mobile app development

How Much Does App Maintenance Cost In 2021?

Worried about mobile application maintenance cost? Well, let us guide you through expected app maintenance expenses and ways to reduce them!

app maintenance cost

App maintenance is a recurring and crucial task for every app. Even if you had built an amazing app and added every possible security and safety feature, apps can still have glitches revealing themselves after some time. Therefore, the need for mobile app maintenance occurs. 

App maintenance is not only important due to glitches, apps can be upgraded, modified, and much more. Whenever you plan to develop an app, apart from the development cost of the app, it is a smart move to measure the approximate cost of maintaining an app. It will help you in avoiding sudden burdens in case of any unpredictable event.

How much does it cost to maintain an app?

Well, there are different perspectives in the industry regarding that. However, it also depends upon the complexity of the app, the technology which has been used, the platform for which the app was built, and much more. Experts usually suggest that app maintenance can cost 15-20% of the total development cost. 

Here are a few factors to answer how much does app maintenance cost?

  • The average cost of maintaining an app includes the cost of content generation, promotional activities, graphic creation, purchasing media elements, and much more;
  • Upgrading servers, or hosting services also affect mobile app maintenance costs;
  • Recurring maintenance costs like code modifications, new technology integration, upgrading platforms, etc.

Apart from that, here are a few other elements that might affect the mobile app maintenance cost:

  1. Servers: $(20- 60)/ month
  2. Push Notifications: $10/ month
  3. Payment Gateways: $149+/ month
  4. Additional unpredictable events: Depends upon the event

Why is mobile application maintenance important?

Well, the answer to this question is obvious. Maintenance can be used to keep the application fresh, to free it from glitches, to upgrade the UI and UX, etc. 

Let’s discuss in detail why mobile application maintenance is important:

1. Keep your application safe against glitches and flickering issues

Well, with time, manufacturers keep updating smartphones and their technologies. So, it might make your app incompatible with new upgrades. It might cause security issues in your app, or glitches, or UI/UX issues. Regular maintenance of your application will help you in avoiding these possible issues even before they occur. 

2. Upgrade the UI/UX according to new trends

As a developer, you must have noticed that almost every year, the app industry sees a revolution. Sometimes it’s about features that can be offered now but were impossible, or new opportunities to upgrade the way the User Interface looks. With time, you can also observe UI/UX elements that are not being used in the app and remove them to optimize the space apps consume.

3. Keep up with features and minimize uninstallations

Whenever you plan expected application maintenance costs, make sure that your focus should be on minimizing uninstallations. The only way to do so is to make your app better than your competitors. Invest in making your app easy to use, better to look, interesting to use, and much more. Try to keep users glued so that they will not have any reason to uninstall the app.

4. Financial security and secure payment gateways are super important

If your app requires payments for any reason at all, you have to make sure that your app follows proper security protocols. In this case, your app is not only responsible for your financial security, users need to have the security for their details as well. You can plan the maintenance cost of mobile apps with consideration of payment gateways, the best security for them, and recurring security updates.

5. To build long-lasting goodwill for your application

An error-free and technologically advanced app can have a good reputation. For the exchange of recurring app development and maintenance costs for your app, you can expect brand loyalty and users’ satisfaction in return. Moreover, suppose if you plan to launch another app in the future, a good experience will make users trust more on your app.

6. Getting rid of downtimes

Downtimes are nightmares that turn into reality for developers, if not taken care of in advance. Many ways can be taken to avoid possible downtimes like regular updates, compatibility with the latest technology, protection against hacking attempts, etc. Downtimes can cause huge revenue losses to developers, you should plan a part of app maintenance cost to avoid such incidents.

Important Aspects To Cover With The Cost Of Maintaining An App
 

Aspects of app maintenance where you should invest more

  • Compatibility with evolving Operating systems and devices

With technological developments, devices, and operating systems, both are evolving. You need to make sure that your app is compatible with these evolutions. By targeting some of your application maintenance costs here, you can increase its life-span.

  • Modifying and upgrading the UI and UX 

Upgrading the User Interface and User experience to make your app more user friendly is a wise decision you can make. You can observe the most popular apps, go through suggestions by users, and use your ideas to make changes. Your ultimate goal should be that users feel the need for your app. It will be better if they get addicted to it the way apps like Instagram and Facebook keep many of their users glued. 

  • Upgrade functionalities and add new features

After now and then, you will observe that many popular apps add something new to stand out. For example, gaming apps like subway surfer, or temple run, invested in upgrading their graphics. Moreover, food delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy adapted live tracking systems for their orders. It improved users’ satisfaction without any doubts. 

How Much Does It Cost To Keep An App Running?

