The Importance of App Maintenance and Its Cost: A Comprehensive Guide
How about if we reveal all what is covered in the scope of the App maintenance, Why do you need to regularly manage your App, what kind of hours and money should you be planning to invest to manage your app in 2023? It will be cool, ya?
Ideally, a basic App Maintenance Cost Plan of 160 hours per month will do a fair job to manage and upkeep a commercial version of your App and this would cost you less than $ 3000/ Month. Now depending upon the needs, number of App users, number of requests/ issues reported etc. you may need to retain your App maintenance team for more hours than just 160 on month on month basis.
Feel free to download our standard App Maintenance Plans By Agicent from here.
1. What is covered in the Scope of App Support & Maintenance?
The App is needed to be regularly updated largely for its following parts and components:
- iOS App and Android Apps whether built-in native or cross-platform tech.
- Web Parts/ Web App (Front end, backend, Web replica of mobile apps).
- Native APIs and Third-party APIs.
- Database, Design files.
- Any new feature development utilizing during the maintenance.
- Upkeep and updates of beyond-the-app-technology and assets like App Install Ad creatives, beyond the App user onboarding (like through QR code or through an integrated partner’s app or site), Marketing automation, analytics, integration with external Apps and so on.
2. Activities that we perform for App Support & Maintenance
Following are the high level tasks that are performed to regularly upkeep and update your App:
- Complete QA Testing by a dedicated QA Engineer and Business Analyst to figure out all possible Bugs – mostly a one time effort for every major release.
Here we assign a dedicated Quality Engineer/ App Tester with a Business Analyst who will note down all the functionality of the app, build test cases (or populate more test cases on top of existing test cases you have), setup a bug tracking board on Jira or Trello or jetbrains (though a simple google sheet would do the job too), build negative test cases, create Test Automation scripts (if needed), create UAT list and then execute all these test cases and create an exhaustive list of all possible issues sorted by their severity and share with the client + Add known issues/ bugs as reported by the client already.
The deliverable after this step is completed are;
– Complete Test cases, sorted by the priority.
– Steps to reproduces the bugs, clubbing of bugs according to their origin.
– Coordination with the client to create a delivery plan of bug fixing and putting a timeline for final healthy high quality App release.
- Fixing of Bugs are Reported by the client + Bugs as reported by our Testing Team across iOS, Android, Backend, Web or anywhere else.
The next logical steps after knowing what all bugs we have is to fix them! A team of developers is assigned to reproduce, Fix and then re-test the reported bugs regularly and then plan shipping the App build on live every week. A real time report is generated on how many bugs are fixed, how many are left and what is their ETA and shared with the client and also put “what is new” in the release notes of the Apps.
The deliverables here would be:
– High Quality Apps and backend are being shipped to the App stores every week like a clockwork.
– Complete picture of where the product stands, what is the next priority, and also gathering user feedback on the new Build.
- Updating the App and its underlying Technology Whenever there is a soft or major OS update from Apple or Google.
As simple as it sounds, Apple and Google launch several soft and major OS upgrades through out the year and even though they won’t let your App to stop working suddenly it is advisable that you update your app to the latest OS versions as soon as they are launched. This keeps the App sane, future proof and helps you avoiding any last minute hassle and hustle when push comes to the shove! (Apple or google forces updating Apps to the latest version after some time of their latest releases).
- Updating Apps to be compatible with all latest releases of all third Party APIs being used in the App and in the backend.
Your App is not standalone and it uses a hell lot of third party services (that are being consumed through APIs or web services) for many functions like (but not limited to):
– Authentication APIs (like FB signup, Twilio for OTP, linkedin signup etc).
– Payment Gateway APIs (like paypal, braintree, Paytm and what not).
– Location based/ Map APIs (Google location, foursquare etc).
– Banking APIs like Plaid.
– Specific APis like any library for image processing, Unreal libraries in case of games, any video streaming libraries and more.
Now like any other software, these APIs are updated very very frequently (more frequently than native OS upgrades) and it becomes absolutely mandatory for your to keep on updating your App to match the latest releases. I’m sure you must have seen many Apps not signing up through FB login even though they were doing so before, you saw it, right? Well, that’s because FB updated their authentication API and the developer has still not updated the App yet accordingly. You don’t want to be such an App and that is where your App Maintenance Cost becomes highly justified.
