The Ultimate Guide for Mobile App Maintenance Cost - (3 Factors Truly Influencing App Maintenance Cost!)



Your app is finally developed; a great relief indeed!  The months of efforts you put in have shown up. You’ve been marketing it for a while. Launched it on the App Store or Play Store. (maybe both) 


Your app is being downloaded. 


Customers are using your app. 


But wait, that’s all?


No, that’s not all! 


The next step you’ll have to take is to maintain the app. Because the more downloads your app will get, the more maintenance it will need. And you, of course, want more downloads, don’t you? 


A study by Gartner suggested that 77% of the apps fail due to lack of maintenance after the launch period. A considerable percentage, we know. 


This brings us to a critical question: 


Why is app maintenance so essential?


There’s a great misconception prevailing around - build an app once and deploy it forever!  For instance, it is (wrongly) considered, if we develop a mobile app that performs competently today, it will perform very well forever.    There should always be a solid strategy for pushing your users to use the app. And here the picture of app maintenance comes. 


Additionally, if more significant ROIs are something you want, then app maintenance is undoubtedly a thing to follow. It is seen that increasing the app retention rates by only 7% escalates the profit of an app startup anywhere between 30% to 95%.


Things like mobile app development functions and requirements, new platforms (OS) release, modifying the designs and interface are some of the objectives that need definite after launch app maintaining strategies. So no matter how properly your app is developed! You will always need to maintain your mobile app.


This brings us to a frequently asked question - How much does it cost for app maintenance? Very sincerely, there’s no direct figure through which you’ll be able to figure the maintenance costs. (because it depends on your app). But yes, we have curated factors that will help you calculate how much will be your mobile app maintenance cost.


Factors to calculate the costs of mobile app maintenance.


You have a lot of apps on your phone. Are those apps of the same category? No. 


Mobile apps come in diverse sizes, operating systems, shapes, categories, functionalities, and many components constituting them. There are abundant elements in play, and each of them impacts the maintenance cost. 


Essentially, you can calculate the yearly average app maintenance cost at 15% to 20% of the total development expenses invested in building a mobile app. 


Three main factors that affect the app maintenance cost include: 


  1. Complexity
  2. Designs
  3. Development Team 


And then there are other hidden updating costs which is a different ball game. 


Let’s dig deep into the factors. 


The complexity of an app 


Your app has many features, which means many screens within the app, which also means a higher cost. App development costs depend on the complexity of an app. Besides, the technology and the framework you choose for your app also directly affect the mobile app maintenance costs.


Let’s take that your app is based on two native platforms that are - iOS & Android.  That means your app maintenance service cost will be higher because there will be two platforms/operating systems you will need to maintain. Reason? 


App maintenance includes necessary updates required in the app to keep up with the latest App Store (for iOS) and Play store (for Android) policies.


Every year with the launch of a new OS framework, changes will be required in your app.    


  • If you have a hybrid-based app, then maintaining it would be comparatively less than native apps. (at least at our company)


Another essential element is third-party integration. The monthly app maintenance cost will also depend on the total number of third-party integrations. 


Your maintenance cost will increase if your app is linked with various external references. For example - third-party payment platforms, social media platforms, accounting methods. In short, anticipate more maintenance costs.


The design part of an app


The process of mobile app designing is tricky and requires skilled software designers to help you & your app in the long run.  And if by any way, your software designer failed to create a good design, it will, in turn, increase the mobile app operating expenses. Other than that, there’s also a difference between designing native apps, which directly affects the costs of maintenance. 


Hiring an experienced designer at the start of the project itself will make the job easier and boost your app gradually at the time of maintenance. 


The development team


Everything we have said so far only dealt with the app - the designs, the functions, the features, the platform!


Yes, agreed, they were all costs, but above all that costs comes the price of - WHOM YOU HIRE and WHAT DO THEY CHARGE?



The cost of maintaining an app differs around the globe and is the same as the type of development team you hire. 

Maintaining an app in the USA is $75/hr - $150/hr. While in Eastern & Central Europe, the charge goes to $30/hr - $70/hr. When it comes to India’s development charge, it is $10/hr - $30/hr.   


Ideally, if your overall app development costs are $50,000, 20% of mobile app maintenance costs will be %10,000. You can estimate 15-20% of the overall development expenses and determine the app maintenance cost. Moving on, let’s go to some considerations that can help you to lower the costs. 


Seven key things to remember while considering mobile app maintenance costs. 


Here are some aspects that you should remember while strategizing the expenses of maintaining an application. 


  1. Fixing bugs & updating
  2. App analytics
  3. Third-party maintenance
  4. Hosting
  5. Marketing
  6. Customer assistant
  7. API maintenance


Let’s dig deep into the essential things. 


Fixing bugs & updating


Relax!


Having bugs in the 1.0 version of the mobile app is a common thing. Your beta users may have to face some bugs, like not using one of the features of your app or one of the functionalities. Hence, there would be issues regarding your app that your users might tell you to solve. 


