If you’ve decided to invest in making a custom mobile app for your business, what steps do you need to take to protect that investment over time?
While building an app has never been easier, it has also led to a number of apps that seem to degrade almost as quickly as they’re developed—in fact, it’s one of the biggest obstacles in app development. Fortunately, there are some straightforward solutions that you can set in motion before, during, and after app development to help ensure you build a custom mobile app that lasts.
What does it mean to have a custom mobile app that lasts?
Sadly, apps can quickly become obsolete due to constantly changing and updating technology, including your business’ app. For instance, when mobile phones are updated, it can break some of the functionality of your app. These breaks could create a small bug where part of your app doesn’t work properly, or it could change the security permissions that your app needs to function.
Even hardware updates, such as the phone getting a narrower design or curved screens will result in operating system updates which can throw off the layout of your entire app, making it hard to use for newer phones. Even though you want to make a mobile app that your customers will use for a long time, it’s impossible to keep your app working without taking technology changes into account.
Since technology isn’t going to slow down, your business’ app has to keep up with the changes in order not to get left behind. So when you ask yourself how to make a mobile app, you should also be asking what systems you’ll need to put in place to support your app moving forward.
Sustaining your app over time is a process that you will need to invest in throughout the life of your business to continue seeing value from your app. How you go about sustaining your app depends on how you create your custom mobile app.
Whether you buy, build, or create a custom mobile app with no coding, the following list shows possible ways to ensure your app will stay up to date:
- If you outsource your app to a development company, you will be charged for the initial app development; however, this price will not include the cost of ongoing maintenance. You will need to retain them or someone with their skills for ongoing maintenance.
- If you build your app in-house (or in-source), you will need at least one full-time engineer to develop it, so the development costs would be one person’s salary. After launch, you probably won’t need a full-time engineer to maintain your app, but you will need to either keep your engineer on a part-time basis or contract a developer on an hourly basis for upkeep.
- If you create your app using a no-code solution, they will license their code framework to your business which you can build upon even with no coding knowledge. The company that offers the no-code solution will provide ongoing maintenance to keep their framework up to date as a part of the fee you pay for licensing their code. That means your primary maintenance will be ensuring any custom properties or elements you create still work properly after the framework is updated.
Why is it important to keep your app up to date?
Creating an app with a lasting and positive user experience leads to increased value over time. Making improvements to your app helps increase your business’ availability and communication, which provides additional value to your customers by always being easily accessible through their mobile phones.
Generating growth, creating personalized experiences, and reducing costs are just a few reasons for your business to keep your app up to date. Most importantly, regular updates can help increase brand loyalty by listening to customer’s feedback and implementing the changes they want to see most to improve their app experience. Your business’ app should be viewed as a reliable resource for customers, not something that is hard to use or out of date.
Updates and bug fixes are important factors in accessibility, usability, and creating positive experiences for your app’s users. However, you should also consider making some bigger updates as well to keep your customers engaged. After all, as your business needs change, your app should change with it.
Providing additional features and functionality over time shows your customers that you’re dedicated to providing additional value to them and continue to support them in making the best possible app for their needs. On top of that, apps that implement fresh design ideas when they are originally built can begin to look stale over time, so updating not only the content and functionality but also the visuals and user experience can help your app maintain its innovative feel.
How do you get the most out of your mobile app?
To get the most out of your app, you need to start with a solid foundation. When app development begins, prioritize getting an efficient and straightforward system in place to keep your app updated. Whether this is securing a contract for ongoing support from your app development company or renting a no-code app solution that provides ongoing updates and support as a part of their monthly fees, your business should have a plan in place while you are creating the app to keep it up to date.
Understanding how your app will be maintained and updated is a key part of deciding on the best app development solution for your business.
Once you’ve built a solid foundation for your custom mobile app, make sure you know the key indicators that your app needs to be updated. There are both external and internal factors that clearly indicate it’s time for your app to be updated, so you should familiarise yourself with them in order to anticipate necessary updates:
- Externally, it is important to stay on top of news about developments and updates for mobile phones, such as big operating system updates or new phone releases with a significant design change. These mean you need to be prepared to do extra useability testing when they are released to make sure your customers aren’t running into any problems and promptly address any issues that arise from these external changes.
- Internally, there are two main reasons your business may decide to make changes or update your app.
- Your development team or users notice a bug, or you find a security issue that needs to be addressed before the next major update.
- You want to attract new customers and keep existing ones happy by implementing changes to the design or adding new features.
How you approach making and maintaining an app makes all the difference to your app’s viability over time. Integrating ongoing maintenance into your app development process early on can help ensure your business’ app is successful over time. Because technology is constantly changing, sustaining your app requires consistent updates, but if you bear this advice in mind, you can build an app that lasts.