How Expensive Is Web App Development?

Do you fancy a simple dynamic website or a sophisticated technology for hundreds, even thousands of users? The price of a tailored web application always depends on your specific requirements. This article summarises some of the key aspects to give you at least a rough idea of what to expect.

Discover different types of web apps and find out what determines their price and the development costs. You’ll also learn how to get real value for money.

Single layer web applicationBasic template with less administrationfrom 6000 EUR
Double and multi-layer web applicationMore sofisticated system (reservation system, CRM …)from 12 000 EUR
Tremendous web applicationunique, more complex data, offline mode …from 24 000 EUR
Overview of prices according to the size of applications

But first, let’s get the terminology straight.

Website vs. Web Application

A website is typically used for a merely static representation of content, such as on personal websites or blogs.

A web application, on the other hand, allows not only owners, but also users to further work with the content (such as add posts, reviews, …).

Mobile vs. Web Application

What Is a Mobile Application?

A mobile application is a programme designed specifically for mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, available for download on AppStore or Google Play. It is a popular sales and marketing tool but has one disadvantage – it’s designed exclusively for mobile devices.

People now use their phones to go on websites more than ever. This calls for more universal web apps.

What Is a Web Application?

Web apps run smoothly both in desktop web browsers and on smartphones and tablets. The way they work is similar to standard websites, i.e. they are loaded from a server via the Internet connection. This means there’s no need to install, update or store anything in the device memory.

Compared to a website, they’re more robust, can handle more complex tasks, work with databases, and also connect to other business or external apps. This, however, is also the reason why programming of web apps is more costly.

The possibility of running the app regardless of the user’s operation system – whenever, wherever and on all devices, including connectivity to other services – is sure to pay big dividends. You’ll get an all-around platform that can be continuously customised according to your needs (similarly to Facebook).

How To Get More While Paying Less?

A web app can combine a website with a mobile app. With the hybrid development method, all components are designed in one go. This allows the programme to run on desktops and mobile devices while reducing costs. There’s no need for several specialised teams to work on the app from scratch, which makes all this possible.

Development Options or Web App Architecture

Web app architecture, in other words the number of cooperating tiers plus the frontend and backend structure, determines the complexity of the development process and, of course, its price. The development costs for a high-quality app also reflect the programmers’ rich experience and expertise.

What types of web architecture are available?

Single-Tier App Architecture

This is the default option. The simplest and the cheapest version of any app. Despite not offering the top-notch features, a single-tier app is still very nice to work with.

Single-Tier App Example: Online Store

Pros: Easy to change the design using templates and themes (CSS). Just give it a little tweak and voilà: You can have a completely new website based on the same backend!

Cons: More difficult to work with JavaScript; when clicking on the link, the whole page (not only its relevant parts) loads again automatically. It’s not possible to develop a mobile app without modifying the backend (API needs to be provided first).

Technology: The backend is typically based on the Django web framework, which renders the frontend in HTML using templates. PHP or ASP/.NET can be used just as well, though.

Two-Tier and Multiple-Tier App Architecture

A two-tier or three-tier app is a real game changer. Multiple-tier architecture opens up a much greater space for programmers to show what they can do.

Multi-tier app examples: The booking system Cordeus with backoffice, including connectivity to marketing tools, and the web app Yourcover with unlimited storage for generated pictures.

Pros: The separate frontend allows for the use of JavaScript frameworks (React, Angular, Vue.js) capable of dynamic rendering of pages. A big advantage is that when going from one page to another, there is no need to reload the whole page but only the relevant parts. This gives a swifter and smoother impression.

Unlike a single-tier app, the backend API (REST/GraphQL) can be connected to a mobile app without the need for changes and further costly development. In case of React.js, it’s possible to use parts of the code for mobile apps as well.

Cons: Possible higher costs not only for development, but also for operation and subsequent maintenance.

Technology: 2 options:

  • Rest API, backend in the Django Rest framework, frontend in React.js,
  • GraphQL API, backend in GraphQL, frontend in Gatsby.js.

Microservices Architecture – Special Type of Application

Microservices architecture comes in handy particularly if you expect varying workload for different parts of the system and if you plan to merge several systems into one.

Microservices Example: ESB integration for the selected ERP system.

Pros: Each backend microservice works as a separate unit and can be coded using any technology. The whole backend can be backed by a load balancer, allowing a distribution of the workload among multiple servers and running certain microservices several times, meeting the clients’ requests. At the same time, the system offers a greater degree of modularisation, which means the clients only get those modules they actually purchased.

Cons: Possible higher costs not only for development, but also for operation, hardware, and subsequent maintenance. It’s also necessary to carry out integration tests to verify that all microservices communicate with one another just as required.

Technology: The backend consists of numerous microcomponents that use API or event streaming for mutual communication and that don’t depend on the programming language as each component can function autonomously. The frontend is the same as in a multi-tier app.

Administration Environment: Necessity for Each App

Just as web interfaces, every web app needs administration for the client to set, change and manage individual elements. For simpler apps, ThinkEasy uses administration within the Django framework. Streamlining and customisation of admin control is a matter of hours.

Web App Price: More Features Mean Higher Prices

The question of how expensive the development of a mobile app is has already been answered in the previous blog post. Web apps can do much more than mobile apps, which also increases their price accordingly.

