For businesses of all sizes, the development of an application is a major undertaking. It requires a significant investment of both time and money and carries with it the risk of failure. This is why it is so important to ensure that your application is ready for launch.
Launch day is the day you can finally show off your app to customers, get feedback from them, and start generating revenue from your efforts. With proper go-live preparation, you will give your app the best chance of success and ensure that your work is released with minimal issues.
This article by DATAFOREST will provide key strategies to help you get your application ready for launch. We help enterprises worldwide develop apps - from testing and performance monitoring, though to risk mitigation and store optimization. Our team specializes in post-deployment monitoring, versioning, post-launch support and maintenance.
To help get you through the challenging app go-live process, we've put together some best practices, as well as key points to consider as you move toward launch.
The importance of release preparation
App launch preparation is the process of making sure your app is ready for public use. As well as testing and debugging, numerous other tasks need to be completed before launch.
Or course, testing and debugging are important because they allow you to identify bugs, errors, or other issues with your product before releasing it into production. But, before go-live, it is also important to review your app deployment, app feedback, app-hosting platform, app infrastructure, app marketing, app monitoring, app production, and app release strategies.
Proper go-live is a cyclic process which involves conducting thorough testing of the app, gathering feedback from users, making necessary improvements, choosing a reliable hosting provider, creating a production environment, deploying the app, testing it in production, monitoring it for issues, and continuously improving it.
This process includes several different steps and components such as app deployment, feedback, marketing, monitoring, production, release, testing back-end, and front-end, subscriptions purchase and advertising monetization plan, style guides, support maintenance, and time release schedule.
Traditional development approaches such as UI/UX design, versioning, and wireframes must be considered and addressed before an application can be released to the public. This will benefit your launch by eradicating issues, including major bugs, glitches, resource consumption and other technical problems that can negatively impact the user experience.
The process of preparing an app to go live from MVP to production requires collaboration between developers, designers, QA testers, and project managers.
The most effective marketing strategies for promoting and retaining users after the app goes live include
- Creating a strong brand identity
- Engaging with users on social media
- Providing incentives for users to continue using the app
- Optimizing the app for search engine visibility
- Creating content that is relevant to the app's target audience.
Let's dive deeper and learn more about each step forward in app launch success!
Critical Phase: Testing, Debugging & Feedback Gathering
This go-live checklist is your guide to making sure that everything is ready to go and that there are no surprises during the launch.
MVP testing involves conducting a thorough evaluation of the app's features and functionalities to ensure that everything works as intended. A good way to do this is to make sure that you have a plan built into the beta release that allows you to quickly identify bugs and get feedback from beta testers on how you can improve the app.
- Testing: Thorough testing before launch can identify many issues with the application's functionality or performance.
There are many types of test approaches such as user acceptance testing (UAT), stress testing, and performance testing. Each one will help identify different types of problems with your code base. Performance tuning, for example, is the process of optimizing your application so that it runs as efficiently as possible. Performance can be improved through code changes, web server configuration, adding caching strategies, etc.
Using automated tools like Selenium or JMeter allows you to run tests quickly on multiple browsers simultaneously without having a dedicated tester sitting in front of each browser for hours on end. Time spent automating test cycles early can pay back orders of magnitude in release testing later.
- Debugging common issues: Test results may reveal technical, security, performance or stability issues that need to be addressed before launch.
- Gather feedback: Feedback is essential as it provides developers with insights into how users interact with the app, what features are working well, and what needs improvement. Feedback can also help identify bugs or glitches that may have been missed during testing.
Advanced MVP testing
Conducting testing and gathering feedback on the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is a critical component of go-live preparation for apps. There are many steps to go from conceiving an app idea to getting it live in the market, so break the process down into manageable steps so you don't miss anything important like testing and gathering feedback.
Here are some ways to do advanced MVP testing:
- Beta Testing: In Beta testing, a group of invited beta testers exercise the app and provide feedback. This can help identify any issues with the app, such as bugs or glitches, and gather insights into what users like and dislike about the app.
Beta testers should be chosen based on their demographics and usage habits to ensure a diverse range of feedback.
- User Surveys: Surveys can be sent to beta testers or app users to gather feedback on specific features or the overall user experience. This can help identify areas for improvement and gather insights on what users value most in the app.
- Analytics Tools: These can help developers gather data on how users are interacting with the app, metrics such as the number of downloads, user engagement, and time spent in the app.
By analyzing this data, developers can identify patterns and trends and identify focus areas to make necessary changes to improve the app.
- Usability Testing: Usability testing involves observing users as they interact with the app and gathering feedback on their experience. This can be done in person or via remote testing and can provide valuable insights into how users interact with the app.
The importance of responding to feedback and making adjustments
Feedback provides developers with valuable insights into how users are interacting with the app and what features may need improvement. By analyzing this feedback, developers can identify areas where the app can be improved and make necessary changes. It can help improve the usage of the app, which can lead to positive reviews and ratings, and ultimately increase the likelihood of success in the app market.
