How to reduce the price of custom development of a web service or mobile application

Creating an individual web service or mobile application from scratch is expensive, and often the price is the main stop factor for an order. It will be cheaper to create a website using a CMS, but this solution has limitations, the complexity of implementing unique functionality and reduced work speed are not the main ones. Much more problems may arise due to vulnerabilities: CMS are widespread and studied by hackers inside and out. Because of this, hacking such a site and stealing data will not be difficult.

If this is not your option, you can optimize the cost of custom development. There is no “magic wand”, and the cost of an individual solution will not be equal to a template, but you will eliminate unnecessary costs. We tell you in the article how to do it.

Choose a “transparent” company

You should start by choosing a contractor. Often, the prices of IT companies are not publicly available, but some indicate a price segment. Take a closer look at those developers whose cost of services corresponds to your budget, make a small list of “favorites”. On personal acquaintance, find out how the cost of the project is calculated.

It is good if the contractor is ready to tell you what exactly is included in the development price, how much an hour of work of different specialists costs, offers to choose a convenient payment scheme — Fixed Price or Time & Material. When working with open companies, the probability of unreasonable margins decreases. Developers provide regular reports on completed tasks, time spent on it, and the client always knows what exactly he is paying for.

Do not neglect the design stage

Careful preparation for development can also save you from financial losses. Therefore, the inclusion of an analyst in the team will help save money in the future. Together with the customer, the specialist will think over the functionality of the product so that during the development process you do not have to make major edits. The addition of bulk modules, changes in business logic after the start of work significantly increase the time, and, accordingly, the cost of the product.

Also, the analyst will make a clear technical task for designers and programmers. TK is discussed with the client, all important points are clarified in the process. Only after it is agreed upon, the development of a web service or mobile application begins. The rigor and unambiguity of the technical task will help to avoid misunderstandings with the team, eliminate the risk of related corrections and stretching the deadline.

Don’t delay testing

Ideally, it is worth starting tests shortly after the start: the earlier the bug is detected, the easier and cheaper it is to eliminate it. If you postpone the search for errors to later stages of development, there is a risk of getting a “snowball” — initially a small problem becomes overgrown with connections, and in order to fix it, you will have to rewrite a larger amount of code. According to the IBM Institute for Systems Research, the cost of “repair” after the release will increase by 4-5 times compared to the UX/UI design stage. If a bug is detected already at the maintenance stage of the product, the price of fixing it may increase by 100 times.

In order not to have to pay for fixing the service at late stages, you should not save on the services of a tester. His inclusion in the team at the start guarantees you timely detection of bugs and low cost of fixing them.

Avoid rare technologies

It’s not easy to find a developer who understands a little-used framework. Accordingly, you will have to pay more for his services: this will affect both the cost of developing the project and its further support. There may even be a situation when you will not have specialists capable of servicing the service or mobile application. The only solution will be the complete processing of the product using up—to-date technologies – it will cost as much as creating a new one.

To avoid such problems, choose a contractor with a reliable stack consisting of popular and developing tools. For example, React, Vue, Angular frameworks are currently in the top of current technologies for frontend development, but it is difficult to find a developer on EmberJS, Backbone or Sencha right now. These technologies are no longer supported and are not updated, so it makes no sense to use them in the project. Node is relevant for the backend today.js, Django, ASP.NET, Laravel.

For mobile development, opt for a cross-platform solution

If you need to submit applications to the AppStore and Google Play at the same time, it is not necessary to pay for the work of two teams. There are cross-platform technologies that will allow you to create one universal application. For example, we use Cordova and React Native frameworks for this.

There are projects for which such a solution is not suitable: for example, if a client needs some kind of unique UX, it is better to implement it using native technologies. The performance of the universal product will be noticeably lower in this case. But if the business logic of the project does not imply complex, non-standard functions, then a cross-platform application for the end user will be indistinguishable from a native one. For example, React Native technology even allows you to include fragments of native code in the application and work with them.

Despite the controversy surrounding cross-platform development, this is a profitable solution if the project does not require non-standard logic. Such an application will look like a native one, and users will not think about what it has “under the hood”.

Let’s summarize

In order for the development of a custom product to take place without unnecessary expenses, competent planning is necessary. It is important to pay attention to the “little things”, starting with the choice of a contractor. Some expenses in the process only seem superfluous: the decision to save on analytics and a tester often leads to much larger overpayments in the end. It is better to invest a strictly defined amount in the development of technical tasks and catching bugs than to lose an unlimited amount of money on alterations, edits, improvements and bug fixes in the finished product. A proven technology stack will help to avoid problems with the support of the service or application in the future, and cross-platform solutions will reduce the cost of creating a mobile application.

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