- Regular App Performance optimization for a high-performing App
Following are the activities that should be performed regularly to keep the performance of your App top Notch:
– Resource optimization (battery consumption, camera usage and so on).
– Load time optimization by optimizing heavy content, API calls.
– Regular improvement in onboarding and overall User flow. Small things like remembering the password, easy login, and easy download of data make your user happy and retain him for a long time.
– Judicious use of third-party and native APIs and services always, and especially when a cost is involved. For example, using Maps, authentication only when needed.
– Optimizing the analytical/ tracking scripts so that they don’t slow down the App.
– Regular optimization of the server side so that data exchange between the App and its server remains seamless and super fast.
- Periodical App Code cleanup as a regular practice and Code repository Maintenance.
When you have an App Maintenance Team on retainer then why not keep them busy with regular code cleanups, updating comments, doing version controls in git, managing the repository, and simplifying project modules to make the product future-proof and also to make life of any other future developer easier.
- Regular Documentation, Creating App’s SDKs and APIs
Regular documentation is an absolute essential activity but in the Agile App Development world, it gets missed because App development teams prioritize releasing first over any documentation. However, when you opt for regular App Support services this can be covered smoothly.
App Development Document usually covers the following:
– A clear, well-written App requirements and user story documentation.
– Documentation of all UI/UX and creative assets of the App.
– Technical Architecture Document covering the tech stack being used, third-party libraries being used, any paid services used, the overall architecture of the whole App suite, and more.
– Test Cases and UAT Documentation, as described in the point related to App testing everything you do in the testing is documented.
– Creation of App wiki, so that new developers will find answers to common problems and questions handy.
- Regular Store upload, putting web parts on live server, coordinating with App stores on behalf of the client.
– Whenever there is a new release, we upload it onto the store.
– Whenever App stores raise any concern or reject the app, we coordinate on your behalf, build a case and always win it for you.
– Managing the keywords, and content of the App store pages as according to your marketing needs.
– Sending notifications to existing users to download the latest app version.
- Server Maintenance corresponding to the cloud provider’s infrastructure and features
Server maintenance is not as big of a task these days as it was before the cloud servers came into being, however it becomes important to manage the server space, upgrade for more features and machine processing when you gain large number of users suddenly or in a short span of time.
Cloud servers provide you a slew of features that you may not need in the beginning of your App launch or during MVP stage (like security features, scaling features, processing power, backup features, optimization features etc) but as the App gets promoted to more and more users these things become important and our team helps you out there.
- Managing, Recording, and Sharing the Timesheet with the client
There can be no good App maintenance if you don’t know what is being maintained. In order to make sure that you know where is your money is going and what is the ROI, we prepare exhaustive timesheets that cover the tasks, time gone into each task, resources used and share with your transparently in real time. The project management tools like Trello and Jira just do this job smoothly and you keep in control all the time.
3. App Maintenance Plans and Pricing from Agicent
We’ve kept it very simple, you retain us for X number of hours a month for App maintenance and pay the fee. Obviously, the more hours you retain us for the better will be the pricing. We always ask our clients to start with the lowest plan and then we jointly analyze in 3 months if 160 hours are enough to handle the App support demands and if not then only we ask you to increase the plan with justification.
Here are the Some of famous Cost Plans for App Maintenance:
Retainer Options Price/ Mo
Estimation of 160 hours maintenance each month. $ 2900/ Month
Estimation of 260 hours maintenance each month. $ 4500/ month
Hourly rate for tasks beyond 160 hours per month (on Need basis). $ 20/ hour
4. Skills and Engineers needed for App Maintenance Process
If your App runs on both iOS and Android and also has a web front end along with a backend, then you need following skilled Engineers to perform App maintenance:
– Native or Cross-Platform iOS/ Android Developers.
Native would include Swift/ Xcode developer for iOS; Kotlin/ Java and Studio Developer for Android.
Cross-platform skills would be React native, Flutter or Ionic.
– Backend Developers
The skills can be node.js, MongoDB, ExpressJS or MERN Stack or Laravel/ PHP, or .NET or Java (Depending upon the tech stack being used at your backend).
– Web Front End Developer
If you have a landing page website or a complete App’s replica on the web then you may need web front end developers experts in HTML, JS, React JS or Angular or PHP/ Laravel or ASP.NET (Depending upon the tech stack being used at the website end).
