How to build a SaaS application: pro tips

Iryna Hnatiuk


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March 3, 2024


time icon 11 minutes read


The rise of cloud-based (SaaS) applications has completely changed the way businesses operate. By moving away from on-premise software, businesses can now access powerful tools without having to worry about the high cost and complexity of deploying and managing them.

However, developing a SaaS application is not as simple as uploading your code to the cloud. Some critical technical considerations need to be taken into account. In this article, we will take a look at some of the key aspects of SaaS application development.

What is a SaaS application? B2C and B2B solutions

A SaaS application is a type of software delivered as a service over the internet. It is hosted by the provider and delivered to customers over a network, typically the public internet. Customers can access SaaS applications through web browsers, APIs, or mobile apps.

The adoption of SaaS applications is expanding as more and more businesses see the value in moving away from conventional software licensing models. The biggest reason behind the success of SaaS applications is that they help organizations get their work done in a more efficient way. This explains why the SaaS market value skyrockets year by year and is estimated to grow from $130 billion in 2021 to $716 billion in 2028.

To understand why SaaS is becoming so popular, it’s helpful to first look at what makes this delivery model different than others. With a typical software license, organizations buy a product they own and manage internally. In contrast, with SaaS, companies are subscribing to a service managed by the provider. The vendor takes care of updates and maintenance, saving time and resources for businesses.

B2B users play a big part in the increasing popularity of SaaS: 70% of all apps used for business are SaaS. By 2025, 85% of B2B apps will be SaaS-based. Organizations prefer SaaS because of its scalability – since users are paying for what they use rather than purchasing an expensive license upfront, there’s no need to overbuy or underutilize capabilities. Additionally, since the provider handles cloud storage and other infrastructure needs, there’s often less risk associated with migrating to cloud-based solutions.

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When it comes to B2C SaaS, you can hardly find a person who doesn’t use a single SaaS product. Unlike IaaS and PaaS solutions, SaaS covers the needs of a broad customer base and fits into every existing industry. That’s why starting a SaaS business is a superb idea. You can fulfill the constantly growing demand for flexible software services and set up a recurring revenue stream just by building SaaS product.

SaaS vs. desktop: what’s better for your business?

As a business, you may be wondering whether you should invest in a web-based SaaS application or a desktop application. Both have benefits and drawbacks that are worth considering before making your decision.

SaaS applications tend to be more affordable and faster to build and set up than desktop applications. They also offer the advantage of being accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, which is excellent for businesses with employees who work remotely. And although web-based SaaS applications can sometimes be less customizable than desktop applications, you can add all the features you need by integrating with third-party solutions.

Desktop applications are typically more expensive to develop and purchase but can offer more customization options than web-based SaaS applications. On the flip side, desktop apps require regular updates and maintenance, adding costs and complexity to development.

As you can see, SaaS applications are more flexible in development and use. Building SaaS applications is more affordable than desktop apps, and it’s easier to find developers with suitable expertise. Let’s look at the most sought-after features for any SaaS app.

Features of SaaS applications

As a business owner, you know that offering great features and functionality in your SaaS product is the key to your market triumph. But what are some specific features to focus on? Here are five essential ones:

  • Robust security. When it comes to sensitive data, businesses can never be too careful with their security measures. So make sure your SaaS app has top-of-the-line protection against hacking and other online threats.
  • User-friendliness. The best SaaS applications are easy for users to navigate, regardless of their level of tech expertise. Keep things simple but powerful, so users will actually want to use your app on a daily basis.
  • Customizability. Let users tailor the look and feel of your app according to their own preferences; this can help boost user engagement and satisfaction levels significantly.
  • Integration capabilities. Your SaaS app should easily integrate with other software programs your customers or clients use. This makes life easier for them and helps consolidate all important data in one place.
  • Scalability. As demand for your SaaS product grows, make sure its underlying infrastructure can handle the load! Invest in architecture that allows for scalability so you won’t run into any capacity issues down the road.

Although there are many different types of SaaS products , all of them share this basic set of features. So make sure you include them in your project roadmap for SaaS application development.

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How to build a SaaS application from scratch

Developing a SaaS application is neither a small task nor a low-cost venture. There are many factors to consider, both upfront and during the development process itself.

Here are things you should know before starting SaaS application development.

Establish your business model and pricing strategy

This is critical to success and will impact how you build SaaS application. You need to determine what features are essential for your customers, what price they’re willing to pay, and how you’ll generate revenue.

First, define your target market. Who is most likely to buy or use your SaaS application? Do some research and identify who these people are – including their demographics (age, gender, location) and psychographics (interests, values).

