ruby on rails development cost

There are a lot of reasons that could prevent you from making business decisions, especially when it comes to technology. Undoubtedly, the fear of not receiving a satisfactory return on your investment is high on the list.

We at Mallow have addressed this concern for many potential clients for over a decade, guiding them towards making the optimal choice.

We believe that every potential client who approaches us should have complete assurance of the outcome they can expect. This article presents a cost estimate for developing a Ruby on Rails application while partnering with a development team like Mallow.

What factors influence the cost of developing a Ruby on Rails application?

Types of resources

The roles of those working on your project are one of the most significant factors that impact the total cost of your development project. Essentially, your number of resources for each service type directly impacts your application development budget.

Enlisting specific resources to meet your needs may be necessary if you are considering establishing a development team. Below is a list of the different types of resources development projects use and when you might expect to need them.

  • If you have decided to create a Ruby on Rails app, it is essential to have a developer on board. Depending on the requirements of your application, you may require both front-end and back-end developers to take care of UI and business logic.
  • To ensure optimal performance and effective hosting of your Ruby on Rails application, it is highly recommended to include a resource from the DevOps team.
  • If you’re experiencing a roadblock due to a lack of proper user experience in your app, it’s recommended to enlist the help of a design expert who can significantly enhance your application’s overall UI and UX.
  • If you are seeking ways to enhance the overall quality of your application, it can make a significant difference to include experienced quality analysts in your team.
  • If you require guidance on how to transform your business idea into an application, it is recommended that you involve business analysts in your development process. The pre-development phase of your application creation process involves extensive brainstorming, which includes deciding what problem the application is intended to solve and how, what functionalities it should possess, whether the end-user flow is logical, and so on.To ensure that these considerations are taken in the right direction, it is crucial to have a Business Analyst work in conjunction with your application development team to determine the best approach for achieving your goals.
  • If you are seeking to ensure that your team works together towards a common goal by effectively managing resources, mitigating risks, and implementing efficient planning, it is highly recommended that you consider including a project manager.

You may be unsure about team building if it is something you have never done before. If you are suddenly tasked with assembling a team, you may wonder where to start, how to proceed, and when to stop.

Take a look at the table below, which provides an overview of the various types of resources and capabilities to consider before including them in your development team.

Types of Resource Capabilities
  • Builds new applications
  • Revamps existing application
  • Provides maintenance support
  • Writes reliable code
  • Does unit testing
  • Builds and maintains APIs
  • Improves application’s overall performance
  • Coordinates with project managers for architecture planning
  • Create scripts to automate deployments
  • Setting up CI/CD
  • Deploys updates
  • Adheres to proper security measures in the production workloads
  • Analyses the root cause for hosting-related errors in production
  • Does risk analysis of the application
  • Audits the project architecture and suggests the best practices
  • Monitors the health of the application
  • Implements procedures to tackle system troubleshooting and maintenance
  • Ensures the application meets the current industry standards
  • Analyses the customer needs and implements the same in prototyping
  • Ideation of designs
  • Execution of proper theme and colourations as per the expectations
  • Works on implementing user interface
  • Ensures the way of presentation is compatible enough
Quality Analyst
  • Ensures the quality of the software delivered
  • Develops and executes plans for testing
  • Implements and monitors test scripts and monitor reliability and performance
  • Monitors and recommends preventive measures
  • Suggests corrective actions
  • Investigates customer complaints and product issues
  • Drafts quality assurance policy and procedures
Business Analyst
  • Acts as a consultant to your business idea
  • Evolves your raw business solution
  • Acts as client’s representative in handling the team
  • Builds requirements and wireframes
  • Suggests enhancements to the business solutions
Project Manager
  • Collaborates efficiently with the client and external team
  • Ensures proper communication and meets the sprint deadlines
  • Handles overall project management
  • Ensures the development process is optimised efficiently
  • Entirely manages and coordinates the project

Size of your development team

The number of team members should be proportional to the number of tasks to be completed. The size and number of teams you choose will directly impact the overall cost of your application development, so it’s important to choose efficiently. Plan ahead and allocate tasks carefully to determine the appropriate team size.

Avoiding frequent changes in team members can help maintain a smooth development process and prevent additional costs associated with knowledge transfer and other team procedural requirements. By minimising disruptions, you can save time and reduce expenses throughout the application’s development.

Below is a table that would give you a rough idea of how the size of your team should be based on the different types of tasks that development teams usually handle.

Size of the team VS Capabilities A Developer 2-3 Developers Squad – Includes 5-12 members Multiple Squads
Minimal requirement (MVP) Not Required Not Required
Handling basic project complexities Not Required Not Required
Handling both frontend and backend dependencies Not Required Not Required
Implementing multiple features and integrations simultaneously Not Required
Maintenance of an application with medium-level complexity in features and architecture Not Required
Maintenance of an application with high-level complexity in features and architecture
Sharp Deadlines/Short- spanned deployments
Working on multiple tech stacks simultaneously Sometimes not enough
Carrying multiple modules in an enterprise-level application
Handling applications demanding multiple and complex integrations
Handling enterprise-level systems which involve microservices and serverless architectures

Levels of expertise

Choosing the right combination of expertise for your application development team can significantly reduce your overall development cost.

