What are the costs for a website or web application?

Estimating costs for software products (and websites are no exception) is as challenging as predicting the weather for the next week. There are so many factors that need to be taken into account, and yet there is always an element of uncertainty.

Software development is complex and non-linear 

Software development is a complex process that is not linear. It involves many steps, dependencies and unknown variables. The development of software projects requires a flexible approach, as requirements usually change on the go and unexpected problems often arise. It is not possible to plan every step in advance or predict exactly how long a project will take or how complex it will be. Developing software requires creative thinking, constant adjustments and the ability to react to change in order to ultimately deliver a successful product.

"Estimating costs in software development is like traveling through fog: the further you go, the clearer the view becomes"
Norman Ralph Augustine

Clear initial requirements are difficult to define 

Formulating clear requirements for software products is extremely difficult as it requires the precise definition of functionality, user expectations and technical details. Having clear requirements in the first place, let alone formulating them precisely, is a complex and very time-consuming process.

Changes during the project are common 

Even if you start with clear requirements, these often change during the course of the project. Good functionality usually only crystallizes in the course of the project, e.g. after testing the first prototypes. Along the way, weak points of ideas that initially seemed good become apparent or new, better ideas are added. If you do not allow these changes, you prevent the result from improving.

Technical challenges come as a surprise 

Technical challenges are omnipresent in software development and can often come as a surprise. Examples include performance problems that are only discovered at later stages of development and require a revision of the architecture. Unexpected compatibility issues with different operating systems or browsers can complicate development considerably. In addition, external factors such as changes in third-party APIs or hardware limitations can cause unforeseen difficulties.

A rough estimate is better than no planning at all

When asked about specific costs, we would honestly have to answer "we don't know". Of course, we can well understand that this is not a satisfactory answer. On the other hand, we cannot and do not want to make any false promises.

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