A Detailed Guide on Software Development Cost

If you are looking to build software for your business and have a question – how much does software development cost? This blog answers all your questions.

This question not only troubles you but almost every business looking to develop software. As a leading software development company we know the challenges of estimating software development costs.

In this blog, you will have a clear understanding of the following topics.

  1. The cost associated with the software development.
  2. The factors influencing the software development costs.

Let’s first discuss the cost of software development.

How Much Does Software Development Cost? [Quick Answer]

Software development costs for small/medium software may range from $25,000 to $250,000+.

These considerations include how complex the project is, what particular technologies the team uses, where the developers are located, and which engagement model the company used to hire software developers. In addition, maintenance, updates, and continuing support can have further influence on the price. Let’s first look at the table highlighting the cost and timeline of the simple, medium, and complex software.

Here is the table of software development cost breakdown.

Type of SoftwareEstimated TimelineEstimated Cost Range
Simple Software1-3 months$25,000 – $50,000
Medium Software3-9 months$50,000 – $250,000
Complex Software9+ months$250,000 and above

Note: The above-mentioned cost ranges are approximate figures. The exact cost relies on the project specifics, hiring models, and geographic location.

Now you know the average cost of software development, to help you get the exact cost let’s discuss the factors influencing software development costs.

6 Main Factors Influencing the Cost of Software Development

Here are the factors influencing the cost of software development. Note that the cost mentioned is the approximate cost. The cost to develop software totally depends on your software requirements. However, with this cost, you will know the overall budget of your software.

  1. Type of Software Project

    Software development costs vary significantly based on the type of software project with CMS, CRM, and ERP systems due to their comprehensive nature and integral role in business operations.

    Custom Software Development

    Custom software development projects involve creating software from scratch. This is done through planning, designing, coding, and testing.

    Type of Software ProjectFeaturesCost
    Inventory Management System
    • Inventory tracking
    • Real-time updates
    • User access control
    $20,000 – $100,000+
    Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
    • Contact management
    • Lead tracking
    • Analytics
    $30,000 – $150,000+
    Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software
    • Financial management
    • HR management
    • Production management
    $100,000 – $1,000,000+
    Content Management System (CMS)
    • Content publishing
    • User management
    • SEO features
    $10,000 – $100,000+
    Supply Chain Management (SCM) Software
    • Supplier management
    • Logistics tracking
    • Inventory control
    $50,000 – $250,000+

    Software Modification

    In these projects, the changes are made in software that already exists. Such improvements may include updates in features, bug fixes, improvement of speed and agility, and adaptation of the software to business specifications. In many cases, such projects need a deep knowledge of the current software code. Get the application modernization services from Space-O Technologies to modernize core infrastructure, migrate platforms to the cloud, and other legacy modernization services.

    Type of Software ProjectFeaturesCost
    Adding new modules
    • Enhancing existing functionality
    • New APIs
    $5,000 – $25,000+
    Bug fixing
    • Code analysis
    • Debugging
    • Security patches
    $2,000 – $10,000
    Performance tuning
    • Optimizing for speed
    • Load testing
    • Caching
    $5,000 – $30,000+

    Software Integration

    Software integration projects involve combining multiple software systems or components to work together seamlessly. Integration can be horizontal, where different applications within the same organization are connected, or vertical, linking different software layers within a single system. These projects are essential for improving efficiency and data flow.

    Type of Software ProjectFeatures to IntegrateAssociated Cost
    Inventory Management System and eCommerce Platform
    • Inventory synchronization
    • Order processing
    • Real-time reporting
    $30,000 – $150,000+
    Payment gateways
    • Real-time transaction processing
    • Fraud detection
    $20,000 – $100,000
    API integration
    • Communication between diverse software
    • Data mapping
    $15,000 – $75,000+
  2. Software Size

    Before covering all the software sizes, check out this table containing the cost for each software size.