Then, select your app monetization strategy. The choice between a subscription-based billing model and a consumption-based one depends on the industry and services you’re planning to provide.

Create a prototype of SaaS application

A prototype of a SaaS application is an effective way to test its feasibility and identify potential problems before investing too much time or money. The prototype doesn’t have to be perfect – just enough so that you can start getting feedback from potential users and refining your plans accordingly.

Creating a prototype typically starts with developing a high-level functional specification for the system. This document describes how the system should work in broad terms and what features it should include. Remember: too little functionality and users won’t find it useful, too much – and you could drown in complexity (and cost). Strike the right balance!

Once functional specifications are complete, you can begin building a working model of the SaaS application using whatever technology makes sense for your project.

Ensure good design & usability

How easy is it for users to navigate your system and complete their tasks? Good design makes life easier for users; lousy design can lead to frustration (and lost customers). Always make sure that essential functions and features are easily accessible from within the SaaS application. Navigation should be simple to use, with no hidden buttons or menu items.

Also, test your SaaS application on different browsers and devices (including smartphones and tablets) to ensure compatibility across all platforms. In addition, pay close attention to overall aesthetics – the layout should be tidy and visually appealing, without too much clutter or overlap. And lastly, provide clear instructions for users who are new to the app – don’t leave them guessing how to do something or where they need to go next!

Build a SaaS MVP

Your SaaS MVP doesn’t have to be perfect but should include the core features needed for your target market segments. It also makes sense to build additional features later on based on customer feedback and demand – but don’t try to do everything at once, or you will risk overwhelming yourself and early adopters.

This process usually starts with creating a wireframe or prototype of the app, which helps you figure out what needs to be included in the initial release. You’ll also need to determine how to measure success — whether it’s based on user registrations, active users, or some other metric.

Once you’ve launched your SaaS application MVP, it’s important to continue gathering user feedback and making changes accordingly. This process should continue until you’ve reached a point where adding new features no longer makes sense or slows down customer adoption rates.

Plan for scalability from day 1

One of the benefits of SaaS applications is that they can often scale easily with increasing demand from customers. However, this requires careful planning upfront. Think about the number of customers you expect to maximize with the application and ensure the infrastructure can support that growth rate.

Although many other factors are involved in creating a successful SaaS app, these are the most important ones to consider early in SaaS platform development. By addressing these issues upfront, you’ll put yourself in a better position for success with your new application.

Technical aspects of SaaS application development

One of the most important things to consider when building a SaaS application is scalability. When your app is hosted in the cloud, you need to make sure that it can handle an ever-growing load of traffic and requests. Therefore, you ought to design your system for horizontal scalability, which means adding more resources (such as servers) as needed in order to meet demand. You also need to make sure that your application can scale up or down easily depending on usage patterns — you don’t want to be stuck with unused resources when demand drops off.

Another vital consideration when building SaaS app is performance. Since users will be accessing your app from all over the world, you need to make sure that it can handle high levels of traffic without slowing down or becoming overloaded. This means optimizing your code for performance, using caching mechanisms where possible, and load balancing across multiple servers if necessary.

But wait, that’s not all. If you want your SaaS app to succeed, you need to consider more technical details: database design, data security, programming language, and third-party integrations. We will dig deeper into these technical details below.

How to choose SaaS application development company

When it comes to SaaS application development, the choice of a partner is critical. The wrong partner can lead to disastrous results, while the right partner can help your business achieve its goals and objectives. So how do you choose the right SaaS application development company for your project?

Here are four tips:

  • Look for experience and expertise. Your partnering company should have a deep understanding of how SaaS applications work, as well as how to develop them properly. In addition, they should provide expert advice on things like platform selection, architecture design, and more.
  • Consider their track record. Take some time to research the track record of any potential partners. Have they had success with similar projects in the past? Are they reliable and experienced? Can they provide references or case studies that demonstrate their capabilities? These are all critical factors to consider when making your decision.
  • Review their technology stack. Take a look at the technology stack of any potential partners. This will give you a good idea of their level of expertise and how well they understand modern technologies. Ideally, they should have a strong understanding of cloud-based technologies, big data solutions, and more.
  • Consider your budget. Partners can vary significantly in terms of cost, so it’s important to find one that fits within your price range. However, don’t sacrifice quality for the price. Pick a partner who can offer both value and affordability.

Choosing the SaaS application development company is critical to the success of your project. Blackthorn Vision has been in the game since 2009, providing end-to-end SaaS application development services and dedicated SaaS developers for startups, middle-size, and large businesses worldwide.

If you’re planning to start a SaaS business and looking for a development partner, contact us! Our experts will help create a SaaS app that meets your needs and exceeds user expectations.

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