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How Much Does a Custom Software Application Cost?

Estimating the Cost of Custom Software

One of the first questions clients have after learning about custom software applications is “How much is that going to cost?”

In our experience, the majority of custom software programs typically cost $50,000 to $250,000.

By virtue of being “custom,” as you might expect, it’s difficult to put a precise price on it; some small-scale integrations might be less expensive. Similar to that, an enterprise-scale program with numerous complex features and functions could cost significantly more.

We recognize that the bulk of businesses out there prioritize cost. Comparing the cost of a custom software program to the cost of a home is the simplest method to describe price. There is a typical range, but there are also modest fixer-uppers and lavish mansions.

You probably have a rough concept of a budget and a long list of things you want before starting the process. You’ve probably already looked at the off-the-shelf options and determined that you need to develop your own solution in order to get the most value out of your investment. Similar to building a house, the cost varies greatly depending on the size and complexity of the application; even the finishing touches can have a significant impact. For instance, contrasting a simple user interface with a comprehensive graphically upgraded application is like to contrasting marble tile with sheet vinyl.

Breaking Down the Cost of Custom Software Applications

The real cost of developing a custom software application is time, which includes the quantity of effort necessary for development and the complexity of the application. Here, we’ll give examples of each element that determines a custom software application’s price.

#1 The “Big Things”

According to our rule of thumb, the cost of the software application should increase by at least $10,000 for each “big thing” you require it to be able to accomplish.

What exactly are “big things”? The software’s primary features and operations include things like client administration, scheduling, inventory management, and reporting. You need the software to accomplish “big things” for your company.

The cost of the software application increases as more “big things” are required of it.

#2 Size

Megabytes, gigabytes, and terabytes are frequently pictured when people think about size and software. That’s not exactly the situation here.

By size, there are a few things you need to consider:

  • Users. The number of users the application will need to support, as well as different user types and permissions.
  • Screens. The number of screens within the application, since each screen will need to be coded.
  • Organization. Is the application supporting a handful of users or an entire enterprise?
  • Type. Are you building a minimum viable product (MVP) solution for early adopters or a highly polished application?

#3 Complexity

Consider all of the functions and logic that the software will need to compute. Do you use a lot of complicated formulas and computations? Do you handle a lot of data processing? What connections are there between the features of the application?

The complexity of an application raises both the cost of the program’s development time and the length of time required to finish the application’s testing process.

#4 Design

How robust and attractive is the application? Sometimes, all that’s needed is a straightforward integration or a piece of middleware with minimal UI components. Some businesses just require an MVP solution to get started because they don’t have many users for their products.

As you incorporate design features like dashboards, unique images, and videos, you may anticipate an increase in the application’s price. It takes more effort and skill to generate these design components.

#5 Integrations

Which current applications will communicate with your new custom application? Integrations and data sharing are made simple by several current apps. On the other side, creating and testing integrations for older software programs, particularly if they were created specifically for them, could take more time and effort. When determining the total cost of the application, each integration would be considered a “big thing”.

#6 Data Migration

Your application’s backbone is data, and if your business is already established, you undoubtedly have a ton of it. Where is your data currently kept? Will transferring data from one application to another require a special script? Is the moved data being “normalized”? To put it another way, how reliable is the data integrity — for instance, are dates pushed into a particular format? Projects can get very complex when data is not coerced into a normal, internally consistent form.

Similar to integrations, testing with a focus on data—including storage and backups—requires knowledge and development time, and its cost should be factored into the price of developing a software program.

#7 Security

Unfortunately, security is often neglected by companies and software developers in favour of building apps more quickly and with fewer testing and development hours. Cutting corners in security is obviously not a good idea, especially when the data of your consumers is at risk.

Ask about security while collecting quotations for a custom software program. Any queries you have regarding frameworks, cybersecurity, and data retention should be answered by the company developing the application.

#8 Maintenance and Support

What kind of technical knowledge does your company have? Do you employ developers, or will you rely on the assistance provided by the business that created your application?

Are there any upcoming plans to improve or develop the application, or is this a one-time development project? If necessary, a seasoned software development business need to have the personnel to continue supporting your product. A smaller company, on the other hand, might not have the resources or the desire to continue supporting the program once it has been transferred to you.

#9 Expertise

Software application development is similar to home construction in that it requires a team of professionals to produce the final product. For instance, whereas carpenters, plumbers, and electricians build houses, a team of developers, QA testers, and UX designers make software applications.

Like a house, skilled, high-quality builders typically charge more than less skilled ones. Usually, the outcomes speak for themselves.


There is no single answer to the question of how much custom software development costs. Costs of developing custom software depend on, project complexity, platforms used, innovative design, system integration, team, location, etc.

The crucial decision is whether you have the time to do the difficult tasks yourself or want to delegate them to experts who can meet your needs while staying within your budget.

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