Deciding between a mobile app and a website to develop a business, is one of the biggest concerns of a business owner.
People usually spend an average of 5 hours on their phones hence for a business to succeed in the market, it must be accessible via mobile devices.
Few companies go for both mobile websites and apps which results in reaching a wider audience and greater awareness for their business through their target market.
In this article, we aim to help business owners recognize the differences between apps and mobile websites. We will lay out an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of both options and what factors you should consider for your specific company.
First, let’s dive into what are the differences between these platforms:
Apps are software programs that need downloading and installation to be interacted with. They present users with modifiable functionality to alter according to user's preferences. Apps offer users with selected information that are manageable rather than overwhelming them with a lot of avoidable details.
Websites consist of an assemblage of web pages containing static information, including text, images, sounds, and videos. Users can browse these pages at their convenience using their preferred web browser. Websites are not typically dynamic and are better suited for presenting large amounts of information promptly.
Web apps combine elements of both apps and websites. Mobile websites are designated to be responsive and automatically adjust to fit the screen size of the user's device. Web apps are websites that host applications that users can interact with, providing a more interactive experience. The key difference between web apps and websites lies in their interactivity and the ability of web apps to function as stand-alone applications.
Apps are popular software applications that enable companies to customize their product's interactions and functionalities for the user, such as online banking tasks. While certain applications necessitate an internet connection to operate, others are fully functional even without an online connection. Apps are more convenient than websites because they allow people to search for products easily; Compared to equivalent websites, apps offer a better user experience, load content faster, and easily connect to smart devices.
Websites that adapt to users' devices can target the audience efficiently, based on their needs. Mobile websites are also more compatible and accessible since they work across multiple platforms without requiring different versions for each operating system, and they don't require users to download updates. Websites are cheaper to develop and maintain, and easier to update with immediate visibility for users from any device and are optimized for smaller screens and mobile-friendly URLs that make navigation easier.
Apps can be native or hybrid, but sharing the same code across different platforms can be problematic. This limitation affects the user experience and functionality of the app. On top of that, building a framework for each operating system is time-consuming and expensive. Unlike mobile websites, apps must be downloaded and installed, and some apps have fees to cover updating costs and the approval system. Depending on the business model, some target audiences may not be willing to pay extra costs to install a new program to use the app. Furthermore, within certain industries, customers occasionally utilize a business's services without the need or desire to install a dedicated application. Instead, they prefer the convenience and familiarity of accessing the web version for these infrequent tasks. Developing an app for multiple platforms requires regular maintenance and updates to ensure compatibility and address other issues, and the approval process in each market must be continuously navigated
Websites may not be able to provide complete content and features, which could result in losing users. Screens are smaller than desktop screens, which can impact the user experience by displaying less content. Two URLs can be difficult to maintain and coordinate, and users may end up on the wrong platform. Mobile websites do not work with offline access, which can also be a challenge. Creating responsive websites can be more challenging compared to developing two similar websites for different target platforms, despite their ability to mitigate some of the issues.
Which one is the right choice for my business? A website/web app or an application?
At a certain point, the decision is made that, it’s safe and riskless to develop and take on the next step toward embracing the new world of technology and digital transformation of one’s business; Here, is what you need to evaluate in order to choose the right path:
When a business determines its goal of achieving universal accessibility across all platforms and at all times, it's safe to choose a website or a web app for it doesn't need to be installed to get through. But when there needs to be a target market with a specific use of a device to discover important points in marketing or positioning, an app is a smart choice.
Functionality And Connectivity
When targeting a device, you need to be specific about what type of usage and function you are looking for; If it's GPS, SMS, QR code reader capabilities, or motion sensors you're seeking, then your best option is a mobile app since the web app will not provide you the requirements.
Upgradability And Lifecycle
As there is a procedure of passing through several steps of control and quality assurance to any app design; if you are looking for a heavily modifiable and expandable solution to your business, the websites or web apps are the best choice since they are scalable at any time.
Findability And Reach
Whether it be a web app/website or an application, it's important to acknowledge the fact that this new enhancement should be built upon a particular purpose to which it will lead the way to the right destination. ]f the business is deciding to spread awareness and build up a name for itself, it's safe to opt for a website/web app; but if the aim is to interact with consumers and enhance their experience of a business brand, it's best to choose an application.
Development Time And Costs
Based on the budget and team experience in software development, a business owner should choose the most suitable option; Since launching an application demands a wide range of channels, it is not a good option for teams with limited time and low budget, But if your target audience inclines toward younger generations, it is an option you need to consider.
In conclusion to this part of the blog, we must say:
While applications are a well-chosen step to being available and getting a mobile presence, providing more functionality for the customer journey, and providing easy access to products/ services any hour of the day; Websites are great options for businesses that do not require constant real-time interaction with their consumers, and require aid in branding and building up awareness.