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The Ultimate Guide to Mobile App Maintenance Cost

Chandrapal Singh By Chandrapal Singh | August 4, 2020

Finally, the beginning of your app idea is now a digital transformation tool for you and a great help for the users. 

After finishing the hurdles like these- 

  1. How does long does it take to develop an application?
  2. How much does it cost to design an app?
  3. Mobile app development timeline guide
  4. Different strategies to promote an app

You have deployed your app to the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, offered great features & functionalities into it, it has been liked and appreciated by the users around the globe. Now, the question here is- what next?

If post-launch development is in your mind, well, it is also a part of the app development process or better say the part of the “Mobile app launch checklist”. 

So, what’s remaining- definitely the maintaining the application. 

Yes, even after people are enjoying and using your application greatly, mobile app maintenance is one of the most important things to take care of. 

To know its importance and why it should be the next big thing you should consider- here is the blog explaining everything starting from  mobile app maintenance cost, factors to follow, mobile app maintenance best practices to follow, and so on. 

Let’s get started with the mobile app maintenance cost checklist by crossing the hurdles that come between app maintenance costs. 

What is Mobile App Maintenance?

Mobile app maintenance is basically a way to maintain and take care of the already deployed application in the market. No matter, whether your app is being liked by the users, it always requires maintenance be it terms of bug-fixing, error corrections, upgrades, updates, hardware competency, etc.

It is required because you never wanted to make your application obsolete or less competitive in the market as compared to other coming applications. As per Google Play Store statistics, every day over 6140 apps are added to the app. 

Apart from that, your app needs nourishment in terms of updates, upgrades, bug fixing, and all these things that make you spend money also. Always, remember, not looking at mobile app maintenance may cause an app failure. 

Here, neglecting Mobile app maintenance looks like- 

timely maintenance of mobile apps


Thus, mobile app maintenance is the most important thing. 

Also, there are a few more things to take care of- 

When the last graph states the need to go through mobile app maintenance strategies, there is the next graph showcasing what features are rarely used or not at all used. 

features of mobile apps used by users

The image portrays why maintenance of the app is required by cutting down the features that are not being used or abandoned fully by the users so that you can come up with better features, functionalities, and others. 

So, understanding the dire need of mobile app maintenance, let us have a look at the importance of Mobile app maintenance in great details- 

Importance of timely mobile app maintenance

Updates & uninstalls

One of the reasons for installing the app among many is the UI of the app. Sometimes, the uninstallation of the app happens due to features, functionalities, and many times due to loading time. 

In eliminating such issues, you really look upon the metric and analyze the reason behind the uninstallation of the application. And to follow this practice, you need to update the app. 

Through the update, offering features, functionalities users want can be given without breaking the flow of app experience.

frequently updation of mobile apps

However, when doing all these, always remember to follow the guidelines of app stores. But that’s not enough, take for example- Apple changes app store rules for children apps, this means Apple’s app owners are required to update the app as per the new guidelines. 

This means that whenever the app stores make changes into the guideline, it becomes obvious to update the app accordingly, otherwise the app might get removed or banned from the respective app store. 

Enhanced user experience

No matter how great your application is performing in the market, there is always a competitor who might be looking at your ways and might give better app experience to the users. And thus, gaining more user base as compared to yours. 

The next thing that matters here is that users always look for freshness be it in the content, features, or functionalities. Hence, to satisfy their needs, maintaining the app by introducing freshness is really important. 

App Maintenance can provide you enormous benefits like- 

  • More user base
  • Enhanced experience to them
  • Loyal customers
  • Positive feedback, reviews, and responses
  • Long term relationship with the users.

Check out- How to increase app user engagement

Hardware competency

The number of smartphone users is about to cross a 2.7 billion mark in the coming future. Also, on the other hand, whenever new smartphones are released in the market, it always comes up with a great number of features, functions, operating systems, and so on. 

And this newness in the smartphones obsoletes the compatibility of mobile applications. Not matching the compatibility of phone configuration, the app simply becomes not useful for the users, and thus, they abandon the app and look for some other substitute. 

Check out- Top mobile app onboarding best practices to follow

Well, to not even imagine reaching this place of abandonment, maintaining an app goes nowhere from the list. Thus to make your app be always compatible with new mobile phone devices, it is important to spend money on app maintenance. 

Operating system updates

Updates are part of the operating system and every OS update is quite common. Take for example- iOS 13 operating system updates

When the OS gets updated, it means the mobile apps in the respective mobile applications also need to be compatible with the newer OS version. If not, the issue which we stated in point no 3 will happen, i.e- incompatibility. 

Again the need for mobile app maintenance arises here!

Programming languages

Top programming language trends are the example of how mobile apps are being developed using the new & robust language. As new and more number of programming languages are getting developed in the market, updating and maintaining the app as the new introduction is definitely important. 

User interfaces

UI or user interface is one of the things that hook users to the app for a longer run. If the app’s UI is not easy, effective, and navigational, the chances of its abandonment are quite high. 

This calls for app maintenance as per the market trend and user demand. However, there is another thing that makes UI the star. 

Earlier, be it Android or iOS, iOS, Android app developers used to follow skeuomorphic designing principles which are now taken over by material design. 

Know the difference between material design vs flat design.

All these things together arise the need for timely app maintenance. 

Libraries

There are many apps that use and are dependent on the support of third party libraries. If in case the changes or requirements in the app changes, so does the need to maintain the app as per the library updates emerge here also. 

This is one of the other reasons for you to invest in mobile app maintenance. 

Bug fixing

Even after using the best of technologies, and tactics, encountering bugs are always possible in the app. 

Also, in order to offer great user experience, you need to fix bugs along with looking at the side of correcting errors too. Without it, expecting your app to perform greatly is just not possible. 

Thus, maintaining your app here becomes the most important need. 

Increased ROI

When you are already updating and maintaining your application on time and frequently, hooking not just users but also getting monetary benefits is nowhere going. 

Apart from that, maintaining an app helps in eliminating bugs, error helps in enhanced user experience, enhanced user experience makes them loyal to the app, and hence helps in letting you generate revenue. 

Downtime & revenue analysis

Downtime increases the chances of revenue losses. Bank of America online banking, Amazon web services are a few names that have suffered losses due to downtime issues.

To get rid of such issues, you need to opt for the maintenance of the application. 

Cyber threats security

When you are using the best of technology, you are also getting prone to cyber threats too. Thus, an expert app developer will be responsible for all security concerns. 

With the responsibility to restrict hackers’ search for loopholes in the app, developers can continuously look into app maintenance and app updates parameters all the while using security protocols. 

Now, safeguarding the application from threats calls for the need for mobile app maintenance. 

Now that we have attended the importance of mobile app maintenance, and before getting started with how much does maintenance cost for an app looks like, let us also understand the types of mobile app maintenance to bridge the gap. 

Let’s get started with the types of mobile app maintenance- 

Types of Mobile App Maintenance

Emergency maintenance 

As the name itself suggests, emergency means abrupt, sudden, or not planned situations. And when talking about the name in the field of mobile app development, then it portrays the emergency condition or situation that might be abrupted in the app. 

The emergency nature of the problems is often unpredictable, unexpected, or sudden. In such a scenario, opting for immediate app maintenance is required for seamless user experience along with letting users be assured that their data is safe!

Adaptive maintenance

Adaptive means adapting to the nature and demand of the users and the market. With adaptive maintenance, developers will be required to keep track of changes in the application for the updated system always. 

Perfective maintenance

For more competitiveness, more mobile features and functionalities are introduced in the market. Hence, to beat the competition, it is required to make changes in the app too as per the market needs and user requirements. 

In order to make changes as per the need, feedback from the end-users is also important. Once done with it, taking care of functional modifications then can be made easily offering great user experience. 

Preventive maintenance

Preventive maintenance takes care of mobile applications and prevents them from errors and bugs. Also, the major focus remains here is on reducing the app complexity while improving the maintainability factor. The maintainability factor can be achieved through code optimization, documentation updating, code restructuring, and so on. 

Corrective maintenance 

Using corrective maintenance, you can always take care of faults, defects, repairs in the mobile app functions. 

Here the maintenance part also includes coding, designing, application logic, and so on. 

The next thing to unveil is what factors are included in the app maintenance. 

Let’s check them out too- 

What is included in the Mobile App Cost Maintenance

Development and design maintenance 

Even when the app is deployed and liked by the users, there is always a scope of improvements in the app, be it in terms of aesthetic or performance-related nature. Also, most of the time the potential fixes are made from customer feedback. 

Here the maintenance is divided into Development and design. 

Development maintenance 

The development maintenance here looks after- 

  • Bug fixes,
  • Third-party compatibility work analysis
  • Refining codes
  • Adding new features and removing the not so required features

Design maintenance 

We have already mentioned the importance of UI for great UX. Top mobile app UI design trends along with UX techniques to follow can help you understand the concept more in detail. 

However, always ensure you are hiring the right UI expert for your app designing maintenance. 

Mobile app security 

Ensuring that your app is secure requires cost to maintain mobile app that can’t be skipped or substituted. 

Also, there are two things you need to take into consideration- 

  • Ongoing security optimization
  • Legislative imposed changes

In order to safeguard all your users’ information and sensitive data, developers are required to keep a track of privacy change, updates made in third-party integrations, and so on. Skipping even the smallest of updates unaddressed can cause security issues.

Infrastructural services 

Just like app development, app maintenance also needs to look at infrastructural services like third party hybrid application maintenance cost, human resources, server maintenance, database, hosting, and others. 

However, not just the external medium of spending money, the mobile app maintenance cost also consists of the total number of time spent by human resources. 

Analytics for app

Just like taking care of the user’s demand, it is also important to track & analyze how your users are interacting with the app. Here mobile app user persona can definitely help to make you list down the important things required for tracking and analyzing user demand. 

