Mobile Web vs. Mobile App: Which Is Right for Your Business?
Wondering how to reach a greater audience? Try building a mobile presence for your business. Haven’t yet decided what to choose: a mobile website or mobile app development? Let’s try to figure that out together!
Some people haven’t even heard about these two options. Therefore they don’t differentiate between them. Meanwhile, there is a big difference between a mobile application and mobile website. As they serve a little bit various goals. Now let’s find out what how different they are and which purposes they serve best!
How do mobile apps and mobile websites differ?
There are no limitations for Android or iOS users while accessing either a mobile app or mobile website via mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.
Mobile websites are very much alike usual websites that consist of browser-based HTML pages connected between each other and properly functioning with a so familiar to an everyone internet connection. There’s just one thing that distinguishes mobile website from a normal one is that the first one is created specifically for mobile devices users.
Additionally, there is a tendency among businesses to turn to responsive web designs. That becomes a benefit while understanding that the greater number of users prefer using mobile devices of various screen sizes.
Mobile websites just as usual ones contain all the graphics and texts and additionally may provide such mobile features like click-to-call button or geolocation mapping.
Mobile apps are specific programs that should be installed on the mobile devices. Users can find and download them on the app stores specifically for each OS. Mobile applications may work with or without internet connection depending on the required functionality and processing power.
Which one to use?
Each type can be applied for unique purposes. If you need to build a game, obviously it is better to create an application. If you want to present the information about your business to the widest audience possible in the most convenient way for mobile users than a mobile website is your choice.
In other words, to reach a new audience, choose the mobile website. And if your goal is to engage with already existing customers providing them with a mobile-friendly experience than a mobile app should be of the highest priority.
There are rare cases when business owners choose to create both web and app options to attract new clients and retain loyal ones.
Native apps and mobile websites benefit comparison
Let’s start discovering the advantages of a mobile website that aims at attracting a wider audience of potential customers.
Mobile website benefits
- 24/7 available
Any user can access the website over browser at any moment worldwide. Definitely, a benefit comparing to an app that should be downloaded and installed first before a user will have a chance to access it, which creates a barrier.
- Compatible across all devices
A website is accessible from any device, unlike an app that requires a different version developer per each operating system.
- Broader user reach
While surfing the web users can run into it over search engines or friend’s shares which builds a far broader audience reach.
- Instant update
A website is much easier to be updated either it addresses just a little part of the content or some major changes — it becomes visible instantly.
- Easily shared
A simple link to the website is enough to share with potential clients so they could see the necessary information. The link can be easily inserted into some blog or social media post and directly lead to the actual website. With an app, it won’t work this way.
- Can’t be deleted
Websites are always available and can’t be deleted from user devices or in any other way other than from the web server where the site is actually located. On the other hand, an app can be easily deleted from a user’s device and never reachable again.
- Easily found
Users have more chances to find websites in search results or specific directories, unlike apps that can only be found on specific app stores or the regular company website.
- Can become an app
Mobile websites can be built as web applications that function similarly to native apps and act as their viable alternatives.
- Time- and cost-effective
Probably one of the core characteristics is that mobile website development takes less time and is cheaper than native app development. Especially taking into account the fact that for multiple platforms you will need to create multiple native apps.
Despite many benefits that web version offers apps have a tendency to increase their popularity. Why does that happen, you ask? Let’s see what makes them stand out.
Mobile app benefits
- Gaming industry
Interactive games work best within an application.
If your goal is to personalize user experience in order to retain already existing customers that will use the app on a regular basis than an app is the most convenient way to do it.
- Specific reporting
Extracting important complex data, manipulating with charts and reports is better within an application.
- Native functionality
Although web version is able to provide some simple mobile-specific features, an app takes all the advantages from devices native functionality and easily gains access to the device’s operating system, camera, flashlight, etc.
- Offline mode
An app can provide a certain stack of functionalities without the need for internet connection usage, unlike web.
Surely, business owners tend to choose options that cost less and bring higher profits. It can be either a mobile website or a cheap mobile app. Anyway, you should remember that an optimal variant for your case should be considered thoroughly. As mistakes happen. For example, some businesses make up a decision to create an app that looks like a clone of the regular website. Afterward, they wonder why this approach doesn’t really work.
If you want to go the smart way, you better decide on an app that serves a certain purpose. The outcome will be just around the corner!
Mobile use continues to grow. So the question of what to choose between web or app will remain relevant for those businesses that aim at increasing their mobile presence. Which way to go depends on the goals you establish for your business strategy.
To increase your customer base a responsive mobile website will serve a good deal. If you wish to enhance engagement with the loyal clientele, an application is the best choice.
Moreover, it is a great way to combine both strategies and build both solutions covering new and already existing audience. So choose the right tool to reach your business goals!
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Originally written for S-PRO blog.