4 Ways to Develop a Web App on a Budget

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A web application, also known as a web app, is a software program that runs on a web server and is accessed via an internet browser such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer.  

The cost of a web application can vary widely, ranging anywhere from $5,000-$150,000 depending on size. Fortunately, there are few ways to help you to better control your budget.

1. Define Your MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

Used in many agile development methods, the minimum viable product, MVP for short, is a process in which you develop the minimum features necessary to make your web application functional for your earliest users. The feedback provided by your application’s early adopters is then reviewed and used to establish future application upgrades.

A client that can define their MVP will be able to better control the scope of their project and its budget.

2. Use a Quality Focused, Well-Rounded Team

Who you select as your web application developer can have a big impact on the cost and quality of your web application. Many companies will make the mistake of selecting their web developer based on the lowest hourly rate or even the second cheapest bid. This often leads them to a volume based developer that is only interested in accomplishing the bare minimum feature specs in the fastest time possible.

When it comes to your selection, make sure that you are choosing a team that is well rounded and can provide both web design and web application development. A good team of designers/developers are able to make design and development decisions on the fly, resulting in a product that both looks good and functions well, all while reducing communication and project management costs.

3. Client-Assisted Quality Assurance Testing

Making up as much as 20 percent of any web application budget, quality assurance (QA) testing is a big line item in your web application’s cost. A client that is willing to participate in QA testing is able to reduce the overall development budget, while ensuring the product being developed meets their functional requirements.

As an added benefit, clients that participate in the QA testing process also benefit from team members that are better trained on the use and features of the web application. This can pay big dividends after the product’s release by improving your team’s ability to promote and support the new web application.

4. Prevent Scope Creep

Probably the most obvious but also the most important factor in keeping your project on time and within budget is scope creep. Scope creep can occur when the function of an application isn’t well defined and more requirements creep into the range of requirements. Fortunately, if you went ahead and defined the MVP at the beginning of your process you are already taking a big step in preventing scope creep. But, there are several other ways that you can help your web application stay on track with both features and budget.

It is very common to have the larger than life ideas in the development process. When this happens it is important to ask yourself first, then decision makers within your team, and finally your development team a few basic questions:

  • Will the application function without this feature?
  • What is the impact on the user – will the feature reduce effort, time or frustration?
  • Will this feature impact other areas of the application?
  • Can this feature wait until future iterations?

By going through and answering these questions for yourself and with your team’s decision makers first, you are able to better curate the ideas brought up the chain to your developer. This helps reduce potential project management time and costs needed for your developer to estimate and plan how your feature would impact the web application scope, budget and timeline.

If developing on a budget still seems like a challenge, Fuzzy Duck is always here to help you stay on track. Just contact us for an estimate today!