– Professional App Tester who knows both manual and automation testing.
– UI/ UX Designer knows Figma, Photoshop, and Adobe design suite.
– Business Analyst and Project Coordinator
The one who will be an internal project stakeholder at Agicent, will be your single point of contact, will coordinate between you and development, and will also do all activities related to business analysis.
5. Factors to consider to find out how much does it cost to maintain an App?
Although we have made easier and straight forward for you to do app maintenance by offering hourly maintenance plans, but there still can be some factors that can raise or bring down the cost of App maintenance as follows:
The complexity of the application
The basic factor that contributes to the maintenance cost of the application in 2023 is the complexity of the application. Everyone wants to have advanced apps with more and more features, screens, and much more. But keep in mind that if you are adding these it will further raise your maintenance costs to the greatest extent. Adding more to it, the maintenance costs will also rise with the involvement of higher technology or framework for its development.
The smartphones available in the market depend upon different operating systems. Everyone loves to have the one that they prefer the most. Android and iOS platforms are the two leading operating systems that the majority of users prefer to have on. Do you know what is the basic factor that lies behind the success of an application well its usage? The majority of the time developers prefer to create hybrid applications that can work effectively on both Android and iOS operating systems. But if you have created such, just keep in mind that the maintenance costs are also going to be quite higher than that of the maintenance costs of the same application for both of the platforms.
The integration of third-party sources also adds up in raising the overall maintenance cost of an application. More will be your app linked closely with the different external sources such as payment platforms, social media services, higher will be the overall maintenance cost of your app. Let’s make it simpler for you, the maintenance cost of a simple photo editing app is usually quite lower than that of the news app.
App Development Team Location
The maintenance cost of an application also differs a lot as per the location. You may need to pay the maintenance cost of about $50-150 per hour in the USA but it may somewhere lie in between $25-60 per hour in Eastern and Central Europe. Whereas if we talk about the maintenance cost of the application in India it is quite low and you can easily accomplish it by paying $10-30 per hour.
6. Few things that you can do to make sure less maintenance overhead:
– Build your app well architected right from the start
If you are going to build up an app from scratch and are currently willing to save money on its maintenance, it becomes quite important for one to keep the maintenance in mind. The best thing you can do in this league is to select a functional platform that is quite easy to scale. Make sure the platform you are using is quite reliable and includes modern technology that provides you updated results always.
Moreover, testing, performance, security, and compatibility are some of the other factors you need to invest in. Testing documentation is one of the perfect ways to enjoy seamless app maintenance and support in the future.
Don’t forget to add up the preferable feature set in your application and also try to prevent the usage of unnecessary features. Before starting to build up your app you can take a while and think and can even take the help of a business analyst for considering what features and specifications you can add to your app for -providing the best user experience.
– Take care of the scalability
The next thing you have to care about is scalability. If you are willing to reduce the maintenance costs of your application in the future, it becomes quite important for you to check whether the app’s architecture and the server infrastructure are perfect enough to handle the higher traffic or not. Keep on a progressive approach and keep in mind that the number of users of the app is going to be increased every day.
Just make sure that your app is quite good to ensure smooth functioning. Upgradation of the services on your app is the perfect way for ensuring its smooth performance.
– Have a Professional Development Team
Creation of App is one thing and its one big thing, but maintenance of the App needs far more seasoned professionals then just one off developers. Finding bugs, reproducing them, fixing them with the right logic and method so that they don’t reoccur or break other features is something that needs a pretty senior developer or guide to handle.
A seasoned App development and maintenance team will have more solutions options to a problem, must have seen the similar issues before and that will result with quick turnaround and a fool proof development instead of trying in the dark.
– Check your analytics
Once you have created your application you can make use of analytics for checking out which features are quite useful for you and which are being ignored by the users. You can find the different factors that are affecting the performance of your app and can then add changes accordingly.
Also Read: How much does it cost to build a mobile app?
7. Benefits of App Maintenance Process
Plenty! The first one being – App maintenance is essential if you’re serious about your App business you should’ve a tech team stand by instead of on need basis. The major benefits of App maintenance can be summarized as:
– High performing App, every single day.