By understanding how a user will be interacting with the app can make you realize what features can be added or what should be removed using various types of tools. 

Administrative & customer support services

As more users are downloading your application, you will also be required to see their accounts too. Thus, you will also be required here to organize a content management system (CMS).

Along with that, for any customer query or communicating with the users, you need to have someone respond to them. Appointing people for communicating with users will make you spend money too.

Marketing 

Once you are done with app maintenance, you need to market them to the respective audience through respective App stores. 

For doing the same, you can opt for running newsletters, running blogs on websites, investing in paid advertisements, social media, and so on. And here again, you need to spend money.

We are done with how much does it cost to maintain an application, there are a few more core factors that make app owners spend. 

Factors affecting the Mobile App Maintenance Cost

Complexity in software

The more advanced features your app has, the higher will be its application maintenance cost too. 

Also, the choice of technology you are using for mobile app development also plays a significant role. On the other hand, iPhone vs Android choices or going ahead with cross-platform app development also affects the mobile app maintenance cost

Once you attend these factors, the next in the list is third party integrations. You need to shed more app maintenance cost if your app is intertwined with external services like social media integrations, accounting systems, payment gateways, etc. 

The app designing

Your app design will always affect its longevity, hence, ensure you are involving the expert designers for the role. However, if your app is poorly designed in the initial phases, how much does app maintenance cost post-deployment will always haunt you. 

Hence, always ensure you are appointing the expert designer for the app designing process. Also, opting for MVP can greatly help in getting feedback, & reviews understanding what features or things are being liked or disliked by the users. 

App development team’s location

The choice of mobile app development company also plays an important role during the mobile app maintenance cost phase. Demographic location varies as per the country and the experts, developers, designers working with the firm.

There are majorly two options you can opt from- either outsourcing app development or In house app development.

Both the process of app maintenance costs you something, hence, it is crucial to decide which app development process you are willing to go ahead with. 

Check out- How to outsource app development 

Attending to the major point, here is the final piece of the cake- How much does it cost to maintain an app. 

Without further ado, let us quickly have a look at the cost breakdown

How much does it Cost to Maintain an App?

(A major 5 step cost breakdown process)

Though there are more than 6 steps into mobile app maintenance cost breakdown, we have mentioned most of the points in the aforementioned details. And here in this section, we will be briefly looking at the importance of cost to maintain an app breakdown factors in detail. 

Let’s begin- 

App Hosting cost

Hosting cost is involved in the app maintenance cost and is a very crucial expense that can never be substituted or skipped. For this cost affair, you need to first decide the server you want your app on- this will result in an accurate app hosting cost. 

The next step which comes into the play is- app data type. According to the app data type, one can plan out the server resources. If the app data is text-based, static, or involves- audio, video, podcast, or other kinds of data. 

However, always remember that as per your data and its storage value, how much does it cost to host an app will increase accordingly. Normally, an app hosting server can cost you from $70 per month to $320 per month. The cost will again depend upon the type of data, its storage value, the expected number of active users, and projected growth. 

App analytics

We have already mentioned bugs, crashes, glitches, and needs to be corrected for enhanced user experience and longevity success of the application. Thus, for app analytics, you can opt for various tools like Google Analytics for getting greater insights for better decision making.

You can also opt for users’ preferences, expectations, market demand, and the current technology for quicker decision making processes. There are tools for these parameters too. Though these things demand time but it is worth it!

Third-party 

For the app development process, you also need to opt for licensed technology by paying some fee. 

Thus, anything that comes from a third or external source involves monthly and yearly app maintenance cost. Third-party integrations such causes 

Bug fixing`

No matter how great your application is, it will always come up with some bug fixes issues. Improving & maintaining your app always helps in eliminating the bugs and enhancing the overall performance of the app. 

And doing this will cost you definitely!

For example- if you need to correct a bug, it will cost you around $50 in a quick-fix way. And sometimes, bug fixing might take a couple of weeks too. Overall, the prices are always dependent upon the size of the app, the nature of bugs, and the functionality. 

Customer support

You definitely do not want your users to choose someone else over you! For that, you need to connect with your audience 24*7 and listen to their queries, concerns, and then answer them. 

Thus, as and when the technology changes or requirements, queries increase, you need to spend money on the customer support system too. 

With the completion of it, there are some practices that can also help with the app maintenance cost. 

Conclusion 

No matter how great your application is, it always requires nourishment for its effective health. The health and nourishment here mean timely updates, upgrades, bug fixing, error corrections, and so on. Without them, it will be difficult to let the app be everyone’s favorite app!

For more information about what’s the cost to maintain an app and for resolving any app maintenance smallest query also, connect with our experts. 

Chandrapal Singh
Chandrapal Singh

A technocrat and an entrepreneur who is the Co-Founder and Chief Delivery Head at Appventurez. Skilled in object-oriented programming (OOP), iOS Development, Design Principles, Data Structures, and Swift, he has served different organizations as Tech Lead.

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