Custom Software Development Cost: 7 Factors That Determine the Price

CEO & Co-founder

Are you planning to build a new product and wondering what the cost will be? It won’t come as a surprise to learn that it depends. The price can vary greatly, and there is no one simple answer. Fortunately, you can check the factors that affect the cost and roughly estimate it. 

This article will discover seven key factors determining custom software development costs to help you make wise business decisions. Read on to get the details!

How Much Does Custom Software Development Cost?

This is one of the most common questions from our clients. The final price is affected by many factors, including your specific requirements and external market factors. Custom software is a broad term, but to make it simple, we will focus on factors that determine the custom application costs. Initially, it is worth asking yourself what you want to accomplish and what kind of partner you are looking for. Rates vary depending on the partner you choose. For example, the type of partner, location, and other factors affect the cost.

What factors affect custom software development cost?

The cost of most of our solutions starts from 15.000-20.000 €. Although accurately estimating is very difficult, it is worth partnering with a company that will analyze your needs and presents an estimate based on the number of hours needed to complete the project. If you want a personalized calculation, fill out our short form, and we will analyze your situation to deliver important information. 

To fully understand where these amounts come from and what affects the cost of the software, continue reading.

Custom Software Development Cost: 7 Key Factors

We chose seven factors that, in our opinion, have the most significant impact on the final price of a product. Of course, you can probably point out some additional ones, but let’s focus first on those that matter most. We’ll cover the following points:

    • Project type and app complexity
    • Team
    • Design and UX
    • Technologies
    • Testing
    • Target group size
    • Maintenance

1. Project Type and App Complexity

These factors are some of the most obvious ones that directly affect the final cost of the application. The first is straightforward—the type of app you want to build greatly affects the cost. Additionally, the more complex and feature-rich the software is, the more time-consuming the development process becomes, directly leading to higher costs

The decision about app complexity is crucial from both the business and technical perspectives. We are talking about the different types of features you need, such as user engagement features, payments, geolocation, the number of buttons and screens, and so on. The cost also depends on how many platforms you want the app to work on. For example, choosing three platforms (Android, iOS, and web) will be more expensive than choosing just one.

It is worth considering the fact that even though some features look relatively easy to implement, proper implementation takes some time. If you are wondering how to cut costs, you can create a list of the top-priority features for your app. Also, think about creating an MVP with the minimum features range. Then, you will learn what features are important for your users.

2. Team

This factor undoubtedly affects the final cost of custom software development. The price will be different depending on the type of partnership and the team size. Nowadays, outsourcing IT services is becoming extremely popular. In most cases, it is a very smart move that leads to cost savings and convenient cooperation. Outsourcing also allows you to work with companies from all over the world, so you get an extensive choice of partners. Today’s technology supports remote collaboration, making it effective and pleasant. Experienced companies use various tools to maintain transparency and communicate easily daily. 

team costs
The team’s size affects the final cost of the app.

The rates vary depending on the country the company is from. Developers usually offer the lowest prices in India, and the most expensive developers come from the USA. Poland is very competitive compared to the rest of the world, and these developers are considered to be some of the best in the field.

The team size that will work on your product is also essential regarding cost. The team should consist of developers and experienced project managers who will advise on both the technological and business levels.

3. Design and UX

As you probably already know, providing the best user experience is essential these days. Although a unique design and style are crucial, you do not always have to choose a dedicated solution (although, of course, you can). 

Let’s go back to the beginning to decide what option is best for you. Consider the target audience for your product and the app’s complexity. Let’s look at a simple example: If you plan to implement software dedicated to improving internal processes, the design won’t be your project’s most crucial element. In that case, you don’t have to invest in unique, dedicated solutions. Just use ready-made options. 

However, suppose you intend to target the application to a vast audience and offer a mass product targeted at various markets. In that case, the appropriate design may be one of the most important factors influencing its success. Although it will require additional work hours, the investment may pay off and result in attracting a large number of users. As you may have noticed, the design will influence the cost of your application.

4. Technologies

Custom software development cost is also influenced by the language and technologies used to create it. Obviously, it all depends on your needs and project requirements. We recommend reading the article below to learn more about how to choose a specific technology for a project.

