Nowadays, people use web applications in one way or another. Web development is one of the fastest-growing activities. The main question for most people who understand the web development process is how to estimate the cost. This is one of the main questions that must be addressed whenever an organization or development team embarks on a web development project. Preliminary determination of operating expenses is one of the most critical factors.
Factors Affecting Web Development Costs
Scope of work
The first thing businesses should do is conduct extensive market research to know the scope before finalizing the core structure segment of their web application development project. Multiple application programming interfaces (APIs), hosting, databases, compatibility – the more complex a web application is, the longer it will take to develop and therefore cost more.
The high development cost strongly influences the quality of the graphics and animations. These UI/UX design personalization services are better than other template solutions. Differences depend on the armor on the icon, complexity of the design, location of the hero, animation, integration on social media, and the wholeness of the appearance and use on the web application. All these components have a lot in common with the interaction with the public, which is why UI / UX design is essential for attracting the audience and having such a problem with talking about the theme of the product.
Various rental options
The web application development cost can vary significantly depending on your chosen service model. Each option is appropriate in different situations and depends on the requirements of your project.
Generally, there are three main choices for software developers:
Freelancers are like self-sufficient contractors; they are the best option if you need to manage a small project or require some software upgrades, as a freelancer cannot be responsible for the entire web application development.
- Low-cost solution
- Without technical skills, you will have to choose a specialist to test the suitability of the web application.
- The requirement of a project manager to manage the development process.
- Freelancers are more challenging to manage as they can turn down projects unexpectedly.
If you are looking for professionals to work remotely as part of your company, or you need to build your in-house team, then this alternative is for you. An in-house team is perfect if you manage multiple projects and prefer to be fully involved in the process.
- Complete control over the team
- No communication problems
- Power to make changes
- Complex and lengthy hiring process as you need to hire each team member individually.
- It would help if you chose a technical team to guide you in the project specification and testing.
- Additional costs (office rent, software, hardware, taxes, etc.).
Outsourcing seems to be the best choice for many. In this situation, you will accelerate time to market, reduce project costs, and create a high-quality product. The important thing about outsourcing companies is that they are responsible for project management and product delivery.
- You can search from the vast pool of experienced professionals to create a custom web application.
- Project specifications based on your requirements.
- Business analysts from their team to evaluate the project.
- Confirmed delivery of a working product within specified time frames.
- Fees for outsourcing companies are more than freelancers but less than in-house developers.
Location of web development experts
Since web development is a labor-intensive project, project costs greatly depend on the geographic location of the development team. The labor hire fee is extremely high in developed countries like the UK, USA, Canada, etc. Hence, it is recommended to outsource your web development project to software companies based in South Asian countries like India, or East European countries like Bulgaria, where experienced professionals can be hired at more economical rates. This can reduce your development costs to a great extent.
It would help if you always chose an economical pricing strategy while outsourcing your project to technology partners. You should choose one of these two pricing strategies – fixed and hourly – according to your project requirements, expected deadline, and budget.
Support and updates, implementation and post-implementation costs
Infrastructure costs such as web hosting and domain registration costs should also be considered as part of the costs. Apart from running the app, you also have to spend on maintenance issues like fixing bugs and adding new features through updated versions. More upgrades mean higher costs.
How the company’s policy affects the cost of web development
First, pricing is influenced by the policy of the agencies or web studios you have applied to. Depending on the company’s attitude towards its reputation, features of its approach, qualifications of specialists, etc., the stated price ranges for web development may differ significantly.
For you, the customer, or your representative, it is essential to avoid two dangerous mistakes:
- Do not chase for a low price; get a low-quality site. Ego will still have to be created anew. As the old proverb says – “A miser pays twice.”
- Do not pay excessive money to web developers that do not correspond to the quality of the service provided to you and the functionality of the final product — the ordered web resource.
To minimize the risk of getting into such situations, ask yourself the following five questions:
- The reputation of the agencies — is it essential for the agency to maintain a good relationship with you? Freelancers and agencies working in the lower price segment do not care about your final opinion about the project after receiving payment. Your negative reviews are a danger only for an agency that promotes its brand and avoids reputational risks. Such a company will apply all forces to fulfill its obligations to you, but the price will be higher.
- Individual or “flow approach” — these web developers “bake sites like pies,” using hacked templates and recently created content or develop sites for specific business tasks of the client. In the second case, the developers must draw the site’s original design, fill it with quality content and think through the semantic structure. This is an entirely different spending time and, therefore, a reasonable increase in cost.
- Qualification of employees — how experienced are these specialists? Are these mature professionals with dozens and hundreds of projects under their belts or “hungry novices”? The latter often take little but make several mistakes and tighten deadlines. Mature professionals will probably make a site famous. However, they must confirm the level of their claims with an impressive portfolio and honest reviews that can be verified.
- Degree of immersion in the project – will the Internet marketer of this agency be fully “immersed” in the study of your offer, niches, and competitors? Web development with marketing expertise included in the price costs more. However, without it, your site loses its commercial function. There is a high risk that it will weakly contribute to lead generation and form a positive image for your company.