    Software SizeCostFactors Affecting Cost
    Small-scale Business$25,000 – $100,000
    • Scope and complexity
    • Technology stack
    • Development team size
    Mid-scale Businesses$100,000 – $250,000
    • Integration needs
    • Scalability and security
    • Customization
    Large Enterprises$250,000 – $5,000,000
    • Regulatory compliance
    • Extensive features
    • Robust infrastructure

    Small-scale Business

    • Small-scale startups have constrained budgets, so the average software development costs of startups are relatively low. Most often, the primary focus is on developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) software in order to enter the market rapidly for which these startups reach out to top software development companies.
    • Startups reduce costs by utilizing cost-effective technologies and outsourcing development. Agile methodologies are frequently utilized to accommodate altering requirements.

    Mid-scale Businesses

    • Compared to start-ups, medium-sized enterprises require software that is more complex and scalable. To facilitate increased functionality and customization, the costs are moderately higher.
    • Integration with current systems, data security, and the requirement for scalability are all significant cost factors. These companies mostly hire in-house or specialized development teams.

    Large Enterprises

    • Large enterprise software deals with highly advanced and complex software projects that need large financial resources. Depending on the industry and specific requirements, their software costs may differ significantly.
    • The greater cost is a result of factors like regulatory compliance, vast feature sets, and strong infrastructure. Enterprises frequently choose custom-built solutions and are able to maintain a dedicated team.
  3. Ready to Determine Your Software Development Costs?

    We provide custom software solutions for startups, mid-scale businesss, and large enterprises to fit your budget. Talk to our experienced team to get guidance for cost-effective options.

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  4. Geographic Location

    Location is a significant factor when it comes to defining custom software development costs. In this industry, the availability of skilled professionals, the cost of living, and the level of competition varies as per the region.

    These variations have a direct impact on the cost associated with the recruiting and retaining of a software development team. The important part is to realize that cost is not limited to the developer’s salary but also involves office space, utilities, and other variable administrative expenses.

    As per the Accerlance, here is the table containing the region-wise cost of the software development.

    CountriesHourly Rates of DevelopersInsights
    Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka$21 – $82
    • Densely populated with a strong IT focus.
    • Vast talent pool offers competitive rates.
    Philippines, Vietnam$30- $90
    • Rapid tech sector growth.
    • Leading in outsourcing.
    • Rates rising due to increased demand and improved English capabilities.
    Hungary, Poland, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Armenia, Belarus, Ukraine$49 – $210
    • Region with a mix of countries offering a range of tech expertise.
    Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay$28 – $105
    • Trending for nearshore outsourcing due to time zone advantages.
    • Rates are increasing due to high demand and competition from global firms.
  5. Technology Stack

    A selection of the technology stack is important in determining the costs of software development. This stack encompasses programming languages, frameworks, libraries, and tools used in creating software applications.

    The choice of a technology stack influences the cost in multiple ways. For instance, licensing fees for proprietary tools and development time and resources for certain advanced technologies might affect technology stack decisions.

    Here is the table containing the software development costs based on technology selection.

    Licensing FeesCosts associated with licensing certain technologies or tools.Proprietary database management systems may require costly licenses.
    Developer Availability and RatesThe cost and availability of developers proficient in a particular technology.Developers specialized in less common technologies may charge higher rates.
    Maintenance and ScalabilityTechnologies that are easy to maintain and scale can reduce long-term costs.Easier debugging and maintenance can lead to lower long-term costs.
    Integration CapabilitiesThe ease with which a technology can integrate with other systems or tools.Smooth integration can expedite the development process, lowering costs.
    Long-Term ViabilityLong-term support and updates for technology can reduce future migration or re-development costs.A technology likely to remain supported will reduce future costs associated with migration or re-development.
  6. Complexity of UI/UX Design

    User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are crucial for any software application since they affect how users engage with the software as well as how users perceive it.

    The complexities of UI/UX design include visual elements, user journey, and the general usability of the application. Designing good UI/UX may result in higher user satisfaction and participation, but it usually consumes more time, effort, and money.

    Here is the table containing software development costs based on the complexity of UI/UX design.

    Complexity LevelElements of UI/UXCost
    Low Complexity
    • Clear navigation
    • Simple forms
    • Minimal interactivity
    $10,000 – $30,000
    Medium Complexity
    • Responsive design
    • Interactive forms
    • User-friendly navigation
    • Custom graphics
    • Moderate interactivity
    $30,000 – $70,000
    High Complexity
    • Custom animations
    • Advanced interactivity
    • Personalized user experiences
    • Immersive virtual reality (VR)
    • Augmented reality (AR) components
    • Complex data visualization
    $70,000 – $150,000
  7. Hiring Model

    The hiring model highly affects software development costs. The employment model determines who will be responsible for the development and maintenance of the software.
    Here are the primary hiring models.


