How to Build a Trading Platform: Step-by-Step Guide (2024)

What is a trading platform?

It is a process of designing, ideating, testing, and developing a new trading system. Launching a new platform can take one to several months, depending on the scope of work, timing, and budget. During this period, all ideated and designed features must remain up-to-date and be helpful for traders.

Your team should clearly understand how to build your own trading platform, how modules are connected, and how to provide the ultimate level of security to cover the platform and user assets from being exploited.

The Grand View Research study shares that 2022 was closed with a $4.7 billion market cap, and the market keeps growing. It’s noticeable that government structures are increasingly involved in the crypto market, delivering proper regulation on the level of countries and states.

How to Build a Trading Platform: Step-by-Step Guide (1)

The Grand View Research study on the global cryptocurrency market.

5 steps on how to build a trading platform

Considering all of this, we’d suggest you explore the opportunity to hire a company to create an online trading platform and cover all your business needs. Signing a contract with IT companies in the UK ensures that the stock trading app will be delivered in time with sound quality while its support process will go smoothly.

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Step 1: Set the goals

You must start from the very beginning and consider traders’ pain points and challenges to understand how to create a trading platform properly. Then, think about how you can address them with the help of your stock trading product. It allows you to determine the goals your team is willing to achieve by developing an online trading platform.

You can also organize and run a strategic session with stakeholders and the product team to brainstorm trading app ideas, think about what business metrics are essential for you, and how you will measure the success of your software.

At Limeup, we recommend considering the following peculiarities when setting business goals:

  • The speed of order placing and closing is essential. It allows traders to enter the trading market and close a position with an up-to-date price.
  • Current and past market conditions analysis. When defining the project goals, consider usability and how you want users to interact with your platform’s UI. Based on our experience, excellent data visualization will be a significant plus.
  • Trading fees. It would help if you did deep market research before building a trading platform to understand what trading fees can be bearable for users. High costs are one of the reasons why many experienced traders switch to other stock trading apps.
  • Automatic trading. It’s not a surprise that traders cannot buy/sell 24/7. In this case, you must rely on stock trading bots to place orders immediately and close them for profit. For example, self-made indicators can signal that market conditions match entry point requirements to help them make the final choice.
  • Alarms and push notifications. It will be beneficial if a stock trading platform has a dedicated feature to notify a trader on mobile apps with push notifications when important economic events occur.

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Vital things to keep in mind before trading system development.

You can focus on a specific market share of traders to cover more professional or beginner needs. These statements will lead you in the design and trading app development. To set the right course, the design and development teams must provide stakeholders with the pros and cons of centralized and decentralized crypto exchanges.

Centralized online brokerage platforms have an order book to proceed with all placed orders, while decentralized ones allow you to work directly by purchasing the assets.

Step 2: Determine the features

Traders are accustomed to investment platform features they use daily. You have to consider their experiences when creating new online trading platforms. We recommend considering the following 12 vital peculiarities when determining the features for trading platform development:

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Features of a stock trading app.

