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How to Determine The Cost of Custom Software Development?

Author: Hemendra Singh
by Hemendra Singh
Posted: Jul 31, 2019
custom software

Software software software everywhere. Want to store data from your customers? Use a software. Want to make complex calculations? Use software. Want to edit your video or audio file? Use a software. There is software for everything. The software engineering market has reached USD 5,758.65 Million in the year 2017. Source:.

Softwares are of two types. General software and custom software. A general software is released publicly for a wide range of audience. For instance a voice editing software. Karaoke software is also a type of general apps. These apps can be used by anyone.

The customer software is something that is developed specifically for an organization or an individual. This software has unique features and functions. Since every business might have different requirements, custom software development is preferred.

Custom software is not developed for the mass market. That is the major reason the custom software is expensive than general software. Softwares are used by every industry such as travel, hospitality, healthcare, fashion, retail, etc.

It is not possible to predict the exact cost of custom software development. Usually, organizations outsource software development to well-reputed development companies. Many organizations outsource it to freelance developers.

Usually, developers charge it on an hourly basis. The charges of hourly rates can differ developers to developer and company to company. In this article, we are going to discuss what determines custom software development cost.

1. A number of screens

The number of screens in software development is equally equivalent to the cost of development. Since the software has more screens, it is clear that it requires more work. Hence the cost gets increased. Usually, small size software has 10 to 25 screens.

Medium sized software has 25 to 40 screens. Large sized software has more than 40 screens. Software usually has a home screen with different buttons that lead to other screens.

If it is a data management software, it can have screens to store data, see data, and to analyze that data. Small software cost 40 to 75k US dollars. Medium size software cost 75 to 150k US dollars. Large size software cost 150k plus US dollars.

2. Complexity level

If the software has complex functions and features, it is obvious that the cost increases. Development of complex software requires more time for coding and testing. If you are creating a software with complex features like analysis of big data, it certainly needs a lot of work and time.

The complexity level of custom software decides who is going to develop it. Companies can hire fresher developers for creating simple software. But complex software needs highly experienced and skilled resources. Both the type of developer charge different as per their skills.

3. Integration with other systems

In custom software development, the client might have certain requirements that need integration with other systems. The cost calculation changes due to the integration of external software.

Integration of external software or application adds a cost of that software. If the integration is of any payment application, it becomes easy for developers but if it is about some complex app, the process gets difficult. Here, the cost of external application applies with the addition to the cost of the complexity level.

4. Design

When we say custom software, we do not mean only unique functions. We also mean a unique design. Designing has always been an interesting job. Creative designs win the hearts of clients.

As per the client requirements, designers apply fonts, colors, palettes, and images in software. The clients might also demand unique animations or illustrations in the software. Many clients opt for custom software development to get the best design as per their convenience.

The designing part usually cost about 8000 US dollars to 16000 US dollars. If your software has some really difficult illustrations and animations, the cost may vary.

5. Cost of Resources

As mentioned in the article, different resources charge different costs. A software development process does not involve only developers. There is a whole team.

The team involves team leader, developers, designers, UI UX developers, software testers, etc. In general software, it is sold out to the mass market and hence the resources get paid every time.

But resources get paid only once in custom software development. You being the client has to pay each and every resource of the whole team.

6. Latest Technologies

The software can be fun. To make a software extremely interactive, it is highly important to add the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

Again to work on AI or AR, the number of codes increases and so the level of complexity. Hence the cost varies according to the technology. The development process involves different platforms and frameworks. Such tools add to the cost.

7. Management system and quality control

While hiring a software development company, businesses should check the level of maturity of that company in the matter of management. Businesses can go with the cheapest software development company but after ensuring excellent management skills and quality.

Make sure the company you are hiring has earned certificates after regular audits. Every good custom software development company has goods internal management of software and it meets the quality standards every time. Since the company conducts regular audits and hire only skilled resources, their cost can vary from others.

8. Timeframe for delivery

Business usually gives enough time to developers. Many times clients have no idea how long will it take to develop the custom software. They give the time required by developers.

But in some cases, businesses require custom software in very less time. In such circumstances, the cost may increase. Many companies have emergency rates in the rate cards. Since the resources have to work for extra hours, the cost increases.


It is simply impossible to tell the exact cost of custom software development. Since the software is specifically developed for a company or an individual, the software cost estimation can be difficult. These were the factors you can consider while predicting the cost of custom software development.

About the Author

My name is Hemendra Singh. I am Managing Director and Co-Founder of The NineHertz, a Mobile App Development Company. My ideology is that, a clear vision and hard work builds a great company.

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Author: Hemendra Singh
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Hemendra Singh

Member since: May 29, 2018
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