How Much Does A Web App Development Cost? A Complete Guide

Web DevelopmentFebruary 13, 2024

The web app development industry is growing faster. Business owners seek skillful developers to design and develop web apps. The two prime factors that concern a client are - time and cost. This article provides insight into an estimate of web application development costs.

The web app development price may vary depending on several factors. The cost will be less if you go for an application with basic features.

  • What kind of user experience (UX) is required? For example, does it have too many things on one screen or have complex business workflows?

  • Does your app need features like analytics or video streaming services?

  • Does your app need real-time updates or communication capabilities?

These additional requirements may cost you more while developing your web app.

Everyone wants to build a web app at the least cost without promising quality. Knowing the factors influencing a web application's build expense will help reduce costs.

1. What is a web app?

A web application is a software program residing on a remote server. It runs in an internet browser and is accessible via a web browser. They are similar to mobile apps. Unlike most mobile apps, running a web app requires an active internet connection. They adapt according to the device of the user.

2. What are the top 5 benefits of building a web app?

The answer is quite simple. Web apps help companies to reach their potential customers easily.

Benefits of building a web app for businesses

Benefits of building a web app for businesses

Let us see the benefits of a web app:

Platform Agnostic: Web apps run on any platform with browser compatibility. 

Low Costs: Web-based apps need less development time. They demand less support and maintenance. You need fewer developers to build and support web apps. So the upfront costs will be less for web-based apps.

Easy Maintenance: You do not need to install any software to run web apps. You can directly access them through your web browser. They support automatic updates enabling users to use the latest version immediately.

No Marketplace Approval: Developers do not have to follow the rules of an app store while releasing a web app.

Increased Security: The technical team has to monitor and maintain only the dedicated servers. They can avoid checking many client computers. It enhances security and eliminates the chances of any potential breaches.

3. Typical use cases of web apps

1. Gmail

Google provides this web application for email services.

Features

  • Compose emails

  • Sent reply emails

  • Archive important emails

  • Search functionality

  • Report spam messages

  • Star important messages

2. Google Analytics

Google provides this web app for businesses to analyze their website's traffic.

Features

  • Custom dashboards

  • Real-time reporting

  • Funnel visualization

  • Identifying traffic source

  • Setting goals

  • Conversion tracking

3. Twitter Web App

Twitter’s web app allows users to access their Twitter account from any computer. You can use the browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc., to access the app

Features

  • Fast loading

  • Compose tweets

  • Perform retweets

  • Like and reply features

  • Schedule and save tweets

4. MailChimp

Mail Chimp is a web-based app. It aids businesses in carrying out advertisement campaigns.

Features

  • Crafting emails

  • Audience dashboard

  • Marketing CRM

  • Targeting audience

5. WhatsApp Web

WhatsApp web lets users use the messaging platform on their browser.

Features

  • Send and receive messages

  • Transfer GIFs and videos

  • Send and receive images

  • Click pictures using the computer’s camera.

6. Jira

The web-based application runs on your browser. It helps manage a team's work.

Features

  • Plan the tasks

  • Generates reports

  • Scrum and Kanban boards

  • Track the projects

7. Medium

The web application provides a platform for users to publish stories and blogs.

Features

  • Publishing content

  • Comment on articles

  • Provides analytics

  • Share URLs

8. HSBC

The banking app of HSBC allows people to perform digital banking activities.

Features

  • Manage bank account

  • Online transactions

  • Current bank account balance

  • Online bill payments

4. What is a PWA? What are the advantages and disadvantages of PWAs?

Progressive web apps are similar to regular web apps. They own some extra desirable features. Push notifications, offline access, and screen responsive pages are some of its specialties. In short, you get an excellent user experience through PWAs.

Advantages of Progressive Web Apps

Advantages of Progressive Web Apps

Advantages of PWAs:

  1. Cost-effective
  2. Require less time for development
  3. Quick installation
  4. Available offline
  5. No app store submission process
  6. Updates instantly

They hold great potential in the future of web applications.

Twitter introduced the Twitter Lite progressive web app on April 2017. The aim was to provide a faster and more data-friendly solution to users. The below numbers show that this experiment was successful.

  • The analytics found a 65% increase in pages per session.

  • The app recorded a 75% increase in tweets.

  • Twitter discovered a 20% decrease in bounce rate.

The data demonstrates the power of PWAs.

Disadvantages of PWAs:

PWAs have some drawbacks. Knowing the cons helps you decide whether a PWA is suitable for your business.

