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How much will your web app development cost?

November 11th, 2022

Web applications are growing quickly in demand in the internet world today. In fact, you can see web apps for almost any internet service like social media management, customer relationship development, sales, online workplace, text optimizing and grammar checking, entertainment, etc.

Popular examples of web applications include Buffer, Semrush, HubSpot CRM, Salesforce CRM, Notion, Grammarly, and Netflix.

So you also can take advantage of this business opportunity by developing a web application for your idea. However, there are many ways to develop a web application and each path demands a different cost.

So in this definitive guide, I will walk you through many factors that affect a web app development cost, the various paths you can take to develop it, and the estimated cost associated with each of them. This will help you make the best decision to develop a high-quality web application at a minimum cost. But first, let’s dive into why you should develop a web application in the first place?

How much does it cost to build a website in 2023

Costing of the website depends on the individual. Generally, a website with all simple features will cost around $1000 to $2000. For small business owners, it can go further from $3000 to $10,000.  

If you are planning to build a custom-made website with advanced features, the cost varies from $30,000 to $50,000 or more, depending on the requirements.   

If you consider costing of website maintenance, it can cost from $20 to $5000 per month, depending on the service you take from.  

Depending on the individual users' needs. You can build a website for as little as $100 or spend over $100,000 on its development. The developer you hire can also affect the pricing of your website. The more experience developers have, the more polished work they get. Generally, they also charge higher.  

Costing of making a website from freelancer or a developer team 

If you are planning to make a website on your own with any website builder software, it will save you some bucks. But, if you hire someone as a freelancer or a company, the cost you pay will be more. It all depends upon the experience they have in this particular industry.   

Generally, a website builder can cost you from nothing to $200, a well-experienced freelancer will cost you from $500 to $10,000, and a full-fledged team(company) can cost you anywhere between $2,000 to over $100,000.  

  • Web builder: 0 to $200  

  • Freelance web developer: $500 to $10,000  

  • A web-developer team: $2,000 to over $100,000   

Why you should develop a web application?

The reason for this growth in the popularity of developing web apps is that you need to develop a web app only once and then you can sell a subscription to it over and over again to as many people as you like. Once developed, you have to bear the cost of only updates, maintenance, and system.

This is relatively much cheaper as compared to the cost of development of a physical product for which you have to pay for each piece developed and also store them in an inventory.

Another reason why developing a web application is a good idea is that it facilitates sales and relationship development with your customers. This, in turn, makes them more likely to turn loyal to your web application for a longer partnership.

For example - many web applications offer their basic version for free which their customers can upgrade later to a paid version to fulfill more demands. You can also find web applications that offer access to their premium version for a limited period like 7 or 30 days. This helps in acquiring new customers as it removes any barrier to entry.

What is the difference between websites and web applications?

Many may get confused between websites and web applications. However, they both are different and serve different purposes. So here is how they differ: -

Web Application

  1. It is designed for serving a potential customer directly.

  2. Example - These are some of the web apps we developed - Reallect - to build a real estate website and grow it with SEO. Another is Aprive - which is the first free-forever, real estate CRM.

  3. It is mandatory to log in and verify authentication to use the web app.

  4. If any changes are made to the web app, the entire project needs to be compiled and deployed again.

  5. More complex to develop than a website.

  6. A web app is a part of a website.

Website

  1. A website mainly provides the audience with information about the company and its services/products. This indirectly may turn into a sale later on.

  2. Example - Have a look at the website of Acquaint Softtech. It is created to promote our services, spread knowledge, and connect with our potential clients.

  3. Login and authentication aren’t required to access a website. It may ask you to log in only for premium data.

  4. Any small changes made won’t require you to compile and deploy the entire project again.

  5. Much simpler to build than a web app.

  6. A website may contain a web app in it.

What are the types of web apps based on their functions?

Web apps aren’t of a single type. In fact, there are five common types of web applications with each serving a different purpose. Let’s have a look at each of them.

