A question all app developers get asked is how long it will take them to produce a given solution. That, along with how much web-based app development costs, are the single two most frequently asked questions that developers face.
Web applications are growing in popularity by the day. The app development process is complex and rather long-term where every detail is important, as those details are precisely what defines your uniqueness, differentiating or setting your business apart from any others.
We’ve already covered some related questions in our previous articles:
- If you’re impatient to get started, you should at least read our post on How Companies Estimate Software Projects.
- And, maybe, you’ll even look under the hood and understand how the app specifications are created.
Nonetheless, we made a dedicated article addressing the web app development timeline because it’s very difficult to tell from the outside how many hours it will take to develop a web-based app, at least at the early stages of project initiation. The reason why it’s difficult to predict timing is mainly that the answer to that question very much depends on what goes into making a web app (i.e. what feature set you are looking for the app to contain).
Apps are bespoke pieces of software, each different and individual. You get apps with simple and complex features. Some web apps can include only a few functions but be a little different from a static website. And some apps carry inside lots of functions, just like these web apps made with AngularJS.
You can ask us to build a web page that displays data or another one that accesses the camera, GPS, support social media functions, and so on and so forth.
Have a new app idea?
Our team can provide you with the necessary consultation to sharpen your idea and boost its development!
How Many Hours Does It Take to Develop an App
In our experience, the app development time may vary from a few hundred to several thousand development hours. This time outlay will depend on the complexity of the whole application, features, and integrations required to implement, as well as whether there are sudden changes in the desired functionality requests.
An average web application created for business needs usually includes a lot of features, management tools, and different levels of access, so its development is a rather long-term undertaking. However, rushing through things isn’t the best strategy either, because it may harm the quality of the solution. Our experience shows that the average time such an app will take will look like this:
Though it may seem that different project stages are developed one after the other, that’s not necessarily the case as a division of tasks based on specialization enables simultaneous development of different parts of the project. The agile methodology suggests breaking the scope of the software into sprints — small periods of time when the team is working on a certain feature. When the sprint is over, you got an increment — a completed part of your application. Each sprint takes a few weeks. It engages the whole team because the process of developing a new feature (often named user stories in Agile) almost always requires:
- architecture building;
- design process;
- specification writing;
- coding (frontend, backend);
- internal, alpha, and beta testing
Why do we choose this methodology? You can read more about it in this article, but long story short: it allows us to be flexible and implement sudden changes without jeopardizing the timeline.
But before we get down to coding, we always suggest engaging in the Discovery Stage. It takes 1-3 weeks, and as a result, your idea is researched, well thought-out, mapped out and supported by the preliminary specifications for the whole project, roadmap, and design concept. The next steps are divided into sprints — and the overall time of development and testing depends on the project size and complexity.
You might suppose that a bigger budget will increase the speed of development directly proportionally, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way — and here we’re explaining why.
The Average App Development Time
The sample size is sizeable, there are industry researchers (100 development companies participating), and our hands-on experience allows us to give you more specific numbers. On average, it takes 3 months to build a front-end application and a back-end infrastructure for a minimum viable product (MVP). But if the scope is pretty big, it might take a few more months.
|information base, database back-end||2-3 months|
|social media, in-app purchase, logins, favorites, back-end admin panel||3-6 months|
|dedicated analytics, unique functionality, visual pattern||6< months|
That said, there are areas of the process to watch out for. Intricacies where transgressions in certain parts can lead to the web application development taking far too much time and money. Like with all projects, without proper planning and risk mitigation, development projects can go on and on, resulting in a boogie low-quality app.
Need to create an MVP for your product fast?
We guarantee a shorter time-to-market than any other web development team.
How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Web App?
The final cost of your web application will ultimately depend on and be a function of the range of functions and features it will have. It can be a long-lasting and complex process, so it will require to involve the efforts of a team of developers.
These factors affect the cost of your development process:
- Variety & complexity of features and functions
- Design features
- Number of integration
- Tech stack
- Development team experience, level of expertise, capabilities, location, & rates
In order to start developing a web application, you need to find and hire a team of experienced specialists. A crucial step is to run a market analysis, take care of idea validation build an appropriate business strategy for developing and promoting your solution. That’s a key to success.
In general, you will need a team of professionals who already have rich experience in the development of web applications from scratch and have deep expertise in your industry. They are the following:
- Back-end developers
- Web developers
- UX/UI designers
- Project manager
- Quality assurance specialists
- Business analyst
- DevOps Specialist
How to Save Time and Budget During Web App Development?
It all starts with the planning stage where requirements are gathered and structured, also known as the Discovery phase. We recommend this article to help understand how to save time in negotiations with developers. If the requirements are annotated well, you have the opportunity to prevent misunderstandings and obtain not only error-free code but a fully functional app. It forms the basis of time estimation and costs.
