How much does it cost to develop software?

The title of this blog is a question that many people frequently have. Many individual people, startups, and established companies all want to know how much it costs to develop software before they begin any kind of process for themselves. That makes a lot of sense. 

It might seem like there should be a very simple answering rubric to this question, with different price tags for different software packages. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as that. In fact, the answer to the question of how much does it cost to develop software is quite complicated. 

In this blog, we are going to shed some more light on the topic for you. 

First things first:

Internal development vs outsourcing 

The first question to answer when you are thinking about the costs of software development is: are you doing the development yourself with an internal team, or will you be outsourcing the development to a software development company?

Some people will opt for an internal programme of development, which includes hiring a full-time development team, paying them a salary and all the benefits that go along with a salaried job, and building their very own software department from scratch. While this option gives you a lot of control over who does the development and allows you to continually monitor progress and make big decisions, it is very expensive. Internal hiring is a process with a big price tag. 

Outsourcing, on the other hand, gets rid of all the HR and recruitment costs associated with the previous model. You can outsource your development needs to a pre-established company and allow them to deal with hiring, firing, and everything in between. You can hand over the reins to a competent and professional service and only pay for what you are receiving. 

Which one of these options you go for will be a big contributing factor to the overall cost of the project. 

Size and scope of the project 

No two software projects are the same and so it would be impossible to give one figure to answer the question of how much the process will cost. 

Factors within scope and size that will influence the end cost include:

  • App/site complexity
  • Features included
  • User base size for end product
  • Number of platforms it needs to work on
  • Inclusion of MVP/prototype or not
  • Tech stack used
  • Integration of third-party/existing systems
  • Complexity of UX design

To get an accurate quote of how much your software development project will cost, you will need to consider these factors (and more). Bigger and more complicated projects will, of course, cost more as they will require more hours worked by the development team and the technology involved will have a higher price point. 

When you compare the quotes for bespoke software development to the quotes for off-the-shelf packages you will notice that they are higher. This may put some people off initially, especially if they are a start-up company. However, you will see even from the list above that the detail, care, and attention taken to create a unique piece of software that fits your individual needs is incomparable to something pre-packaged and ready to go for a large, nondescript audience. 

Geographical location

Interestingly, software development companies will have different costs involved depending on where they are in the world. Certain countries are known for having cheaper fees than others. Exchange rates are also something to consider here.

For this reason, many people engage with nearshore and offshore software development. These two options are the practice of hiring a software development company outside of your own, usually for budget-related reasons. Both of these practices have individual advantages and disadvantages, so it is worth taking the time to do your research first. We have a specialised guide on each to help you with that. 

6B: pay for quality 

At 6B, we believe that you get what you pay for in software development. We believe in providing unique value to each and every one of our customers. Our fees go to our expert team’s efforts towards building the perfect product for you and your business needs. 

If you want to find out how much your project might cost with us, the best thing to do is have a chat with our team and ask every question you need. We have plenty of time to make sure you get the estimate you need.


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