What is the Cost of Maintaining an App in 2024?

Sudeep Srivastava May 6, 2024
Key Factors to Increase or Decrease the App Maintenance Cost

Mobile apps are significantly influencing and redefining the various aspects of global businesses. According to a recent report, the Google Play Store had nearly 3.55 million apps, and the Apple App Store had roughly 1.8 million apps available in different categories. These stats project the unprecedented growth and popularity of the app market. However, the exact number of apps in these stores keeps fluctuating as both Apple and Google regularly remove low-quality applications from their stores.

This fluctuation in the number demonstrates that just making your entry count at the app store does not ensure the success of your application. The success of your app lies not only in how they are developed but also in how they are maintained. Therefore, to ensure the ongoing success of your application, you should continue to improve and scale your app.

A robust app needs long-term maintenance to fix bugs, enhance security, deliver a better user experience, stay competitive, and minimize uninstalls. So, when you estimate the development cost of an app,  you should also calculate the app maintenance cost. It will help you avoid sudden burdens in case of any unpredictable event.

While there is no universal figure to answer how much it costs to maintain an app, app maintenance costs around 15-20% of the total app development cost on average (more details later).

In the following article, we will discuss the factors affecting the cost of app maintenance and the proven strategy to minimize the cost. But before we get into the discussion, let’s discover why app maintenance is the key to your mobile app’s success.

The Pitfalls of Not Maintaining an App?

Not investing in app maintenance, scalability, and security are the key reasons for your app’s failure and the dreaded removal from the app stores. In 2022, Apple received 1,474 government requests to remove several apps from its app store.

CountryApps Removal Requests
China Mainland1,435
India14
Pakistan10
Russia7
Turkey2
Bulgaria1
Cyprus1
Hong Kong1
Italy1
Latvia1
Nigeria1

With the technologies advancing at an unprecedented pace and constant changes in user preferences over time, your app must keep pace with the time. Else, the chances are your app will crash and burn over time. Let’s discuss in detail why app maintenance should be a priority for your business:

Pitfalls of Not Maintaining an App

Increases Uninstalls

Apps with annoying bugs or crashes often drive users away. Similarly, if an app does not offer updated information, top-notch security, and advanced functionalities, the users’ experience is not good with the app, and they may even uninstall it. An application with flaws, data breach threats, or inconveniences pushes users to click the ‘Uninstall’ button. App maintenance and scalability help increase user retention rates by solving emerging problems and improving the app’s performance.

Worsens User Experiences

You don’t just want people to download your app. You want them to have the best user experience because for maintaining long-term relationships and ensuring your app’s growth, delivering the best user experience is essential.

However, not monitoring and updating your app can worsen user experiences, decreasing engagement and driving them away from your offerings. Unhappy users don’t stay longer and give negative ratings and feedback.

Leaves You Far Behind in the Competition

Millions of apps in the market compete with one another to gain users’ attention. Of course, a user can’t download and use all of them. If you don’t upgrade and scale your app constantly, your users will find no good reasons to use your app and move to your competitors, leaving you far behind in the competitive world.

Increases the Risk of Data Breaches and Cyber Attacks

With the constant advancements in technologies used to build cutting-edge mobile apps, there is also an increase in the rate of data breaches and attacks. If you don’t maintain and update your app with the latest security protocols, hackers continually searching for loopholes and finding vulnerabilities to execute their malicious attempts can easily steal your sensitive data and hack the entire system. Therefore, it is important to ensure the security of your app to safeguard the confidential data of your app users.

You may like reading: How to Build a Financial App with Proactive Security Measures?

Reduces ROI in the Long Run

Not updating and maintaining your app regularly can potentially reduce ROI in the long run and increase the cost of acquiring new users. Once your app goes live, you will most likely face bugs at regular intervals, and not monitoring your app will increase the costs of fixing those bugs. Also, if you don’t keep a check, you might face a technical issue that will increase the average app maintenance cost.

