Build vs. Buy Calculator

You could build a forms back-end yourself. But does it make sense to?

As developers, we often look at tools and services that are available and think "I could build that myself". And maybe you could! But should you?

If you have very specific requirements, then there may be a case for building something yourself. If, however, the argument is about costs, it rarely makes sense unless you value your time at $0.

If you build it, you'll need a server, database and storage.

Hosting $5/mo
Database $15/mo
File Storage $5/mo
Total $25/mo

Infrastructure costs are based on the smallest available Droplet, database and storage tiers from DigitalOcean and correct as at April 2020

Then you'll need to maintain it.

Assume just the minimum - security patching... $25/mo

That's a total cost of $50/mo

...and that's before you factor in the cost of actually building it!

Let's assume it will take 4 weeks and we can outsource to a low cost location

Developer rate $25/hr
Hours required 160
That's a total cost of $4,000

Developer/Administrator costs based on an roles advertised on UpWork. Prices correct as at April 2020

So you could spend $4,000 or more building it and $600/year running it


You could let us take care of all that for you for a fraction of the cost

Don't build it! Your time is too valuable