Mobile app vs Mobile web site: It is a big decision that many business operators are making as they struggle to determine what method is the best way to reach out to, connect with, and serve their customers. There are so many factors to consider when making the comparison between an apps or website set up, that it may prove overwhelming for a business owner who simply wants to connect with his or her target audience.
As you plan to establish a strong online presence, it is imperative that you become familiar with the unique features associated with a mobile app and a mobile website. In doing so, you can take full advantage of the presentation method that will serve you and your business the best. You may even find that both a mobile app and mobile website can help your reach your customers and give them easy access to your products and/or services.
Below, we will explore the differences between a mobile app and a mobile website. Review the differences so you can have an easier time choosing between the two options. You will need to decide if you want a mobile website where a device user can access your website via the Internet, or if you want to offer a downloadable application, in this case you will have to outsource app development company.
While both options have some remarkable visual similarities, there are some major differences in terms of features, the purpose of the app/website, budget factors, and the size of the audience you can reach with each option.
So How Do Mobile Apps and Mobile Websites Differ?
To make a fair assessment between mobile websites and mobile application options, you need to know the myriad similarities and differences between the two options. The similarities between mobile apps and websites include the fact that both options are something you can access with a mobile device. This means you can use things like tablets and smartphones like Blackberry, Android, iPhone, and Windows smartphone options to gain access to the content shared through a mobile website or a mobile app.
A mobile app is made available to a user through a downloadable file from Android app stores or iOS store. Once downloaded, the app installs on a person’s device automatically. A mobile app does not require the use of a mobile browser to access the content. The app is usually designed for one platform: Android vs iOS, or even Blackberry, but you can also have a mobile app that is a cross platform so it works with more than one operating system.
A mobile app may offer content to the user that is downloaded onto the mobile device in its entirety or it may pull some material from the Internet while the app is in use: This means the user will require an Internet connection.
Mobile websites are not downloaded, but are something a person can access using a browser to view content online. A mobile website is a series of coded pages with URLs that allow the user to access the pages and content. The pages are coded with HTML coding. If accessing the Internet with a mobile device, the user will need a 3G, 4G, or WiFi connection and an Internet service provider.
So what is the difference between a mobile website and a regular one? Simple: The mobile website is created so that it presents on a mobile device with the appropriate size and resolution graphics. Just like a traditional website, a mobile website is entirely capable of displaying video, images, data, and content. The mobile site can even access click to call and mapping (location based) mobile features.
Mobile App or Website: Which One Should You Use?
Your goals will ultimately define whether you want to use a mobile website, a native app, or both. For example, consider a game app like angry birds: The app is entirely downloadable and can be installed on a mobile device. If you plan to develop mobile games, a mobile app users can download is your best bet.
In contrast, if you have a website online already, you may want a mobile website to act like your existing website and even duplicate the content you offer online. You can offer content that is mobile friendly without having to have an entire app coded for the purposes of doing so.
Of course, there are situations where you will find you can benefit from both options: This kind of condition is ideal if you have a website and a mobile website first, before you get a mobile app. For the most part, the most logical order of things when it comes to establishing your mobile/online presence is that you have a mobile web presentation first.
Then, you can offer up a mobile app as a secondary, useful application your customers/users/visitors can used for specific purposes that one might not otherwise be able to complete through a traditional Internet browser.
Native Apps and Mobile Website Benefits Comparison
Native apps and mobile websites each have their own set of advantages. In fact, a mobile website has several inherent benefits when compared to native apps, including the fact that you get a greater outreach, they are ideal for public communications and marketing endeavors. What’s more, the mobile website is cost effective, offers greater device compatibility, and the use of mobile websites comes with greater accessibility overall.
When it comes to mobile websites, there is no waiting to gain access to content, product, or service information. In today’s culture, where it is just as hard to get the attention of a Web user as it is to keep the user engaged, immediate website access is really preferred. With mobile websites, the user does not have to take the time to download or install anything, and while most mobile downloads take mere minutes, in those few minutes you still run the risk of losing the interest of the user downloading a mobile app.
What’s more, you do not have to worry about having separate apps so users of different devices can access the mobile website. Whether the user has Blackberry, Android, or iPhone, as long as the user has a browser on their phone, they can view your mobile content.
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Mobile websites are definitely preferred when discussing compatibility because as long as a mobile device has a web browser, it can access a mobile website. The operating system the phone or tablet has is of no consequence. What’s more, the URL of mobile websites are integrated with alternative technologies like NFC, QR, and SMS.
Upgrading a mobile website is something that can be done with immediacy, as you can make your website changes and then publish the content. When it comes to upgrading a mobile app, you will have to make updates to the application and push the new updates to users so they can download it before such updates become useful.
Easy of finding your content is also a consideration when you are comparing mobile apps with mobile websites. When you are online it is quite easy to find your website because it is picked up by indexes and search engines. What’s more, when searching for information related to your online content, a user is directed to your material, even when using a handle device since there is device detection involved in determining the best response to a keyword user search. Meanwhile, mobile app visibility is incredibly limited, left to the confines of the leading app stores and the official websites offering access to such apps.
Online sharing is a factor that you can take the most advantage of from a mobile website since URLs are so easy to share with others through SMS, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sharing solutions. Apps cannot really take full advantage of social media sharing tools. Clearly, the ease of accessibility, the integration of social media, and the ability to share mobile websites with friends makes them the broadest option when it comes to reaching a target audience.
What’s more, the longevity of a mobile website wins over a downloadable app hands down. The mobile website remains online until you take it down, whereas a native app can be removed from a mobile device on the decision of the device user.
Finally, a mobile website can practically do the job of a native app and looks considerably similar in terms of design and usability. Of course, while a mobile website takes more time to build and maintain, it is far less expensive than it is to develop a native app available for user download. Clearly, the evidence supports using a mobile website versus a native app to serve your business needs.