Mobile presence for your business is inevitable. Given the number of people using smartphones on a daily basis, this is a platform that you simply cannot ignore. Moreover, you are able to reap in good profits when you offer convenience to the users, and ensure you are present wherever they go. This is possible only when your business goes mobile.
The tough question that stands in your way however is, whether to create a mobile website or develop a mobile app for your business. Considering the various factors that need to be considered before going mobile, including responsiveness and device compatibility as well as the cost of development, you ought to be completely sure before you make the decision. Here we will take you through the various points that you need to consider, before coming to a conclusion.
Mobile Apps vs Mobile Website
Let’s begin with the difference between a mobile website and a mobile app.
When you say mobile website, you are essentially talking about the business website that has been tweaked for the mobile view. From the fonts to the usability, everything has been made responsive and in line with the needs displayed by the mobile devices.
Even with less interaction from the user, the mobile website works perfectly. It is more or less used when you want to spread information or just ensure a mobile presence. There are fewer elements in the mobile website, and it is more or less designed for improving the brand’s visibility.
Mobile apps on the other hand work in a slightly different way. For one, they are stored locally, and use the hardware and software of the phone to interact with the users. They are intuitive, require more engagement and are designed for better interaction. The highlight of a mobile app is the user experience it offers.
The mobile apps are downloaded while, the mobile website is accessed via the web server. The apps can work in the offline mode, and will sync when connected to the internet. The mobile website requires the Internet if you want to access it.
We will compare the two for many of the factors that need to be considered during development. Once you have read through the entire article, you can opt for whichever suits your need perfectly.
- Development Ease: When it comes to development, mobile websites are definitely easier to develop. For one, you simply need to slice the website design to fit the mobile needs. You won’t need to think of elements that will help the user’s interaction. You won’t need to consider the platform you need to develop for or, the programming language you need to code in.The mobile websites are released using HTML, CSS and XML. In case of mobile apps, however, you need to consider quite a few things. Starting with the platform you want to develop for first to the coding language proficiency available with you, there are many things that you need to consider. The design and development process is long and requires more planning than the mobile website.
- Offline Usage: You can access the mobile websites only when you are connected to the Internet. This is not the case with the mobile apps. The apps have been designed in a way that they can be accessed without the Internet. The changes that you make within the app when offline, can be easily synced and updated once you are in the Internet range.
- Cost Effectiveness: The cost of developing a mobile website is slightly lower when compared to the cost of developing a mobile app. The reason being the mobile website is a mobile extension of your website, and there is no element that you need to add extra in here. The cost of development simply includes making the site compatible for the mobile view.
In case of the apps, you will be using the hardware and the software of the mobile to install and use the app. That’s precisely why you will need to invest more. You will be adding functionality and features that are more compatible for the mobile view, and will be designing elements specifically for the mobile device. The cost will increase when you develop separate versions for iOS and Android.
- Integration of Device Functionality: Imagine allowing the use of your smartphone’s camera on the mobile website? Impossible right! There is a limitation to your mobile websites purview. You can only use it to serve limited functionality and needs. On the other hand, the mobile app will serve you with all the right features and functionality that you need.
You can integrate the device specific hardware into your mobile app, and make use of it to increase the interaction and engagement levels for your app. Today the apps can integrate GPS to enable navigation and map-view tracking to the users. Camera integration allows you to make video calls from the apps. Whatsapp is an excellent example of both these features.
- The Notifications: When the business has something new to offer or, a new product coming up, the app will immediately notify it. Your users will become aware of the new feature immediately. However, that is not the case with the mobile website. The users, when the visit the mobile website, will get to know about the new product or service. When they are notified about the product, chances of them procuring the product is higher.
- Introducing Updates: When it comes to compatibility or introducing new updates, the mobile website is easier to maintain. They are compatible irrespective of the device size, form factor, resolution or any other factor. When it comes to incorporating the updates, it is less complicated with a mobile website.
However, that is not the case with the mobile app. The mobile applications need to be defined for the various OS, the devices and other factors. You need to make sure that they are compatible across devices and OS. Updating a mobile app is another process altogether, and introducing patches is slightly more difficult.
Whether you should go for a mobile app or a mobile website depends on the following:
1. The purpose of your mobile presence. Whether you want to increase visibility or conversions will answer what mobile presence you ought to opt for.
2. Can you use the mobile website to introduce the features you are planning for the business?.
3. Finally, the target audience and their needs.
Once you have answered the questions or at least listed out your needs, you would be clearer with the answer to mobile apps vs mobile website.
Coruscate Solutions partners with businesses to offer complete technology support and intends to improve your business functions with our technology aptitude and attitude. If you interested in converting your idea into a complete solution, connect with us via email or phone.