While software development can be costly at times, keep in mind that you may find that this isn’t always the case. Budgeting for software development can be difficult at times, however, since there are a number of factors that will influence the final cost of this type of IT project. Development costs will vary from project to project, and even from developer to developer.

Image 2: Software Development Cost Estimation: How to Estimate the Cost of an IT Project

In order to get a good idea of what to expect for a software development estimation, keep the following factors in mind.


The type of software that you need developed will be one of the biggest factors that will influence your software development cost estimation. Simple apps that can be developed quickly and easily will cost much less than more complicated software, such as a full-scale CMS. Larger and more complicated projects will take a developer more time to complete, and as we all know, time is money in the world of business.


If you need a new piece of software developed, like, yesterday, you can also expect your software development cost estimation to be higher. Tight deadlines are not only inconvenient for many, but they also take time away from other projects that a developer could be working on.


Generally, a software development cost estimation from an IT or software development firm will be higher than a cost estimation from a freelance software developer. Large firms generally have more expenses and higher overhead, especially when the wages of the employees are calculated in. Freelancers, on the other hand, typically prefer to work from the comfort of their own homes and have no employees. This translates to lower costs for both them and you.


There is often a big difference in software development cost estimations from developer to developer. Software developers can charge anywhere from $20 to $300 per hour, depending on the scope of the project and the skillset required. More qualified and experienced developers are typically in the higher end of this spectrum, while lesser qualified or experienced developers are in the lower end. An individual developers location also seems to have an influence on the estimated cost of a software development project. Software developers who live and work in countries with low costs of living can – and often do – charge much less than those in countries with higher costs of living. The only problem with hiring software developers in the lower end of the cost spectrum is that they may or may not be qualified and experienced enough to handle your project.

By now, you most likely understand that software development cost estimation is not an exact science. Before you hire any software developer, keep in mind that it pays to do your homework. That developer that gave you a super low estimate may seem like a great deal, but is he qualified enough?

A reputable software developer should be willing to give you a list of references and show you a polished portfolio. He or she should also have the experience and required skillset to tackle your project professionally. By shopping around for a decent software developer, you’ll save yourself a great deal of time, frustration, and money.