Programming in PHP is much cheaper than other options because this technology has been on the market for years and has become very popular. It attracts users with various ready-made functions that can be easily applied to the code. JavaScript programming applications are more expensive. However, large corporations usually use Java to build heavy and complex applications (it is especially suitable for banking solutions).

5. Testing

The application’s key elements should be well-tested—our goal is to eliminate any errors and ensure the product operates correctly. Tests are an integral part of creating dedicated software. Unit or automatic tests are not always written at the beginning, so you often have to come back to test the entire system later. Of course, such tests affect the cost of the application but ensure its stability and convenience.

6. Target Group Size

Although it is a result of the previous points, this factor is worth highlighting anyway. Think about your target group and their expectations. You have to adjust the product to suit the target group in terms of functionality, design, and other technological elements.

For example, suppose you want to create an internal tool. In that case, the application’s security will be necessary but not as important as it is for a product used by millions of people. Such software must be well prepared and then maintained, affecting the price. This leads us to the next factor.

7. Maintenance

This cost will appear over time, but it should be kept in mind when planning the application budget. Ongoing maintenance is very important because it allows you to constantly improve the application, adapt it to the current market requirements, eliminate possible errors, and make needed updates. Maintenance is an essential part of the app development process.

Over time, products may also require changes or new functionalities. Although we are talking about possible future steps, you should keep them in mind so that you’re constantly prepared for such an investment to improve the system.

Some hints on how to build an application on a limited budget

How can you ensure that the average cost of developing a web application remains as low as possible without sacrificing quality?

Discovery phase – Product workshop

At this stage, it is necessary to understand the processes involved in the application. We conduct product workshops to help you understand how your product works so that you can avoid mistakes during further application development. During them, we analyze the application’s functionality and complexity level, so we can accurately advise you on the best technology to use. Understanding the big picture will allow you to work more efficiently and quickly, avoiding surprises. Thanks to the workshop and understanding of the project’s scope, we prepared a more detailed project costing.

Product workshops –
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The right software provider

It is worthwhile to carefully analyze the experience and technology stack of the future software provider. Visit their website, review their experience, learn about the products they have created and read reviews. Professional software development companies are honest and focus on understanding their client’s needs in-depth and their current market situation and business goals.

Take care of the communication with the team

Development teams highly value regular feedback from the client during project sprints. When building an application, the Product Manager makes sure that the Backlog is clear and transparent so that you know the project’s progress at each stage. The agile methodology makes it easy to understand and implement this concept between the team and the project stakeholders.

Why do we value communication so much? What qualities does an effective Agile team have? Read about it in the article Agile teams – what are the characteristics of agile project teams?

MVP – a simple project

Start with core features and build a basic application (MVP) version first. Don’t “reach for the stars” from the beginning and use only those necessary functionalities to meet the users’ needs. If you successfully launch the first version of the application, you can move on to something more complex.

Plan the scope, but keep it flexible

Plan the scope of the application build and stick to it. You can increase the scope in subsequent phases and iterations, but for the first version, try to stick to the plan. After that, leave some room for flexibility, too. Use Agile methodology and frequent tracking of work, testing, and increasing the scope in subsequent iterations as needed. By making quick changes as needed, you can better control your budget.

Collect feedback

Start collecting feedback as early as possible. User feedback will show you what users need and like, what they are willing to pay for and which features should be removed. You won’t get objective feedback on your product without proper continuous feedback, which would stop you from developing and improving.

Software Development Cost: Summary

As you can see, your product’s cost depends on many factors. We have highlighted some key points, but the topic is huge. 

The key to success is partnering with a company that understands your business needs and can provide a reasonable estimate. As mentioned earlier, it is impossible to provide the exact price for the project, but the more information we get from the client, the more personalized an estimate we can prepare. Product workshops offer great help in this area. They simplify the evaluation of the project’s complexity so that we can provide the most detailed estimation of project costs. The estimate helps you see the price of different functionalities, making it easier to decide on the final shape of the application and its elements.

If you want to explore custom software development costscontact us – we will explain everything in detail and estimate your project.

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