10 major factors that affects the web development cost in 2024 | .wrk
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Whether your business provides services online or offline, you need a website because it is one of the most effective marketing channels. You can promote and sell your products and services to customers via your website, collect and store information about them, consult people and more. BlueCorona's research states that 64% of small businesses have a website, and about 70-80% of customers research companies online first, and primarily through their websites, before seeking their services.
Developers and businesses now have perfect tools that allow them to create a good quality website with minimum cost, but at the same time creating a quality website requires more time and effort than before. This is due to the fact that web applications now have to look eye-catching to customers, as well as meet high standards of user experience: load quickly in the browser, be accessible and user-friendly. Moreover, websites now have to support a large number of tools that potential customers can use: text chats, search engines, purchase and payment tools, and more. All these aspects affect the estimates of product development time and, most importantly, the web development cost, no matter if you work with a freelancer, a development team or develop a website on your own using builders and CMS tools. In this article, we will go through the global and local factors that affect the custom web application development cost in detail, as well as tell you how you can optimize your web product development costs.

What affects the web development cost

There are several questions that businesses are trying to find answers to:

  • How much does it cost to develop a web application?
  • Why is it difficult to calculate the cost of developing a website during the concept stage?

When you try to answer the first question, you can find several rough cost estimates, but the range of those is huge: from a few hundred dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars. Moreover, it may not be clear at first what is included in this cost, and you may end up with a cost that doesn't include the development of some of the necessary tools you need. This is the answer to the second question.
To make everything clear, let's make an analogy between website development and building an apartment. The cost of construction and maintenance of an apartment or house will be based on what type of house is built, what is its area, layout, what materials are built and furnished, what infrastructure inside it is carried out, how much water, gas and electricity are used by its residents. The same thing with website development: its cost depends on the website difficulty and its requirements, the development tools used, the type of developers, i.e. the final cost of website development directly depends on what, how and who to develop with. Therefore, we look at some factors that can affect the custom web application development cost.

1. Type of website

The first factor that most significantly affects the web development cost is the website type (what to develop). It will help you choose the requirements and functionality you want for yourself and your customers. Let's look at a few popular website types that may suit your requirements.

Types of websites
  1. A landing website doesn’t involve complex functionality, but the page design quality and its appeal to potential customers is pushed to the limit. Such web pages briefly and vividly tell about your business and call to action: register, buy, subscribe, write to the company representatives and much more. One of the best landing pages examples according to HubSpot authors are landing pages of Airbnb, WiX and Express VPN.
  2. A personal blog and news website are great for sharing company news and posts with potential customers. This is not a complicated website with a huge amount of functionality. Only a few pages, simple logic for processing requests and a small database for storing pieces of content are enough.
  3. The company's website attracts customers and broadcasts its values. Most often this type of site is created for marketing campaigns or the company’s portfolio. An excellent example of a company’s website can be considered a page of the American telecommunications company Verizon.
  4. Web catalog offers users a list of company’s products and services as its main function. In order to make such a high-quality site, it is not enough to create a beautiful and convenient product card, it is also important to properly build the server part. The websites of Airbnb, eBay, TripAdvisor and Foursquare have their own web catalogs.
  5. E-learning websites are needed by educational organizations: universities, colleges and schools, as well as companies that offer e-learning services. These pages may contain web catalog functionality, but educational sites should also contain a host of other tools, such as editing e-courses, connecting instructors and students, sending and receiving feedback, and more. We talked more about creating e-learning websites in this article.
  6. SaaS application is a website with software functionality. If you're familiar with Figma, Google services or Microsoft 365 text editors, you have an idea of what SaaS technologies are. In this article, you can find out if SaaS is right for your needs or not.
  7. A web portal or super application is a large website that combines several services and services into a single ecosystem, such as search and email services, cloud storage, forums, SaaS products (text and multimedia editors) and so on. Classic examples of web portals are Google, Yahoo, AOL, WeChat and so on.
  8. Social networks are huge thematic platforms that, just like web portals, offer a set of tools for working with multimedia, communicating with other users, sections for discussing interests and topics and much more. Examples of social networks, we are sure you know very well, are Meta services (Facebook and Instagram), X (Twitter), LinkedIn and many others.

Here is the table with some types of sites, approximate time and average cost of web application development that is calculated with a $50 per hour rate. This data is approximate and it can significantly differ because of the customer's requirements. The approximate cost is formed for products that use many ready-made solutions from the following section.