Poorly established requirements can lead to bad planning and poor project management. On top of that, please keep in mind all the changes that you want to add to the development. Changes that are mentioned when the development stage is already underway mean changes after the code is written, forcing developers to go back on their work, which has a high potential for introducing new bugs and added costs to the project.
In addition, we advocate for a thorough testing plan and QA practices. Proper testing practices are invaluable, they help find problems early, which saves a lot of time on the delivery phase down the road. The ideal situation is to thoroughly test your web app and send detailed organized feedback to the development team, thereby ensuring a double safety net in addition to the tester (QA) specialists involved in the project. We use manual testing along with automatic, and this combination allows us to check the project after every development step.
Benefits of Web Apps
Web applications offer a lot of benefits and are becoming increasingly popular as a result. Read more about the advantages of web apps here below.
- Access — you have access to any web app wherever you are and whenever you want, you can use it on any computer, mobile device, and browser, or operating system, all you need is for the device to have internet connectivity. Web apps even open opportunities for remote full-time work.
- Update — unlike desktop apps, web applications have automatic updates, so you don’t have to do it on your own, which saves time.
- Security — data on the web-based application is monitored by admins 24/7, and it is easier to detect unknown activity and detect what’s wrong. Also, as we know, the first step of any web app is registration, so if you get a notification that someone is trying to log into your account or hack it from Russia, you can always change the password, delete your data or contact a support team.
- Integration — a big plus of developing the web app is that it is made specifically for your business, it meets all your requirements, it is a custom web application that includes elements of your brand, has specific functions of access to data relevant exactly to your business needs, so you don’t have to waste time and money on testing whether it will be suitable for you anyway.
Examples of Web Applications
Web applications’ popularity is growing every day. Many businesses are already integrated with them. We recommend that you take a look at the famous complex apps and the specific options that they offer:
Google Drive remains one of the most popular, used, and usable web apps all over the world. This is a place where you can store any documents you want and have access to them whenever you want from any device that can log in and access the documents. You can save files, add, change, or delete them online as well as offline. The registration process is pretty easy as you can do it via your Google account (i.e. Gmail). It offers 5Gb of free storage and diverse types of documents, apart from basic word docs, it offers – presentations, models, research, photos, albums, etc.
One more bright example is the travel industry and the most popular web app is Booking.com. After registration, all users get the ability to find any type of hotel and hostel if they plan a business, personal, or family trip. You can choose the right city, filter by prices, and check if there are any free rooms in the hotel that catches your eye. Also, Booking selects the best available offers for hotel rooms with the most suitable prices for you on the date(s) you have chosen. You can save any variant to “favorites” and make a decision later if you so choose. Booking gathers and saves all information about its users – number, email, age, place of birth, work, number of family members, and pets. Also, Booking reminds you about your reservations or savings through email to maintain communication and relationships with users.
Web Applications Developed by the Altamira Team
With more than 10 years of experience in the software development field, we created dozens of web applications for different industries. We are glad to share our recent high-level web application successes!
The property management system is an example of our web app development that was created for property owners – Highrise Expeditors. It helps to manage your buildings, specifically resolving tenant complaints or violations from the side of owners. The user of this app gets access to the Property Management System after registration and watches the status of their application. Business owners get reminders about any violations or other issues to rectify them as quickly as possible. So this app helps to know every problem that appears in your property business and helps keep the reputation and satisfaction rate among tenants on a high level.
We’ve also worked with the construction company LEO which needed a web application for bringing their business to a new level. In essence, this company manufactures concrete materials for the construction industry made of cast stone that looks like natural limestone. This company has a small role in the entirety of the building process, but they cherish their reputation dearly. Our developers’ team created a web app that gathers and saves data about clients. Also, every client can register after placing an order and check the status of the construction. In turn, the business owners [customers] benefit in that they now have database storage where they keep all quantities and calculations of stones so as to not lose track of anything. This app optimizes their work and makes it structured, accurate, and credible.
It is obvious that there are many business areas left that can use web applications to optimize, manage, and modernize the working processes of small and large businesses.
Looking for a reliable app development company?
Altamira is always ready to help you to create a successful app.
Top Popular Web Development Directions
The tech world is in constant motion and a state of growth, and your well-loved existing web app might need some renewal to boost its performance as well. We did some research and picked out a few trendy technologies you definitely should pay attention to!
At the end of the day, all the best practices we’ve covered so far turn out to be worthless without good communication. Regular, high-quality communication between all parties makes the project run smoothly. It’s important to share the same vision and avoid misunderstandings. At Altamira, we strive for good planning and constant communication with our clients. We do our best to explain every step of the development and are suitable for your requirements. All it takes from you is to contact us, communicate your needs, and consider the web app to be developed.