How Much Does It Cost to Build an e-Learning App?

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It is an ill wind that blows no one any good. The truth of this adage is vindicated once again when we look at the aftermath of the global pandemic. While for some industries the vicious attack of microscopic organisms was a curse, causing drastic shrinkage and even closure of companies, other sectors stood to gain from the recurrent lockdowns and other limitations. But such a positive outcome becomes possible only if stakeholders adopt novel approaches to addressing the challenges at hand. 

The education realm is one of those that takes the situation in its stride, holding the fort and even expanding due to the ushering of specialized software that made remote learning accessible for millions of students and teachers.

covid-19 impact on software by industry

Such a robust growth turns the edtech industry into an appealing investment niche, with the estimate of online education websites and apps market to top $243 billion in the next year. 

However promising the revenue prospects in the domain may seem, even budding entrepreneurs realize that one must thoroughly examine the lay of the land before taking any steps in the direction of launching an edtech project. One of the factors that can influence your ultimate decision whether to embark on any business venture in this industry is the expected cost of building an online learning platform or app. 

Table of contents

Cost of E-learning Development: Summands to Consider

Website or Apps for Education Cost: The Nitty-Gritty of Calculation

Summing It up

Being a seasoned player on the market of edtech products, Multi-Programming Solutions knows that there are three major factors that condition the cost to create e-learning app or site.

The Product’s Nature and Complexity

Determining the ballpark sum you will have to fork out starts with the choice of the education software piece you plan to create. Typically, entrepreneurs opt for either an e-learning platform/site or a mobile app. The cost of e-learning app or platform greatly depends on the number and nature of features you want to see in it. 

An education website development presupposes the existence of three sets of basic elements catering to the purposes of all user types. 

Students are to enjoy foolproof signing in and profile management, a search system equipped with several filters (conventionally, level, rates, price, and language ones), transparent information on subscription and payment options, course discussions, and knowledge gauging opportunities (tests or quizzes).

Teachers should be able to have a special profile of their own, the ability to share all kinds of learning material (videos, links, photos, texts), submission and editing of courses they developed, live-streaming mode, and screen sharing.

Admins must exercise full control over the activities of users at the platform, track statistics, and fix issues once they crop up. 

And don't forget about the landing page. This is the storefront of your site used by visitors to form the first impression of your company. So, if you want to turn them from random viewers into loyal users you should pay serious attention to the design and content of the landing page. Ideally, it should contain basic information about your team, its goals, and services extended to customers of all categories (primarily, students and instructors). 

The must-have functionalities for an e-learning app encompass registration and log-in systems, dashboard, notifications, payment system(s), progress monitoring, polling, reviews, and ratings. A great forte of an app is its offline mode availability and its users can enjoy it once you opt for building an e-learning PWA

You can choose to add some advanced features which, of course, will drive the price of e-learning app up. Such functionalities may include interactive content sharing and learning mechanisms, video streaming, document storage, social media integrations, analytics, progress tracking, chat/forum, multi-language support, etc. 

The Required Tech Stack

The software and tools necessary to implement an edtech project are determined by the features mentioned above and the target audience. If you are building an app, you will have to utilize iOS and/or Android front-end development software (React, Native, Java), HTML, CSS, and Adobe Illustrator for UI, AWS for cloud data storage, MySQL or MongoDB for the database, PayPal, E-Wallet, or Stripe for payment integration, Push.IO or Twilio for push notifications, to mention a few. 

The more cutting-edge your product is with a scope of advanced features, the more expensive technologies it will require for creation (AR, VR, breakout rooms, in-app camera, session recording, etc.).

The Roster of Experts

First of all, you will need a business analyst who will conduct preliminary research to see whether there is demand for your product or the market is already overcrowded with similar apps. As for the development team, it typically consists of a project manager, an Android/iOS developer, a couple of programmers, a front-end and a back-end developer, a QA engineer, a graphic designer, and a UI/UX designer. 

And this is for an average app. The number of project team members to build a more complex product must be multiplied by (at least) two, which tells negatively upon the final cost to develop an e-learning app that is rather feature-rich.How to Create an Educational App

The benchmark of all calculations is the number of hours required to build each feature. Talking about an education website, the quickest to build is the landing page (around 40 hours). The admin panel is likely to take the developers about 180 hours and features for teachers – up to 380 hours. But the longest to create are features for students. They are your core target audience so catering to them is what you should prioritize. And paying close attention to this category of users will take approximately 440 hours of engagement. 

After doing simple addition you will arrive at the ballpark sum of 1040 hours that the development of an e-learning site will take. And such estimations were made assuming it is an average-scope platform with the standard set of functionalities. Going advanced is sure to increase the amount of work and thus the startup costs for education website.

Similar math is applied when calculating the time needed for building an e-learning app. Yet, since apps are student-centered, you can save on the teachers’ side of the story. This will narrow the user audience but cut down on the budget. Yet, don’t think that a high-quality education app is a bargain-price endeavor since even the vanilla version is going to take quite a time to develop.

The fastest in the build are push notifications and in-app advertisements (starting with 40-50 hours of work). A little longer the developers will handle sign-in and log-in functionalities (at least 60 hours) and payment integrations (at least 80 hours). All other features are going to take over a hundred hours – from around 150 for video streaming to 250 for chatting. All in all, 800+ hours is a safe bet when we talk about developing a standard-size e-learning app.

Yet, apps are tricky. All these calculations hold true for a native app meant to run on either Android- or iOS-powered devices. If you want your product to be available to both categories of gadget owners, you will have to splurge on two apps, which doubles the work scope. To avoid it, you can opt for launching a PWA. This state-of-the-art technology allows to receive a product that grants UX of a native app that users get from interacting with an upgraded website. 

Such apps provide flexibility to be used on devices with any screen size, weigh little, load in no time, don't require installation on a device, and can be found through search engines. The unique asset that gives them a significant edge over classical websites is the ability to function with intermittent or absent internet connection. Moreover, such apps are much faster (and thus cheaper) to build. The enumerated fortes make PWAs an extremely inviting option both technologically- and finance-wise.

Now you know how long it takes to develop e-learning software. To translate the workload into monetary units, you are to apply one more arithmetic operation – multiplication. In order to gauge the cost to develop an e-learning app or website, you should multiply the quantity of hours by the hourly rate vendors charge for their services. How can you know this second number? 

To get a precise figure, you should contact the particular vendor who will brief you on their pricing policy. Yet, you can form a general idea of the budget you will have to allocate going by the geographic location of the software development company. The highest hourly rates (anything between $150 and $180) are charged by North American vendors. A notch lower are the rates of West European companies ($90-$120). The cheapest services are offered by developers hailing from South Asia (around $15). 

The latter figure seems the most attractive but going for the steal offer isn’t the best way to take. Unless you are ready to compromise the quality. The most optimal solution is to look for a maximally balanced price/quality ratio. With this end in view, the wisest choice is to recruit developers from Eastern Europe. For instance, Ukrainian companies charge $35 on average and build high-profile education software which will cost you $16 000 – $20 000 in gross. Multi-Programming Solutions is an excellent option in this respect since we can deliver a cost-effective e-learning app that will impress your customers with exquisite design and superb functionality.

How to Monetize E-Learning Application

Edtech products are gaining remarkable traction, what with the ubiquitous digitalization and contemporary reliance on remote activities in various industries. Being an enticing investment opportunity, e-learning site or app is never a bargain-price issue. To figure out the cost of the product, you should take into account the number of features it is going to contain, the list of specialists to implement them, and the location of the outsourcer that you will enlist to build the software of your dream.

E-LearningJuly 14, 2021
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