Hosting a social networking APP (outside of Expert Apps)
This is something I had to find out the hard way: it was somewhat trial and error at first, but hey, we live and learn.
When you first start out with an app, you may just get away with a shared dedicated server for around £200 per month. Often that is without support included, and, of course, as you increase your downloads and gain more users and traction, the price will increase rapidly, and you will need to seek a dedicated server solution.
If you are not using an agency, I highly recommend UKFAST as a solution. You will be hard pressed to find a package less than £500 per month but they are worth every penny. Be warned if you get a mass influx of traffic to your app, whilst that is great for business, your bill can only rise.
If an agency quotes you any less than this per month, I would question it. I have had many people say “I was quoted £2,500 – £3,000 per month” from an APP agency just for maintaining their app. I would be pleased if i was quoted this as I would feel confident the company has got a grip on the real costs.
You will need access to a Linux engineer to manage the servers. If your hosting company does not include this, you can either hire your own (the average fee is £35,562 per year), or you can use a freelancer or an agency, but the fees can average between £130-£320 per hour, depending on the time needed and availability.