mobile app development

How Much Does it Cost to Maintain an App [2020]

App maintenance include the nurturing of servers, push notifications, and payment gateways.

app maintenance cost

You are done with all the hard work that goes into mobile app development, published your app successfully in the Google Play or App Store, marketed it exceptionally well to attract the clients and now waiting desperately while thinking that you are done with the app marketing job. In case, you are a similar thinker, you are losing it all.

With these specific tasks, you are only done with a part of mobile app development. It is merely a part that you have completed from the book titled, “How much does it cost to maintain an app?”

After you have successfully developed your mobile application, it is important to maintain it and that incurs some additional cost. Lack of mobile app maintenance can become a reason for your app failure.

requisite of app failure

Publishing the application on the Google Play and Apple App Store is not the end of the story of your application. And a hundred thousand downloads aren’t the happy ending either. Your app is competing with thousands of other applications.

The Daily Active Users or DAU of the app defines the number of app installs and the users who visit again. On the other hand, Monthly Active User or MAU offers the same statistics but on a monthly basis and both of these elements need to be exceptional for successful app survival.

In case you are still not clear on what we are hinting on, let us reveal it. We are focusing on the mobile app maintenance that starts after you are done with the development phase. App maintenance asks for additional expenses, which is 15-20% of the original cost of the development. The app maintenance cost also includes features that may be updated in the future.

We had research on the features that users most frequently, rarely, or never use. Here are the insights.

graph of app maintenance cost

This means app developers are still investing their time on the features and functionalities that users never use. The approach is not at all acceptable when it is about developing applications that prove to be functional enough and the solution lies in developing the features that users would like to use. Well there are some requirements that you can’t get rid of include:

  • Servers - $(20-60)/month

  • Push Notifications - $10/month

  • Payment Gateways - up to $149/month(or more). It also includes a certain percentage of each transaction

In addition to all this, there are other features to include in the applications that can ask for additional expenses.

Note: The costs of maintaining a mobile app is just a rough estimation. It can either exceed or drop-down depending upon the app functionality.

How Mobile App Maintenance Cost Calculated?

There are several factors that count when we talk about the cost of maintaining an app. Here are some:

  • Even when an app is published, it has an ongoing cost that the developer needs to incur besides developing the application.
  • So, the additional cost goes into creating new content, tracking how your app is performing, and informing the users about the new updates.
  • Offering all these services to the users would ask for an additional cost.
  • In case your services rely on a server that stores related information like user records, or payment history, the publisher needs to pay extra for this information.

How Much Does it Cost to Make an App?

If you are still stuck with the question of “How much does an app cost?” Here is your answer:

  • The actual answer to this question depends on the build (app development) the service is using.
  • You can also get the developers at a cheaper cost, which is another concern.
  • The thumb rule says the upfront expense of maintaining the app is 20% of the total cost of development.
  • That means if your app’s total expense is $100,000, you are required to spend about $20,000 per year to maintain the same.
  • Additionally, when you are spending on the app marketing strategies, it will also be counted in the total cost of development.

If that sounds a huge chunk of money we have got something for you! Read on to know more.

How to Cut Down the Cost of Mobile App Development?

The cost of app development depends upon multiple factors, still, developers can bring down the app development cost.

1. Invest in the Right Development Platform

There are two kinds of platforms available for developing an application. You can either choose from:

  • Native app development
  • Hybrid app development

Native development helps to get an app that is stable enough for the users and has better access to the resources of the smartphone, which means it will perform faster and will feel lighter on your smartphone. When compared with web apps, such services can be more reliable in terms of features and functionality.

Well, there is a downside that you will have to maintain at least two apps for two different platforms including Android and iOS, meaning it will expand the budget you have.

The solution can be investing in a hybrid application. It combines the best of the native platforms and includes some of the best offerings that HTML5 offers.

2. Include the Features That Users Will Use

Users never use 45% of an app’s features and thus, it is wise to invest in elements that users would actually use. This will help to cut down the cost and the efforts that your developers would have to take while developing and designing the application.

But how would you ensure which features are the best?

Ask users for feedback and include the same in your app development practice.

Besides, the app developer also needs to analyze and study the concerns of the users to come up with something that could be brought on the board. Serving users with what they are asking for is one of the most important concerns for a publisher to win over the hearts of the users.

The Conclusion

The app development and maintenance cost of an app are inevitable. You cannot avoid it but there are measures that can help you with minimizing the expense of the development. We have researched on “how much does app maintenance cost” and came up with a few metrics that you can consider in case you are planning to develop an app of your own.

Also, consider not paying the overcharged cost. And for the same you need to prepare your app with some of the best elements, here are the key caveats to take notice of.

  • Select a platform to answer users’ demand
  • Include the required functionality only
  • Invest in-app maintenance by hiring the right resources for the same
  • Listen to the feedback and do include the same

Keeping the important stats in your mind is also important and that includes the number of downloads your app has received right from the time it was launched. By keeping all the above-illustrated points into the mind, you can easily cut down the expense.

General FAQ

  • How much does it cost to keep an app running?
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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