    Freelancers are self-employed developers, providing programming services on a per-project basis. Hiring these freelancers is also cost-efficient because, unlike full-time employees, you only pay for their services when you need them. However, managing a team of freelancers can be complex and requires specific project management skills.


    An in-house development team consists of full-time professionals from your company. Payroll, benefits, and other overhead costs may make this option more expensive, despite the increased control and accessibility it provides.


    Software development outsourcing is the process of hiring a software development agency or team to develop your custom software, which is often situated in another region or country. This approach may save money and provide access to a worldwide talent pool, but it may need careful vendor selection and project management.

    Here is the table containing the software development costs based on hiring models.

    Hiring ModelCost RangeProject FlexibilityCost Control
    Freelancers$20,000 – $100,000+Easily adaptable to changing project needsPotential for cost overruns
    In-house$100,000 – $500,000+High level of control and customizationFixed employee costs
    Outsource$30,000 – $200,000+Access to a diverse skill set and expertiseLimited control over external team costs

Now that you know the cost of software development and the factors influencing the cost, let’s learn a few of the tips to reduce these software development costs.

12 Tips to Reduce Software Development Costs

Here are 12 tips to reduce software development costs.

  1. Utilize Feature Flags

    Employing feature flags can allow developers to turn features on and off without requiring code deployments. This facilitates smoother rollouts and enables quicker rollback in case of issues, thus saving time and reducing costs.

  2. Prioritize Technical Debt Management

    Allocate time in each sprint or development cycle for addressing technical debt. Managing technical debt regularly can prevent it from accumulating and becoming a larger, more expensive problem in the future.

  3. Utilize a Monorepo

    A monorepo can simplify the management of code and dependencies, making the software development process more efficient. Consult with your development team to understand the benefits and whether a monorepo is right for your project.

  4. Optimize the Development Environment

    Work with your development team to ensure a performance-optimized development environment. An optimized environment can increase developer productivity, thus reducing the time and cost of development.

  5. Detailed Planning and Requirements Gathering

    Invest time in planning and accumulating requirements before beginning development. Define the scope, objectives, and functionality of your software project with precision. This will reduce the probability of costly modifications and scope expansion during development.

  6. Open Source and Reusable Components

    When feasible, use open-source and reusable components. The amount of time and money spent on software development can be lowered by using open-source libraries and frameworks. Also, reusable code components can reduce the time and effort required for future projects.

  7. Agile Development Methodology

    Make use of an agile development methodology like Scrum or Kanban. Agile iterative development lets you select and create the most important features first. This approach aids in cost management by gradually delivering value and facilitating adaptability to changing needs.

  8. Outsourcing and Offshoring

    Outsource your software development to countries with cheaper labor prices. But be careful and pick the right partners with a good reputation to ensure quality and safety. Select from the best software outsourcing services providers only. Outsourcing can be a cost-effective method of gaining access to qualified developers while keeping control over the project.

  9. Automated Testing and Continuous Integration

    Set up methods for automatic testing and continuous integration (CI). Automated testing aids in identifying and resolving issues early on, which reduces the time and expense of rectifying these issues later in the development cycle. CI streamlines codebase integration, eliminating integration issues.

  10. Cloud Computing and Serverless Architecture

    Use cloud computing and serverless architecture to reduce infrastructure costs. These services let you pay only for the resources you use, expand or reduce them quickly, and don’t require big tech purchases upfront. Cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud provide cost-effective alternatives.

  11. Code Review and Quality Assurance

    Maintain frequent code reviews and quality assurance techniques throughout the development cycle. You may save expensive bug repairs and rework later in the project by recognizing and resolving problems early on. This approach guarantees that your software is both cost-effective and of good quality.

  12. Invest in Training and Skill Development

    Think about making investments in your internal development team’s training and professional growth. Well-trained developers are frequently more efficient and make fewer errors, decreasing the time and expenses involved with error correction. Training may also help your team embrace the most up-to-date best practices and technology, further streamlining your software development process.

