the first version. Any issues can be fixed promptly. Additionally, you can pitch your app to investors to raise funds for further development. However, having an MVP is the first step to building an excellent product.
Development team members
Depending on the scope of work involved in developing a web application, you need to hire various professionals for your team. To build a website or application, you will need the following team members:
- Business analyst
- Quality Engineer
- Software developers
- Project manager
When it comes to working with developers, there are three options:
Hiring an in-house developer or a development team (the most expensive option)
Hiring a developer may be the first option that comes to mind. However, the cost of hiring a web developer is high, even without considering the expenses of hiring, training, and maintaining an office.
It’s also important to remember that when developers are dedicated to you full-time, you’ll need to pay them regularly regardless of the amount of work they’ve completed.
Hiring an internal team works well for large companies and organizations where internal communication between departments is very important. However, if you are starting your web application business, there are better options than this.
Hiring independent developers (outsourcing or freelancers)
This is the easiest and most cost-effective way to find a developer. However, there are undoubtedly more reliable options available.
Freelancers typically work on multiple projects simultaneously. In this case, you are not the freelancer’s only source of income, and they may not be fully dedicated to building your web development. Furthermore, freelancers may disappear during project implementation because rigid contracts do not bind them. If you decide to work with several freelancers, you should act as the project manager yourself.
While working with freelancers is profitable for fixing urgent bugs or tackling simple programming tasks, it’s advisable not to entrust the intricacies of a large application solely to a freelance developer.
Website or application development company
Outsourcing web application development is the best way to save money. If web application development services are expensive in your area, you can find a freelancer in another country that charges a lower rate. Additionally, outsourcing means partnering with an entire team that can develop your program from idea to finished product.
When choosing a freelance web application development company, you should be aware of two collaboration models these companies typically offer: IT staffing and product development, also known as custom software development.
You can use the staffing model when you have an internal team but need several other IT people to complete your product. In this case, you can hire as many people as you need, and they will work as part of your internal team.
Suppose you decide to outsource the entire development process of your software product to a software development company. In that case, your contractor will handle the development process from start to release while you retain ownership of the product’s intellectual property.
The cost of web application development
Web application development costs may vary depending on the payment method. Below, we will discuss several methods to determine the price and describe the associated costs.
How much do web application developers charge per hour?
In this method, developers get paid based on the number of hours they dedicate to the project. Using this approach, a developer’s pay does not increase as they perform more work.
According to Upwork, the average hourly rate for web designers is $15 to $30 per hour. Freelance web developers also command similar hourly rates. However, it’s worth noting that the cost of services such as web development and web design can be higher, with freelance web developers charging around $50 per hour.
How much do web application developers charge per week?
Many developers are paid weekly, with rates adjusted to a time-based structure. Freelancers often receive an average of $1,250 to $1,500 weekly from their clients.
How much do web application developers charge per month?
In the third method, developers receive a monthly salary, typically calculated by dividing the annual salary by 12.
Below is a table illustrating the average salary of a Middle Software Engineer across various countries in 2023. These figures are annual, and you can determine the monthly amount by dividing the annual salary by 12:
In this article, we have addressed the question, ” How much does it cost to pay a web developer to make a website?”
Several factors influence website development prices, and saving money can cost you in the long run. When a developer’s or company’s cost estimate exceeds your expectations or differs significantly from others, you should take your time. It is better to ask them to provide details of this price estimate.
Feel free to ask for details and an estimate for web application development. This small step may save you a lot of time and money.