  • Clear user interface design. Coming to the first point, you have to look forward to developing a clean, functional, and intuitive design which traders could experience working with different products.
  • Low spreads trading. Consider having enough liquidity to provide low spreads on significant crypto assets. It is frustrating for traders when they close an order with an inadequate spread, which decreases profitability or even causes a loss.
  • Acceptable commissions. Ensure trading stock trading commissions are acceptable for your target audience no matter the mobile devices they operate.
  • Analytic tools and features. It is crucial to understand what market conditions can bring the maximum profit and what strategy can meet those expectations and risk conditions. When building a trading interface, remember that a user expects to work with well-visualized data that can be transferred to Excel or Google Sheets for further analysis. It would be great if new features showed how the market trends would change and how much profit a trader could gain by applying a particular strategy.
  • Automatic trading. Allow users to work with customized bots utilized for investment apps. It will increase the level of trust between you and your user base. It is all about developing a bot via in-built tools on the site with further usage on the market. Enable autopilot trading within your investing app to make it even more valuable.
  • Simple registration. Registering is necessary if a platform provides a trading opportunity via an order book. So, making this process well-designed, simple, and intuitive is critical to showing traders that you are vibing equally.
  • Notifications. This part of user interaction with your platform is based on trust and customization. Traders believe the platform’s owners clearly understand that push notifications on popular trading apps should be helpful, short enough, and delivered on time. Otherwise, there’s no reason for traders to use them. If we talk about customizations during trading platform development, there should be a wide range of parameters that could trigger a notification.
  • Research tools and compatibility. You must provide a trader with intuitive and quick global currency markets research tools to work with a big body of data.
  • Newsfeed. Keep your traders updated about the market situation, stock trading ideas, news, and everything that helps them in their journey. Use credible sources for your top trading apps, and don’t rush for the amount over quality.
  • Security. When building a trading website, remember that every trader wants to ensure their platform provides the best possible security for their assets and data. API keys are essential to keep access to different modules secured and easy to code if needed. Suppose the platform is regulated by National Futures Association, like Binance USA. In that case, the owners must explain to traders how it affects their trading journey and what data can be shared with authorities.
  • Deposits and withdrawals. This part concerns users’ trust in a centralized and regulated platform. So, traders should know how their accounts can be deposited and what regulation aspects can be applied to their assets. It has to be clear how users can withdraw their money and what stop sign can be used before their coins will come back to the wallet.
  • Cross-platform design. It should be comfortable for a trader to use both: the desktop and application versions of the trade stocks site. It’s essential to create a well-designed trading platform with multiple investment portfolios, covering all needs of investors.
  • Customer support. Act as their reliable partner! Users should understand how to quickly submit a ticket if they have questions or stumble upon a bug. Also, there should be an option to call or chat with support ASAP.

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Process of building stock trading platform.

Remember to specify the devices and operating systems where your application will work. The mobile user segment continues to grow annually. It is recommended to ensure that your trading site has web and mobile applications on Google Play and the App Store for trading on the go.

Now you know how to build a stock trading with IT companies in London and meet the needs of traders of various levels, including experts and novices. It will be better if trading platform developers already have experience in using automated stock trading websites and are aware of your customers’ needs. This is the only way you can count on an online business to capture customers’ attention in one of the most highly competitive niches in 2023.

Step 3: Build a prototype

Creating a clickable product prototype allows you to test your ideas before system development and launch. You can use Figma or Axure to create a prototype that provides a clear vision of how the platform works and what functionality it support.

Feedback is critical to success because it shows users that their opinions matter. Application design often can’t address traders’ struggles and pain points. A feature can look good and should be helpful, but actual users don’t always think so. Ideally, it has to be updated to fit people’s expectations.

For example, we’ve partnered with a fintech company in the UK, i88, to help them generate a trading platform. The screenshot below shows the information architecture our product designers created for the online brokerage platform. It helps foresee the primary user flows and navigation.

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The Limeup experts developed an Information architecture for a trading platform.

Step 4: Create UI/UX design

After ideating, prototyping, and testing the user interface with all usability features, you can move to the design stage and receive feedback from actual traders. It’s essential to balance creating something new and supporting already-invented usability.

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Limeup designed a user interface for the i88 trading website.

We follow this process whenever building a trading platform and creating custom solutions for our clients. For example, the screenshot below shows our product designers’ final design for the i88 trading app. We started over 100 final screens for the web, 70+ for a mobile app, and 50+ for CRM to craft a trading platform.

Step 5: Develop the platform

The last steps in our process are product development and launch. Depending on the software development services, your team setup, and the time frame, it’s feasible to design, develop and launch a product in at least one month. To design a trading platform for Android users, look for professional developers who know Java, Ruby, and Python. We recommend requesting their portfolio to check if they fit your stock trading project tasks.

Your team also needs JavaScript developers for the front-end works and testers who will point out bugs, if there are any. Professional IT teams, like Limeup, will help you quickly and accurately develop a trading platform that meets your users’ needs and business goals.

Tips to build a trading platform wisely

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Example of things to consider while building a trading platform.

