Ludovic Frank - Freelance developer

A few notions to help you understand the cost of a web developer

ionicons-v5-k Ludovic Frank Jun 6, 2022
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Hello ?,
Just as everyone in the world understands why one car can cost up to 50 times more than another, in the web world there's sometimes a lack of understanding of prices, especially since the advent of certain advertisements promising to get everything for nothing.
In this article, I'll try to guide you and give you some real figures on pricing in the web and development field.

In the first part, we'll cover the basics, and in the second, we'll take a look at some very concrete cases.

The basics of pricing

Time is money

There's a well-known adage that sums up this first point: depending on the project, the creation time can vary from a few days to a few months. For some large projects, it can even take years, but even with a "simple website", you can have a site up and running in an hour or a week, depending on what you want.

The technologies used

So, in fact, whether you're creating a website, a web application or a mobile app, there are dozens of technologies that do "the same thing", the difference is "the market".To be really good with Redux, for example, you need to be highly specialized in that field, so development costs easily rise. A developer who is less versatile for one task will be more expensive in his specialty (because he's rarer).

The developer's experience

Following this first point, the second to take into account is experience, and you may ask "Why?"It's relatively simple: an experienced developer will accomplish the same task as one who is much less experienced, in much less time.Knowing that in the tech and web world, 90% of the time we're doing things "for the first time", what's the difference between an experienced developer and a less experienced one? Experienced developers know how to learn fast and apply what they've learned quickly. In my opinion, a good developer has spent a great deal of time on galleys that have honed his ability to adapt.

It's all about investment

As a company, it's simply illegal to spend money for no "return on investment". A company that spends money must eventually earn more than it spends. So, when you create a project, what are your ambitions? What do you expect from it? Depending on this, the expenditure gauge will be different. However, there's still one problem: when you start spending larger sums, you need to build up real trust with the person you're working with.
Made-to-measure" will always cost more than generics
It's possible to use tools to do things quickly, but I call them generic. In fact, you can easily recognize the sites/applications that use this kind of tool, because in the end they all look the same. Some tools for Wordpress, for example, produce sites that all end up looking the same, which isn't a bad thing. It meets a need: to have a site for a few hundred euros, or a maximum of €1,000.


A lot of companies think that all they have to do is put a site online, and overnight they'll have a huge gain in visibility. That's why, in addition to development, you need to be accompanied by people who know the web inside out, and who are capable of supporting you in your adventure. Otherwise, you'll simply be losing money.

Concrete examples of web projects with figures

OK, let's move on to the part that interests you most: how much? We're going to cover a wide range, from real projects to "imagined" ones.

This website

Come on, let's not look too far, let's take the site you're currently on, let's not drag out the suspense, this site has cost me over €40,000 in time.

Now, at this point you're probably thinking "but that's enormous, why?"

I'm going to start giving you the beginnings of an answer by telling you to search for "freelance web developer" on Google, or search for "Symfony application cost", or if you live in the greater Nancy area, just type "Création site internet" on Google?

And then you should begin to understand what I'm getting at.

By creating this website, I've created the business referral that brings me over 95% of my customers, yes!

As I write these lines, I can tell you that the investment in this site has already paid for" point of view, it's clearly an asset, giving me visibility and enabling me to meet very serious people with specific needs.
To get to this point, I had to do an enormous amount of SEO work.

A simple Wordpress showcase site

A showcase site with Wordpress can be done quite easily for under €2,000, or even less than €1,000 in some cases. But don't expect miracles in this case: you can put this site on a business card, but it alone won't do much for your visibility.
In fact, if you look at the €70/month site offers you see all over the place, over one year that's already €840, and over two years it's €1680, so I'll let you do the math over 10 years?

An online store

This is a very interesting case, because it's the kind of service where prices can vary enormously. Let me explain: you can get by with a simple store for €60 a month, but a boutique can cost €60,000 or more. So what accounts for this amazing diversity in pricing?

As mentioned above, "made-to-measure" is more expensive than "generic", and for a boutique this is even truer. In fact, depending on your business and the logistics required, there are things to put in place, such as logistics automation, for example.

This automation comes at a price, and of course you'll need to write code - code that won't bug, because if your logistics system does bug, it means that the worst thing that can happen to an e-tailer will happen to you: your customers won't get delivered.

On the other hand, you may need a basic system: when a customer places an order, the order is transferred to your suppliers, who take care of everything.
In this case, a fairly generic system is sufficient.

Of course, this also takes into account other things like referencing and so on.

A mobile application

There are many ways to create a mobile application, including what's known as "native", i.e. directly using the technologies made available by iOS and Android to create your application.You can quite easily reach €40,000 for a not very complex application with this kind of technology, which is one of the reasons why we see very few mobile applications in small and medium-sized businesses.

Aside from the "native", there's what's known as the hybrid, with a mix of web and "native" technologies, some more web-oriented (Ionic Framework, Hotwired Strada) and others more native-oriented like React Native.

It's therefore possible to divide the cost of your application by 3 to achieve a satisfactory result. However, before talking about the cost of the application, I think it's necessary to ask the question "What's it really going to do for me?

From a personal point of view, I'm not at all interested in native technologies; having my own applications to maintain, I use hybrid technologies.


The world of the web is vast, and understanding what you're paying for seems essential to me, so I've tried to create a no-nonsense article to help you understand more precisely why the price of services can vary so widely.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.

I wish you a very good day...