With the increasing use of mobile devices, it is clear that today any business would require a strong mobile presence. Now the question is whether to build a dedicated app or a mobile website to serve the purpose. It obviously depends upon your requirements and goals at the end of the day but let us understand the difference between the two and which one is suitable for your business.
What is a Mobile Website?
A mobile website is very much similar to a computer website and is based on HTML5 pages that are accessible via the internet through the mobile’s web browser. The only difference between these two sites is that the mobile website is optimized in particular to be viewed on smaller screens of tablets and smartphones. Today most of the businesses develop a website having features that can view on smaller screens. This can be achieved via two different methods:
1. Mobile responsive:
It is a very common method uses today. The whole website can be viewed and displayed on mobile screens as it is. Here, the website content is made to shrink down in order to fit the small screens, including images and text. However, a mobile responsive website does not give the experience of a mobile app.
2. Mobile Adaptive:
With mobile adaptive development, one can give its users an experience that is similar to an app without having to build an app in real. It operates very much similar to an app along with similar look and feel. Also, this calls for a very affordable method to treat the users as you can save on building a dedicated app. But it also demands to create a separate mobile website for making it mobile adaptive.
When should you build a Mobile Website?
Mobile websites ideally use when you have a traditional website or e-commerce store. Here are few reasons to consider this option over other:
Existing Web Presence:
Unless and until users know about your business and have a keen interest towards your business app, they are likely not going to search for it. Also, if the mobile website is providing all the necessary features than they will not download the app altogether.
Working Across Platforms:
A mobile website works across all the platforms irrespective of Android, iOS or any other device. As it works on HTML, different users can have access to the content in a similar way even if they are using a different type of devices.
A mobile website can maintain and updates easily. It only requires developers to add, remove or edit the part of the website and publish it. However, mobile apps go through a long procedure for updates and it also requires users to download those updates.
Today, mobile websites can develop with app-like features. These websites can now access in-built functions of the device such as cameras, microphone, clock, alarm, calendar, GPS and more.
What is a Dedicated App?
An app is nothing but a software program that runs on a mobile device with or without internet access. It requires users to download these apps for accessing them. Apps have deeply embedded functions to work with device hardware and have access to functions like camera, GPS, speakers, storage and more.
When should you develop a Dedicated App?
A dedicated app for your business can give fruitful results when it aims to provide better functionalities to its users. Following are the reasons to consider building a dedicated app:
Providing better experience:
Even though offering app like experience is possible with a mobile website, this experience is only limited. When you want your customers to have unique experience pertaining to the platforms and the functionalities they use, then creating a mobile app is the best option.
When your business has a large audience and it is flourishing, probably it is the best chance to invest in building an app. This will act as a chance to drive more audience and satisfy existing customer base as well.
Business focusing on an app:
Building an app should be a prime concern when your business mainly focuses on app-related services or functionalities. Also, when your business is shifting its prime focus towards a mobile phone, developing an app should pay off. Mobile apps are best when a service is tailored to giving a mobile experience. For example, messaging or communication service, GPS based services, and utility-based services should be provided using a dedicated app.
The final decision is always based on the business needs. Whether you opt for developing a mobile website or an app; consider upon what are you trying to fulfill. Creating a mobile website and maintaining it is easy as well as cost-effective. However, business in entertainment space or another specific service should invest on building an app.
Have trouble deciding between the two? You can always ask our experts to help you decide.