Best Practices for Effective App Maintenance

You must follow the best practices to ensure effective app maintenance and provide your users with an exceptional app experience. Here’s what you should consider for maximizing the benefits of app maintenance:

Best Practices for Effective App Maintenance

Keep Maintenance at the Core of App Development

You should consider app maintenance from the very start when creating an app. This means using a functional platform that is easy to scale and technologically advanced, which will not become obsolete once you finish development. Moreover, you need to invest in security, performance, and other types of testing that will help you with app maintenance and support in the long run.

Take Care of Scalability

Your app’s structure and architecture should be robust enough to handle your growing number of users. To cater to the changing demands of your increasing users, you may need to upgrade the features and functionalities of your app. Otherwise, you may quickly lose your users and the money you invested in marketing.

Stick to Your Development Team

When working with an app development team, make sure to stick with it. If you hire new developers every time, they will need time to get acquainted with your project and learn about the technologies used. On the other hand, when your app is maintained by the same team that created it, the process is rather quick and easy. Your developers know what needs to be changed once a new operating system version is out or a new feature is introduced.

Use Analytics Tools

Once your app is live, use the right analytic tools to measure how your users are interacting with the app. It will give you useful insights into what features they like the most and which are unnecessary. Adding new features to your app based on user feedback retains them and keeps them interested. Therefore, analytics will help your team to make changes and make improvements where they’re needed the most.

Fix Bugs Timely

If you don’t keep a check on your app and fix bugs on time, you will drive the users away. Accumulated bugs will lead to your app crashing and also multiply your expenses. Therefore, you must look for technical issues or bugs and fix them immediately. Keep track of user feedback and reviews to address issues or complaints efficiently.

Schedule System Maintenance

Scheduling regular system maintenance is the best solution to avoid missing out on issues or bugs. It also ensures the smooth functioning of your app. Also, make sure to inform your users about the scheduled maintenance beforehand. It will help them stay prepared for such situations, so they will not get frustrated when you unexpectedly hit your users with a “System down for maintenance” message.

Types of App Maintenance Services

Application maintenance is an ongoing process of updating and re-evaluating existing software to scale your business and maximize profitability. Thus, if you want your business to stay ahead of the competition, you must hire mobile app support and maintenance services to improve your application. A reliable app development company offers different types of mobile app maintenance services that include fixing bugs, adding new features, removing unnecessary ones, introducing system updates, and much more. Some such app maintenance services are mentioned below.

Types of App Maintenance Services

Emergency Maintenance

As the name implies, this type of maintenance service is required during an emergency. The issues or errors would be sudden and unexpected, making you take immediate action to address and resolve them quickly to deliver a seamless user experience.

Adaptive Maintenance

This type of mobile app support and maintenance services aims to constantly track changes in the application to keep the product up-to-date. Many factors, including software, hardware, and security threats, can change an application’s performance. So, apps that don’t receive regular adaptive maintenance can quickly become outdated.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance services offer regular app updating support in which developers eliminate the feasibility of error occurrence. The focus is on reducing app complexity and improving the maintainability factor through code optimization, code restructuring, and updation of documents.

Corrective Maintenance

The main idea of this approach is to take care of the faults, defects, and repairs in the application. This type of maintenance service also includes resolving errors related to coding, design, and application logic.

Perfective Maintenance

Perfective maintenance service focuses on meeting the ever-changing needs of users. It considers user feedback and takes care of functional modifications in the source code, offering a great user experience.

App maintenance services

How Much Does it Cost to Maintain an App?

Figuring out the exact app maintenance cost can be challenging as it depends on several factors that can increase or lower the final price. However, if we talk about the average app maintenance costs, during the first year after launch, the costs of maintaining an app can be 50% of the initial app development cost. This cost includes the various improvements you might want to introduce in response to your users’ feedback. Later on, the yearly cost of app maintenance can be between 15% to 20% of the initial cost.

It is advisable to consult a reputed mobile app development company to get a rough estimate of app maintenance costs and plan your budget accordingly.

What Factors Affect the Cost of App Maintenance?

There are several factors that affect the cost of app maintenance. These factors include fixing bugs, introducing new features and functionalities, focusing on system updates, and so on. Let’s discover the essential factors that determine the average app maintenance cost.