Static web apps

As the name suggests, this kind of web app is static and thus, simpler to develop than other types of web apps. Static web apps have only restricted content to offer in exchange for a small subscription fee. Such web apps can be easily built with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. An example of this can be a blog that offers free and premium content.

Dynamic web apps

Dynamic web apps store or fetch the required data in real-time to or from the database as per the request made by the user. This makes it more complex to build than its static counterparts. To build dynamic web apps, you can use technologies such as Node.js, jQuery, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Perl, Python, etc. Facebook is the most common example of a dynamic web app.

Single-page apps

Single-page apps are web apps in which a single page dominates the amount of content in them. Only a small amount of information needs to be updated with time. Examples of single-page apps are Gmail, PayPal, and Airbnb. Meteor, ReactJS, AngularJS, and VueJS are some technologies you can use to develop a great single-page app.

Multiple-page apps

Multiple-page apps are the ones that have information spread all across the website and the data has to be fetched from the database whenever an information page is clicked. The most common example of a multiple-page app is Amazon. It has the data for numerous products which is fetched when one particular product is chosen.

Progressive web apps

Progressive web apps look similar to mobile apps and are also supported to work well on mobile phones. In other words, you can access the complete information even from your mobile browser. Examples of progressive web apps include Uber, Spotify, and YouTube.

Factors affecting web app development cost

Scope of your project

The scope of your project means the scale on which you what to serve your target audience. Some web applications are simple to build and maintain as there is a limited scope of growth. Take an example a school management system. There is a limited amount of students and teachers a school can accommodate. And it will take them years to increase that capacity.

Thus, a school management system is easier and more affordable to build and maintain compared to a project of higher scope.

On the other end of the spectrum lies high-scope projects such as Amazon Prime. It is a subscription-based platform to watch movies and TV series and provides other benefits as well on purchasing products from Amazon. There were an estimated 153 million subscribers in 2021 in the US alone. The worldwide count will be much more than that.

This shows that the scope of this project is very big and serves a large amount of audience. On top of that, the subscribers grow much more rapidly as opposed to our previous example of a school management system. Thus, a project with this high a scope will be hard to build and maintain and cost you more.

How does the scope of your project affect your web app development cost?

The higher the scope of your project, the more complex it will be to develop and maintain it. Thus, the costlier it will be for you to build.

But wait! If you are looking to build a high-scope project and don’t have an equivalent budget, all is not doomed for you. You can build an MVP of your web application to reduce your cost and risk. And grow your web app as needed. Developing an MVP first is the ideal path many successful entrepreneurs choose. So start small with the intention to go big.

Want to build an MVP for your web application?

You are at the right place then. Our MVP development services will help you cut down your project cost by up to 60% while maintaining its quality.

Connect with our experts

The country in which your developer lives

Traditionally, startups and companies hire employees from their own regions. But with the rise of technology, you can also take advantage of skills possessed by people all over the world while saving money. Hiring freelancers or remote developers is a way to do this. I will talk about both of those individually later in this post.

But for now, understand that different countries have different economies and thus, different pay scales. Paying $50k a year for a developer might be normal in the USA. But it is much higher than the salary of well-paid developers in India. Have a look at the difference in the per-hour cost of offshore development in various regions.

So, instead of hiring in-house developers, you can save big by going with remote developers or freelancers without making any compromises on the quality of your project.

How does the country in which your developer lives affects your web app development cost?

Different countries have different pay scales due to the difference in currency value. Thus, with the salary of one developer in the USA, you may hire multiple developers from India having equivalent experience. This brings us to…

The experience of the developers you hire

As the experience of a developer increases, the more he will charge you. Isn’t that obvious? However, you can expect from them better quality and faster development. This, to some extent, nullifies the difference in pay due to experience.

In other words, hiring an experienced developer will save you time and help you launch your web application earlier. The lesser the development time, the more you save.