In the previous paragraph, I’ve explained how we approach, plan, and craft a trading platform at Limeup. It’s usually a resource-heavy and time-consuming process that involves backend, frontend, engineering, user experience, and product design experts.

We involve a team of specialists to ensure we don’t miss out on product, design, and development details. In this paragraph, we’ll highlight a few critical points to consider when developing new mobile apps for trading. Considering that there are many similar solutions on the market, the following peculiarities will help you build a trading platform users will like to use.

Online trading features

We’ve briefly touched upon this topic earlier in this article. However, we’d like to add a few more essential points. Limeup knows how luring it can be to launch trading platforms with multiple features for users.

However, that is the wrong approach in most cases. Developing a complex trading platform with different features will consume your developers’ time and budget. Furthermore, many companies don’t even consider whether users need those features. They build them because they imply every solid trading system has them.

User experience

Good user experience involves intuitive navigation, easy-to-follow interface design, and a clear copy. Even though designing with users in mind should be essential while building a new trading website, many design agencies still take it for granted. It results in creating mediocre solutions that serve users in the short term. When more advanced and user-friendly solutions are built, users switch, leaving business owners puzzled about what to do next.

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Example of an i88 trading app platform by Limeup.

We recommend taking the following principles into account while thinking about the UX of your product:

  • All design decisions should be data-driven.
  • User experience interviews with your TA will help discover users’ problems that competitor platforms don’t resolve.
  • Test design solutions before trading software development. It will help you save development time and costs.
  • Conduct UX research and product design to discover where users misunderstand your online brokerage platform.
  • Start developing a mobile trading platform when you have a validated design solution.
  • Prioritize platform features development based on their business impact.
  • Ensure the essential features are accessible in a maximum of three clicks.

At Limeup, we design and build digital products, like Mintplicity, a marketplace for NTF tokens, and a complex trading interface development for i88, intended to serve the market for years.

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Limeup team developed a marketplace for NTF tokens.

The development process

Investment platform development is challenging because it requires a specific tech stack, skills, and experience that not every product team has. Depending on your requirements and the scope of work, we recommend partnering with product development experts skilled in your niche and with relevant former experience developing similar products.

Limeup has years of banking experience and worked at BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank. Our tech stack covers the following:

  • Backend: Java, Python, Node.js, Go, C++
  • Frontend: Vu.js, Java Script
  • Mobile: React Native, Flutter, Kotlin, Swift, Objective C
  • Cloud: Amazon, Azure, Google Cloud, Kubernetes, Docker

Having practical experience in 6+ market development industries, including fintech, we know how to design architecture and build secure trading apps. Contact us if you need help creating a trading portal. Our team will be happy to help!


Users’ personal data protection and secure browsing are paramount when discussing trading platform development. How to enhance the user data protection of your investment platform?

  • Consider creating a two-factor authentication feature for web versions and mobile phones.
  • Use a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) for web applications.
  • Consider a SET (secure electronic transactions) approach. It helps authenticate merchants or cardholders while ensuring the confidentiality of payment data.
  • Consider creating a billing address verification feature. It helps verify whether the billing address that a card’s user provides matches the one linked to the card.

Users will store, trade, and withdraw their assets using your platform. Therefore, ensuring their money is protected and won’t disappear is essential.

The legal side

Before finalizing trading interface development and releasing your product, ensure you have an appropriate license to operate in the countries you plan to run. Suppose you create a trading platform or an app up to date for users from the USA. In that case, you must ensure all sensitive user data is encrypted by following the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority FINRA rules and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation SIPC.

If you target a European market, ensure your digital product complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Besides, decide what regulatory body will monitor your business, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission in the USA.

Compliance with the rules and regulations of trading operations will allow you to increase customer confidence and signal to investors that your stock market apps have passed the review by regulatory authorities. This factor is essential for investors who are used to playing big. Depending on the geolocation, trading software may require obtaining various permits for licensing.