Activities like regular performance optimization, Testing, regular fixing, periodical UAT are all meant to achieve one goal primarily and that is – a high performance App for your users every single day. Remember, no use wants it less!
Regular maintenance, documentation, optimization helps App to be more scalable Vs the app that was never maintained. And you need to keep your App scalable because with the launch of new tech and services absolutely frequently, it is important to keep your App ready to integrate with other apps and scale.
Security, backup, recovery is an essential practice of App maintenance and helps your App to be up to date and way less vulnerable Vs an App where no one gives a damn about security.
– Higher user engagement and better Marketing.
The Apps that are updated frequently retain more users Vs the Apps that seldom update. When you update, you fix things, you launch new features (even smaller ones) and this gives an impression to your users that you care – and this helps you creating your App as a serious brand that users can rely upon.
– Better integration, exploit third party services to the maximum.
When you’ve an App development company maintaining your App regularly, you make sure that all third party APis are being exploited fully. You get the best deals from different providers (like payment gateway, authentication, bank APIs etc), you have time and resources to fully utilize what they have to offer and your App becomes the best example of well oiled integrated app eventually.
Why Hiring Agicent for your App Maintenance Cost Project?
– We are OCD when it comes to anything release to Apps. Believe it or not, our team is almost available 24*7 if there is anything wrong in the App and we try to fix it then and there. Our customers can vouch for this, try us yourself.
– We have simple straightforward and transparent App maintenance plans. As shared above, we have the best plans available for you on retainer and you won’t need to bang your head to get estimation of every single task. The whole idea of having Agicent managing your App is that you focus on your important business and expansion while we take care of the App in the given hours. Simple as that.
– We’ve a real expertise in Apps, been creating Apps for 13 years. Managing Apps like HASfit, VaycoPlus, Mediorbis that have millions of users. We know how to scale an App from just an MVP to as big as an App handling 10 million users everyday, this is a proven expertise. You’d love to work with the team that knows their stuff and loves it just too much.
– We’ve common interests – We help you make your App big and we become big ourselves. That’s just enough motivation for us to do the right work.
– Feedback system – Every month before raising an invoice, we ask our clients if they still find our services as good as we promised during the “sales cycle” and raise it only when they say yes.
Conclusion of App Development Cost and Process
Application development and maintenance is a never-ending process. Right from adding updates to resolving issues, there are a lot more things that go on side by side throughout. The expenses on an app do not end with its creation, they kind of keep on but for only the good. The App is the core part of your business, you can’t leave it unattended and there is where Agicent comes into the play. Start maintaining your App as necessity before it becomes mandatory!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Mobile App Maintenance Is Important?
Mobile App Maintenance is crucial to ensure the app continues to function properly, existing features and services are enhanced, the app is secure, and is up-to-date after its initial development and launch stage. The mobile app maintenance takes care of existing bugs, improves security, maintains compatibility, optimizes performance, and keeps users engaged. App maintenance also ensures the long-term success of an app.
What Are the Different Types of Mobile App Maintenance?
Different types of mobile app maintenance are corrective maintenance, adaptive maintenance, perfective maintenance, preventive maintenance, and enhancement maintenance. As a business owner, you need to figure out which maintenance is needed by your app and when as there are divergent types of app maintenance. If you are looking at a ballpark figure you need to observe multiple facets while budgeting for app maintenance.
How Does the Complexity of an App Affect Its Maintenance Costs?
The complexity of a mobile app has a significant impact on its maintenance costs. In general speaking, the more complex the app is, the more expensive it is to maintain. Different ways in which the complexity of an app can affect its maintenance costs are development time, testing, upgrades and updates, integration with third-party services, and security.
How Can Ongoing Maintenance Costs for an App Be Reduced?
In order to reduce the ongoing maintenance costs for an app you can consider some strategies such as design for scalability so that it can easily adapt to changes, choosing a reliable development team, using standard libraries and frameworks, testing thoroughly and regular updates and maintenance can help you to prevent issues that come later and becomes costly problems.
What Factors Determine the Cost of App Maintenance?
Important factors that determine the cost of app maintenance are app complexity, app age, third-party integrations, operating system updates, security, user base, and maintenance type. As you can see the cost of app maintenance depends on a wide range of factors. Acknowledge these factors as they might be helpful to your business to plan for the cost associated with maintaining a mobile app in the long run.