Although it’s commonly believed that the more experienced the team members, the better the quality of work, this is not always the case, instead, you should focus on the skill sets of your team members to optimise your development process.

Not all tasks in the application development process require multiple team leads or associate team leads to work on them. Similarly, it’s not feasible to expect a junior developer to lead an entire team.

Therefore, it’s essential to categorise tasks based on the level of expertise required to complete them efficiently. By outlining your entire requirements and determining who will be responsible for what based on their expertise, you can ensure that your team is optimally utilised.

It’s understandable that your initial requirements may change as the process evolves, but having an initial work plan in place can help you avoid uncertainties.

The table below provides a rough idea of how the proficiency of a team member working in your team varies based on the level of expertise they possess.

Levels of expertise Details of the proficiency
  • Ability to write and maintain code
  • Fix minor bugs
  • Write unit test cases
  • Furnish the required development reports etc.
  • Builds code efficiently
  • Automated testing
  • Handles deployments
  • Takes up discussions about project planning
  • Provides maintenance-related support etc.
  • Mentoring the junior team members
  • Reviews the code and architecture
  • Drives the project planning
  • Delivers high-quality tested codes
  • Provides technical suggestions to the team etc.
Associate Team Lead
  • Involving in security and enhancement-related decisions
  • Working with cross-platform developers (DevOps engineers)
  • Formulating software documentation and overall Quality-ensuring procedures
  • Provides technical suggestions to the team
Team Lead
  • Mentors and leads development teams
  • Audits code and architecture
  • Ensures overall quality of the services rendered
  • Visions the roadmap and ensure alignment with the objective
  • Plans implementations based on the business requirements and reviews estimates

How much do different resources cost for a Ruby on Rails project?

At this point, you’ve learned the available types of resources, their capabilities, the significance of selecting the appropriate expertise, and how to determine the ideal team size for your application development.

Cost for a Ruby on Rails project

However, there is more to the process. The primary purpose of providing the information above is to highlight the “cost” associated with each expertise, which will impact your overall app development budget.

The table below provides a rough estimate of the cost of hiring a resource from a specific service based on their level of expertise.

The Monthly Cost (In USD)

Types of resources Junior Mid Level-1 Mid Level-2 Mid Level-3 Senior Associate Team Lead
Developer $2000.00 $2400.00 $2800.00 $3200.00 $4000.00 $5000.00
DevOps $2000.00 $2400.00 $3200.00 $3800.00 $5000.00 $6000.00
Quality Analyst $1200.00 $1400.00 $1800.00 $2000.00 $2800.00 $3200.00
Designer $1200.00 $1400.00 $1800.00 $2000.00 $2800.00 $3200.00
Business Analyst $1600.00 $1800.00 $2000.00 $2400.00 $3200.00
Team lead $6000.00
Technical Lead/
Technical Manager/
Project Manager


Does the development cost varies based on the complexity of the application?

Indeed, they do. To clarify, complexity is the fundamental factor determining your application development’s overall cost. Complexity refers to various aspects, such as the number of modules required, types of third-party integrations, business algorithms, application architecture and other related factors.

The following information outlines how you can expect the overall cost figures to appear when you view your entire project requirements.

Levels of Complexity Cost Average Timeframe
Basic (MVP) $20,000 – $40,000 < 3 months
Average $60,000 – $150,000 3 months – 9 months
Enterprise-level solutions $200,000 – $1,000,000+ > 6 months

*It’s important to note that the above figures are intended to provide a rough estimate of the potential cost range. The estimated cost only includes the expenses related to the services mentioned. It does not account for additional costs such as hosting providers like AWS, Heroku, Azure and third-party services like SendGrid, Twilio, and others. Remember that the estimated figures may change depending on your specific project requirements.

Would Mallow Technologies be a suitable choice for developing my Ruby on Rails project?

While the information provided above is purely an estimation, it should provide you with valuable insights into how you can efficiently build your application development team.

Understanding each step in the team-building process can help you make informed decisions, ultimately leading to better outcomes. As you already know, web development frameworks have evolved significantly in recent years, and Ruby on Rails is a popular web development framework that needs no introduction.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the significance of digitisation. After reviewing the cost details above, you should now have a rough estimate of how much it will cost to develop your Ruby on Rails application.

Interested in knowing more about whether your application would be a right fit for Mallow? Check out this blog that covers if your Ruby on Rails project is suitable to be developed by Mallow

If you have a business idea that you would like to collaborate on, please talk to one of our experts.



Sathish is an accomplished Project Manager at Mallow, leveraging his exceptional business analysis skills to drive success. With over 8 years of experience in the field, he brings a wealth of expertise to his role, consistently delivering outstanding results. Known for his meticulous attention to detail and strategic thinking, Sathish has successfully spearheaded numerous projects, ensuring timely completion and exceeding client expectations. Outside of work, he cherishes his time with family, often seen embarking on exciting travels together.

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