Let me give you an example - if a junior developer charges you $50 per hour and completes your project in 100 hours. So your web app development cost will be $5000 excluding any need for redeveloping any elements.

On the other side, if you hire a senior developer who costs you $75 and completes your project in 75 hours. In this case, the project cost to you will be $5625. Do you think paying $625 extra to get your project earlier by 25 hours is worth it? Not to mention that you can expect lesser bugs and better quality from senior developers.

How does the experience of the developers you hire affect your web app development cost?

The more experienced a developer you hire, the more he will charge you for his speed and quality of development.

The tech stack you choose

Various technologies you use to build your web application come at varying prices. Thus, the languages in which good developers are scarce or the languages which are more in demand will cost you higher.

For example - Hiring a Java developer is costlier than a PHP developer as Java is more popular than PHP for backend development. Have a look at the following charts to get a better idea.

Programming Languages

Skill

Low Hourly Rate

High Hourly Rate

Average Hourly Rate

C

$15

$120

$59.73

C#

$12

$120

$63.13

C++

$25

$150

$63.18

Java

$20

$100

$53.17

JavaScript

$20

$225

$48.98

Kotlin

$15

$60

$36.58

PHP

$15

$90

$54.02

Python

$25

$150

$52.88

R Language

$35

$100

$51.33

Frontend Frameworks

Skill

Low Hourly Rate

High Hourly Rate

Average Hourly Rate

Angular.js

$22

$160

$59.96

Backbone.js

$33

$100

$57.64

D3.js

$30

$120

$55.29

Ember.js

$15

$150

$54.22

Foundation

$10

$90

$49.38

jQuery

$15

$120

$58.58

React.js

$35

$200

$59.29

Semantic UI

$9

$80

$37.85

Backend Frameworks

Skill

Low Hourly Rate

High Hourly Rate

Average Hourly Rate

ASP.NET

$35

$130

$60.67

CakePHP

$8

$85

$46.92

Django

$20

$100

$50.78

Express

$32

$140

$52.42

Flask

$20

$250

$58.07

Laravel

$30

$100

$50.20

Ruby on Rails

$30

$100

$50.20

Spring Boot

$32

$210

$60.59

Content Management Systems

Skill

Low Hourly Rate

High Hourly Rate

Average Hourly Rate

Drupal

$8

$200

$63.35

Joomla

$34

$85

$50.73

WordPress

$12

$110

$44.13

Ecommerce

Skill

Low Hourly Rate

High Hourly Rate

Average Hourly Rate

WooCommerce

$20

$125

$59.00

Shopify

$5

$120

$59.11

Magento

$20

$80

$47.96

Miscellaneous

Skill

Low Hourly Rate

High Hourly Rate

Average Hourly Rate

Android

$20

$160

$55.48

iOS

$30

$100

$53.04

Salesforce

$35

$130

$72.42

Unity

$35

$125

$54.77

Miscellaneous

However, I recommend that you should opt for reliable technologies only even if they cost you a tad higher. Why? Because if your chosen technologies don’t serve you well, you need to redevelop your project with a better language in the future which is very frustrating as you need to reinvest your time and money.

How does your tech stack affect your web app development cost?

Different technologies come at different prices. But chose your tech stack wisely as it is costly to replace it later. In some cases, you may need your web app to work equally well with desktop computers and mobile. So you will need to work with more technologies and thus, you need to hire more developers. This will increase the cost of your project development.

The complexity of the UI/UX design of your web app

Any complex stuff is hard to create and takes more time. So it is also needless to say the higher it will cost you. But the good news is that you don’t need to have a complex UI/UX design to get good results.

In fact, this is what you should refrain from as complex UI/UX design may feel overwhelming and uninviting. Foremost, you need to make sure that your design represents your brand and spreads the feeling you want them to feel.