Website’s development time and cost

2. Website development methods

The second important factor that affects the cost of website development is what you will use to create your product (how to develop). There are two drastically different ways for website development:

  • Using DIY-services: website builders or CMS tools;
  • Hiring a freelance, in-house or remote development team through an agency.

Each of these methods has its own benefits and drawbacks so let's look at each method in detail.

Website Builder

A builder can be considered probably the cheapest way to create a web application. It can cost you tens of dollars per month, while a development team can cost thousands of dollars.
A website builder is a good option for the following cases:

  • If you are a beginner in development;
  • If you need a website as soon as possible;
  • If you need a landing page, a personal page, or a portfolio.

Most builders like Wix, Squarespace and Shopify cost between $5 and $500 per month. Of course, there are also free services and plans, and you can use them to see if it suits your ideas. However, it is better to use paid subscriptions, as the free plans have significant limitations and inconveniences:

  • Your page will have ads on it;
  • The domain cannot be customized;
  • Some features may be limited or non-existent, such as the inability to connect payment tools or low bandwidth.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

Another way to develop a website is to use CMS tools, a prime example of which is Wordpress. This service gives great development options for a small fee.
Wordpress has a free plan, which means you can try it out and see if it is applicable for your goals or not. Wordpress also has free plugins and themes for websites, which will keep your costs down at first when you are just trying out new website building tools. However, it's important to keep in mind that free tools limit your options, and many quality services like WP Cloud and WooCommerce are only available in paid Business and Commerce subscriptions, and you may need premium themes and plugins at some point.
Another important expense that cannot be forgotten is the cost of hosting rent to put your site online. Few hosting providers have monthly subscriptions, so you need to be prepared to pay a minimum of $30 for a yearly hosting rental.
CMS tools are suitable in the following cases:

  • You have little technical experience, as HTML knowledge is required to maximize customization of the site;
  • Those who need a large blog or corporate website.

If you need a more complex and feature-filled Wordpress site, developing it may not be as easy and you may need the help of a Wordpress developer, which will add a rate of $20 per hour to the web development cost. As we wrote earlier, CMS is a great solution for small businesses and startups. But if you have a medium or large business and need a more complex website, we'd recommend turning to freelancers or development teams.

3. Types of developers

This is the optional but noticeable factor that affects the web development cost (who to develop with). Developers will take a lot of technically challenging work off your hands and you can take care of your business tasks or generate requirements that you want.
Working with a development team will be a good decision for the following reasons:

  • You want a feature-rich website that is difficult to develop with DIY-tools;
  • You have a tight deadline and little technical experience;
  • You have a large budget and many frequently changing requirements.

The cost of developers' work is the most difficult to estimate as it depends on many factors: the team experience, their country, the agency's services cost and much more. The following table shows the developers hourly rate in different countries and areas:

Developers hourly rate depending in different areas

Let's look at three types of developers you can hire and see how much it would cost to hire them for a 1,000-hour project (for example, you want to build an average e-learning site or SaaS solution).

Freelance developers

A good solution for small and complex websites is to go with freelancers. The cost of a freelance designer's work usually varies between $500 and $5,000 per project, and a freelance developer will take about $20,000-$30,000 for a 1,000-hour project. In total, you can settle for $25000-35000 dollars for your project.

Benefits and drawbacks of hiring freelance developers

In-house development team

An in-house development team can help you with a large project that needs to be developed over a long and phased period of time and maintained on an ongoing basis. You often need a well engaged team on such projects that clearly understands the business goals, and you need to maintain communication and have access to the team when needed. However, this kind of hire is the most expensive of all three types of developers, as it imposes additional costs for taxes, office rent and maintenance, purchasing tech and more. According to the table with the hourly rate of development in different countries you will have to spend about $90.000–$120.000 per 1000-hour work for the Europe, USA and Australia in-house team development alone.

Benefits and drawbacks of hiring in-house developers

Outsourcing/remote development team

Outsourcing teams usually have vast experience in creating different kinds of projects and websites, and working with such a team is much cheaper than working with an in-house team. This option of cooperation will be a good solution if you need to create a website in a short period of time with a tight budget. We wrote about hiring a remote development team in this article. The project cost directly depends on the amount of work and the country the team is located in, so if you hire a remote development team from Eastern Europe, then according to the table of hourly rates you will spend about $50,000–$60,000 dollars for a 1000-hour project.

Benefits and drawbacks of hiring outsource developers

To summarize, we get the table of the web development cost on a 1000-hour project. We remind you once again that the data in the table is approximate, and the exact cost will depend on your requirements.