Picking the trading platform development team

Online trading development is impossible without creating an individual trading platform concept. It’s time to take care of the selection of an experienced team of developers capable of creating a successful product from scratch. The pick of a software development company will significantly affect the speed of the development process, the platform’s design, and the final product’s cost. As a rule, creating trading software projects has two principal evolution paths:

  1. Hiring a professional team within an IT company that delivers a complete cycle of launching a trading portal.
  2. Buying a ready-made boxed solution and manually setting up all key elements, including payment solutions, trading tools, etc.

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Each option has its strengths and weaknesses. Hiring a company that develops and launches a trading app business is an opportunity to control the creation of a platform at every stage. On the other hand, buying a ready-made trading app solution will significantly reduce the time to start your stock trading project. However, stock market app development with skilled professionals is an opportunity to provide further technical support and upgrades of the trading stocks product with the ability to scale.

By choosing the Limeup trading platforms, you can access the advanced financial technologies necessary to create a trading website and overcome any existing stock market website. Our experts know how to provide high cyber security, efficient navigation, and impressive design.

Cooperating with our experts gives you a unique chance to ensure that your stock market app meets all industry standards, has decent user engagement, and outperforms existing stock market websites of competitors.

Cost to build a trading platform

Wondering how much it costs to develop your own trading platform? This is the main issue that future automated trading website owners are concerned about. The cost of creating trading software depends on several factors, including:

  • E-trading system (stocks, crypto, Forex, futures, or a hybrid model)
  • A set of payment instruments for sending and storing mutual funds
  • Investor protection programs and data security (multi-factor authentication, data prevention loss, data encryption, and so on)
  • Mobile trading platforms optimization
  • Type of license

If you need to check how much it costs to build a stock trading, contact Limeup right away. Our experts will make a free individual estimation, considering all the variables of your business plan. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to create a business plan and design a mobile version of your stock market system.

Limeup offers a comprehensive solution for creating a stock trading platform from an idea to a full-fledged functioning stock trading app. Here are a few more essential inputs that influence own trading platform costs in 2023:

  • Initial requirements. If you want to design mobile trading apps from scratch, we recommend developing and launching an MVP first. It’s the fastest way to enter the market, introduce your solution, and monetize your product. Meanwhile, prioritizing features will help you focus on the essential elements first.

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Example of how initial requirements influence on the timeline of development.

  • Core features of a custom trading platform. As soon as you decide on the platform’s goals and your TA, it’s essential to determine what features you will build first. While brainstorming and prioritizing features, remember your users’ pain points and needs.
  • Urgency. The timeframe is the number one factor affecting costs when it comes to developing software. A faster stock market solution often means more experts should be involved in product development. You can allocate additional resources in-house or hire developers for extra help.
  • The level of expertise of your designers and developers. The costs will differ depending on their level of expertise. Junior specialists are usually cheaper. However, their knowledge and skills may not be enough to develop an excellent product. Unexpected errors can occur, which you’ll have to fix in-house or hire dedicated specialists for an extra fee. Middle and senior experts are the go-to solution to craft a trading platform with complex functionalities.
  • Usability testing. This is one of the research methods used to evaluate the usability of your product, define where users fail to understand and navigate it and determine what can be done to improve the overall user experience of your product. At Limeup, we usually test usability to validate a design concept before developing a trading platform. It helps reduce development costs and prioritize features.

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Example of usability testing methods.

Based on our experience, a trading app project’s product design and development phase can start from $50,000, depending on the complexity of the investment platform, the team size, and the number of requested features.

How to build a trading platform in 2023

First, you should consider whether to build a platform by yourself or pick a dedicated product organisation that already created successful stock market platforms. Of course, you can develop the platform yourself (unless you know how to create a trading platform on your own) or delegate this task to several third-party contractors.

However, there is a surer way. Assign the creation of a gambling business to professional developers who cover all processes, from discussing business goals to transferring software ownership and launching a finished product.

On the other hand, teams that work on creating a platform should meet the needs of upcoming traders. Usually, to create a trading platform, product organizations do market and user experience research to understand the target audience, address users’ issues with a new product, and brainstorm new features to help outperform competitors.

How can Limeup help you with trading platform development?

