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How Much Does Custom Software Cost? A Guide

Having your own custom software can build your company’s bottom line by streamlining processes or adding new revenue streams. It can increase engagement with existing or potential clients. However, not everyone is capable of building customized software tailored to your requirements. Hiring professional developers to build your software will require an investment, but how much does custom software cost? While pricing will vary between software development companies, this guide offers some information on what to expect.

Developer creating process flow for custom software in a notebook next to a Macbook and cup of coffee

How Much Does Custom Software Development Cost?

Small Software Applications / Web Apps

Smaller custom software development costs between $10,000 – $20,000, generally speaking.

This software has limited features. Apps built in this price range could be used by smaller companies to collect and share simple information, or provide useful but basic tools for customers. Examples include but are not necessarily limited to a beautiful ecommerce site, a searchable directory, or a simple membership site.

Medium Software Applications / Web Apps

Medium custom software pricing typically ranges between $30,000 – $50,000

In this price range, it’s possible to do seamless integration of certain legacy data and include features such as logins with two-factor authentication. Comprehensive internal management and collaboration tools or web applications that support many concurrent connections might be examples of midsized custom software projects. Most of the time, the higher price also means that the conceptual design can take longer and that more planning and work can be put into how the app looks and feels.

Enterprise Software Applications

Custom enterprise software pricing typically starts on the lower end around $50,000 and can range into six figure territory or even beyond, depending on the length and complexity of the project.

In this price range, there is a more involved planning stage that includes user research and develops user profiles, a collaborative development process involving several sprints, and a highly detailed QA process to find and fix any errors or inefficiencies. Custom enterprise software frequently includes a seamless experience across desktop and mobile devices, and includes security at every point of potential vulnerability. Complex consumer or remote worker facing applications such as robust data warehousing and reporting, or feature rich project management systems, are usually in this range.

Other Pricing Factors for Custom Software

How much does custom software cost for businesses? Software projects are priced not only for function, but also user interface design, accessibility, and a number of other considerations.

Application Size

The size of an application is often initially estimated using two factors: the collection of components and process flows, and the volume of users to be supported. While this isn’t full detail, it can allow a software development company to at least determine a ballpark of what the investment is going to be. Custom business software with thousands of users, such as enterprise applications, requires extensive adaptations, tests, and tweaks to assure stability and security. A longer development cycle and intensive QA will require a larger spend.

Incorporating Third Party Software

Incorporation of third party software refers to the inclusion of stock or pre-built programs into the custom software that you will have built. These can include integrations such as communications frameworks, online payments, and other components and protocols. Interconnections between systems – despite often being beneficial or necessary – can bring unexpected challenges, and the development company’s pricing will likely account for such factors.

Complexity of the Project

Custom software complexity refers to all of the different elements of the software and what it is going to require in order to create them. This is primarily determined by number of features, application speed and security, communication between components, and process flow. Sophisticated custom software examples include simulators (very graphically intensive as well as requiring proprietary algorithms), enterprise database management, and multi device controllers with software and security deployment, to name just a few. Advanced software projects will incur higher operating costs due to the necessity for specialized software engineers and longer development and QA cycles. A professional design and UI/UX team can also increase the investment, but especially for larger projects, this is a must-have.

Tailoring the Visual Design and User Interface

There are both in-house and public facing applications, but regardless of application type, the user interface is extremely important. The design needs to be easy to decipher visually, including color contrast, appropriate font sizes, and a dashboard that makes sense to users. The user interface should be intuitive across screens and processes on the devices that will be in use. Some images, animations, and even videos will increase design time and expense, but can provide a better experience for users and require less customer support.

Data Migration

Data migration means moving data from an old system to a new one. Since the two systems save data differently, this can be an involved process. Data migration is accomplished by executing customized programs that move old data to the appropriate tables, rows, and columns of the new application. Migration efforts include a number of checks to see whether the information has been translated successfully and if the new program will accept, store, and present the data as expected. In some instances, migration is extraordinarily challenging since the information in an old system does not adhere to current standards. Cost estimates for migration come from evaluating the various requirements such as translation standards, custom programming, testing, and QA.

Working with Plego on Your Custom Software Project

We are an established and rapidly expanding software development firm in the Chicagoland area. You can rest assured that your project will be built to specifications and delivered on time, and we can support your requirements with a highly effective and diversified development team.

To figure out what custom software development costs for your application, contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote.