Mobile apps are making the world go round. As of the first quarter of 2021, Google Play Store had nearly 3.48 million apps available, which were downloaded 108 billion times. The App Store, on the other hand, had roughly 2.22 million apps in the same quarter. These stats project the unprecedented growth and popularity of the app market.
But what happens once your app becomes available for its users? Does the story end there? No, it doesn’t! A robust app needs long-term maintenance to help fix bugs, deliver a better experience for users, and minimize uninstalls. You as an entrepreneur also need to continue to improve and scale your app to gain more followers and retain the existing ones.
If you’re not investing in app maintenance and scalability, then it could be a reason for your app’s failure and the dreaded app uninstalls.
When talking about the investment in app maintenance and scalability, the most common question that comes to mind is about the cost involved in the process . The expenses include keeping the app not only up-and-running but also secured and appealing to its users.
In the following article, we will discuss the estimated cost of maintaining an app and the factors that affect the app maintenance budget.
But before we get into that, let’s see how app maintenance is the key to your mobile app’s success.
Why is app maintenance so important?
Investing in app maintenance saves your application from becoming obsolete. In 2016, Apple removed 50,000 apps from the App Store because of the same reason.
With the technologies advancing at an unprecedented pace and changes in user habits and preferences over time, it is imperative for your app to keep up with the changes. Else, the chances are your app will crash and burn over time.
If you are still thinking why app maintenance should be a priority for your business, check out the reasons below.
1. Minimizes uninstalls: Apps that have annoying bugs or crashes often drive users away. Similarly, if an app stops offering updated information and functionalities to users after a while, they will see no reason to use it and may even uninstall it. According to a report by Statista, over 70% of users remove the application from their smartphones after 90 days of installation. An application with flaws or inconveniences pushes users to click the ‘Uninstall’ button.
App maintenance and scalability help to keep your application in good shape by fixing bugs, introducing new functionalities, and solving emerging problems. This, in turn, significantly increases your app’s retention rate. Remember, your active users are the most important asset, and retaining them should be your number one priority.
2. Delivers better user experiences: You don’t just want people to download your app. You want them to have the best experience while using it. Why?
Because developing long-term relationships with users is the key to your app’s success and growth. And to develop such relationships, you need to offer a unique user experience to them.
Monitoring your app over time helps you understand how your users feel about your app. Also, keeping track of the market trends helps you stay updated with changing customer habits, preferences, and even problems.
Constantly updating your app on the basis of this data helps you deliver better user experiences. Happier users stay for long, enjoy your app, and leave positive feedback about your app.
3. Helps stay ahead of the competition: There are millions of apps out there competing to gain users’ attention. And it’s next to impossible for consumers to download and use all of them. To beat your competition and stand out from the crowd, you need to maintain and scale your app constantly. Or else, users will start looking for a better option. Your competitors will definitely take advantage of this situation, and you’ll be left behind. So, maintaining your app ensures you stay at par with or ahead of the competition.
4. Ensures safety from cyber attacks: With the growth in the number of mobile apps, there’s also an increase in cyberattacks. Therefore, it’s important to ensure the security of your app in order to safeguard the confidential data of your app users.
With hackers continually searching for loopholes and finding new ways to steal your data and personal information, you can look into app maintenance and update your app with the latest security protocols.
5. Increases ROI in the long run: Updating and maintaining your app on a regular basis offers room for maximizing ROI in the long run and decreases the cost of acquiring new users. Once your app goes live, you’ll probably face bugs at regular intervals. Monitoring your app fans out the costs of fixing those bugs over a longer period of time.
If you don’t keep a check, you might end up facing a technical issue that costs you a lot more. You can also save a huge amount by monitoring how people are using your app over time. For instance, you can eliminate a few unnecessary features that users are not engaging with.
Steps to ensure effective & long-term maintenance of your app
By following the best app maintenance practices, you can ensure that your users continue to have seamless and engaging app experiences. Here’s what you should consider for maximizing the benefits from app maintenance:
1. Build your app well from the start: When creating an app, make sure to keep app maintenance in mind from the very start. This means using a functional platform that is easy to scale. Make sure the platform uses reliable and latest technologies that won’t become obsolete as soon as you finish development.
Moreover, you need to invest in testing, including security, performance, and other types of testing. Testing documentation can help you with app maintenance and support later.
Also, don’t forget to add features in your application that are practically convenient for the users. You can avoid adding unnecessary features to your application that can drive the users away. During the planning stage, your choice for iOS, Android or cross-platform app development will help you determine what features will deliver an amazing experience for your users.
[Also Read: How much does Android app development cost? ]
2. Take care of scalability: Your app’s structure and architecture should be robust enough to handle any number of users. In order to serve thousands or millions of users at the same time, you may also need to upgrade the features and functionalities of your app. Otherwise, you may quickly lose your new users as well as the money you invested in marketing.
3. Stick to your development team: If you are working with an app development team, make sure to stick with them. If you hire new developers every time, they’ll need time to get acquainted with your project and learn about the technologies used.
When your app is maintained by the same team who created it, the process is rather painless and quick. Your developers know exactly what needs to be changed once a new operating system version is out or a new feature is planned.
4. Make use of analytics tools: Once your app is live, use analytic tools to find out how users are interacting with your app. It will give you useful insights into what features they like the most, and which ones seem 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.
5. Fix bugs timely: If you don’t keep a check on your app and fix bugs on time, you’ll drive the users away. In fact, accumulated bugs will lead to your app crashing and also multiply your expenses.
Always keep an eye out for technical issues and bugs and fix them immediately. Keep track of feedback and reviews from users to address any issues or complaints efficiently.
6. Schedule system maintenance: Scheduling regular system maintenance is a perfect solution to avoid missing out on issues or bugs. It also ensures the smooth functioning of your app.
Also, informing users about the scheduled maintenance beforehand helps them stay prepared for such situations. So when you unexpectedly hit your users with a “System down for maintenance” message, they’ll not get frustrated.
Types of app maintenance services
Application maintenance is a continuous process of updating and re-evaluating existing applications to scale your business and maximize profitability. If you want your business to stay ahead of the competition, you must constantly improve your application, and this is possible via app maintenance services.
A reliable app development company offers different types of services that include fixing bugs, adding new features based on the user feedback and development plan, and much more. Some such app maintenance services are mentioned below.
1. 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. You would need to address the issues immediately, offering a seamless user experience.
2. Adaptive maintenance: This type of service and support aims to constantly track changes in the application to keep the product up-to-date. Many factors can change an application’s environment, including software, hardware, and security threats. So apps that don’t receive regular adaptive maintenance quickly become outdated.
3. Preventive maintenance: Preventive maintenance services offer a regular app updating process in which developers eliminate the occurrence of errors. The focus is on reducing app complexity and improving the maintainability factor through code optimization, code restructuring, and updation of documents.
4. Corrective maintenance: The main idea of this approach is to take care of the faults, defects, and repairs in the application. The maintenance also includes errors related to coding, design, and application logic.
5. Perfective maintenance: This approach aims to meet the ever-changing needs of users through maintenance. It takes user feedback into account and takes care of functional modifications in the source code, offering a great user experience.
[Also Read: How much does it cost to build an iOS app? ]
How much does it cost to maintain an app?
Figuring out the exact app maintenance cost can be tricky as it is dependent 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, your costs of maintaining an app can be 50% of the initial app development cost.
This may happen due to the numerous improvements you might want to introduce in response to your users’ feedback. Later on, your yearly budget for app maintenance can be somewhere between 15% to 20% of the initial cost. Keep in mind that your app will need maintenance as long as it exists.
It’s advisable to consult an 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?
The final cost of app maintenance is dependent on several factors such as bug fixing and updates, the location of the app development team, and hosting. On that note, here are some factors that you need to keep in mind when taking the cost of app maintenance into account:
1. Bug fixing and updates: Updating your app regularly can help quickly fix bugs and enhance the UX. The cost of the updates varies depending on several factors such as the complexity of the app and changes in functionalities. Consider your app has a bug that requires a quick fix, then the estimated cost would be around $50.
In case 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. As an app owner, you need to consider the maintenance of such facets. You can even consult a professional app development company. The experts can keep a regular check on your app and update it as and when needed at nominal charges.
2. Hosting maintenance: The app hosting prices and the server costs for apps is another important factor determining the final cost of maintaining 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 per month. This is a rough estimate as it depends on several factors, such as the content, the number of active users, and projected growth.
3. Analytics: Mobile app bugs, crashes, and other glitches need to be monitored and analyzed, and for this, you need analytics tools like Google Analytics that provide insights to help you make better decisions. You will find plenty of free tools and some advanced tools that may cost to provide critical insights. Using such tools can help you check your users’ preferences and expectations so that you can make quick decisions.
4. Customer support: Your app must help users to provide a platform where they can voice their concerns and get their problems addressed. For this, you may consider investing in customer support, which will be an ongoing cost but can have benefits such as valuable feedback from users. The cost of customer support would vary depending on the nature of services provided and measures employed.
5. Third-party services: While developing your app, you may choose to use licensed technology at a fee. Several apps like Uber and Zomato leverage Gmail account services for seamless feature integration in the app. So if you are using third-party services for your app, you’ll need to pay on a monthly basis.
6. App marketing aspect: If you want your app to succeed, investing in marketing strategies is essential. Implementing communication and marketing tools such as social media engagement, push notifications, community development, etc., are the best strategies to market your app updates adequately.
The marketing strategies and tools used in the process have their individual costs, which are added to the final amount. However, these techniques can prove to be beneficial in terms of the app’s success.
7. Development team location: The location of your app development team also impacts the cost required to maintain the app. The app maintenance costs vary around the globe. For instance, the cost of hiring an app development team in California is different from app development companies in Texas. It is due to the fact that services around the world vary significantly in terms of quality as well as cost.
Now that we have seen how much app maintenance costs, let’s get into the steps to lower the cost of running an app.
How to lower app maintenance costs?
Costs of developing and maintaining apps are based on different factors. However, developers can use the below tricks to cut down the expenses:
1. Invest in the right app development platform: While choosing the platform for app development, you have two options. You can either select a native or hybrid app development platform.
Native apps are platform-specific. This means you will have to develop multiple native apps for different operating systems like Android, iOS, or Windows. However, native apps are generally faster and use less space once installed. These apps also offer better features as developers focus on making these apps for one type of operating system.
Talking about Hybrid apps, they’re cross-platform. This means you only need to create one app for different platforms. It saves time as well as costs.
2. Focus on building MVP first: The minimum viable product (MVP) refers to an app with only basic features. Offering unnecessary features can increase the loading time as well as crash chances of the app . So, it is advised to develop an MVP first with necessary and logical features for your users.
Once you receive valuable feedback from users, you can add more features accordingly. Or, you can observe your competitors or trends and upgrade your app accordingly.
For a successful MVP development, you can hire a product development agency that can help bring your product to life.
3. Discuss strategy with app development partner: A reliable app development company can offer high-quality app maintenance services whenever needed. You can discuss all the expenses related to app maintenance and development with the experts. They will also help you to plan your budget and make informed decisions.
How can Appinventiv help ?
Your work is never done after you’ve launched the app. You don’t want your app to go outdated within a few months, especially after all the hard work, time, and money you spent building it.
This is where we come in. At Appinventiv, we not just create innovative apps, but also help in maintaining and scaling them. Our highly-experienced team of professionals keeps a check on your app’s performance, user habits, market trends and latest technology to offer regular and relevant updates, leading to profitability of your application in the long term.
So, in case, you want mobile app maintenance services or wish to scale your app to the next level, feel free to contact us. Our experts will offer the best maintenance services and help improve your product without any worries!