  1. They have access to fewer functionalities. You cannot incorporate functionalities like Bluetooth, augmented reality, etc.
  2. They are incompatible with most legacy devices.
  3. These applications drain the battery power of the users.
  4. Apple does not grant PWAs access to features like Face ID, Touch ID, battery information, etc.
  5. Native apps showcase better performance than PWAs.

5. What are the standard features of a web application?

Let us discover the key elements you must incorporate into your web application.

Characteristics of web applications

Characteristics of web applications

Mobile-first design:

As per the latest reports in 2022, mobile devices contribute 58.99% of global website traffic. Most users access web apps from their mobile phones. So your app must follow a mobile-friendly design to attract these users. Responsive web apps will have components that align with the users’ screen. It will help in reducing the bounce rates too.

Social Integration:

People love to log in quickly to your web apps. Integrating your web apps with popular social media platforms helps you achieve it. It will allow users to register or log in without filling out long forms. It increases the engagement rate of your website.

Insights & Analytics:

Integrating your web app with analytics helps understand customers’ behavioral patterns. The feature tracks the data of the traffic your web app receives and prepares a consolidated report. Businesses must identify the target audience and recognize the pain points. It will aid in increasing conversion rates.

Web Push Notifications:

Use web push notifications for your web app to connect with potential customers at the right time. These small messages remind the audience to use your service. It helps in improving the retention rate.

Live Chat Service:

Customers prefer to get solutions immediately. Live chat service strengthens the trust of your customers in your business. A live chat feature in your web app helps build valuable customer relationships.

Online Payments:

Include an online payment facility in your web app if you sell a product or service. A one-step checkout procedure makes the whole process easier. It would be even better if the web app could support various payment systems.

Security:

Make your web app secure by encrypting sensitive data like passwords. Use HTTPS protocol. Carry out threat assessment sessions and security audits. Let your customers feel safe while using your web app.

Flexible & Scalable:

Your web app must have the potential to handle heavy workloads. A successful web app must perform well when the number of users increases. So build scalable web apps to have the best results for your business.

6. What factors influence the web app development price?

Factors that influence a web app’s development price

Factors that influence a web app’s development price

It is good to be aware of the factors that affect the cost of your web app. It helps you choose the right features and functionalities without exceeding your budget.

Complexity:

The more complex your web app, the higher the cost. It takes more time to develop an app with complex features. You may also need web developers with higher expertise to create such web apps.

The MVP version of a web app will have a simple design. It requires

  • Few necessary features

  • Low budget

  • Less turnaround time

Developing an MVP first helps determine the right features to incorporate into the final version. It saves you from wasting your budget.

The important part is to develop a high-quality code that gives a robust result. So, providing enough time for the web app developers to build and test the code is necessary.

Features & Functionalities:

The features and functionalities of each app differ. More features demand a higher budget.

A web application with good UI UX design increases conversion and engagement rates. 

Type:

Pre-designed templates are available, making the job of UI/UX designers easy. Choosing standard templates will cost you less. Web app development companies consider it easier to develop a standard app. They will have a similar code that they can reuse or use as a reference to build your web app.

To create a unique app, you must choose custom features and functionalities. For such apps, you will require web app developers and designers with higher expertise. Customized web apps will take more development time too. Such cases demand innovative solutions.

Hiring Options:

You have three options for hiring web developers to develop your web app:


1. Hiring freelancers

2. Giving the project to the in-house team

3. Outsourcing to web app development companies

Before settling for any of the above options, let us know their pros and cons.

Freelancers

Pros

  • Suitable for small projects.

  • The cheapest option for developing a web app.

  • They do not need an office setup.

Cons

  • Not a reliable option as they won’t dedicate their whole time to your project.

  • They are not bound to strict contracts. They may stop working on your project without prior notice before completing it.

  • You will have to manage them and get the updates regularly.

  • Freelancers mostly have expertise in a single domain. So, you will have to hire more than one person to complete the project.

In-house Team

Pros

  • Suitable for running many projects simultaneously.

  • Have complete control over the team.

  • Seamless and direct communication.

Cons

  • Expensive due to hiring, office setup, and infrastructure development costs.

  • Relatively low level of expertise.

  • Development time is higher as they follow the waterfall model.

Outsourcing Web Development Companies

Pros

  • Suitable for building a project from an idea with high-quality code.

  • The price can be relatively lower than in-house development.

  • You will get web developers with high expertise.

  • They will complete projects within the deadline.

  • They take complete responsibility for a project.

Cons

  • The expense can be higher than hiring freelancers.

