Cost of SaaS Application Development (Planning, UI/UX, Front-end, Back-end development, Project management)
What is the cost of SaaS Application Development? If you too want to follow the trend and start working on SaaS then this will be the first question that might come to your mind. Here in this blog, we are going to discuss the cost of SaaS development in detail by defining the factors that affect the cost and then how much every process might cost you in the entire software development life cycle.
Top factors affecting the cost of SaaS application development
The business logic consists of the overall working of the SaaS application. It also comprises the purpose of the application as well as the outcomes that are supposed to solve the needs of the users. It is the basic foundation that is used to decide the features and functionalities of a product. Business logic would consist of the following:
- App’s size
- Tech stack of the back end and front end.
- Number of external integrations
- The complexity of the SaaS solution
- Number of team members
The architecture of an application means how its components are arranged and how they interact with each other to fulfill the technical and business requirements. The most important aspects of a SaaS application architecture that can affect the development cost are as below:
- All API integrations added to the app
- Scalability and many more.
In short, the more components your application has or the more complicated it is, the more hard work it would demand from the developers and money from the product owner.
Scope of SaaS product
The product scope is something you have to decide. It is completely up to you to determine whether your SaaS project is about developing a tool or a platform because the features and functionalities for them will be varied accordingly. The time and money required to develop them will also be distinguished which will impact the overall development cost. A SaaS platform will have a broader scope in comparison to the tool. The platform will have a function that can be used for multiple purposes meanwhile the function of a tool has its limitations. If you need an example then Google Workforce is the perfect example of a SaaS platform and Buffer is the perfect example of a SaaS tool. So, according to that the features vary in both cases which also affects the money and time needed for the development.
The price of a SaaS product is determined because of the features it offers. And the types of features that come with SaaS applications can also determine how much it will cost to create the product. The core features of the product should require focus initially. But once they become fully functional as per their expectation, it is important to draw attention to creating a full-fledged product. In any case, as we discussed above, the number of features, their type, and their complexities are the factors that most impact the total cost of SaaS development. Some of the must-have features of a SaaS app are mentioned below:
- Analytical tools
- User permission and role-based access management
- Billing and account management
Before you start creating a SaaS application, you have to decide whether you want to create the entire backend of the app right from scratch to provide room for high-level customization or just use some third-party API integrations. Such APIs are picked to provide standard functionalities such as login, subscriptions, and payments. This way you can save a lot of money and time that would be wasted on development.
The API integration has API methods that allow CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations. They contain some primary techniques that can be used to access and manage the data via RESTful APIs. Businesses can leverage the existing functionalities with other apps through seamless API integration. Additionally, the APIs help automate the system and share the data. Still, developers have to follow best practices like managing scalability issues, auditing for vulnerabilities, choosing reliable APIs, reviewing documentation, and more. Every such practice is a small process in itself that demands knowledge, precision, and expertise to accomplish the tasks. And everything including the time to complete those tasks affects the SaaS app development cost.
You have to choose a platform for your SaaS application. For example, a B2B organization would need to develop a web app as their clients would mostly use either a desktop or a laptop. Whereas on the other hand, a B2C organization may agave to create a mobile app as their customers are most likely to access the product through their smartphones. Although the content might remain the same, the UI/UX would change affecting the total cost of SaaS application development.
Many people might believe that after the SaaS development is complete, it’s the end of the story. But there still comes a phase where some expenses have to be made for maintenance, hosting services, database, and integrations. So this has to be included in the total cost of ownership by the product owner. Now, in the next section, we will get into the discussion of how much the software development project processes would cost.
Cost of SaaS Application Development
Some stages of software development need time and great capital investment. Here, we are going to estimate the cost of SaaS application development by taking the level of development as our guideline.
- The validation and planning phase (40 – 250 hours)
- MVP or POC creation (300 hours or more)
- UI/UX designing (120-250 hours)
- Front-end development (400 to 600 hours)
- Backend development (up to 800 hours)
- Post-release support and project management
Planning and validation
You must ask your potential customers what they want. Define your goals and then plan to get what you want. After that, start creating an MVP. It will give you an idea of what you or your customers want. Creating an MVP can cost you somewhere between $25,000 to $50,000. But it is a good idea to verify whether what you are doing is worth doing before you go all in.
Designing the user experience for a SaaS app
UI/UX designing is another important aspect of cost of SaaS application development. It’s a key to the users’ interaction and their experience. Great emphasis has always been put on UI/UX designing as it is the phase that can help you provide as best user experience as it can be. You can gather feedback on your MVP and make changes accordingly. After you are completed with UX/UI designing, don’t forget to test them thoroughly. The cost of UX design is somewhere between $30 to $50 per hour.
Choosing the right tech stack is very important in the software development process. You have to consider everything you want for your application, all features, and functionalities to decide on which technology framework is going to be more helpful to you to make that dream come true. You might also want to consider whether you want to outsource your development project or you want to hire in-house developers, the latter is more costly. You can also hire freelancers. Whatever the case, the quality of work and the ease of communication must be your top priorities. A front-end developer costs about $20 to $80 per hour.
SaaS applications have a somewhat complicated backend so it needs to be built right from the scratch. But the cost for it is very high so this strategy must be implemented in exceptional cases only. You can use the APIs to easily provide the backend at affordable rates. Backends are important because they are used to build necessary data structures and security. The general cost of backend development is somewhere between $20 to $100 per hour. The time for backend development can be around 20 weeks to cover all the stages of it.
Maintenance and Support
Developing and deploying a SaaS application aren’t the only costs you are going to have to bear, as long the product is being used, it is going to cost you. If you want to stay relevant in the market and keep fulfilling the needs of your users then you have to provide regular updates, new features, some improvements, and fix bugs or issues of course. You have to make sure that there is a development team or a maintenance team in place that keeps your SaaS product perfectly maintained and supported.
How to Cut Cost of SaaS Application Development?
The main methods to create a SaaS app is in-house, outsource or with a white label development company. Having your staff tends to be the most expensive, which only a few companies can afford. Outsourcing or buying a ready white label application, will save you a great amount of your budget. And going ahead with a trusted white label development company is so also much more reliable and risk-free.
With Zangi Simple White Label Solution to specifically create social media or communication/messaging applications, the cost for everything altogether costs starting from $13,000. Which means all the steps: from design to development to support will be done for you and still you’ll end up going to market in a very short time, spending much less than you would have to otherwise.
Another place to save on is server maintenance, and instead utilizing Cloud or AWS.
So the question remains the same, what is the cost of SaaS application development? I hope after reading the article, you have got a rough idea about the development cost because there is not a unified answer as the costs vary from project to project based on the requirements. In this article, we have discussed the main factors that affect your cost of SaaS application development. So I hope that after considering your requirements, you will be able to calculate them easily.
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