April 1, 2020

How Much Does It Cost to Maintain an App?

You are a professional mobile app developer. You have created a great application ready to conquer the market. You think the work is done and you can switch to another project or give yourself some time to rest. However, before launching the product onto the market, consider the necessity and the cost of maintaining a mobile app.


Releasing an app on the AppStore or Google Play is just the beginning of a long way of your application. In the future, it will require further technical support, including monitoring and fixing the defects, optimizing application functionality, protecting against attacks, etc.

The standard price for mobile app support and maintenance varies between 15 to 20% of the application cost.

Why Do You Need to Support and Maintain Your App?

The world of IT technologies has its laws determined by the consumers’ demands. Average users want their smartphone apps to function smoothly. They expect that the developers foresee their expectations. They need regular free of charge updates and some of the drawbacks to be eliminated. The users can easily get annoyed if the operating speed is slow and the menu is not intuitively clear. Taking into account all the mentioned above, companies should be ready to spend some extra money on app maintenance.

For the majority of software companies launching the product quickly is of crucial importance. This ensures the competitiveness of the product and a higher popularity rate as a result. As it is hard to exactly predict the user’s expectations, the product is released when it is about eighty percent ready. The users’ feedback during the testing period will give the developers an overview of the defects they need to fix. How much does the Android app development cost? Certainly, you have to include the cost of testing in the overall budget since the beginning. 

Types of App Support and Maintenance

  • The cost of creating and maintaining an app will depend on how the developer regarded data migration from one server to another. If a user decides to change a mobile device he will definitely prefer to keep the data (list of contacts, pictures, etc.) reserved and transferred to a new device. For that reason, some companies offer the services of synchronization and, as a result, easy access to your data from any place or gadget.
  • If you expect that a large number of users will use your application simultaneously, the app developers should consider using technologies that support concurrency for a large user base. It will guarantee the smooth work of the app.
  • In general, users positively assess high operating speed with low latency. However, in some cases, like online gaming, it becomes of crucial importance. So, app developers should think of optimizing server performance for low latency as it will attract more users.
  • Changes due to regulatory concerns are another point of consideration for app developers.
  • Minor, incremental and major enhancements such as UI overhaul should be regular.

10 Biggest Hidden Costs of Developing an App & How to Handle Them

There are certain functional services you need to include in your outsource iPhone app development cost. They help to execute the app's main features and functions and can be quite expensive. How much does it cost to maintain an app? Let’s take a closer look at the 10 biggest functional, infrastructure, support, and administrative services.

Social & chat integrations – $1,200/year (on average)

The presence in social media is the key to success for businesses of all kinds. The content is the king, so you have to make sure that your users can share it online in all the biggest social networks. To encourage social interaction through your app, you may need a chat, a bot and subscription functions provided by SendBird or Applozic. The ultimate price here, however, depends on the number of users you expect to have in the integrated chats.

Development tools, libraries, and support – $1,200/year (minimum!)

If you have chosen to develop your app with the help of IBM, Kony, and MobileFirst tools, your next step is to subscribe to them for your app’s lifetime period.

App update submissions – $1,000+/year

Even if the app is regularly updated, it needs to be resubmitted from time to time. The final costs here start somewhere at 1,000 bucks per year depending on the total number of updates. Obviously, the more resubmissions there are, the more you’ll need to invest in the whole thing.

Push notifications – $2,400/year or free alternatives

Push notifications are the core elements of every mobile app. They boost the users’ engagement and stimulate the purchase. Services like PushWoosh or UrbanAirship help you to set up your push notifications. There is also great Firebase, which is absolutely freeware and can still completely satisfy your needs. 

Data storage – $3,600/year (on average)

Every app collects and stores different kinds of data. Ensure that they are safe and are not given to third parties. The final costs of implementing dedicated storage may vary based on the volume of data to be stored. Amazon S3 is a great example of an accessible yet reliable cloud storage solution.

CDN – $3,600/year

CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a system of servers that delivers data to users from different geographical locations which secure the good operating speed of the app. CloudFlare is considered by many to be the most optimal, efficient solution out there on the market. You get some pretty versatile and profitable in the long run features with a $2,400/year business plan.

Images data – $1,200/year (at the most)

It is hard to imagine an app that does not use hundreds of images. Image storage by Google, Flickr, and Dropbox are the top efficient solutions for downloading, editing, cropping, and posting images. 

APIs – $0-$5,000/year

APIs (Application Programming Interface) allow one to integrate a bunch of third-party features to gain more capabilities and versatility in the app. They can serve absolutely various purposes. For instance, you can integrate Google Maps API to add geolocation features. 

If we’re talking about a commercial app, however, payment gateway APIs, like PayPal or Stripe API, are a necessity rather than an extra feature. The final costs here may vary greatly, as you may not need any additional integrations with your software at all. In other options, pricing depends on the final number of users.

iOS and Android updates – $10,000/year

Both platforms release updates on a regular basis. You should keep track of them and maintain your application according to them. Otherwise, you will have an app that is not supported by the latest Android or iOS versions.

Servers – $1,000-$12,000/year

You cannot host your app without a good server. Being a new-born startup or a small company, you can entrust the hosting to Google, Amazon or Azure. Bigger enterprises can afford to have their own servers. Note, however, that if you need a server for a young, up-and-coming startup, about $1,000/year should be enough to maintain. 

The price should grow in accordance with the popularization and traffic increase in your app (reaching up to $50,000/year). DigitalOcean provides great, sturdy, easy-to-deploy cloud servers that are secure, reliable, and pretty cost-efficient.

Social & chat integrations$1,200 (on average)
Development tools, libraries, and support$1,200 (minimum!)
App update submissions$1,000+
Push notifications$2,400/year or free alternatives
Data storage$3,600 (on average)
CDN$3,600
Images data$1,200 (at the most)
APIs$0-$5,000
iOS and Android updates$10,000
Servers$1,000-$12,000

The Bottom Line

To sum up, application development maintenance is not only about eliminating defects of an application. It is rather about modifying it to better meet the end-users needs and expectations. A well-developed and maintained app will keep a high popularity level among users and will be more financially beneficial for the product owner. 

If you require an expert take on all the above-mentioned necessary services - let Axisbits help you deal with that. We have in-depth expertise in cloud servers, third-party API integrations, data management, and all-around software maintenance to make your app stable and successful. 

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