I bet you've heard it many times that web development, mobile application development actually any kind of the development is an expensive business. And of course you have been told that trying to save on development rates will make professional developer run away and you will be left with low-quality code and product. So is there really no way to reduce development costs?
Yes, there is. Any web development company will tell you the best way to reduce costs is to reduce features. And there is a point to it. The main source of project costs are changes. The more changes you make, the later you make those changes the more expensive it will be.
Take a look at this hart borrowed from Agile Modeling
So restrict yourself from making last minute changes to your product. And from my experience I know it is impossible to not want changes during website development or mobile application development. The idea is never final, you always have improvements and some of them are good.
In this case agile development approach comes to the rescue. Planning small sprints instead of the whole project, keeping minds open and team and product owners engaged is something that makes developing a website of any complexity a controllable process.
It may seem that if you make development team to plan everything in the very beginning and if you demand a final estimation with them then that will protect you from surprises, but it won't. Watching a live process of agile development is what will save you some unexpected expenses. You must agree that it is not as much the amount of work that frustrates us, it is the unexpected extras. Agile development will protect you from that.
Demanding final flat rate estimation from development team will result into two things: unexpected costs or low quality code. Either you will agree to pay more or you won't and then the team will be forced to try and find a way to reduce their costs. Don't do that to yourself. Know your rough total efforts and plan in pieces.
With agile approach development company will only plan for 2-3 weeks. This actually an amount of work which can be properly planned and though through. Either they need to develop a website or a mobile application it does not really matter. All they need to know is a business value of the exact sprint. And the business value is defined by you - the product owner.
The most beautiful aspect of agile development approach is that at the end of each 2-3 weeks slots you will receive a complete piece of work. So the next piece you plan will be independent enough to make costs curve change as you see below (borrowed from Agile Modeling)
Most development companies who follow the agile development approach suggest the retrospective. It should be conducted at the end of each 2-3 weeks period. This is a time to define if website development is going successfully. It is a time to compare how much is implemented to how much is spent and it is a a great time to make budget adjustments.
And, of course, you probably thinking of reducing development costs by using off-the-shelf solutions. Might be a good option if you know all pros and cons which you can learn about in this article here
Hope this article will help you make important decisions and find good approaches to development of a website or mobile application!