Outsourcing your project can be a wiser decision. It saves you from unnecessary hassles.

Location:

The living standards and salary benefits differ for each country. The development cost will also vary according to the location of the outsourcing company.

We can find web app development companies mainly in the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Let us see the average app development cost per region:

Service Technology

  • USA: $100- $200

  • Canada: $50- $100

  • Europe: $20- $100

  • Asia: $20- $50

  • Australia: $100- $150

So you can build a project with much lower cost by outsourcing web app projects in Asia or Europe than the US.

Check the reviews of their previous clients on Clutch or GoodFirms before giving your project to a company.

7. Key specialists in a web application development team

To build a successful web application, you may need the following specialists in the team.

When it comes to web application development, assembling a team of specialists is crucial for success. The following key roles are often necessary:

  1. Business Analysts: Business analysts play a vital role in determining external factors that can impact the cost to build a web application. They analyze market trends, define the target audience, and help establish the project's scope. Their insights are valuable in making informed decisions regarding resource allocation and feature prioritization.
  2. Web App Developers: Back-end and front-end developers form the backbone of the project. They are responsible for writing high-quality code that ensures the stability and functionality of the web application. Their expertise directly affects the web application development cost as their skills and experience can impact the speed and efficiency of the development process.
  3. UI/UX Designers: UI/UX designers are crucial for creating an appealing and user-friendly web application. They focus on the visual elements, user experience, and interaction design. A well-designed web application can significantly enhance user engagement and satisfaction, positively impacting its success. However, it's important to note that the involvement of UI/UX designers can influence the web application development cost, as customized and intricate designs may require additional resources.
  4. Project Manager: A project manager plays a critical role in ensuring effective communication between the client and the development team. They facilitate smooth collaboration, manage timelines and deadlines, and oversee the project's progress. Their involvement helps keep the development process on track and minimizes potential delays, which can impact the web application development cost.
  5. QA Engineers: Quality assurance (QA) engineers are responsible for testing the web application thoroughly before its final release. Their role is to identify and rectify any bugs or issues, ensuring a smooth and error-free user experience. Their contribution helps maintain the overall quality of the web application and reduces potential costs associated with post-release bug fixing or user dissatisfaction.

These specialists in your web app development team ensure a well-rounded and successful development process. However, it's important to consider that the involvement of each role may impact the web application development cost, as their expertise and efforts contribute to the overall quality and functionality of the end product.

8. Widely adopted tech stack for building web apps in 2022

Developers build web apps with various technologies. The tech stack will change according to the project requirements. Let us see some favorite tech stacks of software engineers for creating web apps.

Frontend Development HTML Instructs the browser on the structure to display the content.

CSS - For the proper presentation of content Bootstrap Manages HTML and CSS React better performance and is user-friendly for testing

Now let us see some popular backend technologies for web-based app development:

PlatformNode. helpful in creating real-time application development. Ruby on Rails is cost-effective and apt for high-performance apps.LanguageJavaVersatile language that is perfect for developing large web apps. Python ensures efficiency and scalability.DatabaseMySQLReliable and secure.PostgreSQL possesses a robust set of features and can accommodate a high volume of data.

9. How much does it cost to make an app?

Have a technical discussion with the outsourcing company to know the final cost. If you are starting the project from scratch, it is better to start with an MVP. It will give you some relevant insights about the final features. Let us estimate the price of the standard apps.

Simple Web Applications

These are web apps with 4-5 relevant basic features. They usually have minimal content, less interactive elements, and simple UI/UX design. It takes less time (6-8 weeks) to develop simple web apps due to the simplicity of features and functionalities.

Budget Estimate: US$ 10-25k

Medium Web Applications

These web apps will have 6-9 relevant features. They will have a few interactive elements but more content. Additionally, you can have 3rd party integrations. We take 3-4 months to develop these types of web apps.

Budget Estimate: US$ 25-50K

Complex Web Applications

These web apps will have 10-15 relevant features. You get them with highly lovable designs. The best part is that we develop them in ready-to-scale formats.

Budget Estimate: starts from US$ 50K

10. Formula for estimating web app development cost

Building a web app costs more when it takes more time. The web development team will have a fixed rate per hour. So you can calculate an overall estimate budget using the formula below:

Web App Development Cost= The Development Team’s Hourly Rates x Development Time

11. How to reduce your web application’s development costs?

The below tips will help keep your web app development costs minimal.

  • Firstly, develop an MVP. Then go for the full-featured version of the web application.