It becomes essential to address their concerns and solve them ASAP. If you lack technological knowledge, you’ll have to hire a mobile app development company that could do the job for you. Here, the update costs will depend upon numerous factors. 


If the bug fixation only requires solving one line of code, it may cost you nearly $25- $50. Albeit you want to improve the whole functionality aspect of the app, it may take up to a week and almost cost you $7000- $15,000. 


Furthermore, the cost of maintenance also depends on the app’s size and how it functions. 



App Analytics


The primary purpose of an app is to add value to your business. And if it doesn’t serve value to your business…Can we say it’s a failed idea, then?


Targeting your audience strategically, we mean analytically! (But do make sure that your app is developed keeping in a scenario - YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE)  Never ignore mobile app analytics; it provides some beneficial things to your app - Customer engagement, improving conversion, and optimizing your app!


Additionally, analytics also helps in tracking the performance issues such as glitches, crashes, and errors. Free tools, in particular, Google Analytics, can provide you with basic information like tracking user’s usage and reports that help you make the right decisions.  


However, advanced analytical tools are always available in the market if you want to get more in-depth information. You can use that. Your app’s complexity & the level of personalization needed determines which type of analytical tool your app needs. 


Briefly, 


app analytics is also a maintenance cost. 


Third-party maintenance


When you have integrated something into your app that belongs to a third party, you will need to pay for it either monthly or yearly. 


For example, if you have integrated a third-party payment method, you’ll need to pay for the service you are using. Or let’s say you used a licensed technology; you’ll need to pay for utilizing it. To know more about the third-party maintenance charges, you can reach out to the company and know the expenses. 


Hosting support


To ensure that your unique app runs smoothly and carries out all the user’s demands, you’ll have to reimburse the app’s database and backend.  For hosting support, there are various hosting options available in the market. We recommend you opt for a cloud-based environment.


Reason? 


Amazon Web Services (AWS), a cloud-based hosting system, allows you to only pay for what you utilize and also offers less maintenance & configuration expense. 


Marketing


An important part. 


It would help if you had marketing tactics to get users and retain them. You can apply many free strategies in trend. But relatively paying will get you on the top and make your & your app’s name famous ;-)


Based on your budget, invest sizeably and take hold of the activity time in your app. (we mean user’s time with the app). From $100 to $20,000, invest as per your budget and see the results. An excellent digital marketing company that can create a customized plan for your business is preferable. 

 

Customer assistant


In a traditional market, “Customer is the king of the market.” And for App Stores - “Users are the king!”


Indeed


Listen to your users, regard their feedback, incorporate the changes they want, address their complaints, and yes, by this way, you can successfully gain more users. (Yes, loyal ones!)


Pro tip: Hire a dedicated person to respond to user’s feedback and eventually get good reviews. 


Yes, it will cost you, but believe us, it will extensively help you in the long run!


API maintenance


Security, modifications & scalability are quintessential factors for an app. And all these things work significantly when APIs are maintained meticulously. 


Different APIS can help for smooth and secure transitions and the overall growth of the app. Consequently, API maintenance is a key thing to put your money on. Truly!


How to lower the mobile app maintenance costs? 


Before I start with the areas where mobile app maintenance costs can be lowered…


You’ll have to genuinely follow these practices to spend less on app maintenance costs. 


Can I hear your answer as a “For sure”? Please :)

: yep, of course :)


Ok so, 


  • Invest in the right platform
  • Come up with a maintenance strategy before launch


Invest in the right app development platform


Choosing between two options as a kid was a difficult task for us. Yeah. 


The same happens to us when it comes to investing in the right mobile app development platform. It’s like “either-or.” Either choose a Native App Development platform or go for The Hybrid model. If you ask us, Native App Development is for app owners who know that their majority of target audience only uses either iOS or Android. 


Well, native apps are meant to give users more stability and work as per the OS platform. Thus, the native app will perform efficiently on that particular device. And if you go with a native device, it means app maintenance & app development costs for two different platforms. While the Hybrid model is for app owners with their audience base in both iOS & Android devices. 


The benefit you get with Hybrid models is less expense on app development. With Hybrid app development, you’ll know that your app can be developed for both iOS & Android, which means less app maintenance costs. 


So choose according to your target audience & budget criteria. 


Come up with an app maintenance strategy before launch. 


It’s usually seen that app owners that lack awareness of the technical side has post-launch maintenance plans.  And it would help if you didn’t fall into the trap.


What you have to do is.


When you’re surveying the market for your app, create post-launch plans - What you’ll do to gain umpteen users once the app is launched? (think long term) Focus on the market & marketing tactics used to get more downloads.  Once the app development part is discussed with the app development team, follow up with a discussion on app maintenance strategy. 


Ask them the maintenance costs and what plans they have to offer. Doing so will ease your load and help you prepare a complete scope of work along with the total budget for your app. Maintaining an app goes a long way; strategize it so that the efforts & money you put into development don’t go to waste. 


Takeaway


It is simple to focus on app maintenance and app development if you want your app to sustain itself in the industry.   Keep in mind - keep your mobile app the best, and as a return gift, your users will make sure to return more & the best.