Let’s be honest by saying in the beginning that you won’t get a precise figure for web development costs. Let us also say that when a web application development service just gives you an exact cost estimate without knowing your web project in detail, you should stay away from him. Because it is nothing but a scam. 

Web application development costs just cannot be assessed like this. When you go to the web development companies, they cannot come up with a readymade price list. Since every web project differs, the cost factors and execution costs will also vary. 

This post will explain how web application development cost takes shape, the key cost factors, and the aspects on which you can exercise control to reduce the development cost. Let’s begin by explaining the different types of web apps. 

Different Types of web apps

When developing a web app, you have different types of web apps at your disposal. The principal types of web apps in the market are single-page web apps (SPA), multi-page web apps (MPAs), and progressive web apps (PWAs). Before looking for a web app development cost solution, it is essential to have a good idea about these basic types of web apps. 

• Single-page apps (SPA): 

As the name suggests, a single-page app (SPA) just has one page, and all functionalities and features can be accessed through this page. Any leading professional web app development company prefers SPA because it saves the loading time for different loading pages. Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to Google apps are great examples of SPAs.

• Multi-page apps (MPA):

Just as the name indicates, the multi-page app (MPA) has multiple pages, and the features and functionalities of an MPA are accessible on different pages. This web app development solution requires loading a separate page when a navigation button is clicked, or a feature is requested. Performance bottlenecks remain a key concern for MPAs. Ecommerce marketplace apps, eLearning apps, etc., choose this type of web app.

• Progressive web apps (PWA):

Web apps are still not like native mobile apps in terms of ease of access, native features, and performance. PWAs bring the good sides of both web and native mobile apps together. PWAs offer features like offline access, app-like Home Screen access, push notifications, access to OS and hardware features, instant loading time, etc. Many leading brands embraced PWA, such as Starbucks, Flipkart, Flipboard, and several others. 


What are the key factors impacting the web app development cost? 

As we explained in the beginning, giving a precise web application development cost figure is next to impossible. All the different types of web apps mentioned above have different cost outcomes. But we can unveil the key factors responsible for impacting the cost of web development. 

Technical attributes & complexity 

The app's complexity determines your requirement for expertise and, consequently, the web application development cost. As per the varying complexity, we can categorize web apps into 3 distinct categories below. 

Basic Web App

Basic and straightforward web apps have minor complexities and are simple to build and use. These apps mainly showcase static information, and simple features and functionalities need the least coding effort. Generally, expertise with elementary web languages such as HTML and CSS is enough for building these apps. Simple and essential web apps are also built by using No-code development tools allowing you to drag and drop UI elements after choosing a theme and template. Simple web apps with static landing pages, HTML-based web portals and games, web catalogs, and online brochures are examples of such web apps. 

Medium-complexity Web Apps

One step ahead, medium-complexity web apps allow more interactive elements and features over and above the static elements. These apps need a little higher level of coding to build more dynamic UI elements. You can still use ready-to-use themes and templates but need to customize them to a certain extent and incorporate dynamic features and UI elements such as contact forms, pop-ups, interactive scrolling, animated micro-interactions, etc. Generally, these apps require JavaScript coding skills apart from HTML and CSS and a few third-party APIs for feature integration. Ecommerce, online games, and small business apps fall in this category. 

Large & Complex Web Apps

As the name suggests, a large and complex web app is a multilayered app with superb scalability, many dynamic features, and, most importantly, a fully customized app in design and development. These apps are the most cost-intensive of the three requiring longer development time and the inputs of top-notch expertise. Almost all major enterprise, custom business, and feature-rich apps fall under this category. 

Web development team

The next big determinant factor for the cost of building your web app is the size of the web application development team and the experience and expertise level of the developers. Depending upon the size and complexity of the web app, you need to decide on the technology stack and the size of the development team. 

To get onboard the expert developers for the project, you can opt for any of the following hiring and engagement models.

    • Hire an in-house development team

    • Hire freelance developers 

    • Hire web development companies 

Each of the above-mentioned options has its pros and cons. Suppose you are indecisive about the development team and time for the project. In that case, an expert web development company can always help you by categorizing your app based on its size, features, and complexity. Let us quickly look at the different web development professionals you need to build a web app.

• Analyst:

The analyst's job is to bring market and audience research insights to the table and decide the web app features accordingly.

• Frontend developer:

You need frontend or client-focused developers to create the web app user interface.

• Backend developer:

For configuring the server and introducing the business logic in the app's functioning and behavior, you need backend developers.

 • Database expert:

A database expert should deliver content to the users and allow users to interact with content.

  • Web UI Designer:

Finally, you need some UI designers in the team to shape the look and feel of the web app with logos, graphics, banners, animations, micro-interactions, and other elements.

 • QA Tester:

You also need Quality Assurance (QA) professionals and testers to check bugs, development errors, and fault lines within the web app.

 • Project manager:

The team must include a dedicated project manager to ensure a smooth development process involving smooth collaboration and communication among the team members.

 • Copywriters:

You need one or two experienced copywriters to create the web page content per the design specifications. 

Sometimes, small web app projects simply can do away with hiring the entire team of professionals, just as described above. They can hire one or two full-stack developers with full exposure and experience across both front-end and back-end development. The team size will be more significant if you use too many technologies for the front and backend. 

Location of the development team 

The geographical location of the developers can impact the cost of development to a great extent simply because of the variance of rate and respective currency strength. There are countries where developers charge very little, while too many in the West charge a fortune. 

In general, developers charge quite an expensive rate in West Europe, the UK, the USA, and Canada. In comparison, in countries in Southeast Asia and several Latin American countries, the development cost is lower than in other parts of the globe. 

Since you can always take advantage of countries like India, where lower costs and a huge talent pool make a perfect fix, developers here are experiencing more demand from the businesses in the West Development time.

Adhering to the pre-decided development schedule and timeline is crucial for a business's credibility; hence, you cannot just expect the developers to finish early. You need to go deeper and assess the required development time and estimate the developer hours and corresponding costs accordingly. 

You should be balanced on both sides. For example, faster development may save you money, but ultimately, this can lead to faulty products resulting in much higher development costs because of unwanted errors and corresponding course corrections. While an app with moderate features requires not more than 3 months of development time, you should not extend it to 6 months or fast-forward it to one month. 

Over To You 

So, you have pretty much every cost factor in calculating and assessing the development cost of your web project. Since every web app project is intrinsically different from the others, estimating the actual development cost is difficult without knowing the project specifications in detail. This is where this small but practical guide to web development costs may be helpful. 

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Written by
Tech entrepreneur & Founder of Impero IT Services - an award-winning software development company! Raza has worked with 500+ clients, from Startups to Enterprise levels. Raza's key expertise is around tech consultation, where he assists businesses by creating a roadmap for their digital journey. Raza and the team at Impero are also greatly recognized by Forbes and Clutch for their outstanding services!

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