  • Choose your outsourcing company wisely. Consider the quality of their work along with the budget.

  • Explain your project requirements to the web developers in detail. It helps the developers to develop your web app without making many modifications. It saves you time and money.

  • Integrate the web app with third-party tools to reduce costs.

  • Allow sufficient time for the web developers to develop a robust web app.

12. Our case studies

Receipts & rewards web app

A. Receipts & Rewards Web App

Receipts & rewards web app

Objective: To build an engaging web application to execute a customer receipts and rewards program.

Industry: Enterprise & Retail

Target Audience: Customers

Check how our team successfully built the app within 14 weeks >> Click here.

B. Decision-Making Web App

Decision-making web app

Decision-making web app

Objective: To build a highly scalable, robust, and voice-based SaaS application for people who wish to express their views and vote for impactful ideas.

Industry: Media and Communication

Target Audience: Individuals who wish to participate in polls

Check how we created a responsive web app within 14 weeks >> Click here.

C. Referral & Viral Marketing Platform

Referral & viral marketing platform

Referral & viral marketing platform

Objective: To build a cost-effective B2C SaaS referral and viral marketing platform.

Industry: Marketing Tech

Target Audience: Potential customers

Check how we created a scalable app within 14 weeks >> Click here.

To gain a deeper understanding of the web application development cost, it is essential to explore its custom software costs. By delving into the specifics of custom web application development costs, you can gain insights into the factors that influence pricing and make informed decisions. Understanding the nuances of web app development costs allows you to plan and budget effectively, ensuring the successful realization of your custom web application while optimizing resources and investments.

Wrapping up

Finding the right team to develop your web app is crucial. Expert developers can build your web apps on a low budget and within less time. Keep the simple points discussed in this article in your mind before approaching a developer. A successful web app can make your brand reach new heights.

RaftLabs owns a team with ample experience in web app development. We are a completely remote team. Our members connect from India. Our business analysts analyze your requirements in the initial phase. Then we will provide you with an estimate of the budget and timeline for the project. We ensure the accuracy of an MVP with the product discovery and road mapping phase.

Contact us for a free technical consultation if you wish to outsource your web app development project.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much does it cost to develop a web app?

    The cost of web app development will vary depending on the complexity and requirements of the project. It can range from US$ 10 for a simple web app to US$ 60K for a complex one.

  • How long does it take to create a web application?

    The complexity and the number of developers engaged in a web application's development determine the time. A simple web app with basic functionality typically takes 6-8 weeks to develop. A bespoke web app may require 6 to 9 months to build.

  • What are the different types of web apps?

    The different types of web apps are:

    Static Web Apps: They have static web pages and offer no flexibility.

    Dynamic Web Apps: They generate the data in real time depending on the users' request.

    Single Page Applications- They allow user interaction and are easier to develop

    Multi-Page Applications: These apps have multiple pages and reload a new page whenever a user navigates to a different page.

    Portal Web Apps: Several sections or categories are available on the home page for these apps.

    Animated Web Apps: These apps support animation and synchronization.

    Content Management System- These apps allow a layperson without technical knowledge to modify and manage the content.

    E-commerce Web Apps: Enables users to buy or sell products or services online.

  • Is web app testing important?

    Yes. Many businesses and entrepreneurs think of it as an unnecessary expense and tend to skip this phase. But it will cost you more if the new app has any bugs. Testing helps to ensure that your web app is free of bugs and stable.

  • What factors should be considered when estimating the web app development cost?

    When estimating the web app development cost or the cost to build a web application, several crucial factors come into play:

    Scope of Work: The functionality and complexity of the web app directly influence the cost. Whether you are building a simple online store, an informative brochure website, or a unique and complex system, the scope of work determines the overall expenses.

    The Complexity of UI/UX Design: Opting for custom UI/UX design services can increase costs. The cost to build a web application will be higher if you require a highly sophisticated and tailored user interface and user experience.

    Business Niche: The specific business niche requirements and demands play a role in determining the cost. Projects that do not require specialized knowledge and skills tend to be comparatively cheaper, while unique and complex projects may require a higher investment in the web app development cost.

    Developers' Location: The location of developers impacts your web app development cost. Offshore development is often cheaper than local development. In regions like the USA, Canada, and Australia, the cost to build a web application is among the highest in the world. Considering developers' location is crucial when estimating the cost of building a web application.

    By considering these factors, you can better estimate the web app development cost, allowing for more accurate budgeting and planning before initiating the development process.

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Riya Thambiraj

Creative content writer at RaftLabs

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