How Long Does It Take to Build a PWA
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As you probably already know, PWA is, in short, a type of online application that resembles native apps for iOS and Android in functionality but is installed and used straight from the browser rather than being downloaded from the app store. But how long does it usually take to build a PWA from scratch or with a slight initial nudge and assistance? Let’s find out.
Table of Contents
1. BA & Product Discovery
PWA building, just like any other IT project, starts with an idea, the formulation of which must answer two questions - what are you creating and why. Then comes a more comprehensive product discovery phase, which contains business analysis, market research, and PWA spending and requirements outline.
The bigger your business and the more ambitious your project is, the more time you’ll need to get this stage sorted, which will also directly correlate with the project’s overall cost. However, it might be inadvisable to cut back on this phase as it will help immensely during the later development stages.
Thoroughly implemented, this first phase can ensure the proper allocation of resources and save you unnecessary expenses on further changes and fix-ups. In terms of time, it can take from 15 hours in small-scale PWA’s up to 100 and more on enterprise-level projects.
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2. UX/UI Design
Creating a winning design means having the application be user-friendly, intuitive, accessible, and easily adjustable while staying elegant and pretty. Not the easiest task to accomplish - therefore, this stage has to accommodate both your target audience and your own vision.
Design can make or break your future PWA and deservedly takes up a massive chunk of your project’s total time and resources that are measured and distributed across standard hours per day. Usually, UX/UI PWA stage duration also varies depending on the project’s size and can be:
- 50-90 hours total for compact applications with less than average amount of functionality;
- 100-200 hours for midsize PWA’s (most common);
- 200-400 hours for macroscale projects that require lots of features and extensive testing.
3. Web Development
The longest and most labor-extensive stage is the actual development of the application consisting of frontend, backend, and technical documentation. These three parts of the development stage can usually last 60 to 400, 80 to 500, and 8 to 50 hours, respectively, making it a total of up to 950 hours.
The application’s database comes first since it has to store its data somewhere, only then do developers start with frontend and backend, often interchangeably. Each team will use its own trusted set of tools and software, which will affect the PWA turnaround time.
The last one in and taking roughly 40 to 80 hours, depending on how well the first three stages were performed, is Quality Assurance and PWA testing stage. The team’s QA engineers access the app’s functionality, user experience, and check for potential bugs before deployment.
A standard PWA evaluation covers reliability testing to see if the app can accurately adjust to its environment, manual testing of the app’s behavior on different devices and browsers, software-based, and cross-browser testing to check loading and offline functionality.
A total progressive web application development time is typically 3-5 months, with each of the four stages we mentioned above taking approximately 2-4 weeks. The major time deciding factors are the project’s complexity and the number of initial requirements.
With all that in mind, the progressive web app cost can range from $6,000 to $8,000 as a bare minimum for smaller applications by teams from Eastern European or Asian backgrounds to $50,000 and even higher for complex PWA’s made by US and UK specialists.
One more thing to consider while calculating the time and how long to build a PWA - the developer’s tech stack. Whether it’s made with Angular, React.js, Node.js, etc. - ask your team directly beforehand.
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