What Determines the Cost of Custom Software?
Perhaps you’ve recognized the benefits of custom software, from the fact that it’s often more cost effective than off-the-shelf to its increased likelihood to offer a return on your investment.
But there’s one thing that’s holding you back from going custom: your budget.
Especially if your budget is limited, you’ll need to consider the price tag of going custom. By understanding what impacts development costs, you’ll be more prepared to start looking for the right software development team for you.
While the cost of custom software varies greatly across the board, there are five factors that greatly influence what your developer will charge.
Factor 1. The size of your software
The larger the software or web system you need, the more time it will require from your developer. That being said, since most developers charge by the hour, the price of a larger software system can add up very quickly.
It should be noted that larger projects often require costs outside of development as well. For instance, a large site may require its own database, which will likely require monthly payments. In this way, consider how large your software actually needs to be.
Remember, the beauty of custom software is that it has the scalability to grow and change. So, if your budget doesn’t allow for you to build the software of your dreams now, there’s room to do so in the future.
Factor 2. Migration of data to your software
By the time you decide to go custom, there’s a strong chance you’ll have existing data you’d like to see moved onto your new software. Unless you want to start with a blank slate, your developer will need to migrate that data to its new platform.
The cost of migration heavily depends on the amount of data being transferred: More data means more time and money. You may also want to consider what platform the data is being moved from, and the potential complications it may present.
Once migration is complete, your developer may run tests to ensure the transfer went smoothly, which may further multiply your expenses.
Factor 3. The complexity of your software
Just as with size and migration, more complex software requires more time and greater funds. Simply put, more features equates to more complex development.
While there are many bells and whistles available, you probably don’t need them all right now. Determining which features are absolutely critical for your software can aid in lowering your initial development costs.
Factor 4. Integrations required
If there’s software you’d like to integrate with your custom software, there’s a chance it will drive up the cost of your overall project, but it really depends on what software is involved.
Common software integrations, such as PayPal or MailChimp, may take no time at all. Your software developer is most likely already familiar with such integrations, making them a simpler to take on.
Lesser known software, however, is a different story: Your developer may not know how long integrating that software could take, or how much it will negatively impact your budget, until they get started.
Factor 5. Software maintenance
Unfortunately, the cost of going custom doesn’t stop when development is complete, just as the costs of owning a house don’t stop once it’s been constructed: Software requires maintenance.
Ongoing maintenance ensures that your software continues running efficiently and effectively. Moreover, your software may require occasional upgrades to continue adequately meeting your needs.
Putting a Price Tag on Custom Software
Given how much custom software can vary, it can be difficult to pin a specific number to your project. But keep the five aforementioned factors in mind when guesstimating your potential development costs.
To get a general idea, most U.S. software developers charge roughly $100 to $250 an hour, which puts the cost of most custom software projects somewhere between $30,000 and $750,000+.
If you want to cut that price in half, hire a blended team of both U.S. and international members. Such teams often ask for $50 to $100 per hour, bringing the cost of most projects down to around $10,000 to $500,000.
Most businesses, however, will only need to budget for the lower end of these price ranges, often under $100,000. If you work with us, we will maximize your budget by selecting the right tools to build your project. That way, you’ll receive the quality software you deserve but at a lower cost.
Looking to Maximize Your Budget?
Software development is a costly venture, and developing highly complex, customized software pushes that price point even further. That’s why you need a team who can help you get the most out of the funds you have available.
Since 2008, ClikFocus has built custom software for clients with varying budgets and needs. As a small team, we will partner with you to determine the best software solutions for reaching your goals.