Web App Development: How Much Does It Cost and How to Create One?

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Web App Development

Developing a web app is a huge commitment,  especially from a financial standpoint. It’s not so much the initial costs that will get you. It’s all the maintenance and updates that will make web app development a risky venture. Still, the benefits of having one’s own personal app is too tempting to not at least try.

So, the question now is how much could this theoretical web app cost, and how do you do it properly? That’s exactly what we’ll be talking about today. Here are some solid strategies to make sure your budget goes towards the right aspects of web app development.

How Much Does Web App Development Cost?

To cut to the chase, the prices for web app development are incredibly variable, and that’s not even accounting for regular upkeep. The cost of an app could be anywhere from $2500 to $250000 depending on the scale of the project and any web app redesigns. However, here are some baseline costs based on incredibly successful web apps.

Simple Web Apps

Simple web apps are typically the cheapest, and even that is a debatable point. In contrast to other web apps, they are cheaper, but they’re still pricey. At the very least, the initial costs likely won’t be hitting six figures, and a baseline of $20,000 is a safe bet for small apps. Of course, once again, there’s no real industry standard other than “It won’t reach 100,000”.

Hybrid Complexity

These are a blend between simple web apps with a few “fancier” features. These are features such as third-party integration, chat functions and real-time support. The definition of “complexity” is once again very variable, but one thing’s for sure, the likelihood of reaching past $100,000 in development costs is very real.

Fully Realized Apps

These apps are the workhorses of the industry, and require not just regular upkeep, but constant innovation. The biggest cost driver of industry standard apps is the sheer number of users that are on their app meaning more team members. The baseline here is well into the $300,000 range, and will only rise. Most web apps that are semi-popular will be around this range due to upkeep costs.

Industry Standard

When an app has become the killer app that people use, especially of its a live service, development and maintenance costs easily start getting into the hundreds of millions of dollars. For the most extreme example, according to Statista, the hit streaming service Spotify costs upwards of 912 million euros to upkeep. The web app segment of that would most definitely account for a chunk of that hundreds of millions.

Where To Start

Now that you have some idea of the costs of creating apps at different scales, it’s time to actually start making one. First of all, think of a purpose for the app that you believe people will want to use. From there, finding the right IT team and pitching them the app you want made will take some research of your own.

Types of Web Apps

Multi-Page Applications

These applications use, as the name suggest, multiple pages to reach all of its different functionalities. While most web apps are most certainly going to be like this, as it’s the industry standard and is easily understood. Apps that use this feature would include e-commerce sites and educational sites. 

Single Page Applications

In contrast, a single page application puts everything the user needs in one convenient page. The page does not refresh when opening these features, as they are all baked in. Most social media use single-page applications in their designs, particularly Facebook and Twitter. Other “simpler” apps such as Gmail also use single page applications.

Languages to Use

While there are dozens of front end and back end languages to learn that could be used for developing a web app, there’s just no denying that there is one top dog in the industry as far as web development goes. This would be Javascript, the unequivocally most common language in the world wide web today, thanks to its versatility and longevity in the industry.

In fact, even other popular languages such as Ruby on Rails and Python still have to keep compatibility with JavaScript in mind due to how likely it is for their websites to interact with a JavaScript based website. A/B Testing between different languages is just expected. HTML and CSS are still the industry standards today, and there’s a reason why JavaScript knowledge is still so chased after today.


Web app development is an incredibly complex topic, and the sheer variety of web apps and functions out there make summing it up concisely impossible. Still, the information provided here should give you a good baseline of what to expect when you enter this high risk, high reward world.


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