By addressing issues before the app is launched, developers can help prevent negative feedback and reviews from users. These can harm the app's reputation and create a barrier to user adoption.
Planning for App Development & Production - Unlock Your App's Potential
During the planning stage, it is important to focus on key areas such as infrastructure, resources, timelines and risks.
- Infrastructure refers to the hardware and software components that will be used to host and run the app. Choosing a reliable hosting provider, setting up a production environment, and ensuring that the app can handle the expected traffic are all important considerations.
- Resources are the people who will be working on the app during the production stage. This includes developers, designers, and other team members who will be responsible for maintaining the app and addressing any issues that may arise.
- Timelines help ensure that the app is deployed on schedule and that any delays are minimized. This requires careful planning and coordination between team members to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals and deadlines.
- Risks include issues such as security, downtime, or source of traffic. It is important to consider potential risks and their mitigation during the production stage. This could be by focusing on key areas such as infrastructure, resources, and timelines.
The production stage steps to ensure a smooth app launch & success
The production stage involves deploying the app to the production environment and making it available to end users. Planning for the production stage can help ensure:
- Ensures Smooth Deployment: by ensuring that all necessary infrastructure and resources are in place and that any potential issues, such as compatibility issues, are identified and resolved before deployment.
- Minimizes Downtime: by identifying potential risks and developing contingency plans to address any issues that may arise during the deployment process.
- Enables Scalability: A scalable app can efficiently handle increased traffic as the user base grows. This means designing the app architecture with scalability in mind and ensuring that the necessary resources are available to support increased traffic.
Consider these key areas when making your plans
During the planning stage of app development, several key areas need to be focused on to ensure a successful outcome.
- Infrastructure: Identifying the necessary hardware, software, and network infrastructure required to support the app's development, testing, deployment, and ongoing maintenance.
- Resources: Identifying the necessary personnel, including developers, testers, project managers, and support staff, as well as any external resources, such as consultants or contractors, that may be required.
- Timelines: Develop a realistic project plan that outlines the tasks involved in the development, testing, and deployment of the app, as well as the estimated time required to complete each task.
- Budget: Identifying the costs associated with developing, testing, deploying, and maintaining the app, as well as any potential revenue streams.
- Security: Identifying potential security risks and developing a plan to mitigate these risks to ensure that the app is secure and user data is always protected.
Taking steps to guard against potential hazards and risks
During the planning stage of development, it's important to consider potential risks and develop a plan to mitigate them. Here are some common risks to consider and strategies to mitigate them:
- Security Risks: One of the most significant risks associated with app development is security. Architects and developers need to ensure that the app's code is secure and cannot be easily hacked. This can be achieved by implementing robust encryption, using secure coding practices, and conducting regular security audits.
- Compatibility Issues: Compatibility issues can occur when the app is deployed on different operating systems, browsers, or devices. To mitigate this risk, developers need to test the app thoroughly on different platforms and devices to ensure that it works as intended.
- Scalability Issues: As the user base grows, the app may experience scalability issues, which can lead to slow performance or crashes. To mitigate this risk, developers need to design the app's architecture with scalability in mind and ensure that the app can handle increased traffic.
- Budget Overruns: Developing an app can be expensive, and there is always a risk of budget overruns. To mitigate this risk, developers need to develop a detailed budget and project plan, identify potential cost overruns, and develop contingency plans to address these issues.
- User Adoption: Even if the app is well-designed and functional, it may not be adopted by users. To mitigate this risk, developers need to conduct market research to identify user needs and preferences, develop a marketing plan to promote the app, and continuously gather user feedback to improve the app's functionality and usability.
Application Release & Deployment Management
Deployment and release management are critical stages of the app development process that involve the actual deployment of the app and the management of its release to users. Here are some important considerations for deployment and release management:
- Environment Set-Up: Before deploying the app, developers need to ensure that the necessary infrastructure and environment are set up, including servers, databases, and network connectivity. This involves testing the app in a staging environment to ensure that it works as intended.
- Version Control: Version control is critical during the deployment and release management stage. Developers need to ensure that the app's code is version controlled and that all changes are tracked and documented. This helps to ensure that the app is deployed and released in a controlled and organized manner.
- Release Management: Release management involves managing the release of the app to users, including planning the release, coordinating with stakeholders, deploying the app, and monitoring its performance. This involves developing a release plan that outlines the steps involved in the release, coordinating with stakeholders to ensure that they are informed of the release, and monitoring the app's performance after release.
- User Support: Once the app is released, developers need to provide user support to ensure that users can use the app effectively and that any issues are addressed promptly. This includes providing user documentation, responding to user inquiries and feedback, and addressing any bugs or issues that arise.
Deployment remains crucial
The deployment process is a critical stage of the app development process that involves the actual deployment of the app to a production environment. This process is important because it ensures that the app is available to users and that it works as intended.