Apart from those, another important aspect of designing is its navigation. Does it facilitate the visitors to go to the page and take the action you want them to take? Is it easy to move around from one page to another?

These things can give you a better return as compared to investing a bigger amount for a complex UI/UX design.

How does the complexity of UI/UX design affect your web app development cost?

A complex UI/UX design consists of more elements than a simpler one. This makes it more time-consuming to develop. And also slower if not optimized with utmost care. So it is not worth it to mull over creating a complex design. As long as you take care of the basic things I told you earlier, it should do well for you.

Maintenance and upgrades

Maintenance and upgrades are inevitable costs once you launch your web app. But remember that only growing or successful companies enjoy the privilege of having to pay for maintenance and upgrades.

This includes fixing any bugs, optimizing the code, updating the plugins, tightening the security, scaling up the capacity, etc. All this is very crucial to keep your web application in the best shape and ready to meet the growing demands.

However, you may be wondering how much will it cost? The cost of maintenance and upgrades grows with the demand for your web application. So initially it will be on the lower end but may grow with time.

How do maintenance and upgrades affect your web app development cost?

You have to pay for maintenance and upgrades after you have launched the initial version of your web application. And since it is a never-ending affair, it is hard to estimate the total cost for this.

Other costs

When you are into this big a project, hidden and miscellaneous costs are bound to occur. Thus, you have to be ready with an emergency fund to deal with those situations. Here are some of the events and services you have to pay for: -

  1. Cyberattack

    No business owner wants to get his project stolen. But believe me, cyber attacks are very common these days and nobody is fully immune from them. You can only give yourself the best chance to survive against it, but on a bad day, you may still find your project hacked.

    However, you can revive your web app, given that you take the right steps. This may require experts and also, money.

  2. Miscellaneous

    There are other recurring costs that you are most likely to face. Mostly it will be the subscription cost of plugins, hosting, domain, etc.

How does this affect your web app development cost?

This can be in the form of necessary services you have to pay for like hosting, domain, and plugins. Sometimes you may also find yourself to be a victim of a cyberattack. And in that case, you need to seek the help of experts.

Which way you should go to find the right team?

There are many ways you can go to build your web application but the most common are three. However, each path has a different journey experience. So let me give you a glimpse of each of those: -

In-house team

This is the traditional and most common way to develop anything. Just hire a team, give them office space, pay them salary and bonuses, keep them happy, and with time you may get your project done if you have selected the right team.

History has shown that this approach does give you results with some ups and downs. But the problem with this is it’s very pricy for small businesses and startups.

Think about this - you do not just have to pay for the work you get but also for the other maintenance costs along the way. Well-established companies may be fine with it as they have resources and revenue. But if you are just starting, you may find yourself taking in a big financial risk.

Thus, think of the financial needs you have to meet before you walk through this path.

Pros

  1. You can work with your team under your own surveillance.

  2. Gives you results most of the time

  3. Clear communication

Cons

  1. Too expensive

  2. Not ideal for startups and small businesses

  3. Limited access to talent due to geographical limitation

  4. Difficult to find the right team

Freelance developers

Freelancing has come as a big relief for companies and people who want to be self-employed. This allows companies and individuals to get their work done by paying only for that. No overhead costs like office space, bonuses, etc.

Since you want to create a web application, let me tell you that this isn’t a task for a single person. You need multiple developers on your team. So to build your web app you will have to find multiple freelancers who can work together on your project.

Can you sniff the problem here? You can find as many freelance developers as you want. But it is very hard to bind them together to work on your project.

Also, freelance platforms are a bit unreliable as they take no responsibility for the completion of your project on time.

Pros

  1. Affordable

  2. No upfront cost

  3. You can find talent even living across the world.

Cons

  1. Hard to create a team that can collaborate on the project.

  2. Can be unreliable to create your project on time.

Outsourcing team

This path is like a conglomeration between the in-house team and freelancer developers and thus, combines the positives of both.

