If you’re strategy is to go mobile for your business one of the first things that will come to your mind is whether you want to create a mobile application or a mobile website, or perhaps both. Mobile websites and apps can look very similar at first-glance, while determining which is most suited to your needs will depend on factors like target audiences, available budget, intended purpose and required features to engage with your audience better. Isn’t it?
Before you evaluate the benefits of a mobile website and an app it’s important to understand the key differences between the two.Both apps and mobile websites are accessed on a handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets.
A mobile website is similar to a website as it consists of browser-based HTML pages linked together accessed over the internet and is designed for the smaller display and touch-screen interface.
Apps are downloaded and installed rather than being rendered within a browser. Users log on to device-specific portals such as Apple’s App Store, Google play store or Windows store to find and download apps of their choice.
So its an App or a Mobile Website?
When it comes to deciding whether to build a dedicated app or a mobile website, it depends on what your goals are – If you are developing an interactive game an app the best option and if your goal is to offer mobile-friendly content then a mobile website is probably the best way to go. In some cases you may decide you need both a mobile website and a mobile app, but it’s pretty safe to say that it rarely makes sense to build an app without already having a mobile website in place. A mobile website is considered your first step in developing a mobile web presence, whereas an app is useful for a very specific purpose that cannot be effectively accomplished via a web browser.
Advantages of a Mobile Website
If your business goals are related to marketing or distribution of information, then a mobile website makes sense due to broader accessibility, compatibility and cost-effectiveness.
A mobile website is instantly accessible through a browser while apps require the user to install them before the content can be viewed – a significant barrier between engagement and conversion.
A mobile website helps change the design or content easily while updating an app on the other hand requires the updates to be pushed to users according to each type of device.
Because a mobile website is accessible across platforms and can be easily shared among users, as well as search engines, it has far greater reach capability than an app.
Advantages of an app
Although there are many inherent benefits of a mobile website, dedicated mobile apps are still very popular as there are a many of specific scenarios where an app will be your best choice.
If you need to provide offline access to some awesome content or perform functions without a network/wireless connection then an app would be your best bet.
An app would also be perfect if you want to create some engagement with your consumers via interactive games which helps them compete against one another.
If your users are going to be using your app in a personalized fashion on a regular basis like EverNote or Zomato ,then an app provides a great way to do that.
In case you need some help in crunching data and allow you to manipulate it with complex calculations, charts or reports an app will help you do that very effectively.
The Final Countdown
Since mobile is the first thing people resort to in today’s super paced world, the “app vs web” question will remain a very real consideration for organizations seeking to establish a mobile presence.
If your mobile goals are primarily marketing-driven, or if your aim is to deliver content and establish a broad mobile presence that can be easily shared between users and found on search engines, then the a mobile website is the logical choice.
On the other hand, if your goal is interactive engagement with users, or to provide an application that needs to work more like a computer program than a website, then an app is probably going to be required.