Supporting Apps on the Mac App Store

I am in the final stages of prepping my first app to go on the Mac App Store. I have created html help compatible with the Apple Help Viewer, created a good quality icon, created a PDF user’s guide, and polished the user interface. I am waiting for the next release of Xojo to fix some bugs before I can release it (huge memory leaks that makes the app unstable). I will use the time to continue to test and only join the developer program and purchase App Wrapper when I am sure I am ready. I do have questions for those of you that have submitted apps. Do you have a support web page? Does Apple supply any bare bones web hosting capability that is provided for developers? In my case since the app will only be sold on the App store I should only need a way to collect support requests. Minimum would be a way for users to send a support email (form maybe??). I see that apps on the store have a support link but I am unsure how to proceed. I don’t want to spend a lot of money before i see that the app will sell. Any suggestions?

Yes I have it for my Apps/ Products and no, Apple do not offer any web hosting capabilities.
One advantage of Xojo is that you can serve Apple Users via Apple Mac App Store and Windows Users via Paypal (or others) aswell.

Here are some of those Websites: (sorry, all in german yet)
DataReader: (MAS released today) http://www.data-reader.de
Key Tracker: http://www.key-tracker.de
Hangarbox: http://www.hangarbox.de

The bare minimum required is a contact form for customers to contact you if they need more information or support. Since I already have my own web sites, I provide that plus a marketing link, and a privacy statement.

I have in the past used http://www.50megs.com/ which provides a free web site with 50 Megs space, which is amply enough for a basic web site. They also provide a mail form so you can use that for the support page. The bare minimum would be the privacy statement page. You can see mine at http://fontmenu.com/privacy.html. Feel free to reuse.

Then if you feel like creating a small web site for the optional marketing link, you can build it there. I have been using for years KompoZer, which is a free CSS HTML Wysiwyg editor, available from http://kompozer.net/

If and when you want a more professional solution, the same company has a $3.95 a month solution where you can have your own domain (about $15 a year), and with 1 GB space, it is usually amply enough for a few products web site.

If you feel like doing more, in particular using Web Edition apps, see http://digitalocean.com . For $5 a month you can get Ubuntu 32 bit hosting which runs Xojo Web Apps, as well as your site hosting. Then you can make a mail form in Xojo and for the rest it is the same as what I described above. I tend to think this is a better deal than 50Megs paid option. And once you start using Web Edition, you will probably enjoy creating more web apps.

My experience with the support page by email is at most a message a week, mostly questions about the product before purchase, and about 5% after sales service, either tech support or comments. Posting a phone people can call could probably boost sales as well.

Tomas, Michel, thanks so much for sharing your experience. I actually used Kompozer to develop my Apple help pages and then used the W3C web validator http://validator.w3.org to convert all pages to Xhtml to make the help indexer happy. The 50megs sites looks interesting and I may start and grow from there.

Unless you have specific assurances from someone at Xojo Inc, your wait could be a long and fruitless one. If I were you, I’d look to my own app to see where I could tighten and improve memory usage.

Roger, Xojo has been very good at fixing memory leaks when I upload code that demonstrates the problem. They just fixed and verified a second case that I reported feedback://showreport?report_id=37833 . In this case the issue relates to the new framework and memory blocks. I wanted to start fresh with the new framework and thoroughly test with it rather than migrate in a few months and introduce new bugs and issues then. I should be go with the first release in 2015, soon I hope. There is no workaround for the leak I reported other than migrating back to the old framework. My app uses large memoryblocks extensively and with this bug will eat through all of a Macs memory in minutes.

My favorite registrar is Dynadot. I’ve been with them for years, back when .com was $7.99 with them. It’s currently $9.99 - but that’s still way better than places like godaddy. Especially because godaddy are evil.

Websites are relatively cheap. A .com and some professional hosting (not covered in ads from the free host) will make your product look much more professional and reliable. I highly recommend you have one.

Tim, if you mind me asking what level of hosting are you purchasing from Dynadot? After looking at several free hosting companies I have come to the conclusion that some had ads that are unappealing and I suspect that the ad free ones put you on overloaded servers and persuade you to upgrade to get better service.

I don’t host with Dynadot. They only introduced hosting within the past few years.

After a very bad breakup with HostGator, I’m trying out Bluehost right now, but they’re kind of infamous for making php mail() REALLY difficult. HostGator is no longer a good company, and they put you on overloaded servers and ignore you when you complain. Bluehost requires an upfront payment, but will refund you the difference if you need to cancel. This is harder for a lower budget, but so far speeds are amazing. I have some requirements that prohibit me from hosting at a lot of the lower cost month to month places so I can’t say I’ve investigated too much into the competition.

If your website is only to support your MAS app, then a static hosting package from Dynadot could suffice. Fancier things require scripting so I have a need PHP and MySQL. And even fancier things like Xojo Web require intense resources.

[h]Update[/h] (not really an update to the post, but found this out after writing everything above)
I went to Dynadot to check their hosting packages.
The Basic $12/yr hosting would be enough for a simple support for your app page, but now I’m really interested in the $10/mo VPS and will be contacting them tomorrow to ask questions about it! That’s a great deal for a vps, and should it have all the things I need I may be getting a refund from Bluehost o.O

Will you be trying to use Web Edition apps there ? I would be interested to know how it works. I am extremely satisfied with 1701, but a second host is sometimes good in case of accident. I tried yesterday to activate a droplet at digitalocean, but their interface is meant for a nerd index level that exceeds what I am prepared to deal with. I was amazed by the total absence of default support for a basic HTML space. Guess there is a first time for everything :wink: