Web App Development

Code and Effect has been designing and developing custom web applications in Edmonton for over 12 years. We do an in-depth review of your existing processes, clarify your pain points, and then build you a web app that drives results.

What do you mean by “Web App”?

We mean any website or portal with advanced functionality--from member-only areas to ecommerce, to reporting, to wizards that guide users through complex processes. This is custom software development where the software is designed to run in any browser!

What type of web apps do you develop?

We develop web apps that solve business problems. Simple as that. Our experience spans many industries and organization types, each with unique and interesting challenges, but most of our projects fall into a few buckets: business tools, custom ecommerce, and member portals. 

What kind of business tools do you develop?

We develop business apps that replace paper-based forms, messy excel spreadsheets, and legacy desktop software. We bring along all of the data and workflow from these old systems but move them online to be accessed by staff and customers from anywhere. These business tools are often business-critical and have an obvious return on investment. You might be thinking of an example that applies to you right now--and yes, we build that.

What kind of ecommerce websites do you develop? 

We develop custom ecommerce websites when a vendor platform (e.g. Shopify or WooCommerce) can’t meet your business needs. Check out our page on custom ecommerce development for more details.

What kind of member portals do you develop? 

We have been fortunate enough to have worked with a large number of professional associations that need member portals to support their membership. Each of these associations has different bylaws, accreditation requirements, complex application processes, and professional development management processes.

The member portals that we develop provide the association membership with everything they need to maintain good standing within the organization, and for the associations to have everything they need to effectively serve their membership.

How much does web app development cost?

Well, it depends ;) That’s like asking “how much does it cost to build a house?”. How big is the house? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? What kind of appliances? And a hundred other questions.

It’s the same with web app development: What problem are you trying to solve? Who are your users? Do you need to integrate with other apps? And a hundred other questions. 

But we have a recommended minimum budget of $50,000, split into two phases:

Discover and Plan is our process to answer all the unknowns. The standard Discover and Plan starts at $15,000. It’s our tried-and-true way to get the information we need to get a clear blueprint to develop your app and provide you with an accurate estimate.

Develop and Launch, where we build out the web app we planned together, starts at $35,000.

How long does it take to develop a web app?

Similar to asking how much does app development cost, how long it takes to develop an app depends on many factors. Discover and Plan usually runs for 6 to 8 weeks. Develop and Launch is a minimum of 12 weeks, and will depend on the size of the project. You can expect most app development projects to run for a minimum of 18 weeks.  

Are there ongoing costs after my web app is launched?

Yes, but not from us. We will set you up as the billing contact for your hosting and third-party integrations. The typical minimum cost for these services is $50/month. Code and Effect does not charge you a fixed retainer or monthly cost for support--you’ll only receive an invoice if you’ve requested and approved work.

We optionally offer a more complete support package via Support and Improve. Historically we see new projects invest an additional 20% of their original budget post-launch.

What is your process?

We have a set process: start with Discover and Plan to understand your needs and scope the work, implement with Develop and Launch, and then provide long-term sustainability with Support and Improve.

How do you communicate during a project?

We use structured meetings! All projects have a weekly or bi-weekly meeting scheduled for the duration of the project. Meetings always have an agenda filled with the project updates and questions sent ahead of time. These agendas are powered by Tadum, our meeting and agenda software. We’ll also add you to our project management software so that you have complete transparency.

What type of customers do you work with?

We work with customers across a variety of industries and business types. Instead of a specific niche, we usually work with customers with one of these 3 problems:

  1. They have existing software that isn’t meeting their needs;

  2. They have looked into the available vendor solutions, often through Research and Recommend, but can’t find one that meets their needs; or,

  3. They have a new business idea that they need a partner to develop because they don’t have the expertise in-house. 

What technology do you develop your web apps in?

We develop all of our web applications using Ruby on Rails. It’s the best technology available for creating business-centric web applications, and we have many tools built out already that we can leverage for new projects.

Do you integrate with other software?

Yes. We are able to integrate with most software, either via the documented API or by dumping your data so that it can be manually imported. Example integrations we can develop for you include email newsletters (e.g. MailChimp, Constant Contact), accounting software (e.g. QuickBooks), marketing software (e.g. Infusionsoft). 

Do you have experience with vouchers and grants?

Yes. We have worked with many customers who have accessed funding. Examples of funding sources we have worked on are through Alberta Innovates vouchers and the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program.

Can you import my old data?

Yes! We can import almost any data into your new web app, it doesn’t matter if that data is stuck in an old MS Access database, a spreadsheet, a WordPress website, or anywhere else. 

Can I export my new data?

Yes! You will have the tools to easily export data, so that it can be loaded into another application, like an Excel spreadsheet. 

Do you use offshore developers?

Generally, no. It’s been our experience that the challenges working with offshore developers makes it easy for a project to miss deadlines and go over budget. We prefer to work with our local network of trusted partners.

Who owns the intellectual property?

You do! As part of every contract, we ensure as much of the intellectual property as possible is owned solely by our clients. We retain no license for your project and cannot reuse or resell it.

When are you able to start?

We generally start new projects 1-4 months after acceptance of a proposal, depending on our existing obligations. But if the timeline is a concern, no problem, we can probably make it work--just ask!

How do I get started?

Let’s have a conversation: we’ll talk about your needs and make sure we’re a good fit for one another. If we aren’t a good fit, we probably know someone in the Edmonton app developer community that we can introduce you to.