The most challenging part is to engineer a trading platform in-house or find a reliable vendor to help implement the ideas into life. And we know what we are talking about! At Limeup, we’ve helped companies from the UK, the Netherlands, and the USA design and develop trading platforms of different complexity.

We’ve worked in the design and stock trading app development market for 10+ years and know the peculiarities of creating custom trading websites from the inside out.

Our experienced engineers have gained a background in more than 10 projects, creating online trading platforms for individual and mass use. Our business projects meet all the high requirements and needs of the mobile trading business, ensuring the smooth and uninterrupted duty of all tools and indicators.

We have accumulated over 15+ years of experience and built a team of world-class IT engineers. Moreover, our specialists have practical experience in creating and using stock market systems, understanding the importance of developing a unique online trading platform with modern industry needs in mind.

Contact Limeup if you want a partner to design and build a trading platform. We have 50+ experts with extensive experience in different industries working with companies worldwide and are ready to create a customized stock trading app fitting your goals and requirements.

As a seasoned expert in the field of trading platform development, I bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. Over the years, I have actively participated in the design, ideation, testing, and development of various trading systems. My expertise extends to understanding the intricate details of creating a trading platform, ensuring that it meets the highest standards of security and functionality.

Now, let's delve into the concepts used in the provided article about building a trading platform:

  1. Trading Platform Definition:

    • A trading platform is a system designed for the process of creating, ideating, testing, and developing a new trading system.
  2. Market Overview:

    • The article mentions a Grand View Research study stating that the market cap for trading platforms reached $4.7 billion in 2022 and continues to grow. Government structures are increasingly involved in regulating the crypto market.
  3. Steps to Build a Trading Platform:

    • Step 1: Set the Goals:

      • Identify traders' pain points and challenges.
      • Conduct strategic sessions with stakeholders to define business goals.
      • Consider factors such as speed of order placement, market conditions analysis, trading fees, automatic trading, alarms, and push notifications.
    • Step 2: Determine the Features:

      • Consider features like clear user interface design, low spreads trading, acceptable commissions, analytic tools, automatic trading, simple registration, notifications, research tools, newsfeed, security, deposits and withdrawals, cross-platform design, and customer support.
    • Step 3: Build a Prototype:

      • Use tools like Figma or Axure to create a clickable product prototype.
      • Gather feedback to refine the platform before development.
    • Step 4: Create UI/UX Design:

      • Balance innovation with established usability.
      • Prioritize user experience, intuitive navigation, and clear design.
      • Ensure data-driven design decisions and conduct UX research.
    • Step 5: Develop the Platform:

      • Engage in product development and launch.
      • Use a tech stack that includes Java, Ruby, Python, Vu.js, JavaScript, React Native, Flutter, Kotlin, Swift, Objective C, and cloud services like Amazon, Azure, Google Cloud, Kubernetes, and Docker.
  4. Security Considerations:

    • Implement two-factor authentication, SSL for web applications, SET approach for secure electronic transactions, and billing address verification.
    • Adhere to regulatory requirements like FINRA rules and GDPR for user data protection.
  5. Legal Compliance:

    • Obtain appropriate licenses based on the target market, such as SEC in the USA or GDPR compliance for the European market.
  6. Choosing the Development Team:

    • Decide between hiring a professional team within an IT company or buying a ready-made solution.
    • Consider factors like control, development speed, technical support, and scalability.
  7. Cost Considerations:

    • Costs depend on factors like the type of trading system, payment instruments, investor protection programs, mobile optimization, and the type of license.
    • Prioritize features and conduct usability testing to manage costs effectively.
  8. Limeup's Role in Trading Platform Development:

    • Limeup offers comprehensive solutions for creating trading platforms, covering all aspects from ideation to launch.
    • The team provides expertise in design, development, and financial technologies, ensuring security, navigation efficiency, and impressive design.
    • Limeup's experience spans over 15 years with a team of world-class IT engineers.

In conclusion, building a trading platform involves a meticulous process that encompasses strategic planning, user-centric design, regulatory compliance, and robust security measures. Limeup stands out as a reliable partner with a track record of successful trading platform development.

How to Build a Trading Platform: Step-by-Step Guide (2024)


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