Well, figuring out the exact application maintenance cost is tricky as it involves multiple predictable and unpredictable aspects, as mentioned above as well. However, there are some additional possibilities of answering this question, I am going to mention them further for your reference.

  • The cost of hiring a developer or a small app development company can influence the average cost of maintaining an app;

  • As mentioned earlier, the predictable maintenance cost of a mobile app might reach up to 20% of the total cost to develop an app;
  • According to the breakdown we mentioned above, the average cost of maintaining an app can fall between $400 to $900 per year. It can have a huge variation depending on your market location, type of the technology, and type of the upgrade;
  • The amount spent on the app marketing strategy will also be counted as your total application maintenance cost.

Breakdown Of App Development And Maintenance Costs

1. Focusing On Hosting Services

As a developer, you know that hosting is a recurring cost. It is something your app can not function without. Therefore, you can invest money according to your budget and that will provide you limited-time access to the server. 

However, apart from the duration of the hosting, the type of your app data will also matter. You would also want to consider CPU memory, supporting media types on the server, other features hosting provider offers, etc. There are some leading organizations like Amazon web services, Hostgator, etc which offer special discounts on hosting services.

2. Monitor Traffic With App Analytics

Well, analytics is important to measure the real growth of your application. Therefore, it’s a cost you can not avoid. Analytics will demand investment for services like traffic measures, traffic sources, user behavior, average app usage time, etc. 

Moreover, tools like Google Analytics can also help you in figuring out which part of your application is seeing more growth so you can either take inspiration from it or focus on it to maintain its growth.

3. Identifying Bugs And Fixing Them

Bugs can appear unexpectedly anytime for any reason like server updates, hosting upgrades, device change, etc. However, the cost of detecting bugs and fixing them can vary as it depends upon the type of bug and the time it will take to get rid of it. The Minimum expected cost to edit one line of code is $50. 

4. Improving Customer Experience 

Solving app-related problems raised by customers is also a crucial role for any developer. You have to take their feedback seriously and resolve them. However, it is not always possible for an individual developer or a team of developers to interact with users directly. To solve that problem, Customer Service Representatives (CSR) will come into the role. Even though it’s a cost as well, being responsive to users’ queries creates nice goodwill.

5. App marketing activities

Well, developing and publishing apps is not the end of the responsibility. Users need to know about every change you are going to make into the app to build their trust. Especially if these modifications affect the privacy, data, or payment info of users. For every new upgrade or modification in the app, you will have to do promotional activities. It will attract costs that can not be avoided.

Tips To Reduce Mobile Application Maintenance Cost

Well, certain ways can be used to reduce the investment in mobile app maintenance:

1. Selection of the Right Development Platform

Choosing the right platform can affect the cost, efforts, and time you will invest in the app. There are two types of app development platforms existing at the moment:

  • Native App Development
  • Hybrid App Development

Native apps are platform-specific. In other words, you have to develop multiple native apps for multiple operating systems like iOs, Android, Windows, etc. However, native apps are usually faster and consume less space once installed. These apps are also able to offer better features as developers specifically focus on making these apps for one particular type of operating system.

If we talk about Hybrid apps, they’re cross-platform, as the name suggests. Though building one app for multiple operating systems is naturally a time-saving and cost-saving process. If you want to offer services on multiple platforms with limited features, you should consider developing a hybrid application as it will save you from maintaining multiple apps separately. From an even a long-term point of view, you are saving investment.

2. Focus on building an MVP App

The minimum viable product (MVP) app refers to an app with only basic features. Hence offering many useless features can increase the app size, loading time, and chances of app crashes. So, it is advised for you to develop an app with important features for your users.

You can add features later according to the feedback you receive from your users. Or, you can observe your competitors or trends and upgrade your app accordingly, if it doesn’t reduce the performance of your app.

Final Words

If you observe the market, you will find that many of the top app development companies are applying these tactics while they are trying to build applications for their clients. The reason is that apps of many types are increasing in the industry. Therefore, the competition is much higher and every step taken towards the development can either improve your apps’ reputation or depreciate it. However, following these standard procedures can help you in planning your cost and keeping it as minimum as possible.

We hope that we provided you satisfactory information. Moreover, keep visiting MobileAppDaily for more informative blogs for all your app development needs.

General FAQ

  • How much does it cost to keep an app running?
  • How do you maintain an app?
Aparna <span>Growth Strategist</span>
Written By
Aparna Growth Strategist

Aparna is a growth specialist with handsful knowledge in business development. She values marketing as key a driver for sales, keeping up with the latest in the Mobile App industry. Her getting things done attitude makes her a magnet for the trickiest of tasks. In free times, which are few and far between, you can catch up with her at a game of Fussball.

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