software development cost

In 2024 alone, the companies invested in software development earned $698 billion in revenue. It means that more and more businesses realize the importance of making their products digitally modernized and, in this way, building rapport with end-users. But if you want to join these lucky ones, you must first get what it takes. Or, in other words, how much does it cost to develop a software program?

Knowing that this is one of the frequently asked questions, we’ve decided to prepare a comprehensive guide to cover all the factors influencing the price of software building. So, not to waste your time, plunge into finding the answer.

Factors influencing custom software pricing

You ask Mr Google about the cost of developing software and see that the prices differ so drastically. In a few minutes, you’re lost and can’t understand which ones are right. Some say $50,000, while the others mention $200,000. 

We’re not surprised, as the development cost depends on multiple factors, so let’s dive deeper to grasp the key ones below.

Software size

The general rule to calculate software development cost is that the bigger your project, the greater the investment it requires. Here, the size of your project is usually determined by the number of web pages and the extent of visual content supported. The more it is, the more engineering efforts its development logically demands.

Design & UX implications

Another critical factor to account for is the complexity of design. The more exquisite your future application you’d like to look, the more expensive it’ll be to create. Indeed, the visual wrap evokes the user’s first impression. Still, it’s always best to start with an intuitive and simple design that brings the necessary functionality before you test the MVP version and check the users’ reactions to it.

System integrations

Integrating your product with the existing solutions is the key to managing product-related data efficiently and eliminating time-consuming manual operations. The simplest example is payment API integrations that allow a seamless checkout between merchants and customers in a few clicks. Though this feature is valid, you should mind that the number of such integrations will inevitably lead to increased pricing for software development.

Complexity of software

Creating a user-friendly application with multiple functions and features is a costly idea. That’s why you’d better come up with the set of most important features to be developed first, leaving all the extra features out of the development horizon. Another idea is to consider no-code development if your project is small and straightforward.

Development team composition and size

The project complexity defines the choice of the tech team required to turn it through the whole software development lifecycle from A to Z. Normally, to create a software solution, you need to hire relevant developers, designers, business analysts, QA specialists, etc. The number of specialists, their location and proficiency level as well as the type of employment (in-house or outsourcing) will make a difference in their salaries.

Target platforms

The other crucial factor influencing the ultimate prices for software is the type of platform (and OS as well) it’s created for. Based on your TA, you might decide to develop web, mobile, or desktop versions of your software product or play big and build a cross-platform solution. As each choice needs different engineering resources, the software project cost will change accordingly.

Ways to reduce software development cost

Now that you know what elements comprise the custom software development cost, it’s time to discuss some helpful tips to decrease the total sum of your business expenses. Below, our team has gathered the list of top recommendations—read on to see the way out that suits your case.

Adopt Agile methodologies for Project Management

If you’re new to the Agile approach to SDLC, we recommend starting with our other article for a general plunge into the topic. Here, you’ll find the difference between Agile and Waterfall as the key workflow models in software development. After reading it, you’re equipped with basic terminology and can switch to the question of reducing software engineering costs.

How is the latter possible with Agile? We consider that dividing the project into smaller bits makes it easier manageable, and this way, timely adjusted. At least, you minimize the expensive rework, which is already great for your pocket.

Streamline your design process

Another recommendation to cut down the cost of software development is to prioritize the essential features in your product design and abandon all the additional features for the future. We believe that by choosing a simple and neat design, you do good for both your users, making the first steps with your product, and your budget. 

Remember that simplified design equals saved money, and you can always add more functionalities after properly testing the application.

Limit the use of external integrations

What else influences the software development cost? The number of API integrations with other third-party services and adding technologies like ML, AI, or AR. Don’t go all in from the very start, and consider the complications you’ll need to handle.

Nonetheless, it’s still cheaper to start with the ready solutions and integrate your software with trusted partners (PayPal, for instance) instead of developing the custom one from scratch (own payment system). 

Leverage open-source technologies

To help you decrease software development costs, we also suggest leveraging open-source libraries. They’ll also provide you with helpful community support, enhanced security, and means to build a robust application. 

In the meantime, pay attention to the licensing requirements to stay compliant with each platform’s rules.

Do you want Patternica to estimate the cost of software development for you?

We hope that after reading our guide, you’ll feel more sure and clarity-filled on the question of how much does it cost to develop software. However, each project is unique, and we know not by hearsay how several factors may affect the final numbers. If you need professional software development services, we’re ready to help. Contact us to discuss your software and estimate what it takes to be developed.

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