How Much Custom Web App Development Costs?

How much does it cost for tech services like Custom web app development? That’s one of the most-asked questions CMC Global has ever received, and …

How much does it cost for tech services like Custom web app development? That’s one of the most-asked questions CMC Global has ever received, and we are sure that’s also the number one top question for everybody in search of IT outsourcing, too. It is universal knowledge that when it comes to creating a new web app, from a social network or a project management tool, to anything, it’s always important to estimate your expenses and plan your budget accordingly. But according to experienced PMs and experts, the same answer for any project would be It depends, which annoyingly raises more questions than answers.

The concern can be broken down into two simple questions: the first is “How much money does it cost to make custom web app development?” and “What does that price depend on?”. There are some websites that can estimate your cost, but we don’t recommend them because their final results are based on some brief questions about your requirements. That is not the real picture you are looking for.

Why, cause the price of a product can vary from $20,000-$250,000. Quite a gap, isn’t it? That’s because custom web app development costs depend on a host of factors, and we’re going to focus on them in this article.

What Can Affect the Custom Web App Development Price?

So why even the most complex system or web app development company – a large and well-experienced one can’t tell the sum just by hearing out the idea? That’s because these factors below can create huge differences in the web app development cost and why a plain idea is rarely enough.

Scope of Work

The first thing to bear in mind is the web app’s functionality. The scope of work varies hugely if you are aiming for a simple online store or a complex system like hotel management software or sales and customer relationship management. Generally speaking, the more sophisticated the web app is, the more time it’ll take to develop and, thus, the more it’ll cost.

From APIs, databases, hosting, and mobile compatibility to code quality and deadlines requirements, many factors can make great differences to the final result and expense. For example, if your timeline is too tight, the developers might not have enough time to write clear and high-quality code, leaving bugs and imperfections that might need to be fixed later, adding up to the initial cost.

Finally, bear in mind that project requirements are really adaptive to the user’s intention, market trends, and the industry’s demand. What we are trying to say here is that they may change over time, with new features and design elements, and again, affects the overall web application price.

Сomplexity of UI/UX Design

Custom UI/UX design services clearly cost more compared to template solutions. The gap depends on the desired complexity, number of elements, animations, and so on. For example, a simple landing page like the one you can make for free on Shopify can take from 6 – 8 up to 16 – 20 hours to complete if you want it to be tailor-made.

  • 6-8 hours = ~$300-$400
  • 16-20 hours = ~$800-$1,000

Who will be on your team?

Who should be on your custom web app development team

If you want to outsource the web app in a project-based model, you must think carefully about how many specialists should be on your team and their roles there. To build a web application from scratch, you will likely need the following team members:

Business analyst

The right insights about the market, including your defined target audience, their insights, your core functionality, and so on, can possibly help you win your audiences in the end. So don’t neglect the importance of having an overview picture from experienced business analysts, as they will likely prevent you from making strategic mistakes from scratch.

Project manager

No matter how big your project is, a project manager – PM is the most critical one as he/she can bring the team together and lead them to the right path. Their main job is to coordinate the work of all team members, moderate communication between two parties: project stakeholders, and customers, and ensure that all deadlines and expectations are met. 

Web Designer

They are the ones to decide the app’s look and feel, bringing the very first impression to customers visiting your web app. So, having powerful UI/UX designers is one of the best-guaranteed paths to conversions.

Software developers

Depending on the technology requirements that the number of software developers can vary. Usually, one experienced developer is enough if you choose JavaScript as the core technology for both the front end and back end. The more technologies are involved, the more developers a project will need.

Quality assurance engineer

They are the ones to test the product’s functionality and discover bugs before in between phases and make sure your users have the smoothest experiences..


The need for copywriters depends on the type of app you are creating. If you just need someone who can fill all the content onto the web, a freelancer/ coordinator would be enough. But if it’s based around content, it’s best to outsource an experienced content creation team.

Business Niche

The complexity of the business itself matters a lot when it comes to deciding the price. For example, if you only want to build an online store or web journal, you can expect lower web app development pricing in comparison to a complex logistic system for a global enterprise. 

To put it simply, projects that don’t require special knowledge and skills are mostly comparatively cheaper in comparison to unique and complex suites. That is because the latter requires all members involved to be experienced, knowledgeable, and highly qualified.

Developers’ Location

The living cost in different areas around the world, or even regions inside a country, varies a lot. So, offshore development is often cheaper than local. For example, the USA, Canada, and Australia have the highest rate per hour of software development costs in the world, ranging from $80 to $250.

Meanwhile, in Asian countries such as Vietnam, India, and the Philippines, the prices can start from only $20. But of course, cheaper prices can come with huge shortcomings, from the tech expertise and the facilities to government support.

2019 Global Software Outsourcing Rates

But does that equal “the bigger’s the price, the better the job”? To have a better idea of How much does it cost to develop a web application in different regions? Find out in our Comparison List: Which country is best for cost-cutting software development outsourcing guide. 

