How Much Does It Cost to Maintain an App?

Published On: July 24, 2020
Last Updated: May 16, 2023
How Much Does It Cost to Maintain an App?

Simply developing an app is not enough to compete in the app market. You should maintain it by fixing bugs, providing a better user experience, and reducing uninstalls to maintain quality. App stores remove apps that are not regularly updated, so it’s crucial to maintain your app to stay relevant.

In fact, Google’s Play Store alone has removed over 3.5 million apps, and Apple has removed more than 540,000 apps in 2022 due to a lack of updates in recent years. Therefore, it’s essential to prioritize app maintenance.

But a question arises, how much does it cost to maintain an app?

Ideally, the maintenance cost of a mobile app is 15-20% of the overall investment that you have made in the application development. For example, if your app development costs $20,000, the average app maintenance cost would be around $3,000 to $4,000 per year. However, it can vary as it depends on your market location, type of technology, type of upgrade and many more.

Whether you are a business owner or an entrepreneur, understanding the cost of app maintenance can help you make informed decisions about developing and maintaining your mobile app.

Let’s get started and understand why it’s important for your business.

Why is Mobile App Maintenance Important?

Let’s look at the reasons why it is important for business.

Reduce Uninstalls

High uninstall rates negatively impact business apps and their overall reputation. Users uninstall apps for several reasons, including poor performance, technical issues, or lack of feature updates. Addressing these issues with regular maintenance helps businesses increase user engagement and retention, which reduces the likelihood of uninstalls.

Enhance User Experiences

Users have high expectations from mobile apps, and they expect them to work smoothly without any glitches or crashes. An app with poor UX will not succeed even if it has advanced features and capabilities. Regular maintenance of an app helps businesses ensure that it runs smoothly and offers a seamless user experience.

It includes updating the app to work with the new operating system, fixing bugs, improving app performance, and addressing technical issues.

Stay Competitive

In today’s fast-paced digital world, where competition is intense, new apps are developed and released constantly. Maintaining it helps businesses stay competitive in the market by providing new features and improvements to keep up with evolving user needs.

It also helps to address user feedback and keep them engaged and satisfied with the app, which leads to long-term success.

Ensure Security

Mobile apps store sensitive user data, such as login credentials, personal information, and financial details. Any security breach or vulnerability can significantly lose user trust and cause reputational damage.

Regular maintenance can help businesses avoid security threats by implementing the latest security patches, updating libraries and frameworks, and addressing vulnerabilities promptly. It also helps you stay ahead of evolving threats.

Increases ROI in the Long Run

Investing in app development requires significant expenses for businesses. To maximize the return, businesses should maintain the app regularly. It helps them identify and fix issues that lead to loss of revenue.

For example, fixing bugs and crashes can improve the app’s stability. It will increase user engagement & satisfaction and ultimately lead to higher revenue and ROI.

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Types of Mobile App Maintenance Services

When it comes to mobile app maintenance, it is a continuous process of updating existing applications to scale your business and increase profitability.

A reputable app development company offers a wide range of services that include identifying & fixing bugs, adding new features based on user feedback, and much more. Some such app maintenance services that businesses need to be aware of are mentioned below.

Maintenance Services

Emergency Maintenance

When there are sudden or unexpected errors in an app, emergency maintenance service is performed to address critical issues such as bugs, security vulnerabilities, or server outages. The goal is to quickly identify and resolve the issue to ensure the app remains functional and secure. It also helps prevent any negative impact on users or businesses.

Perfective Maintenance

Perfective Maintenance is a type of mobile app maintenance that is focused on enhancing or improving the app’s existing features or functionality. It helps to keep the app up-to-date, improve user engagement, and drive continued growth and success. The goal of perfective maintenance is to keep the app relevant to users and competitive.

Adaptive Maintenance

Adaptive maintenance involves making changes to the app to adapt to the changes in the operating environment, such as updates to operating systems, hardware, or third-party software. For example, if a new version of an app is released, it needs to be updated to ensure compatibility and similarly with hardware and third-party software.

