When we talk about the app development process, we mean much more than just programming and delivering a product. The long-term upkeep of your digital solution is just as important as the initial concept conceptualization and production. Given how quickly technology advances these days, your application would be obsolete in a matter of months if you did not constantly update it with improved functionalities and design features.
Maintenance after the initial development of your application, like the initial development, has a cost. Unfortunately, many new app owners undervalue the importance of aftercare and leave long-term maintenance out of their budget estimates. As a result, they either end up with much higher investments than anticipated or with an outdated and malfunctioning application after its launch. This blog will tell you everything you need to know about the cost of application aftercare to give you a better idea of what to expect when investing in the long-term maintenance of your app.
Maintenance is important.
With the increasing popularity of smartphones, tablets, and improved mobile connections, nearly every business is considering the development of some type of digital solution to optimize their business processes and customer services. While most people make the necessary investments for an app’s development and launch, many fail to account for the app’s long-term costs. Following the launch of a product, application maintenance is critical to its long-term success. Because it is nearly impossible to create an application with no bugs or issues with updates, no matter how experienced and skilled the developer is. Even if your app appears to be flawless at the time of launch, there is a good chance that issues will arise when it is used by a larger audience.
As a result, developers must always be prepared for a slew of updates, upgrades, bug fixes, and general maintenance. Because their partnership contracts typically include a maintenance fee, predictive development partners typically assist their clients in making long-term plans for the maintenance of their digital solution.
The cost of maintenance
You’re probably wondering how much you’ll have to pay for your application’s upkeep after it hits the market. So, let’s get right to it. When calculating app maintenance costs, you must consider many factors, such as server maintenance, push notifications, payment gateways, and much more. In the app development life cycle, the maintenance stage comes after the development and go-to-market stages.
The costs of having your application maintained and closely monitored by your development partner are frequently much higher during the first year than in subsequent years. This year, maintenance costs are expected to rise to 50 percent of total development costs. After the first year, the industry standard for software maintenance is 15 to 20% of total development costs. This means that if your mobile app cost $100,000 to develop, you can expect to pay around $20,000 to maintain it each year. During the first year, you should budget between $250 and $500 per month to keep bugs at bay and iteratively improve original functionalities.
Yes, that does sound quite pricey, and it is for businesses that do not consider maintenance prior to and during the technical development process. The attempt to create a flawless and bullet-proof application from the start is a common mistake made by new app owners. This causes them to spend their entire budget on the development process, despite the fact that creating a perfect and bug-free application that automatically keeps up with changing trends and technologies is practically impossible.
What factors can affect your app’s maintenance costs?
Because no two applications are alike, maintenance costs will vary depending on your product. A more complex application with many functionalities, features, and third-party integrations, on the other hand, necessitates a much more thorough maintenance process than a simpler app with fewer functions. The number of operating systems for which your app is developed can also influence the cost. As a result, if you have a native Android and iOS app, your app maintenance fees will most likely be higher than if your app was developed solely for iOS or Android. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that influence the cost of your app’s long-term maintenance.
1. Providing hosting
The cost of servers and app hosting is one of the most significant expenses for mobile apps. You’ll need to figure out what kind of server you’ll need for your app, as well as how much it’ll cost to host it. The type of server your app requires is usually determined by the type of data it uses. Large music or video files, for example, will necessitate a larger server than written files or small-scale images. For larger amounts of data, you’ll need more server CPU (Central Processing Unit), memory, and disk/cloud space, which will increase your costs significantly. The cost of an app hosting server typically ranges from $70 to $320 per month, depending on the data used, the anticipated number of users, and overall scalability. Because you only pay for what you use, cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) are frequently less expensive.
2. the platform
As previously stated, the platform you choose to create your app for influences your app’s maintenance costs. If you choose to create native apps for both iOS and Android, expect higher maintenance costs. Why? Because updating/fixing/enhancement of your native application will necessitate separate work on each device’s developing platforms. In other words, if you have an app for both of these mobile platforms, your developers are essentially putting in twice the effort, which costs twice as much. They’ll have to deal with the app store for the platform in question as soon as you release a new version.
3. Integrations with third-party services
Using licensed technology to develop your app is a convenient option, but it will cost you money. This means that any third-party content you add to your app will be charged a monthly fee. Over time, this can have a significant impact on the cost of maintaining your application.
Monitoring and analyzing how your users interact with your app is an important part of your app’s aftercare. You can anticipate improving, adding, or removing certain features to optimize the overall user experience if you have constant insight into the interaction between your users and your product. Monitoring and data-driven decision-making are time-consuming and labor-intensive processes. Fortunately, there are numerous free or low-cost tools available to track your app’s market performance. Analyzing user behavior is a skill that is generally quite easy to learn and does not always necessitate the use of a professional. You can easily cut some of your maintenance costs if you put in the time and effort to learn it yourself.
5. Updates and bug fixes
Regular updates can significantly reduce errors and enhance the user experience. The cost of keeping your app updated can vary greatly depending on the amount of work required. A simple bug that requires changing a single line of code will cost you no more than $50, whereas a major design or feature update can take weeks and cost between $1000 and $2000 dollars. The more features and functionalities your app has, the more it will need to be monitored and updated by experts.
6. Customer service
Customer service is critical for keeping your users engaged with your product. After all, if it takes weeks for your users to receive a solution to a problem they encountered while interacting with your app, they are more likely to delete your app and look for an alternative that does not have that problem in the first place. Some businesses already have customer service in place, while others must start from scratch. You can hire a professional to integrate and manage a customer support system, but this will increase your maintenance costs.
Do you require assistance?
Lizard Global assists clients throughout the development process, from start to finish and beyond. This includes the process of maintaining and updating the product after it has been delivered. Our experts equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to track the performance of your app and make data-driven decisions to ensure an optimal user experience at all times.
Want to learn more about MDX’s development process and the long-term upkeep of your delivered solution? Contact us by filling out the contact form on our website for more information and a free digital consultancy session with the best players in the field.