Designing, building, and launching an app is a long process that involves a lot of work. The initial goal of almost any developer is to launch their app, which is why when they do so, they feel a great sense of satisfaction. Unfortunately sending your app live is only the beginning of your work.
Maintenance is essential for the survival and success of your app. Especially when you consider that in 2016 alone, 50,000 apps were removed from the App Store for being obsolete. As more apps become available, that number is only to increase.
Furthermore, as the market expands, so does your competition. As a result, if your app isn’t performing, users will simply delete yours and download a competitors app that does the job.
So what is app maintenance and why does it matter for you? Keep reading to find out.
What is App Maintenance?
App maintenance is the process of ensuring that your app is running efficiently, and providing the best user experience possible. Adopting the mindset of “set and forget” is very dangerous in the world of apps because apps are constantly developing and getting better.
What Types of App Maintenance are there?
There are four main types of app maintenance, and they are as follows;
This form is fairly self-explanatory. Like all things in life, things with your app can go wrong without warning. This could be an unexpected bug, sudden network error, or some other issue that require immediate attention. Emergency maintenance is used to get things back on track as quickly as possible.
This maintenance is used to ensure that your app is following current trends and is in line with current expectations or requirements (such as changes to an app stores terms).
When bugs or defects appear in your app they need to be corrected, This could be in the form of regular updates, or changes to ensure that your app is running smoothly.
This is different to emergency maintenance as corrective steps are smaller changes made when the app as a whole is functioning well.
These are changes made in response to feedback from your users, internal team members, or the general population. Your users are the reason your app remains on the store and continues to make money, so you should their opinions the respect they deserve.
Take these suggestions with a pinch of salt, as some may not be shared by the majority of your users. When reviewing feedback, it’s important to use your judgement to decide whether these changes will improve the user experience or not.
How often should you perform App maintenance?
The short answer is that there isn’t a hard and fast rule about how often you should update your app. That being said, making small regular changes is much more beneficial than large, sporadic updates to your app.
Generally speaking, 1-2 small improvements should be sufficient. Small improvements could include small fixes, minor upgrades, adding new features, and redesigns.
Some apps have an update schedule that they make their users aware of. Our advice is to always make your customers aware of changes you wish to make. This builds trust and gives them something to look forward to.
The Benefits of App Maintenance
Now that you understand what app maintenance is, we’re going to explore the benefits of App Maintenance.
Keeps your User numbers high
Getting people to download your app is one thing, but keeping your users is another challenge entirely. This is because 21% of users abandon an app after one use, and as many as 71% of users uninstall an app within the first 90 days.
If users aren’t happy with their experience, they will happily ‘uninstall’ an app and find something else that does the job. This can be especially problematic if you rely on in-app purchases. Without a high number of users, you won’t be able to generate the revenue that you need.
Having an app that works smoothly and provides a good user experience is more likely to attract and keep users for a longer period of time. Make that you’re listening to these users and their feedback too!
Stay Ahead of the Competiton
In today’s market, it’s highly likely that you’ll have other apps competing for your target audience. It’s really easy to download and remove apps, so if users aren’t happy, they’ll take their thumbs somewhere else!
Maintenance will ensure that your app is working as smoothly as possible to keep your users from going elsewhere. It will also help you to stay ahead by offering the very latest in functionality.
Better Financial Returns
A well-maintained app cal also help your bottom line! For starters, regular fixes will help stop small bugs from becoming bigger and more expensive problems. This will allow you to help minimise your ongoing maintenance costs.
Maintenance can also help you avoid spending time and money on outdated and unused features.
Furthermore, it will also keep your users happy and more willing to make in-app purchases or sign up for subscriptions.
As you can see, app maintenance is not only essential but greatly beneficial for your app! So, if you aren’t doing so already, it may be time to make the maintenance of your app a priority.