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June 25, 2019

Mobile Website vs Mobile App: Which is Best For Your Business?

Doing business in general, whether online or from a physical location, is always a matter of difficult decisions and compromises. Time and money are limited and return on investment demands shrewdness and decisiveness.

If you are doing business online, however, you are essentially faced with two major options when it comes to selling and building your brand: a mobile website, or a mobile app. Both will help you access the 5-plus billion mobile phone users worldwide, but deciding between the two can be difficult. This is why we have broken down the pros and cons of each in the below article.

Mobile website pro (mobile app con) 1: They are compatible across devices  

Many website designers agree that a mobile website, especially if it is responsively designed (i.e. display optimally across a range of devices) is the best course of action because a responsive site can be viewed on a wide range of devices. A mobile app, on the other hand, is going to need a separate application for every operating system out there.

Creating an application for a range of devices can get quite expensive. Creating one site that responsively displays is typically more cost-effective.

Mobile website pro (mobile app con) 2: They are easier to maintain

Whether you opt for an app or a website, you are going to face maintenance issues and costs. With a website, you only have to make one set of centralized changes or purchases every time. With an app, you will have to do this across multiple different platforms. Those costs and that time add up.

Mobile website con (mobile app pro) 1: They are less convenient

In the internet of things era, applications are designed to be constant communication with the things around them and the devices they are used on. An app will communicate with a user’s camera, dialing, GPS, and a wide range of other features. This can help you collect more data, better market, and deliver a more personalized experience.

Online business is all about leveraging big data to help tailor your marketing, customer service, and offers to individual customers. A mobile app will collect more personalized data about the people who buy from you, allowing you to build a more personal relationship with them.

Mobile website con (mobile ap pro) 2: No offline access

While HTML5 and offline access are certainly growing trends, offline functionality and the information displayed is still going to be much poorer than it is with a mobile app. Mobile apps can run locally, allowing your customers to engage with you and your business even when they are offline. Internet connections are still not universal, and people may be reluctant to use their data when no WiFi (News - Alert) is available.

How to make your decision

Ultimately, much of the mobile app versus site debate comes down to your budget and the nature of your business. If you can afford to develop multiple apps across multiple platforms, and the more personalized nature of the app is important to you, then the app is a clear choice. You can also take advantage of offline opportunities that most websites cannot.

On the other hand, if you want to be able to create one single site that is centrally controlled by you then a website makes much more sense. The website will also display across platforms and devices, so your initial investment will likely be much less.

Keep the above pros and cons of websites versus mobile apps in mind and ensure that your online presence is right for you and your niche. Also, consider that you don’t always have to choose, and can have both.

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