This in-depth report includes insights about:

  • Outsourcing Destinations in Asia
  • Outsourcing Destinations in South America
  • Outsourcing Destination in Europe
  • Evaluation Breakdown and Recommendations

Support in the Post-release period

The life cycle of a web application doesn’t stop when it is first launched. It will need to be regularly monitored and maintained so that it runs smoothly and serves its intention right. You will have to pay for support/ maintenance services, as well as infrastructure costs (Domain name registration and web app hosting)

So, in the future, you’ll need a support team who are able to monitor the activity of your web project. It can be the offshore tech engineer that built the web app for you or your in-house team. What you can do is consider this factor when planning your budget for the best practical web application development plan costs.

Ways to Approach Your Idea

For someone who doesn’t have technological knowledge, describing the peculiarities of your desired product is extremely complex, especially in terms of tools or technologies. Is this phase important? Of course, it clears any possible misunderstandings in the briefs and ensures that the two parties are looking the same way. 

So, how can we make it easy for clients to picture their ideas to the development team, and what can it affect the cost? The below-working approaches will answer that.

Approach 1: Think of the Desirable Results

This is considered the most popular way to estimate a web app development cost, starting with imagining the end result to trace the steps backward by asking simple questions like: “What should we do to get to that desirable point?”

Based on that, the two parties can get more understanding of the concept they’re going to work on, the problems it resolves, and the benefit it will bring out. Communication is key here, as web app builders can correctly define the technologies to use, along with features, concepts, and vision.

For instance, if you want to build a social network app dedicated to music lovers all around the world, the usual Login with Email and Password sign-in system is definitely a must, then change it to Facebook or Twitter logins. This feature helps detect real users and reduce the number of fake accounts accordingly.

* Mind that this approach doesn’t work for completely new products since there’s too much uncertainty about the final result, from a mere idea to the final product.

Approach 2: Take Someone’s Idea, and Make It Your Own

This approach is a much less desirable option.

For example, you love an existing app called X but come up with an idea for another X with minor changes in functionality. Even though it may seem that you have the advantage of knowing exactly what technologies to use, how much time it’s going to take, and, thus, how much it costs to make a web app, it is not that simple.

Even the slightest change can make the app nothing like the original when it comes to code and functionality. So, in the worst scenario, the app may turn out to be even more complex and time-consuming than the original one, which hurts your budget.

Cost of Web App Development by category

The average web application development cost starts from $3,000 and reaches 250,000+. Custom apps come with custom requirements, which explains quite a gap you see here. But hey, at least we can show how the development price is calculated. For that, we’ve roughly estimated three categories of applications by their complexity.

Simple Web application costs $3,000 – 15,000

Simple websites with a basic set of functions, landing pages, and simple online stores can cost from $3,000 – 15,000. They have lower prices because of their minimum content and interactive elements requirements, which equals minimum development time and personnel.

Medium web application costs $15,000 – 55,000

Medium or Pro-level web apps often contain more content, interactive pages, and features. That’s why they are more challenging to build, cost more and take longer (their development takes up to 3-4 months)

Complex custom web applications cost $55,000 – 250,000+

Everyone knows ready-to-wear clothes are cheaper than custom ones, and the same applies to web app development. Custom web apps which come with exclusive CMS, well-thought-out design, and high level of complexity often aim at profit-making or help with automating regular business processes. That is why it will take up to 6 months and even longer to complete and maintain, thus costing much more.

A short summary of custom web app development cost by features:

Web application development cost breakdown

Web application development cost breakdown by features

How Much Do AIRBNB, ETSY, and TRELLO Cost?

To give you a detailed illustration of how development time and cost can vary depending on the complexity, see the rough estimations of these three well-known websites

How Much would developing AIRBNB, ETSY, and TRELLO Cost?

How to Cut Web Application Development Costs?

Let’s say you’ve done dealing with project requirements, but the cost estimations are too high.

Some can easily choose other development teams who charge less, easy, right? But low web application cost estimation can also be a bad sign, too. So if you want to work with the current team or believe that they have the best price for you derided quality, review these options:

Change the scope

Leave only the core parts of the web app that are required to deliver a minimum viable product (MVP). This way, you can try out the idea with real customers, collect their feedback and then move to costly implementations.

Look for alternative solutions. 

There can be cheaper substitutes to estimated items, consider these and see if these changes influence the final product, to what extent, and at what cost.

Take a look at our article “In-House vs. Outsourcing comparison“.

Again, if the price is too low, you may need to double-check everything so you don’t end up paying more to fix bugs and incorrect features later. What we, as an outsourcing service provider, can advise you is, don’t let attractive web application pricing confuse you. You need to clarify the number of engineers involved, their qualifications, the scope of work, and so on. 

Cost Estimation for Custom Web App Development Service at CMC Global 

CMC Global can provide full-cycle web app development services. The process includes these stages:

  • Planning
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Deployment

Check our working process, expertise, and advantages and ask for a quote here at Custom Software Development.