How much does a server cost for app hosting?

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As you begin development on an IOS, Android, or Amazon Echo app, you may soon realize that you will need a server to host the content that will be served to users accessing the application. Whether you are developing a new app, or looking for ways to save on app hosting costs, one question is critical. How much does an app server cost?

The answer to this question of course varies wildly depending on who you are. As you can imagine, hosting the Netflix app will cost infinitely more than most apps that are starting to grow in popularity. However, we will outline in this article some of the standard app hosting prices so you can get a rough idea of how much you will need to spend. 

See Also: Receive 75% Off An App Hosting Server By Downloading Our Pricing Guide

Do you need a server for an app?

The short answer to this question is yes - you will need some sort of server space in order to serve application content to customers. Unless the application you are developing requires zero network connectivity and all app content is contained within the download file, chances are you have some dynamic content that needs to be served to users. That's because most mobile apps are Cloud Applications and require an external server to generate most of the app functionality. You will need one or multiple servers to do that.

Aside from the servers used to serve content to app users, a server is also useful as a central repository for the app files by using a development tool such as Docker or Gitlab. These tools allow you to have precise version control of your software. 

How much does a server cost for an app?

An app hosting server can range in price from $70 per month up to $320 per month. The price largely depends on factors that are unique to the app such as the content being served to users (video will be much more intensive than static text), the number of active users, and projected growth. We go into more detail on these factors below.

When you're determining your Application Server Hosting costs, consider these three questions:

1. How Much and What Kind of Data Do You Serve?

When you're considering what kind of server you need for your app and the associated app hosting costs, you need to think about how much data you're serving to users. Is there audio, video, or other large data being sent or received by users, or is app data largely text based or static in nature? 

The larger the data being served is, the more server CPU, memory, and disk space that will be required. This will lead to increased costs. Determining the exact amount of server resources that your particular app will use is tricky. It's generally best to setup a server and start sending users towards it. You can them approximate based on current and future growth.

You may also find it makes more sense to deploy multiple small servers like the E3 1240v3 for $70/month to spread out the load. This is especially useful when your app needs a lot of CPU power but not as much memory. 

If you're running a game engine or any kind of interactive product, you'll need a server that's not only spacious but fast. You will likely consider having servers spread out across various geographic areas. That’s one of the reasons why ServerMania has data centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, and New Zealand. This ensures the best performance for our clients.

2. How Much Data Do You Store?

Apps like Facebook and Instagram, which house massive amounts of images and videos for users, use up lots of storage space quickly. If you're saving account information, avatars, photos, preferences, and any social media information, your server needs could quickly balloon.

You may want to launch a beta version with a projected idea of how much data your users will be using. See how quickly you start to fill up server space and project the limits you could reach. Consider putting caps on how much storage you'll allow for users.

If you find they're using your app to store data that should be stored somewhere else, introduce a limit.

3. How Many Active Users and What's Your Projected Growth?

The server resources required for a mobile app are largely dependant on the number of active users and how much server CPU, RAM, and disk space each user will utilize on average. Again, this is best determined by setting up a server and just measuring what the actual numbers are for the current users. You may find ways to minimize resource usage when you see the real numbers. 

For any growing app, it's important to know that your server needs will likely change fairly often. The benefit of renting a server from ServerMania is that you don't need to invest in server hardware that you will outgrow. You can add, remove, and change server hardware with zero up-front hardware costs. This allows your business to remain flexible and nimble. 

That being said, if you want to have maximum server resources for an app that is serving a large number of users, you should look at servers like the Intel E5 2680v2 for $179/month. These servers deliver exceptional CPU power and have the configuration options to support large amounts of disk space, RAM, and network capacity. 

Next Steps

You should have a general idea now of what a typical app server costs and some of the factors which impact this cost such as the data being served, the number of users, and the storage needs. 

Want to get a more exact quote for your next app server, schedule a free consultation with us and an expert can review your needs and go over your options.