TECHNICAL

App Development Cost Breakdown: How Much Does It Cost to Design an App

Dasha Korsik

Content Team Lead

Custom Web App Development Cost

There is a wide price range within custom software development and mobile app development today. This article focuses on the factors that affect the final average app development cost of a project.

It will help you negotiate the price with any application development specialist googled through the “app developers near me” query and understand how web solutions companies and freelancers evaluate their services.

Introduction

Web application development is evolving rapidly, gradually replacing desktop solutions and making web apps a critical component of business in the modern world. Companies opt for custom web application development services so that they can effectively address a wide range of business challenges.

So, how much does it cost to make an app for your business? What determines the cost of customised software development?

The total price of software development services varies depending on the client’s requirements, the complexity of the project, the hourly rate of a specialist, and other factors. This also includes important points, such as planning, management, market research and design.

Below, we review the main types of web applications and the key factors that affect web app development cost. 

Let’s get started.

Web App Development: Types of Custom Web Apps

Today, almost everybody knows what a mobile app is. But what is a web app? Basically, it’s a client-server application with a bulk hosted on a remote server, the user interface (UI) is displayed in a browser as web pages.

To run a web application, the user doesn’t need to install any additional software. A web app runs on any device with a browser and Internet access.

Evernote, Flickr, and Google Cloud are among the most popular web apps worldwide. Most ecommerce apps are web applications. So, if you need to build one, read further as we’re going to explore ecommerce app development costs.

The main types of custom web apps include:

Static web applications

Static web apps are made up of immutable pages. In other words, the web app has the same look and feel, as well as the same content for all visitors. When such a web app is requested in a browser, the server immediately provides a ready-made HTML document in the form it was created in. In addition to HTML, the code of such pages uses only CSS and JavaScript, which ensures their lightness and fast loading.

Normally, these web apps are sites with a minimum number of pages or with content that doesn’t need to be regularly updated. These can be:

  • Business card sites;
  • Product catalogues;
  • Technical documentation reference books.

However, by using third-party tools, you can add individual and dynamic elements to your pages, such as comments, personal accounts for users, search, etc.

Dynamic web applications

Dynamic web apps, in turn, have mutable pages that adapt to a specific user. Such pages are not placed on the server ready-made but are reassembled for each new request. 

The most prominent examples of dynamic apps are pages built based on content management systems (CMS). Most often there are:

  • Online stores;
  • Various forums;
  • Web pages with customers’ reviews;
  • Other resources with the ability to post users’ content.

Since dynamic web apps require resources and connections with additional services, web application services in this case may cost more than those for static ones.

eCommerce web applications

Thanks to ecommerce, manufacturers and suppliers of services/goods can offer products online to potential buyers, receive and process orders, manage order statuses, and much more.

eCommerce web apps help to:

  • Obtain detailed information about consumer requests;
  • Rapidly launch a new product;
  • Reduce transaction costs;
  • Shorten the goods-to-consumer path.

As web applications are available from any device connected to the Internet worldwide, they can substantially benefit ecommerce businesses. If this is exactly the niche you’re interested in, this quick guide will help to start an online store seamlessly.


Corporate web portals

This multifunctional web service allows optimizing business processes conveniently and effectively.

The list of issues that such a custom software solution helps to solve includes:

  • Improving the quality of work with clients;
  • Improving employee performance;
  • Strengthening the communication between the company’s divisions;
  • Making the communication with contractors effective;
  • Increasing employee mobility;
  • Facilitating remote work with documents;
  • Conducting various PR events.

CMS web application

CMS, or a Content Management System, is a special web application used to manage the content of a website, including:

  • Text materials;
  • Video files;
  • Images;
  • MP3 files, and more.

Why do you need a CMS web app? In order not to write the program code that controls your website’s content. Some content management tools are developed for one specific type of websites. Others can work with many of them. There isn’t one universal solution for every user, but the CMS web apps that are already well-known to the users worldwide are Drupal and WordPress. Magento, as an ecommerce platform, provides numerous opportunities to create rich content for your web store and promote your brand by offering necessary information to the customers.

How Much Does It Cost to Design an App? Factors of App Development Cost Estimate

Custom Web App Development Cost

As often happens to web solution companies, the client describes the functionality of the future app briefly and asks the question “How much does it cost to create an app?” immediately. Unfortunately, brief descriptions are not enough. It’s impossible to make calculations without a detailed project description.