- Official cooperation arrangement and presence of an office — will a well-drafted contract be concluded? Will you be able to meet with the developers personally? Companies and individuals working in the lower price segment usually use freelance work. They often work “in the dark” without paying taxes or concluding a contract. Companies occupying the middle and high-price details typically have an office where you can come and chat with developers live. They have permanent employees in their staff who do not “disappear” anywhere and see the most successful and operational implementation of your project as their primary income. As a rule, such an agency knowingly binds itself with obligations fixed in the contract to pay fines (penalties) in case of failure to deliver the site. This is another level of responsibility for the web developer and, therefore, a reasonable increase in cost.
11 Tips to Cut Web Development Costs
Work with professionals
A modern site is not only a friendly design, features, and widgets. It must meet all the basic rules of search engine optimization (SEO). Otherwise, it will be challenging to promote yourself in search; you will spend money on getting the site to the top, you will not get the expected result, and then you will pay even more on remodeling it. If you don’t have enough knowledge, contact a website development agency. This will allow you to do it right at once and not spend unnecessary funds on correcting errors.
Start with a plan
You are planning everything: from asking for ideas to creating and testing the final product — the only thing that will save you money. An enterprise moving towards its goals with a solid plan or structure (including reducing resources and shares) saves additional or recurring costs. Because in that case, you know how much each stage of work costs.
Knowing the requirements of future projects is one thing, and performing overtime is quite another. Therefore, documenting all financial and workforce resources necessary for a particular project is an important task.
You can ask for help from programmers and engineers to learn about all the intricacies of the work. Communication with them will facilitate the fulfillment of all requirements without misunderstandings and additional development costs.
Refusal of unnecessary functions
An excessive number of secondary functions often burdens an outwardly simple IT product at the start-up stage. They increase the budget but serve the project’s key goals superficially.
Collect a pool of mandatory functions and assess the need for “add-ons” separately. Excess and expensive items can be postponed until a more financially favorable time.
Use the standard approach — create a test, minimally viable version (MVP) of the product. The release of the simplified version will show the actual level of its needs in the target audience and, simultaneously, reduce costs.
Selection of popular technological solutions
Effective financial management of the web project is impossible without an optimal set of tools for the task. When choosing a language, framework, or compiler, it is essential to consider the rating and popularity among developers.
Attention to the type of contract
A model of cooperation with a contractor that has shown excellent results in the past may be economically unprofitable for the project under new conditions.
Three pricing approaches are most commonly used:
- Classic Fixed-Price — the cost of the project is estimated and fixed before the start of work. A model implies the presence of a detailed development plan and specific agreements already at the start. Applicable to small and complicated tasks.
- Phased Fixed-Price — development is divided into segments with fixed deadlines, results, and costs. It is suitable for voluminous and complex projects, where a full preliminary assessment is difficult.
- Time&Material — postpaid contract based on substantial resources spent. When speed is a priority, the performer is verified and has the necessary experience and competencies.
If your project is small, excludes improvements during work, and is accompanied by precise terms of reference, you can choose payment models with a fixed rate. In other cases, adhering to contracts with flexible terms will be optimal.
Clear terms of reference
Unintelligible terms of reference are unnecessary clarifications, loss of time, and corrections that need to be paid separately.
Ideal for the budget — a new specification under the project, or — a standard specification, but worked out in detail. I was taking into account the specifics of the project and the capabilities of the contractor.
A CMS with a set of scripts and a platform with ready-made design templates can inexpensively but qualitatively close the issue of web development of applications/services/pages that are undemanding to the internal architecture.
At the same time, typical ready-made solutions are unlikely to be useful for projects with individual characteristics. Here you can not do without “manual assembly.”
Keep in touch and monitor the development team
In addition to setting requirements, keep in touch with the development team. There are many technical tasks, as well as tools that need constant monitoring. Therefore, to avoid misunderstandings and mistakes, stay in touch with every team member, including developers and engineers, to know the status of a particular project.
Testing – a critical stage
Testing involves identifying errors and bugs in software after development is completed. It can cost a pretty penny in additional resources and labor costs if done again after the product’s release. Therefore, it is better to ensure consistent testing occurs at all stages. This will make the workflow easier and faster. It will also reduce costs and avoid delays.
Outsourcing and Outstaffing
Outsourcing is the transfer of specific tasks by a company to another for execution. You are outsourcing the functions of some departments to freelancers. Personnel outsourcing allows you to optimize the cost of maintaining staff, drawn up by the Labor Code, save on social benefits and taxes.
The main benefit of outsourcing is the inevitable significant cost savings. The rates of outsourcing development companies are much lower than in the local market. A typical company can save up to 60-70% on outsourcing to countries with low labor costs.
Outstaffing is a legal withdrawal of an employee from the company’s staff, which can reduce the tax burden. For your employees, according to the documents, only the employer will change; it will be the outstaffing agency. The workflow will remain the same. It is also more profitable for businesses to cooperate with the self-employed than to hire an employee under the Labor Code full-time or work under a civil law contract. This is one of the options to reduce the tax burden for businesses.
You can always reduce the cost of web application development. The idea’s scale, technical complexity, and uniqueness are just the conditions given which you determine the point of application of efforts to optimize the estimate. The main thing is attention to detail and a clear understanding of the purpose of your product.