The use of Mobile phones is drastically increasing, around 68.4% people in USA use smartphones and in coming years, the number is estimated to grow more than 230 million. This means mobile presence is on the rise. Here comes an important question whether to choose a mobile app that users can download or mobile website. It is undeniable that mobile has become a serious business. But how are you going to make your information available to your people is very important. Wil you choose an app or a mobile website? And why?
In this article we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both options.
A mobile website is in fact nothing more than a “normal” website. The only difference is that the mobile version is optimized for use on a small screen with definite responsiveness.
Benefits of Mobile Websites
Compared to its “big brother”, the mobile website has two important advantages:
User experience: Using a regular website can be very laborious on a mobile phone. As a user you are zooming in and out a lot on your screen to keep an overview and for example clicking on a link can feel very ‘unclear’. Because a mobile website is optimized for a small screen, the user experience will be better.
Speed: A regular website often has a lot of graphic elements (depending on the design of the site). Since the user usually depends on a slower connection via his phone, loading the site can take a long time. With a mobile website this is taken into account, so that the necessary information is downloaded faster.
Compared to an app, a mobile site also has advantages:
Reach: A mobile website can be accessed via all smartphones. The user can view the site on any mobile platform (operating system) via his browser. A mobile site therefore has a greater range than an app.
Development and Maintenance Costs: Because a mobile website is platform-independent, you only have to develop once and maintain the software in one place. That saves a lot in costs.
Independence of App Store Owners: In some cases – this does not apply to all platforms – you as a supplier and user depend on the whims of the owner of the app store of the relevant platform.
Disadvantage Mobile Websites
A mobile website also has one major disadvantage, the valuable functionalities of the smartphones, such as GPS or the camera, cannot be used. And it is precisely these functionalities that often offer the added value.
A mobile app is a piece of software that a user download and install on his smartphone before he can use it. This software is specifically written for the mobile platform of the user’s smartphone.
Apps have a number of advantages over mobile (and therefore also with respect to ordinary) websites:
Advanced Functionalities: With an app you can use the functionalities that a smartphone has on board.
User Interface: With an app you have more control over the user interface and you do not have to take into account the limitations of browsers or the applicable web standards. That can benefit the user experience.
Speed: Only the content needs to be removed from the net. The graphic elements have already been downloaded when installing the app. As a result, the content information can be shown faster than with a mobile or a regular website. This is useful, for example, in services where there is a constant flow of new information.
Near the User: As an app provider you are always present on the user’s desktop. You conquer a spot on a, for most people, very personal device and are therefore only one finger movement away from direct interaction.
The disadvantage of choosing an app is that it is not easy to determine for which mobile platform you will develop the app. Until now, “mobile marketing” was perhaps more or less the same as ‘developing an iPhone app’. That is the platform that has been leading in this area in recent years. But the competition is slowly increasing.
It is to be expected that with the mobile versions of websites in the future you can also use the functionalities of smartphones. But that is not the case for the time being. Do you want to make sure that you do not miss anyone and offer the user new, fun and useful functionalities? Then go for the full-Monty: a mobile version of your website and an app for each platform. Choose an experienced app design agency for the task and your will definitely be able to attain you vision.