How Much Does It Cost to Build a Web Application: Key Price Factors

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Web Application: Key Price Factors

 

Everyone must plant an idea, build a web app and grow traction.

Kidding. But it seems you’ve got a big idea for your dream app.

That’s a start.

And here most of our customers ask: how much will it cost to build this web application?

There are a lot of options and even more variables impacting the final cost. We are going to examine them and help you calculate your app price.

 

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Web Application

 

Price Factors

Your web application cost may depend on several factors. The most common factors that affect the cost are the location of your development team, the features you aim to develop, technologies, and of course, the time you have to develop your web app.

 

  • 1.1 Location

This is one of two factors that will influence your budget and probably the factor you can influence the most, though there is not much of a choice if you decide to stop at in-house development. 

But if you choose to outsource your app development, consider that the web application cost may vary from region to region. According to our recent research on Ruby on Rails rate, prices in the USA may be 3-4 times higher than in Europe or Asia.

 

  • 1.2 Complexity of Features

Here is a second core factor impacting the web application cost. And it’s pretty obvious that the complexity of the features extends the time needed for their implementation. Moreover, the more complex your features are – the more complex will be the whole project. 

At Sloboda, we strongly encourage you to start a project with an MVP and the most vital features.

 

Recommended:  How to choose features for your Minimum viable product.

 

  • 1.3 Urgency

As you know, time is money. Little time is even more money, nothing to do.

If you need your project to be launched asap, get ready for additional expenses: your team will probably work more intensively to meet a tight deadline. This intensity will take extra hours and may raise the overall web application development cost.

 

  • 1.4 Technology

According to a Stackoverflow survey, the rarer technologies are more expensive, as there is higher demand for qualified developers.

On the other hand, it is worth considering such technologies that can facilitate a quick launch of your web app. These are Ruby on Rails framework or PHP language: they provide developers with a number of free tools and libraries, which is what makes development of an app more time-efficient. 

 

How to Get a Clear Estimation of Your App

Most issues with web application cost estimation appear when there is no clear understanding of what your final product should actually look like. 

To determine how much does it cost to build a web app, your team should clearly understand:

  1. What the project goals and requirements are 
  2. What the business logic is 
  3. What your monetization model is

Let’s clear these things up.

 

  • Specify Your Goals and Requirements

It really helps the estimation process when you know what you need in terms of the final product. Lack of details leaves your project manager and developers uninformed and logically makes it harder to estimate the scope of future work.

 

  • Determine the Business Logic

What is the app supposed to do? Why do your customers need it? When you do not have answers to these questions, it is unclear how to build the architecture. To make the estimation process faster, consider determining your business logic beforehand or conduct conduct a discovery phase together with your team.

 

  • Describe the Monetization Model

Your team needs to know how you are going to monetize your project. With this information, your project manager will know if it is better to implement your app payment solutions and advise you how to attract more customers or how to make your web application more client-oriented. 

 

  • Do Not Hurry

He who begins many things finishes but few. Lack of time reduces your chances to get a clear estimation, as you may miss valuable project feature or implementation stages. Later on, all this rushing may make the cost of a web application estimation just invalid.

Take your time to get a realistic estimation and to avoid wasting additional time in future.

 

Where to Start: Discovery Phase

I mentioned above the crucial importance of the clear development goal.

Though nowadays lots of companies still skip the step of conducting a discovery phase, I would not advise you to repeat their mistakes. 

To get a product you want and then share it with your development team, firstly you have to decide on WHAT exactly you are building at the very beginning.

And this is where the discovery phase of a project comes in.

 

Discovery comprises:

  1. Analyzing the product idea
  2. Setting the exact requirements
  3. Evaluation of all the possible challenges & solutions

All in all, discovery is devoted to refining the project idea and structuring the development process.

On average, conducting a discovery phase for our clients takes us from 1 to 2 weeks, but saves months of time and thousands of dollars and surely provides clients with a clearer web application development cost estimation.

 

Read More In Our Blogpost: The Project Discovery Phase or How to Avoid Failure

 

How Much does it Cost to Build the Core Features of a Web App

As any house has walls and doors, any web app has its core features. And building a project without them is like putting the curtains up without getting the door.

They make up most of the web application development costs.

 

  • Welcome Page

The welcome page contains instructions and any valuable information new customers should know when they visit your web app for the first time.

Average time estimate:

  • 2-4 hours for front-end
  • 8-16 hours for back-end

Welcome page average cost estimate

Basecamp welcome page

 

  • Registration

What is the first thing your customers do when they decide to use your web app? Correct, registration.

