The explosion in the relevance of e-Learning over the past two years has generated a demand for various kinds of digital educational platforms. And the deeper the world plunged into the pandemic, the more acute the need for them became.

E-Learning giants such as Coursera, Udemy and Khan Academy were no longer enough – students, teachers, employees of various organizations and the smallest schoolchildren needed more complex, or vice versa, simpler but effective solutions to meet specific needs. In this regard, the demand for specialized solutions increased – university students needed their own platforms that would have functions different from those of companies’ workers undergoing complementary professional education. Therefore, the developers faced a very serious challenge – to develop several versions of software for e-Learning, and in a very short time; investors have new opportunities, and startups – new ideas for an as-yet-saturated market.

So, the question is: what is needed to create a high-quality, working e-Learning platform, and how much does it cost? To answer this question, we need to know the key technical and functional features of this kind of apps. Let’s dive in.

3 levels of an e-Learning app:

  • Remote e-Learning – basic platforms which allow students and teachers to communicate through Internet (chats, online-tests, video-conferences).
  • Specific/Local e-Learning solutions – special educational software with data storage and share opportunities. Commonly used in schools, universities and enterprises. 
  • Learning management systems – advanced software with analytics, progress tracking, course creating, parent control and other features. 

Must-have technical features of an e-Learning app

  • User-Friendly Interface 
  • High-quality UX-design 
  • Customization
  • Multimedia content
  • Gamification
  • Push-notifications
  • Offline learning
  • Mobile/desktop and online/offline versions sync
  • Communication
  • Support

Must-have functionality features of an e-Learning app

  • Independent profiles for students, teachers, administrators and parents (for children’s apps)
  • Sign-in System
  • Log-in System
  • Internal search engine and filters
  • Dashboard
  • Data hosting and storage
  • Progress tracking and analytics tools
  • Course-creating Tools
  • Payment system(s)
  • Micro-learning
  • Video-streaming
  • AR, VR
  • Interactive learning
  • Multilanguage interface

Must-have integrations of an e-Learning app

  • Social media and other key integrations (workplace local network, communities etc.)
  • CRM
  • CMS
  • In-app chat/forum
  • E-Commerce
  • Subscriptions

Must-have legal features of an e-Learning app

  • Data protection system
  • Anti-fraud protection
  • Current updated licenses
  • Internal anti-plagiarism system

The next step in calculating the cost of development of your application is the cost of talent hiring. Below is a list of the experts you need to involve to develop an effective e-Learning app.

  • Project Manager
  • Team Leader
  • Developers
  • Programmers
  • UI/UX Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • iOS/Android Developer
  • Content creator
  • Front-end and Back-end Developer
  • Quality Assurance Tester
  • Business Analysts
  • AR/VR developers (advanced)
  • 3D modelers (advanced)
  • System  architects

Depending on whether you are working on a basic or complex app features, the number of specialists required can vary. And if 1 project manager is enough in both cases, all other roles will have to work in teams for each of these specializations.

An average cost/per hour of each of these roles is listed in the table below:

Developers$25-45/hSystem architects$40-60/h
Designers$20-40/h3D modeler$25-45/h
Quality Assurance$22-42/hTeam Leader$40-60/h
Project Managers$20-50/hBusiness Analyst$22-42/h

The price will be determined by the location of the specialists and whether they work remotely or in-person as well. For freelancers and full-time employees working on an hourly basis, you will need to estimate the costs and length of the project based on the complexity of the app you want to develop. If this is an app with basic features, then its development will take at least half the time than in the case of an advanced platform.

The list below shows the number of hours and the approximate costs required to develop a particular function, respectively:

  • Sign-In and Log-In – 60+   $1800
  • Payment Integration – 80+   $2400
  • Chat – 250+                           $7500
  • Push notifications – 40+   $1200
  • In-App Advertisements – 50+  $1500
  • Offline Work – 150+             $4500
  • Video streaming – 150+ $4500

The next step in determining the cost will be to answer the question: are you developing an application from scratch or modifying an existing platform. You may just need to add a few advanced features to an already well-functioning basic application.

Approximate costs:

  • From scratch with some advanced features – ~$70,000
  • Customize an existing app – ~$40,000

Finally, the last factor affecting the cost of developing an e-Learning app will be the country in which the project is launched and where you hire specialists from. For example, in Eastern European countries, the price will be lower than in the USA or Western European countries.


Development of an e-Learning platform, be it an app or a website, requires careful planning of resources, in particular budget and time. It is worth to evaluate your capabilities in terms of whether you need to hire specialists and launch a project yourself within the company, or whether it makes sense to contact e-Learning app development companies.

Before hiring specialists and launching a project, assess the risks and possible unforeseen costs that may arise during the project. This way, you can protect yourself from unnecessary costs and loss of team motivation.

Create an e-Learning app development strategy tailored to the requirements and needs of your customers, and always focus on ensuring that the results meet the maximum number of e-Learning app consumer needs in 2021 and beyond. And to do this, explore the market, understand competitors’ products and follow the trends dictated by new norms.