Developers need to guarantee that the app's code and configuration are managed effectively during the deployment process. This involves ensuring that the app's code is version controlled, that all changes are tracked and documented, and that the app's configuration is managed effectively.
Once the app has been tested and is ready for deployment, developers need to deploy the app to the production environment. This involves transferring the app's code and configuration to the production environment, configuring the environment, and testing the app again to ensure that it works as intended.
Release management strategies & best practices
Release management is the process of managing the release of an app to users. Effective release management is critical to the success of an app, as it confirms that the app is released in a controlled and organized manner, with minimal disruption to users. Here are some release management strategies and best practices:
- Coordinate with stakeholders: Developers should confirm that stakeholders are informed of the release and that their needs are taken into account during the release process.
- Use a phased release approach: A phased release approach involves releasing the app to a small group of users initially and then gradually increasing the number of users who have access to the app. This approach helps to identify and address any issues that arise early on before they affect a large number of users.
- Implement version control: Developers should guarantee that the app's code is version controlled and that all changes are tracked and documented
- Provide user support: Once the app is released, developers need to provide user support to ensure that users can use the app effectively and that any issues are addressed promptly. This includes providing user documentation, responding to user inquiries and feedback, and addressing any bugs or issues that arise.
Post-deployment tasks & app work monitoring
Post-deployment tasks and monitoring are critical to the success of an app after it has been released to production. These tasks and monitoring activities help completes that the app continues to function as intended and that any issues are identified and addressed promptly.
Here are some considerations for post-deployment tasks and monitoring:
- Continuous monitoring: After the app has been deployed, it's important to continuously monitor its performance and user feedback. Developers should use monitoring tools to track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as app usage, user engagement, and user feedback. This helps developers identify any issues or bugs that may arise after the app has been released.
- Bug fixing and patching: Bugs and issues are inevitable in any app. After the app has been deployed, developers should be prepared to address any bugs or issues that arise. This involves identifying and prioritizing bugs, developing patches, and releasing updates to the app as needed.
- User support: After the app has been deployed, developers should provide user support to help users use the app effectively and address any issues they may encounter. This documentation, responding user inquiries and feedback and addresses any bugs or issues that arise.
- Performance optimization: Developers should continue to optimize the app's performance. This involves identifying areas where the app can be improved, such as load times, app responsiveness, and user experience, and making changes to improve performance.
- Security monitoring: Developers should monitor the app's security to ensure that it remains secure and that any security issues are addressed promptly. This involves monitoring the app for security vulnerabilities, implementing security patches, and responding to any security incidents that may occur.
Thats it! Follow these steps and you'll be able to prepare your app for going live from MVP to production
Get Started on Your App Today - DevOps Services & App Development Software from DATAFOREST
At DATAFOREST, we offer a variety of app development services, ranging from app development and deployment to app feedback and go-live preparation.
Our knowledge and experience ensure that your application will be built with the best technologies and tailored to your business needs. We use our expertise in the design and development process to create features that engage your audience and help you decide on the best monetization method and marketing strategy.
DATAFOREST is an expert in web applications development services and a reliable DevOps solutions provider. We can help you in the areas of analytics web apps, enterprise web apps, customer-facing apps, performance troubleshooting, customer profiling, etc.
Order a FREE infrastructure audit to help improve your app performance and optimize costs
We also offer:
- DevOps consulting services;
- Data scraping services for market research, and insight analysis;
- Data science-based optimization models, and risk management;
- Data integration services for enterprise apps connection and all data aggregation
We can provide native/mobile and web app development, performance and post-deployment monitoring, post-launch support, and maintenance. Our team of experts will guide you through the entire app development ios and android process, from planning, to design, to testing, to release. We will also help start app development, build wireframes, style guides, and UI/UX design.
Our app development process starts with understanding what you need, and then we discuss the features and create a design. Our app developers will create your app with the tech stack that fits your project, ensuring that your app meets the technical requirements and provides a great user experience. We can help you decide on the best monetization, user acquisition and user retention strategies.
What is an MVP, and why does it matter?
MVP, or minimum viable product, is a version of an app with the absolute minimum set of features. It is important for app go-live preparation because it allows developers to test the app's functionality and get feedback from users before investing more resources in developing additional features.
How can I make sure that my app will work properly when it's released?
To ensure that your app is properly tested and ready for deployment, you should have a thorough testing plan in place, including unit testing, integration testing, performance and user acceptance testing. It's also important to have a process for identifying and addressing any bugs or issues that arise during testing.
What kinds of risks can cause setbacks during the go-live process, and how can they be minimized?
Common risks during the go-live preparation process include technical issues, security vulnerabilities, and user adoption issues. These can be mitigated by thoroughly testing the app, addressing any bugs or security vulnerabilities, and having a user adoption plan in place.
What kinds of marketing tactics and strategies will help me acquire new users for my app right after launch?
To best market and promote your app, you should have a clear marketing strategy that includes social media advertising, app store optimization, and user campaigns. You should focus on providing and strong user community to retain users.