Now that you know the tips to reduce software development costs, let’s discuss the cost estimation process of software development at Space-O Technologies.

Software Development Cost Estimation at Space-O Technologies

While working with more than 1200 clients around the globe we found the most common challenge that our clients faced before developing custom software was unclear knowledge of software development price estimation. Such unclear knowledge results in an overrun of software development costs, development timelines, and improper allocation of resources.

Therefore, being aware of such challenges we assist our client to estimate software development cost. The estimation framework helps you understand the terms of the project, including what work will be done, how long it will take, and how much it will cost. It works as an essential document to ensure everyone is on the same page before starting the project.

At Space-O Technologies, we have a simple and reliable custom software development cost estimation process for our clients.

Initial consultation

We start the process of software consultation by contacting the client through a consultation call. During this call, we establish collaboration and ask specific questions about your app idea. We also consider your business requirements, goals, and business size during the call.

Requirement Gathering

After knowing your business needs, expectations, and requirements we determine the resources needed to develop your app. The determination includes the development team member requirements, technical specifications, personal preferences, desired release date, and resources needed.

Preparation of Quote

Once we gather all the necessary information on your entire development process our business analyst team prepares an initial development cost and provides your work-breakdown structure. With this, you will know the ballpark amount for your software development.

Proposal Presentation

After completing the evaluation process, our team offers a detailed proposal with an estimated software development cost. The proposal also includes

  • Software development time estimation
  • Details of development teams
  • Project requirements
  • Cost breakdowns
  • Methodology
  • Project terms

Want to Get Software Development Project Cost?

Our team of experts will help you get cost estimation for your software development with our simple and reliable process.

If you still have doubts about the software development costs then check out the next section about the FAQs associated with software development costs.

FAQs About Software Development Cost

Are there any hidden costs involved in software development?

Here are the hidden costs involved in software development.

  • Changes and modifications to the project’s scope can result in an increase in development duration as well as costs.
  • The cost of software licensing, apps, and third-party services can add up over time.
  • Expenditures for hosting, servers, or specialized hardware may be required.
  • Unanticipated problems could necessitate additional testing and debugging efforts.
  • The ongoing maintenance and upgrades might result in additional costs.
  • Protecting your software with strong security methods may cost you extra.
  • Expenses associated with project administration, team meetings, and communication.

How much time does it take to develop software?

The average timeframe for developing software ranges from 2 to 8 months.

Depending on the project type, smaller projects take around 2-4 months, medium complexity projects require 4-6 months for development and complex projects take around 6-12 months. These figures are approximate, the exact cost depends on the following factors.

  • Complexity and depth of the project.
  • Size and expertise of the development team.
  • Selection of programming languages and tools.

How much does it cost to hire a software developer?

The average cost to hire a software developer ranges from $25 to $120+ per hour.

For a junior developer the cost ranges between $30-45/hour, for a mid-level developer the cost ranges between $45-70/hour and for the experienced developer the cost ranges between $70-120/hour. Still, these figures are approximate, the exact cost varies based on the following factors.

  • Experience and skill set of developers.
  • Location of the software developers
  • Project’s complexity and scope
  • Types of hiring models (In-house, outsourced, freelance)

Let us Help You with the Cost of Software Development

By reading this blog, you will have a clear idea of the cost of software development. This blog has provided you with information covering everything from custom software development costs and the factors influencing the cost. Along with the cost you have also covered some of the insightful tips to reduce the cost of software creation.

However, if you still have some doubts about the software development cost we are here to help you. We are a leading software, web, and mobile app development company with experience of 13+ years.

Our skilled software development team has 100+ custom software solutions that helped more than 1200+ businesses to transform. Get in touch with our experts today and get your custom software development cost estimation.

Bhaval Patel

Written by

Bhaval Patel is a Director (Operations) at Space-O Technologies. He has 20+ years of experience helping startups and enterprises with custom software solutions to drive maximum results. Under his leadership, Space-O has won the 8th GESIA annual award for being the best mobile app development company. So far, he has validated more than 300 app ideas and successfully delivered 100 custom solutions using the technologies, such as Swift, Kotlin, React Native, Flutter, PHP, RoR, IoT, AI, NFC, AR/VR, Blockchain, NFT, and more.