The goal is to ensure that the app remains compatible with the latest changes in the operating environment and maintain its reliability, stability, and security over time.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive Maintenance refers to activities such as regular code reviews, security audits, and performance testing to proactively identify and address potential issues before they occur. It takes place to ensure that the app is built with scalability and maintainability in mind to minimize the risk of issues arising in the future.

Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance services are required when an issue or defect is identified in the mobile app that impacts its functionality or user experience. The issues can be related to appearance, code, functionality, UX/UI design, and application logic. Fixing it ensures that the app operates as intended and provides a positive user experience.

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Now that we have covered the different app maintenance types, let’s look at several factors that can impact the cost of maintaining a mobile app.

Factors that Affect the App Maintenance Cost

There are different factors that play a major role in the total cost of mobile app maintenance. In this section, we will discuss costs based on different factors in detail so you get an idea of why it’s essential to invest in mobile app maintenance services.

1. Hosting Maintenance

You are already familiar with the steps to create an app; now, you want to know the cost of deploying it on the server. It is one of the significant factors that you need to consider.

You need to consider what kind of server your app needs and then calculate the associated app hosting costs. Depending on the type of app data, such as videos, audio, or texts, you can plan out the server resources. If you plan to increase its capacity, you need to spend more.

The hosting server’s average costs for apps can range from $70 to $320 per month. It depends on several factors, such as content, number of active users, and projected growth.

There are multiple hosting options available, and you can avail of cloud-based hosting options to save on server costs. For example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) charges quite less as you only need to pay for what you use.

2. App Analytics & Improvement

Once you launch your app, you need to constantly monitor and analyze mobile app bugs, crashes, and other glitches. App analytics will provide insights into user behavior, performance metrics, user acquisition & retention, and revenue generation.

There are plenty of free tools available, but few advanced tools can cost you to provide critical insights. Tools like Google Analytics help you figure out which part of your application is growing. It comes with two plans, free and premium.

Get important insight into the app with the premium plan, which costs $150,000 per year.

3. Bug Fixing & Updates

Bugs can appear unexpectedly at any time, like server updates, hosting upgrades, device changes, etc. Regular bug fixing and updating is important for any app as it ensures that it functions properly and is secured, and provides a good user experience.

Consider that your app requires a quick bug fixing, then the estimated cost is around $50. If you want to update a functional aspect, the cost will range from $1,000 to $2,000.

However, the cost of bug fixing and updates vary as it depends on the complexity of the issues and the amount of work and time required to make the necessary changes.

You can even contact a professional app development company, and their experts can keep a regular check on your app and update it when required with a nominal charge.

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4. Third-Party Services & API Integration

While developing an app, you need to invest in the maintenance of third-party services or API integration services you have used in the app. For example, using Facebook integration for easy social media login or Google Maps for real-time location service.

So every time there is an update or change in the API, you need to make changes in your app accordingly. The maintenance for API can cost you around $2500 to $5000 or more per year. However, it varies as it depends on the integration service your app requires.

5. Customer Support

You should provide a platform in your app that helps users express their concerns and address their problems. It is a crucial role for developers to solve app-related issues raised by customers. They take their feedback seriously and work to resolve them.

However, it’s not always possible to interact with users directly, so you need to consider investing in customer support. It is an ongoing cost, but being responsive to users’ queries leads to a positive experience.

The cost of customer support varies as it depends on the type of services offered and the strategies implemented to provide such services.

6. The Complexity of the Application

A small, simple app will require less time and effort to maintain. As an app grows and evolves, it can become more complex, with more features, more code, and more dependencies on external services and frameworks.

Maintaining the complexity of an app can be challenging and costly, as it can require a significant amount of time and resources to ensure that the app remains functional, secure, and up-to-date.

However, if you have created two individual apps for Android and iOS platforms, then app maintenance costs will be higher as compared to a hybrid application.

For instance, the cost of maintaining a news app would be comparatively higher than the maintenance cost of a photo editing application because a news app needs to be updated regularly. At the same time, there are fewer updates in a photo editing app.

Also Read: How much does it cost to develop a mobile app?

7. App Development Team Location

The location of your app development team impacts the cost of maintaining an app as every developer charges differently based on their geographical region.