Approximate development cost depending on types of developers

Parts of custom web application development cost

Perhaps you still have questions about how the amount of work is determined, according to which the cost of website development is calculated. In general, a web application consists of several parts, which you can calculate its cost for:

  • Frontend development;
  • Backend development, creation and use of APIs;
  • Data processing.

Let's look at what each part consists of and determine how much they can cost (if we take an average developer's hourly rate at $50 per hour).

Frontend part

A great interface and a well-designed user experience is an important component of any software, not only web applications, because it is the first thing a user will see and interact with. All frontend development can be divided into several stages:

  • Researching the product, its goals and functionality;
  • Creating mockups;
  • UX/UI design;
  • Interface development;
  • Product testing.

The cost of frontend development will depend on several factors, but all of them can be described by one criterion: the larger and more complex page will be and the more of these pages will be on the website, the more time it will take to develop them, and accordingly the more expensive the project will be. Let's highlight some important factors affecting the frontend development cost:

  • Complexity of the page interface;
  • The number of pages on the site;
  • Presence of pages displaying a large amount of data;
  • The possibility of interacting with the page, for example, using text fields that work on the WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) principle.

The interface and user tools design and development can take approximately 100 to 300 hours and cost $5,000 to $15,000.

Server side and integrations with other services

The server part of the site is the core that is responsible for its correct functioning. It processes requests and data entered by the user, and the server side has all the necessary logic built, which will give the user the necessary information. And, of course, it is impossible to imagine a modern website without integrations and the use of APIs from other applications and services that offer their services of high quality: making payments, sending emails, collecting and processing data about users for further analysis and much more. To summarize, the cost of backend development will depend on the following criteria:

  • The number and complexity of APIs required and the pages that will use them;
  • The amount of data and the complexity of its structure;
  • The complexity and amount of processing of user requests and data;
  • The security of the application, such as the storage and processing of encrypted data.

Developing the server side of an application takes 80 to 300 hours on average and it costs from $4,000 to $15,000 depending on the requirements and functionality.

Data processing and analysis

Working with data is presented in this material as a separate component of product development because we separate data processing on the server side during work with the user and work with data that are necessary for product development. Working with data means studying a lot of materials, articles and user data and further analyzing them. All these require proper storage, search and processing at the Data analytics level.
According to Brevo, companies should allocate 2-6% of the total budget for working with data, small and medium-sized businesses spend an average of $900 to $9000 per month on data analysis.

Non-development costs

There are a few other things that are often forgotten by beginning business owners and those who are creating a website for themselves for the first time: the website maintenance and marketing campaigns. Maintenance will allow you to quickly fix problems and website errors, and marketing campaigns will let customers know that your company exists and it has a website. Let's consider both parts in more detail.

Website maintenance

In order for a website to work well, you need to keep an eye out for bugs, regularly update security features and certificates, monitor page load speeds, and simply make sure the site loads in your browser. So what do you need to monitor on a regular basis?

  • Website hosting and its domain. It is impossible to host your website on the Internet without them. The cost will depend on the hosting plan, your website complexity, and the type of server on which the website will be hosted: virtual for simple websites, dedicated for complicated ones or cloud-based for a large high-performance service.
  • SSL certificates are necessary for those who use payment tools that need a high level of security. Therefore, a special infrastructure is created for such sites that is resistant to attacks and other threats, and then the owners receive SSL certificates and regularly renew them.

Considering the above factors, the maintenance can vary widely and its cost ranges from $500 to $12,000 per year.

Marketing campaigns

Most marketing campaigns are planned long before a website is launched, during the planning and design phase. As part of marketing, companies create social media pages to attract potential customers from there. Other areas are also included in marketing:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of content to rank higher on Google and Yahoo search pages.
  • Content creation and copywriting about the company's business in forms of infographics, blog and website texts, podcasts, short videos, and more.
  • Maintaining social media marketing to creatively promote your business.

According to various estimates, marketing campaigns can cost an average of $10,000 to $25,000.


When people discuss the web development cost, they mean not only financial costs, but also technical and human and most importantly time resources. If you have enough time and little money and you have few people in your team, you can make a website on your own with DIY-services, constructors or CMS-tools, however, if you have little time and enough resources, you can entrust the web application development to professionals.
In this article, we told you about the web application development cost in detail. We also discussed several ways of website development: from using constructors and CMS-tools to working with developers.
We work on a huge number of projects of various kinds: from publishing houses to healthcare startups, so if you want to create your own website or you already have one and need to update and improve it, then fill in the form on our website and we will be glad to answer all your questions and calculate the exact project cost.

About author
Alexander has been a part of the team since 2013 and is deeply interested in building top-notch web development products.

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