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What does bespoke software development cost?

How do you estimate the cost of a software development project? Suppose you want to pay a software development company to build a bespoke web application. Can you get a rough idea of the cost before you start looking for a supplier?

We’ve built a simple estimating tool that will give you an idea of what your project will cost.

There are three things to know before you try the tool and get your estimate.

  1. You need to pick a day rate - what your supplier will charge you for each day of work.

    That rate depends a lot on where you’re based. Software development day rates here in Sheffield are lower than in London. £550 per day for a Sheffield software development company seems reasonable. In London you might want to use £750 a day.

  2. You need to estimate the number of screens or forms in your application. That’s data entry forms and screens with lists or tables of data. We’ve assumed that each screen will take 0.5 days of actual coding.

  3. Most web applications include some standard features. Pick the ones you think you’ll need in your application.

We use some rules of thumb to calculate the total number of days needed to design and develop your application. For example, we think that every 5 days of coding generates 0.1 days of project management. The table below shows the rules of thumb we use in the estimator tool.

Chargeable Activity Days per 5 days coding
Project Management 0.2
Requirements capture - problems to be solved 1
Software design - screen & menu layouts, branding etc 1.5
Software coding (actual development) 5
Software testing 0.5
Meetings with client 0.1
Support for Client during acceptance testing 0.1
Support during roll out/release 0.1

Here's the estimator tool. Remember - you need a rough idea of the total number of screens in your application.

Rate: £

Remember, this is just an estimate. It gives you something - a point of reference - to work with when you start getting quotes from software development companies.

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