How Much Does Software Development Cost?

In our previous blogs, we have waxed eloquently about software development. So by now, many of you may be pretty familiar with how complicated the process of software development is. You may also know that there are different types of software. 

If you want to buy software, one of the first questions that plague your mind relates to its cost. To the question ‘How much does software development cost?’ the answer will always be ‘It depends.’ 

We’re sure you got the same answer from every.single.development.company.ever. It must’ve left you as frustrated as Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction. This is because software development, unlike your question, is not an ambiguous process. It has many complex and nuanced layers. It takes a hell of a lot of time, effort, blood, sweat, tears and high-fives. The development cost reflects the same

Yet, there may be light at the end of this winding tunnel for you. What we (and other firms like us) can give you is a rough estimate. This approximate value is calculated based on various parameters. While the final cost may differ, a rough estimation can clear confusions you may have. 

The Average Cost of Software Development

Before you go asking a software development agency for prices, you need to prepare a list. This list must contain specific, relevant, and helpful points. In it, write down the requirements, goals, and projections you expect from the software. Clearly define which type of software you’re opting for. This will make it 500% easier for the software development agency to give you a proper response. 

When clients ask for software, the most common type they are referring to is an app. After analyzing the given information, the firm will quote an approximate app development cost. If you’re okay with it, they will start the development process. 

On average, the app development cost is anywhere between $35,000 – $250,000. This price range includes simple and complex apps. If you want a basic app that has your business’s products on display, then the cost will be relatively low. But, if you want a feature-rich app like Spotify or Amazon, then your cost will be on the higher side. 

Factors Influencing the Cost to Build an App

There are a few key factors that influence the cost to build an app. They are: 

1. Customisations & Complexity

2. Software Project Type

3. Development Process

4. UI/UX Design

5. Choice of Platform

6. Hiring Model

1. Customisations & Complexity 

An app is roughly divided into three categories based on complexity:

Simple – requires minimal work and has basic features

Medium – requires sizable work and has complicated features

Complex – requires time-consuming and labour-intensive work. Has many layers, systems integrations and custom features. 

It is important to identify which of these apps you want. You can do this by analysing your business goals and requirements. Once you map this out, it will be easier for you to make a decision. 

Based on these complexities, the app development price increases. The more advanced the features, the higher your app development price will be. 

2. Software Project Type 

A software project splits into four categories:

New software – creating new software and software systems from ground zero. 

Modification of existing software – upgrading existing software or software systems to improve performance. In short, giving a face-lift to old software. 

Integration – merging old software with new software to create a unified channel. Through the channel, the business can record and oversee all activities. 

Web development – creating websites and web apps for businesses. 

Each of these projects is singular in its aim and not homogeneous. Thus, the software development cost is not the same. They involve different teams with different skill sets. Some of these projects take less time while others are more time-consuming. Some may need extensive research while others may not. The final software development cost reflects all this. 

3. Development Process

The back-end refers to the behind-the-scenes parts that run an app. It is not seen by the end-user. It involves creating and maintaining back-end systems for your app. This is known as the development process. A complex and layered app requires many back-end systems to function well. If you want your data secured and stored, then it requires more back-end systems. All this falls under custom software development pricing. 

Custom software development pricing is usually on the higher side. The more back-end systems your app needs, the more it will cost. The creation of back-end systems involves a lot of time, effort and money. 

4. UI/UX Design

There’s a reason why people say ‘What you see is what you get’ and ‘Seeing is believing’. Hence, there is a possibility that a potential or existing customer may not like the visuals of your app. They might get bored of the repetitive design or jarring font and lose interest. This might affect your sales even if your product or service is of top quality in real life. Your digital sales channels must reflect brand quality. Basic, dull, flashy or haphazard design will not cut it. 

When it comes to UI/UX design there is one more thing you need to be wary of. If the user experience complicates simple tasks, there is a high chance people will not use your app. That’s why it is important to invest in UI/UX design for your app. Aesthetic and uniform design with interactive user experience makes a good app. Communicate the same to your app designer. 

The app development fees for good UI/UX design is always high. Choosing the font, colour palette and images are one part of it. You may also want to check out high-resolution graphics and animated visuals. The app development fees will increase with it too. 

5. Choice of Platform

A platform refers to a digital space where an app or software is available and used. There are three platforms: Android, iOS and the web. Each platform is written in a specific code that the device can read to perform tasks. To use an app on a particular platform, the code must be compatible with that platform. That is to say, an Android app will not work on an iOS device and vice-versa. The app development cost estimate fluctuates based on this choice. 

As far as businesses go, it can be challenging to choose which platform you want your app to be in. The answer to this question lies in the platform your target audience uses. The app development cost estimate varies on the platform of your choice. This can put you in a dilemma if your target audience is present on both platforms. 

If you have to develop separate apps for all three platforms, the cost will skyrocket. This is because you’ll have to buy three separate apps. These three apps follow varied time constraints and need different technical skills. The app development cost estimate may end up being too high for your business. In such cases, it is better to go for a native (one platform) application in the initial stage. Based on feedback, you can decide to branch out and get an app for the other platform. 

There is also something called a cross-platform app. It can be used on all three platforms. It is the more cost-effective choice. Fair warning though, it might not work out for all businesses. 

6. Hiring Model 

The software cost can vary depending on which hiring model you choose. When you hire or outsource software development services, you have three choices. They reflect flexibility in customisations, pricing differences and level of involvement. The software cost increases with each model. 

Fixed-Rate – The application cost is a fixed rate for a set of standard deliverables. The deliverables are set out by the developers in advance. Customisations may or may not be possible with a fixed application cost. 

Hourly-Rate – You pay for the project for hours worked. This is a more flexible option. Here, it is possible to add emerging requirements and goals into the final product. On average, the software developer hourly rate is $45 – $100. Nonetheless, cost estimation here is vague and prone to fluctuation. This model is perfect for emerging startups.

Team – In this model, the firm will assign a software development team for your project. This dedicated team will work from your office. The development cost takes the form of a monthly salary for the team for the work duration. They will be present in-house right from ideation and development to testing and delivery. The software development team will be working on your project and yours alone. This model takes a shorter time than the previous ones. This is perfect for an established business. 

Arcitech’s Software Development Cost Estimation 

Arcitech provides its clients with a fair software development cost estimation. Before we give you a random figure, we understand your business. We research your requirements and check how our software can improve your business. After collating and evaluating this data, we offer a price range based on the hiring model. Our competent team has expertise in software development across many industry verticals. 

Unsure if we’re the best fit for you? That can change! Contact us here (link will take them to the contact us page on the website) and request a FREE DEMO!

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