Single-Tier App Development

This scenario is based on a basic template with smaller administration, but even such a seemingly simple solution requires a lot of time and effort. Poor-quality online store won’t bring you happy customers – you can take our word for it! That’s why every little detail matters.

Price begins at 4 000 EUR

Two-Tier (and Multi-Tier App) Development

One extra tier can already mean a significant increase in price. As opposed to single-tier apps, multi-tier apps are suitable for more sophisticated booking systems, CRM, larger backoffice and for projects that are to be augmented with a mobile app in the future.

Price begins at 10 000 EUR (depending on the requirements, it can go well over 20 000 EUR)

Huge Web App Development

Looking for a truly unique solution? If what you’re interested in is perfect connectivity to other services, processing highly complex data (such as audio and video) and working in an interactive mode as a social network or offline, get ready for a considerable investment. However, this solution will grant you elite in business.

Without knowing the project specifics, it’s difficult to predict the price of such a huge web app. Contact us and we’ll do our best to estimate the development costs.

Features That Affect Web App Price

The number of features can vary greatly – it depends on what you really need. To give you a better idea, we summed up some basic functionalities your app can contain. Needless to say, they also affect its price:

  • Backend infrastructure – code in the background that keeps the app going.
  • Web administration interface – a tool for adding content to your application.
  • Filtering/searching/sorting categories, objects and data – standard in-app search functionality, similar to e.g. Facebook.
  • Roles and permissions – can be user-defined or fixed.
  • Analytical tools – collecting data regarding users’ behaviour is important for further improvement.
  • Login via social networks – the most convenient way of logging, popular among users.
  • Chat and messaging – enable users to communicate with one another within the app.
  • Possibility of progressive web applicationsprogressive web applications (PWA) enable client-side caching, downloading app shortcuts to mobile phones, working offline or sending push notifications. Users can access these apps regardless of their browser or operation system.
  • Offline mode – the web app can be run with no Internet connection and synchronizes when the connection is restored.
  • Using existing templates or building from scratch.
  • SEO – online selling is much more difficult without website optimisation. 
  • Multilingual – this feature is indispensable if you’re going to grow your business (now or in the future).
  • Different profiles in the app (such as Basic and Premium) – one version with limited features is for free and the one for subscribing users includes all highlights of your app.
  • Connecting the payment gate for additional in-app purchases – if you’re going to sell something through your app, you won’t do without this feature. 
  • Connecting 3rd party systems – not an easy task but one which can pay great dividends. This feature enables your app to communicate and work with other apps and tools, which may save you plenty of time. Why reinvent the wheel, after all?
  • WebSockets – these elements work independently of the users’ activity and enable you to send notifications directly into your users’ operation system or communicate in real-time.

What Else Should You Prepare For?

Creating and publishing the app is not the whole job – far from it! Over time, you might think of other useful features you would like to add to make your app even more appealing.

New technologies may also increase the usage of your app, improve its control or simplify the navigation, and that will all need to be integrated. Why is it worth it though? Only through constant improvement can you ever beat the competition! So don’t rest on your laurels!

Designing a Tailor-Made Web App Costs

Design significantly affects the web app price. You have several options of how to deal with this:

  • Bootstrap – the most cost-efficient solution that is responsive and adjusts to any screen. However, the app design is limited to one pre-set option, which takes away the personalised features your brand may be aiming for. We use the Architect UI library for the administration.
  • Custom graphic design – do you have your own idea of what your app should look like? Our graphic designer will create a unique design tailored to your needs to set your business apart from the competition. If you have your graphic design ready, we’ll be happy to incorporate it into the app. 

You might be tempted to think it’s “just” design, but don’t forget that complex graphic elements may entail extra work for programmers as well. Visually enticing, but otherwise user-unfriendly design (with poor UX) could not only reduce the quality of your app, but also jeopardize your reputation.

The price for a custom-made design is calculated based on the number of app screens and begins at 60 EUR per screen

Tip: Don’t neglect user testing as this procedure can detect possible weaknesses both in the graphic design and in the functioning of your web app. It may seem like a detail, but this step can eventually save you significant additional costs.

What’s the Monthly Price of a Webb App?

Paying for system updates and basic maintenance of your web app will spare you a lot of worries. The IT world is in a state of constant flux and technologies evolve ever faster – both iOS and Android continuously perfect their software and web browsers come up with new, improved versions all the time. It is no exception that the devices themselves are ever smarter and technologically more and more advanced.

Without regular maintenance and updates, your web app may therefore stop working properly after some time. It’s our job to take care of everything so you can sleep peacefully.

So what’s the monthly price of a web app?

The prices begin at 40 EUR per month. The exact amount is based on the project price and service agreement.

Let’s Get Down to Business!

Now you have a rough idea of how much web app development costs. Do you already have a clear vision of your web app and are eager to launch its development? Or do you still need to fine-tune a few details and would appreciate our advice? Either way, don’t hesitate to contact us! We’re at your service!

Let’s go through all the options and choose the best one to avoid paying too much for your web app. We’ll be happy to suggest features you might not have heard of before – but you’ll surely love them!

Ask for a non-binding quotation.

I would like to know the price of my new web application