Average time estimate:

  • 8-40 hours for front-end
  • 16-48 hours for back-end

CityFalcon registration page

 

Read How We Created a Web App for CityFalcon

 

  • User Profile

A user profile is the personal information about any particular user, displayed visually. As you’d expect, a user profile contains such information as the user’s name, birth date, gender, mugshot and short description. It may have any additional features if your particular app requires them.

Average time estimate:

  • 8-40 hours for front-end
  • 8-24 hours for back-end

User profile average cost estimate

Kickstarter user profile page

 

  • Admin Panel

Admin panel is a feature you will use to manage your web application. 

This feature remains invisible to the web app users but it’s hard to overestimate it. Using the admin panel, you can change the look of your application, customize it, manage orders and products or simply interact with your customers.

Average time estimate:

  • 80 hours for front-end
  • 8-80 hours for back-end

 

  • Listings

This refers to a list of things, items or propositions with detailed information that describes them. Often web apps include listings to describe their products or services or goods.

Average time estimate:

  • 16-40 hours for front-end
  • 16-40 hours for back-end

Listings average cost estimate

CityFALCON web app listing page

 

  • Search or Filters

A search is a tool that allows your customers to find products or services, other users or groups.

Filters help to sort out the search results according to your users’ requests.

Search and filter features are especially relevant when building an online marketplace.

Average time estimate:

  • 4-40 hours for front-end
  • 4-40 hours for back-end

Search average cost estimate

CityFalcon search and filters

 

  • Payment System

A payment system is a feature that allows your customers to make or receive payments online. This feature is required for any web app that provides any paid services.

Average time estimate:

  • From 16 hours for front-end
  • From 24 hours for back-end

Payments page average cost estimate

Hulu payments page

 

NB: It worth mentioning that nowadays the market offers a wide range of online payment systems and the time for their implementation will greatly depend on the one you choose.

Recently we reviewed the most popular payment gateways such as Stripe, PayPal, Mangopay and Adyen in our blogpost on how to choose marketplace payment solution

 

  • Analytics Dashboard

A data dashboard is a tool usually used to track and manage the information inside your web app. 

What kind of information? Frequently, this is a display of the web app performance indicators, key data points or various metrics. You can use analytics dashboard to monitor the whole business or its separate features.

Average time estimate:

  • 8-40 hours for front-end
  • From 8 hours for back-end

 

  • User Rights Management

User rights management is controlling which resources a user can access to perform his or her role and the types of actions he/she can perform using your web application.

Average time estimate:

  • 8-20 hours for front-end
  • From 16 hours for back-end

User rights average cost estimate

Kickstarter user rights page

 

  • User Roles

A user role defines permissions for users to perform various tasks. A role can be assigned to one or several users.

Average time estimate:

  • 16-40 hours for front-end

Let’s have a look at the Akeneo user roles. In this example, the Administrator role has more access than the Manager role, which inturn, has more rights than the Intern role.

User roles average cost estimate

Akeneo user roles

Cost of Core Features of the Web Application

Feature

back-end

/hours

front-end/

hours

QA/hoursPM/hours
Welcome page2-48-16

Registration

Authorization

Log In/Sign-Up

8-4016-48147
User profile8-248-40105
Admin Panel8-800-802110.5
Listings16-4016-40147
Search/Filters4-404-40115.5
PaymentFrom 24From 1652.5
Analytics Dashboard8-1008-4073.5
User rights management (Cookies, Privacy policy)16-1008-205.52.75
User roles (admin, moderator, user)16-40

 

Other Nice Features

Carpets, furniture or curtains… can you live without them? I bet you could. Does an apartment with just walls, ceiling and doors looks nice? Not really.

Additional features help to make your web app personalized, comfy and cozy for your customers. The number and type of these additional features also impact the final cost of your web application development.

 

  • Email Notifications

An email notification is kinda like a newsletter: such emails inform your customers of any web app updates, changes, service renovations or even new products or features.

Average time estimate:

  • 4-24 hours for front-end
  • 8-40 hours for back-end

Email notifications average cost estimate

Kickstarter email notifications

 

  • In-App Notifications

These are the messages that pop up while customers are using your web application. They could be onboarding to explain some features, providing users with updates or promoting new services or products.

Average time estimate:

  • 16-40 hours for front-end
  • 16-40 hours for back-end

In-app average cost estimate

Simple Cater’s in-app notifications

 

Read: How We Created a Food Delivery Web Application

 

  • Chats

Chats enable back-and-forth conversations that users can have inside your app.

This feature can also be used as a customer support tool.

Average time estimate:

  • 0-80 hours for front-end
  • 0-80 hours for back-end

Customer support chat average cost estimate

Simple Cater’s customer support chat

 

  • Mobile-Friendliness

Does your web app display on your smartphone correctly? Everything should work as it was designed to. If so, your web app is mobile friendly. 

Average time estimate:

  • From 76 hours for front-end

Mobile-friendliness average cost estimate

Kickstarter mobile-friendliness 🙂

 

  • Reviews & Feedback 

A rating and feedback system is a powerful tool to inspire trust in your services. 

Average time estimate:

  • 8-24 hours for front-end
  • 12-40 hours for back-end

NB: This is particularly the case for products where services are performed by various suppliers – thus your users can choose the one to work with in a shorter time.

E.g. Though we don’t specify a reviews & feedback system as a core feature for all web apps, it is one of the main features for some apps. Recently we talked about creating a cleaning app and for such a product, reviews appear to be one of the main features.

Ratings average cost estimate

Alexa ranking

 

Cost of the Additional Features of the Web Application

Feature

back-end/

Hours

front-end/

hours

QA/hoursPM/hours
Notification system (email)8-404-249.54.75
Notification system (on-site, web-sockets)16-4016-40147
Chat/Message system0-800-802010
Mobile browsers friendliness76-3084824
Ratings12-408-2410.55.25

 

At Long Last: How Much Does it Cost to Build a Web Application

At Sloboda Studio, we really don’t think that tech stack is what you have to start with when planning a project. Above all, your discovery phase should include market research, establishing your goals and requirements and a customer journey map and only then coming up with tech solutions.

And at this point, lots of our customers ask: “Which technology would save our budget?”

The technology itself does not affect the price. But the time spent on development does and technology influences the needed time.

So the right question is – Which technology facilitates a quick launch?

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Web Application

According to UpWork, the average price for web development depends on the region:

  • Back-end development in the USA: $40-100/hour
  • Front-end development in the USA: $55-100/hour
  • Back-end development in Europe: $15-70/hour
  • Front-end development in Europe: $15-80/hour
Featureback-end Price, $front-end Price, $

Europe

$15-70/hour

The USA

$40-100/hour

Europe

$15-80/hour

The USA

$55-100/hour

Welcome page30-28080-400120-1280440-1600

Registration

Authorization

Log In/Sign-Up

120-2800320-4800240-3840880-4800
User profile120-1680320-2400120-3200440-4000
Admin Panel120-5600320-80001200-64004400-8000
Listings240-2800640-4000240-3200880-4000
Search/Filters60-2800160-400060-3200220-4000
PaymentFrom 360From 960From 240From 880
Analytics DashboardFrom 120From 320120-3200440-4000
User rights management (Cookies, Privacy policy)From 240From 640120-1600440-2000
User roles (admin, moderator, user)240-3200880-4000
Notification system (email)120-2800320-400060-1920220-2400
Notification system (on-site, web-sockets)240-2800640-4000240-3200880-4000
Chat/Message system0-56000-80000-12000-8000
Mobile browsers friendlinessFrom-1140From-4180
Ratings180-2800480-4000120-1920440-2400

 

How Can You Make Your Product Less Expensive?

1.1 Use ‘Out-of-the-Box’ Services

There are plenty of these, so we’ll give you a few of the most popular examples:

  • WordPress – is a system used for content management.  It is useful when you need to create and maintain your web app. Moreover, it is simple to use and free. With WordPress, it is easy to apply the most common blogging features needed to publish, customize or update a web app.
  • ActiveAdmin – is a framework for administration style interfaces development. Using ActiveAdmin, the developers can save time and simplify the development by applying common business app patterns. 
  • Backnow – is a ready-to-use WordPress theme that helps to make your future website look robust and well-designed. As usual, Backnow is used for building crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter, but there are lots of design patterns you can buy.

 

2.2 Simplify Some Services

You don’t need to start your web app with super sophisticated features. Really, you don’t.

Recurring billing is a cool feature for any app that implies payment. But you don’t need it when you just start out – you can start with sending those notifications manually.

These are a number of features you can easily simplify when you build your Minimum Viable Product.

Well, developing a web app is a long process. Answering the question “how much does it cost to build a web app?” you should be aware that it’s not that easy to predict the price right away.

To know the price, determine your web app’s:

  • Features
  • Technologies
  • Discovery & Estimation

That’s all. Now you can move on to development. 

In Sloboda Studio, we are developing web applications for almost 10 years –  feel free to book a consultation.

 

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Alex Morgunov

Alex Morgunov

Project Lead

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