An MVP (minimum viable product) by definition is a product with just enough features and functions to satisfy first customers, and to generate feedback for the following development. There are a lot of kinds of MVPs, depending on the kind of business you are targeting. In this article, we will focus on the MVP in Web Development. If you have a great idea for a business but don’t have the budget for a full-scale website, or you want to try out something, prove a theory that involves a website then an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is the best possible choice.
A lot of startup businesses can’t afford a website so the first internet page is often an MVP or in this case a Minimally Viable Website. What does it mean? This means that it will not possess all of the features and function you plan for it. It’s a barebones version of a website that is planned, however, it should be able to address the needs of the user and most importantly to kickstart your business.
Why should I care about MVP in Web Development?
Without further ado, here are the benefits of the MVP approach are:
- Less cost
- Quicker launch
- Gauge interest
- Foundation for further development
While we are at it, here are some free tips for building an MVP for a website:
- Make sure you have your branding done – you don’t have a second chance to make a first impression
- Build your MVP on a scalable web platform so it can grow with your business
- Have a marketing strategy – don’t expect people to come just because you launched a website
Well, let’s take a look at this example. Imagine that your goal is to build an online music editor. The MVP for a website like this can’t have many editing or exporting tools. However, it should present some basic features, like volume and tone control, maybe some special instruments that you will desire. This way it will address the target audience and will receive first feedback.
From our experience, we can say that most of the MVPs have a lot of similarities. Since in this article we are talking about MVP in Web Development, then it makes sense to describe the most common features for you. Off course, we will include the average costs for these features, so you can calculate how much does MVP for a website cost for you.
The cost of MVP in Web Development
Here you can see a list of the development stages that are necessary to create an MVP site:
- UI/UX design – how the MVP will look and feel, the interaction of users with your website
- HTML/CSS implementation of design – conversion of design to code
- Back-end programming – the server side of your website
- Front-end programming – coding the part that users see and interact with
- Automation tests – getting rid of the majority of bugs
- Manual tests – final stage, checking the flow and finishing with the bugs
First of all, we have to establish something. Every website must have at least two user roles:
- Registered user
So keep in mind every one of the features has to be designed for each role.
Without your personal preferences and the features you plan to implement you we strongly recommend to include the following steps and features into your calculation of the MVP for a website cost.
On this stage, we will design the logo, pick the color scheme and even set a style guide for you. Don’t worry, every decision will be coordinated with you.
Approximate estimate: 48 hours
Initial and back-end development
Now we will design the databases, run some necessary initial deployment scripts, select and configure back-end and front-end tools.
Approximate estimate: 48 hours
Registering and security
This is when the two users roles are coming into play. We have to create a way for users to register and log into the system using their email and password or via social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, G+.
Approximate estimate: 96 hours
If you plan to accept payments from your customers in a form of a donation or you plan to sell anything you will need a way to do that. Your users should have a way to pay you for a product or a service you provide. Usually, it is implemented via one-time payment or subscription plans. Don’t forget that these functions are different for registered users and visitors. So, the visitors should be able to pay using their credit cards or choose a service plan based on the information you provide. And the registered users will want to see a history of their payments, manage the methods of payment, and change or pause their subscription plans.
Approximate estimate: 108 hours
This is the type of content that will be created and edited by the users. For example, posts, images, sounds, any other kind of data. The collection of available types of content is selected by you. As always, all functions are designed for at least two types of users. So registered users should be able to add or create content on the website and browse through already uploaded data.
The visitor of your MVP website should be able to search and browse through the content as well, but the ability to create, edit or delete should be disabled.
Approximate estimate: 180-240 hours
Note: this estimate is very rough because it depends heavily on the type of content you want to be on your MVP website. Obviously, if data is complex then it will take more time to develop tools to manage it.
Comments & Likes
Well, this is easy to explain. You already know this stuff. However, it is a very powerful tool to engage users in our MVP website. Traditionally, registered users can comment and post likes, and the visitor can only read comments view the number of likes.
Approximate estimate: 72 hours
If you decide that your MVP website should be a platform for conversations and other social interactions then we can add this functions. We recommend restricting this functions to registered users only. This way they will be able to send messages to each other, add and remove other users to friends lists, follow other users, reply to a message, and view messaging history.
Approximate estimate: 144 hours
The purpose of a landing page is to convince visitors to register. It has to be interesting and inviting. So it shouldn’t be a surprise to you that this kind of pages takes quite some time to develop. Usually, the main page is the landing page. This page has pretty much the same functions for visitors and registered users. The main idea is that the user will see your landing page for the first time he will become interested in your product or service. Keep in mind, that this page can take some additional time to develop, based on your demands and wishes.
Approximate estimate: 24 – 36 hours
Summing up the cost of MVP in Web Development
We were talking about development costs in different countries in one of our previous articles. Feel free to check it out. If you are not up to it, here’s a quick reminder. The cost of one development hour depends on:
- a country where the company is based, the level of life in that country
- a company, how famous, big or experienced it is
If you want some real numbers, here are the average rates:
$50-250 – North America (plus Japan and South Korea).
$35-170 – the UK and Western Europe.
$50-150 – Australia and Oceania.
$20-120 – Eastern Europe.
$20-90 – South America.
$10-80 – Asia (mainly India and China).
Keep in mind, that the quality rate may differ from country to country. It depends on a lot of factors, we won’t dig into that now, but we will tell you this. If you are targeting some particular market, make sure that the development company knows all the little things about that market. For example, if you are creating some kind of shopping tool for the US, then the development team must have information about the current local market’s state in order to produce a viable website.
Now you can calculate the cost of MVP in Web Development by yourself. Just add up the hours needed to developed features you are interested in and multiply them by the development hour rate.
Here’s an example with all of the mentioned features included and development was made by an Eastern Europe country for a $35 development rate.
720 hours * $35 = $25,200
Keep in mind that a number of hours can be very different depending on the difficulty of the task. So the best way to really know how much does MVP in Web Development cost is to contact us.
So, what do we have to say in conclusion? Now you are well informed about what is an MVP in Web development, why do people create this MVP websites, and last but not least the cost of MVP site. Also, now you know what are the key elements of such MVP site, what are the most common features and what purpose do they serve. At the end, we would like to remind you that you could use some templates or open source examples to save you time and there are a lot of SaaS solutions you can try out, but they will not be as flexible and powerful as a standalone MVP site. So go on turn your ideas into reality.