Here you discuss your requirements for your web application with a trustable web development agency. They, in turn, will provide you with capable developers who you can hire instantly so you can start your project.

However, it is important to interview developers first and pick the best team. Once your project is finalized your parts will be divided into multiple milestones and assigned a deadline for each one. When the first milestone is complete, the team will get back to you to get your approval to go ahead.

The advantage of outsourcing a team is that your team of developers works under supervision while you get the flexibility of freelance platforms.

Pros

  1. Saves you development cost

  2. Takes no time to start your project

  3. You don’t have to spend time and money on finding good developers

  4. Maintains confidentiality of your project with an NDA

Cons

  1. Some agencies are not trustable. So you need to pick your partner carefully.

  2. There may be some communication problems.

Want to develop a quality web app?

We are a web app development company that has been in the industry for over 9 years with a long list of happy clients.

Develop your web app with us

How to choose the best tech stack for your web app?

Your tech stack matters a lot when it comes to defining the quality and the cost of your project. So you need to find a tech stack that allows you to develop a web app that is loaded with all the qualities you would like in it. But also you need to make sure that it doesn’t end up overcharging you. Here are some tips for picking the best tech stack: -

  1. Find out what exactly you need in your web application - features, performance requirements, UI/UX, etc.

  2. Filter out various technologies based on your requirements.

  3. I recommend a PHP framework like Laravel for developing your web app because it has huge libraries of pre-written code.

  4. For the front end, you can consider JavaScript frameworks like AngularJS and ReactJS.

FAQs

What are the factors on which the cost of web app development depends?

Following are the factors on which depends the cost of your web app development:

  1. Scope and complexity of your project

  2. Country of developers you hire

  3. Experience of developers you hire

  4. Tech stack you choose

How can I reduce my web app development cost?

Instead of hiring an in-house team of developers, go for a web app development agency that provides you with remote developers. They save you on costs such as recruitment, overhead, maintenance, system, etc. while maintaining the quality of your project.

How to find a reliable web app development company?

Here are the minimum criteria a web app development company should meet:

  1. 5+ years of experience

  2. Portfolio of projects delivered

  3. Clear communication

  4. Successful completion of test tasks on time.

What is the cost of remote developers in India?

It varies as per various technologies. But the starting cost of developers in India is $15 per hour. It goes up with their number of years of experience.

How can I develop my web app?

There are four common ways to develop your web application:

  1. Code it yourself

  2. Hire an in-house team

  3. Go with freelance developers

  4. Hire remote developers

Why go with remote developers to develop my web app?

Remote developers combine the best of hiring an in-house team and freelance developers. They save you on your cost of development by removing all your overhead costs while giving you access to a worldwide pool of talent.

Conclusion

I hope that now you have some idea about what it will cost you to develop your web application. But as I said, you can reduce it using the correct path - outsourcing. So if you have opted to go for an outsourcing company, here are some things you need to keep in mind to pick the right one: -

  1. Experience of 5+ years

  2. Portfolio of clients

  3. Clear communication

  4. Successful test task completion

  5. NDA agreement

To save you time in finding the right partner, I would like to tell you that we are a development agency that meets all those checks. But to get a better idea about us, contact us now to discuss your project with our professionals and test them out. See you on the other side.

Mukesh Ram

Founder and CEO, Acquaint Softtech

I love to make a difference. Thus, I started Acquaint Softtech with the vision of making developers easily accessible and affordable to all. Me and my beloved team have been fulfilling this vision for over 15 years now and will continue to get even bigger and better.

Table of Content
  • How much does it cost to build a website in 2023

  • Why you should develop a web application?

  • What is the difference between websites and web applications?

  • What are the types of web apps based on their functions?

  • Factors affecting web app development cost

  • Which way you should go to find the right team?

  • How to choose the best tech stack for your web app?

  • FAQs

  • Conclusion

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