Do you want to enhance your online presence, optimize internal operations, drive your e-commerce venture, or launch an innovative startup idea?
Are you considering developing a web app to achieve these goals, and wondering what it would cost?
Well, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.
In other words, the cost of web app development is shaped by an array of factors, from hiring the development team and defining technical web app requirements, core features, and design elements to integrating third-party solutions.
This article will explore these key factors, offering insights and strategies to empower your decision-making process.
Table of Contents
Before we delve into the way hiring models impact web app development costs, let’s understand that the first three factors—hiring model, team composition, and team location—are closely related and often interdependent.
As such, these “team setup” factors can have a significant impact on the overall cost of your future web app.
With that in mind, when selecting and hiring app developers, you essentially have three options:
Each of these models has its merits, and your choice will depend on the internal resources you already have, your web app idea and the scope of work, timeline, budget, and your team management preferences.
The first option of building an in-house team involves finding and hiring app developers with the skills and expertise your company or project is currently lacking.
This model offers complete control and a dedicated workforce, which fosters strong team cohesion and smooth communication.
However, it is often the most expensive hiring model.
The usual costs involve recruitment efforts, onboarding team members, and paying full-time employees’ salaries and benefits.
The second model is probably the cheapest and most flexible, allowing you to hire freelancers with specific skills on a project basis.
As you can see, the first cost vs. efficiency/security consideration is precisely the location of your future, remote development team.
For example, if you were from the US, Canada, or Australia, you could hire an offshore development team in one of the EU member states with lower rates, thus ensuring legal security and access to a wide talent pool of professionals.
The same is true for British, German, and French companies that regularly nearshore the app development to their less expensive eastern neighbors.
In both cases, Croatia ticks all the boxes needed for efficient and cost-effective outsourcing of web app development: EU member, highly skilled labor, and English proficiency.
And, if Croatia sounds like a good idea, make sure to look up DECODE.
Our pool of 100+ app development professionals ensures we can quickly set you up with a dedicated development team for your web app.
Naturally, your input is crucial, as is being in daily communication with the entire team and having developers work only on your project.
These location-based considerations complete the three team setup factors that influence the cost of web app development.
Now, let’s see what technical factors affect the cost and how.
Web app type
The first cost-impacting factor is, naturally, the type of web app you want to build.
For instance, there’s a big difference between creating a simple one-page promotional website and developing a complex e-commerce platform with multiple features, payment processing, and user accounts.
In essence, there are five web app types, which you can see here:
We won’t go into details about each web app type, as you can learn more about them in the article linked above.
We’ll just say that, nowadays, nearly all web apps are dynamic.
For instance, Gmail and Facebook fall into SPAs, Amazon and eBay are well-known MPAs, and Pinterest and Starbucks are good examples of PWAs.
Overall, the type and functionality of your web app—coupled with other technical factors discussed here—will directly influence the development time, the number of team members required, and, consequently, the overall cost of the project.
Now let’s see what other project parameters affect the cost of web app development.
In simple terms, a tech stack is a combination of different technologies, tools, and programming languages that developers will use to create and maintain your web app.
A rough distinction is usually made between front-end and back-end technologies (client-side and server-side, respectively).
The front-end deals with what users see and how they interact with the web app, and the back-end runs all the processes needed for the app to work.
There are other specialized tools and technologies that might be needed when developing and running your web app, which you can see here.
Again, all these technical distinctions and nuances, preferred developer solutions, methodologies, and practices, should be well understood only if you’re creating your tech stack for an in-house development team.
In such cases, it’s best to consult them about the tools that are considered industry standards and that they prefer to use, as this can reduce development time.
If you’re outsourcing, things are much simpler.
The agency forming your dedicated development team typically has experience with a variety of technologies and can choose the most appropriate combination for your project.
The client defines the project’s goals and requirements, and the agency handles the technology choices and the development process.
Naturally, a good development team will have recommendations as to what technologies and tools to use for best results but will also be flexible and adapt to your specific requirements.
Ultimately, tech stack-related costs depend on the desired features and functions of your web app, which brings us to the next important cost factor.
Scope of work
A web app’s development cost will largely depend on the number of hours developers and other team members need to invest in its completion.
Simply put, the more complex your web app is, with a higher number of features and interactive elements, the more time and effort will be required for its development, subsequently affecting the overall cost.
Since many project owners only have a broad idea, the process of defining the scope of work usually starts with product discovery.
In this initial phase, the team and the client collaborate to define the web app’s concept, features, and objectives.
As you can see, the first step is creating a well-designed user interface that provides a great user experience (UI/UX).
This is followed by creating a cohesive look across multiple platforms through design systems, then web app prototyping, and finally, user testing and refinement.
In summary, while design complexity can influence development costs, it also plays a significant role in how well your app will be received by users.
Therefore, maintaining clear expectations, transparency, and effective communication with your development team are essential for making the right design choices.
Last but not least, you should ensure your web app seamlessly works with other specific tools or services that enhance its functionality, such as payment gateways, social media platforms, email marketing systems, or internal business software solutions.
For instance, if you’re developing an e-commerce web app, it’s crucial to integrate it with popular payment gateways like PayPal or Stripe, as well as social media platforms for marketing and user engagement.
The same applies if your company already uses internal or third-party software solutions and wants to connect them with the web app.
Long story short, third-party integrations are often essential for enhancing your web app’s functionality, but they can increase the technical complexity and development time, consequently impacting the overall cost of the project.
Having covered these eight factors, it’s clear that there’s much more going on behind the scenes of web app development, from hiring your team to third-party integrations.
Therefore, the cost can vary widely depending on your requirements and preferences.
Skilled in React Native, iOS and backend, Toni has a demonstrated knowledge of the information technology and services industry, with plenty of hands-on experience to back it up. He’s also an experienced Cloud engineer in Amazon Web Services (AWS), passionate about leveraging cloud technologies to improve the agility and efficiency of businesses.
One of Toni’s most special traits is his talent for online shopping. In fact, our delivery guy is convinced that ‘Toni Vujević’ is a pseudonym for all DECODErs.