July 6, 2016

What's the Cost to Maintain an App?

How much does it cost to maintain an app? Learn how to estimate your ongoing cost, once your app has been published.
Tyler Moore
tyler@app-press.com

Tyler helps spread the word about App Press, and helps new customers get started with our software.

“Why do I have to keep paying after my app is published?”

This question comes up fairly often in our support channel, and we thought it'd be a good idea to talk about how much apps cost to maintain, once they're live in app stores, as well as what you get in return for your recurring monthly payment when you build your mobile app with App Press.

Publication isn't the end of the story for your app. A hundred thousand downloads aren't the end of the story, either. Your app is a living thing, and downloads aren't enough. You're after Daily Active Users, or DAU. That's people who install your app, and keep coming back. Your Daily Active Users will expect regular updates, or they'll simply uninstall your app.  

Mobile App Maintenance Costs

In short, every app has an ongoing maintenance cost once it's published - no matter who builds it. Our monthly pricing plans make it easier for you to predict how much your app will cost over time.

Once your app is published, you still have to create new content, track how your app is performing, and let your users know what's new. If your app relies on a server to store information like user records, or payment history, you'll also have to pay to manage this information.

Every app requires ongoing maintenance and content updates to keep users happy, engaged, and coming back for more. Depending on the complexity of your app, you can also incur additional costs for servers, emergency maintenance, push notifications, payment processing, and more.

So, how much does it cost to maintain an app, anyway? The most accurate answer to how much your app will cost to maintain depends a lot on how it was built. You can save on upfront developments costs by going with a cheaper developer, but if your app isn't designed to scale, you'll run into much higher costs down the road as your app attracts more users.

A good rule of thumb is to budget 20% of the cost of initial development when calculating how much it will cost to maintain software. If your initial development costs are $100,000, you can reasonably expect to spend about $20,000 per year to maintain your app.

When you're using App Press to build, publish, and manage your app, most of your ongoing maintenance cost is covered with your monthly payment. Our mobile app software makes it simple to keep your app up to date, and we're a less expensive option than similar app building companies and platforms.

Your ongoing monthly payment covers your app's server costs, push notifications, and instant content updates. Here's some more detail about App Press makes it easy to manage your app after publication.

Publish New Content Instantly

It's easy to update your app and publish new content, right from your dashboard. From your App Press dashboard, you'll be able to add new screens, update existing content, and publish other changes to your app.

Content updates will be available almost as soon as you hit “Publish”. Make your changes, then send the update out to the world. That's all there is to it! Once you've published changes to your mobile app, we give you a ton of flexibility for how and when you message your users.

Advanced Push Notification Capabilities

Sending messages to your users is the best way to keep them engaged with your app, and our push notification system gives you a lot of flexibility. Our platform gives you the ability to create location based notifications using Geofences or Mobile Beacons, schedule messages in advance, and send your users to a specific screen in your app when they receive your notification.

When you use App Press to talk to your users, you can schedule messages in advance, and send your users to any screen in your app when they open the notification. It's a great way to promote sales, special offers, and limited time deals. Check out this post we wrote about scheduling and sending push notifications.

Your App Press dashboard also gives you insight into how well your app is performing.

Track Your App with Detailed Analytics

Your dashboard also gives you an easy way to track important stats for your app, like how many times it's been installed, and how much of your storage you're using. To get more granular data about your app's performance, you can create a new Google Analytics property and add your tracking code in your project settings. 

The setup is simple and you can track important metrics for your app, like number of active users, most popular screens in your app, where your users are coming from, and more.

Here's some more information about using Google Analytics with App Press. Google Analytics can be complex, and even overwhelming at first. If you have questions about how to set up or use Google Analytics, our team is happy to help.

Regular Updates for Building and Maintaining Your App

Our studio editor has changed a lot since we launched the first version of App Press  in 2011. As we've grown and our team has expanded, we've developed a lot of expertise helping our customers bring their ideas to life.  

App Press is designed to scale painlessly as your app takes off and your business grows, and access to the latest version of our studio editor is the biggest reason to stick around. We publish regular updates to fix bugs, add new features, and make it easier than ever to build unique mobile experiences without writing code.

We like to think that building an app is a lot like building a house - from initial construction to the final decorating touches. Your own app will grow and improve over time. We've seen it happen with hundreds of happy customers, and we've been there ourselves. During app development, t's important to keep the proper expense graph in mind as your app begins to take shape. 

Want to get a quick estimate for the cost of your mobile app? Try our app pricing calculator - just tell us about your app, and we'll give you a ballpark figure for how much it would cost to build.

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