Let’s see how developers charged based on their region.

Location Hourly Rate
North America $50 – $150
South America $30 – $80
Western Europe $40 – $100
Eastern Europe $25 – $80
Australia $40 – $100
India $15 – $30

Here, the app development team charges the maintenance cost by fixed cost annually or monthly and the total number of hours allocated per month.

So if you want to save costs, you must be alert while outsourcing your app maintenance requirements.

8. Manage Push Notification

Push notifications are crucial for engaging mobile app users and delivering important updates. However, maintaining and updating push notifications requires continuous effort. This includes managing settings, updating content, and troubleshooting issues. These tasks fall under app maintenance services.

The cost of managing push notifications varies based on factors like app complexity, notification frequency, and the chosen platform. Service providers may offer pricing based on the number of notifications sent or the number of users receiving the notifications. To get an accurate cost estimate, it’s recommended to consult with a service provider directly.

9. App Marketing Aspect

Even after releasing the app, you need marketing actions to maintain the interest of your app. For example, when you release additional features or subscription packages, you want your users to know about it.

Some of the best marketing strategies for your app updates are by using social media, push notifications, community development, paid ads, and more.

The marketing strategies and tools used in this process have their individual costs, which will add to the final amount of app maintenance cost.

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How To Reduce Cost of App Maintenance?

Maintenance is significant, but there are specific approaches that help you minimize the cost required for mobile app maintenence.

Choose the Right App Development Platform

When it comes to choosing the right app development platform, there are two main categories to consider: native and hybrid. In the comparison of native vs. hybrid apps, native apps offer the best performance and are platform-specific, which can be more expensive to develop and maintain due to the need for separate codebases for each platform.

On the other hand, hybrid platforms like React Native and Flutter use a single codebase to create apps for both iOS and Android, significantly reducing development and maintenance costs.

Build an MVP App First

By developing an MVP app first, you can save both time and resources during the maintenance phase. It’s important to prioritize the most critical features and functionalities while keeping the overall scope manageable. This streamlined approach allows you to quickly gather user feedback and make iterative improvements based on real user experiences.

Follow the Latest Development Trends

Staying up-to-date with the latest tools, technologies, frameworks, and best practices allows you to leverage advancements that can streamline development and reduce maintenance efforts.

Ensure your app meets the latest mobile app development trends. Otherwise, you will constantly need to update your app with the latest trends to match up with the expectations of app users. This will ultimately lead you to pay more for app maintenance.

For example, if you are building a travel app and plan to incorporate the latest trends, such as augmented reality (AR) for interactive destination experiences, voice-enabled search, and personalized recommendations, then the cost of developing an app may get affected.

Discuss Your Strategy With the App Development Company

Before making a decision yourself, it is better to consult with an app development team who is well-versed in devising a plan and custom app maintenance budget to help you save on expenses. Therefore, share your budget with the team, who will help you make informed decisions.

Before making any decisions on your own, it is advisable to consult with a technical expert who can assist in a custom app maintenance plan and budget to optimize your expenses.

Interested in Saving Money on App Maintenance?

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We hope you understand that app maintenance cost is important for businesses and startups starting on app development. By carefully planning and budgeting for app maintenance, you can ensure your app’s long-term success and functionality.

At Guru TechnoLabs, we are dedicated to supporting you with reliable and tailored mobile app maintenance services. By investing wisely in-app maintenance, you can ensure the longevity and success of your app in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Feel free to Contact us for reliable and comprehensive maintenance services tailored to your app’s needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Maintaining an app can involve costs, but the expenses can vary depending on factors such as app complexity, desired updates, user base size, and chosen technology. By implementing efficient maintenance strategies and making informed decisions, it is possible to optimize app maintenance costs and ensure a balance between quality and expenses.

While cost estimation to maintain an app ranges from $500 to $10,000 or more per month. However, it is true to say that these costs depend on maintenance actions.

It could take you a couple of weeks to fix, on average, 7 days to 2 months to maintain a mobile app. However, it depends on the complexity, and bug fixing, while if you think of integrating new features to your app, it takes up to 8 weeks.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.