As you plan to expand your business, one of the most important factors to consider is adapting for mobile. Promoting your business through mobile is becoming increasingly important, especially with 52.2% of all website traffic being generated through mobile so far in 2018. When planning to establish a mobile presence for your business, one thing to consider is whether a mobile app or a responsive website would be better suited for your information. There are both pros and cons for each type of interface, so weighing both options before making a decision would be beneficial. Before getting into the details of each option, it is firstly important to understand the difference between the two interfaces.

 

A mobile app is an actual application that is downloaded directly on your mobile through a respective app store, whether it’s from the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, or any other app marketplace. An example of a mobile app could be a phone camera app, as it is only accessible through the mobile phone, not through a browser.

 

Responsive web is just like any other website in that is it accessed through a browser and consists of HTML code. The main difference between a computer webpage and a mobile page however, is simply that is it designed for a smaller interface and tends to have a more responsive web design for easy navigation. Mobile websites are not specific to one device and therefore can be accessed from a multitude of devices.

 

When it comes time to decide which mobile option to choose, it simply comes down to what is better for the type of business you run and the information needing to be conveyed. Highlighted below are further details on mobile apps and websites, to help you make the best decision for your company.

 

Mobile Apps

Since mobile apps are unique to each device and must operate in accordance to each type of device, the app development process is much more complex than that of a mobile website. This is partly due to the fact that every device uses a different programming language. However, because these apps are a lot more extensive to create, they will be fully compatible with the rest of the device’s features, such as a camera or health app. Thus, the app becomes easier to use and much more personalized. Therefore, if your business is seeking interactivity, personalization, or complex calculations, a mobile app would be better suited for your clients. Additionally, if you want to provide offline access to your content, an app is also better suited, since a website would need a constant connection.

 

Responsive Web

If a main goal for your business is to improve marketing and awareness, a mobile responsive website might be more fitting due to the fact that it is easier, more cost effective, and has a larger reach since it is designed to be accessed from all devices. Because of this, mobile websites are also easier to find, since they appear in online search results. Therefore, if awareness is the goal, a website will do just fine. Mobile websites can be easily updated and maintained and the overall cost of development is lower than the cost of developing mobile apps. This is due to the fact that unlike mobile apps, mobile websites use JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, or any other technologies a developer decides to use, and are still accessible on any device. The downside to this, however is the fact that unlike mobile apps, websites are not fully compatible with the device’s native features, therefore a webpage may look different on different types of devices.

 

Conclusion

The mobile app vs website debate will always be a point of conflict, however at the end of the day, the important thing is deciding what will work best for your company. Both channels offer great benefits if used for the right information. If marketing is a main goal for your business, consider utilizing a website. On the other hand, if your company is looking for more usability and customer-experience, an app may be better suited for you. It all boils down to understanding your business needs better, because that is always the first step when it comes to designing technology for your audience.


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