Below, we provide a small app development cost breakdown and overview the factors that will help you get an answer to the “How much does it cost to build an app?” question. Additionally, you’ll find out what you need to get a quality solution at a reasonable price.

1. Functionality and features

Custom app development cost depends on the level of complexity and project size. Before asking a custom web application development company for help, you need to consider several questions:

  • What features to implement in my product?
  • How many screens, buttons, fields does it need?
  • How complex will the application’s business logic be?
  • How will it help to strengthen my company’s positions on the market?

The functionality, perhaps, has the strongest impact on the total price. Depending on the project, it usually consists of between 60 to 80% of the total development cost.

2. Complexity and scope of work 

Before starting the development process, it’s necessary to conduct an analysis of competitors and highlight the features of the application that will allow you to stand out from the crowd. When considering this step, you can easily and correctly define the features that your application should have.

Keep in mind that features do not have an equal price. Some of the most complex and expensive functionalities are those that involve the use of new technologies and tools. Also, a lot of effort is spent on the implementation of the features that have to do with processing payments.

3. Custom designs

The cost of a unique web app design primarily depends on the complexity of the interface. The qualifications and reputation of the designer also play a role.

The prototype, which displays the general view of the web application with the expected functional elements and the indication of user scenarios, allows you to optimize design costs.


By the way, if you’re looking to develop a custom ecommerce website, our Magento experts can help you create an appealing Magento-based software solution with a custom design that grabs attention. 

4. Location of your agile software development team

Choosing which company will bring your idea to life certainly has a significant impact on the cost of the application. It’s worth selecting a team that has experience in creating applications like yours, as well as having an impressive portfolio, and is open to regular discussion of the smallest details and answering any questions regarding your project.

While hiring from abroad seems like a good way to save money, on the contrary, it can cause additional costs due to the following challenges:

  • Language barriers;
  • Time zone differences;
  • Cultural peculiarities.

Check out our article “Outsource IT: Basics of Software Development Outsourcing” to get an idea of other issues that arise from hiring partners from abroad and how to avoid these issues.


5. Deadlines and milestones

There is always a problem with deadlines. While it may seem that everything is planned out – all of a sudden, the developer may get ill, or the designer gets into an accident. All your plans go to trash.

In the case of force majeure, you need to understand and accept that your plans have already changed. It’s important to decide which of the three most important parameters is more profitable, to avoid worsening your loss: launch time, price, and functionality.

6. Hourly rates for the services

One of the important factors affecting the cost of a web app development includes the number of specialists, their hourly rates, and the total number of hours spent on the project.

These are the factors you should consider when looking for a web app development company. The first step is to choose an agency that offers you convenient hourly rates for specialists, understands your goals and requirements, and makes quality products.

Of course, finding the golden mean between price and quality is not an easy task. After you have found your ideal company and all your requirements have been analyzed, a team is formed that can include not only developers, project managers, and designers, but also analysts and marketers.

That is why it’s almost impossible to accurately determine the number of hours required to complete the project before starting the development itself, because every feature, every little task related to marketing, development or testing, must be taken into account.

7. Maintenance charges

Maintenance and support must be paid for web apps with complex functionality and bespoke software solutions. Its cost depends on the specifics of the project. For example, maintaining a WordPress-based web app is relatively inexpensive. The engine is regularly updated, so the administrator just needs to monitor the relevance of plugins and, if necessary, change outdated modules to similar new ones.

If you are looking to level up the security and performance of your Magento store or just need a professional consultancy, our Magento support company will help.

8. Individual, non-functional requirements

When preparing the terms of reference for the web app development, try to describe your future solution in detail. The document should capture everything, including non-functional requirements to quality and visual features. The more it is detailed – the better.

For example, if you wish to create an ecommerce web app, the non-functional requirements can include:

  • The way the server handles requests;
  • The way the server copes with the increased number of users/registrations;
  • Usability features of the solution, and more.

Conclusion

The web app development cost depends on the elements involved in your final solution.

How much does app development cost? How much does it cost to hire an app developer?

You see, it depends on the required complexity, functionality, and design. Before contacting a web application development agency, you have to understand what you really need.

It’s necessary to learn more about web development to become, at least, a minimally qualified customer. This knowledge will help you to speak the same language with the specialists. This is the way to achieve your desired results.

We understand how important it is for a business to be present online and continue evolving. Contact us through the form on our website and ask any questions regarding your project.

We are here to help you determine the appropriate solution for your needs.