Factors Affect the App Maintenance Cost

Bug Fixing and Updates

Regularly updating apps can help quickly fix bugs and enhance the user interface. The cost of the updates varies depending on several elements, such as the complexity of the app and changes in functionalities. For instance, if your app has a bug that requires a quick fix, the estimated cost would be around $50. Likewise, if you need to update a functional aspect, it can take a couple of weeks to fix it, and the costs could range from $1,000 to $2,000.

Hosting Maintenance

The app hosting prices and the server costs are other important factors determining the final cost to maintain an app. You need to consider the kind of server you want for your app and then calculate the costs of app hosting. The hosting server costs for apps can range from $70 to $320 monthly, depending on several elements, such as the content, the number of active users, and projected growth.

Analytics

Mobile app bugs, crashes, and other glitches need to be monitored continuously to ensure uninterrupted app performance. For this, you need analytics tools like Google Analytics that provide deep insights into user behavior and app performance, helping you make better decisions. There are many free and premium tools available that cost differently to provide critical insights to check your users’ preferences and expectations.

Development Team Location

The location of your app development team also impacts the overall app maintenance cost. For instance, the cost of hiring an app development company in the US differs from app development companies in the UAE. This is due to the fact that services around the world vary significantly in terms of quality as well as cost.

Keep Updating the User Interface

There is no better way to ensure the success of your app than to deliver seamless user experiences. With ever-changing user habits and market trends, you need to keep updating the UI/UX design of your apps. The more up-to-date your app is, the happier your users are.

app gif

Now that we know the average app maintenance cost, let’s discover some significant ways that can help lower this cost.

Proven Tips on How to Lower App Maintenance Costs?

While there are various factors that affect the cost of app maintenance, there are certain ways that developers can use to cut down the expenses in mobile app maintenance:

Tips to Lower App Maintenance Costs

Invest in Cross Platform App

While choosing the platform for app development, you have two options – native and cross-platform. Native apps are platform-specific, requiring multiple native apps for different operating platforms like Android, iOS, or Windows. On the other hand, cross-platform apps can run on various operating systems, saving you time and cost to maintain different apps.

Focus on Building MVP First

The minimum viable product (MVP) provides the smallest possible solution to the issue you are trying to address, with basic functionalities. It helps you comprehend your users’ needs, gather their feedback, and modify the final version accordingly. You can also observe your competitors or trends and upgrade your app accordingly. So, to keep the app development and maintenance costs down, you should consider developing an MVP first.

Implement Agile Development Methodology

Agile development methodology delivers products in short cycles (sprints), which helps you get users’ feedback early and often, reducing the need for major updates. Also, agile development requires less documentation than traditional development methodology, which can further cut down costs.

Discuss Strategy with App Development Partner

A reliable mobile app development company can offer high-quality app maintenance services whenever needed. You can discuss all the expenses related to app maintenance with the service provider, and they help you know the hidden costs, plan your budget and make informed decisions.

constant app maintenance services

Appinventiv: An Experienced Tech Partner for App Development and Maintenance

Mobile apps are the driving force behind the success of your business. However, if you want to reap the rewards of excellent app performance, you must plan for app maintenance. After all, you don’t want your app to go outdated within a few months, especially after all the hard work, time, and money you spent on launching the app.

This is where we come in. At Appinventiv, we not only develop apps but also help maintain and improve their performance. Our highly experienced team of 1,200+ tech evangelists keeps a check on your app’s performance, user habits, market trends, and the latest technology to offer relevant updates, leading to the scalability and profitability of your application in the long term.

So, if you require mobile app development or app maintenance services, feel free to contact us. Our experts will give you the estimated app maintenance cost and help you scale your app to the next level.

FAQs

Q. How much does it cost to run an app?

A. The app maintenance cost can range somewhere between 15% to 20% of the app’s initial development cost. However, it is just a rough estimate; the actual cost varies depending on various factors, such as the frequency of updates, the complexity of the app, and ongoing support requirements.

Q. How often do apps need maintenance?

A. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to confirming the frequency of app maintenance, aiming for 1-2 minor monthly upgrades is a good rule of thumb. These upgrades include improving UI/UX design, adding new features, introducing updates, etc.

THE AUTHOR
Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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