Difference between a Mobile Website and an App
Before you plunge into mobile presence, let’s understand the key difference between a mobile website and an app. The only characteristic that makes both of them in common with each other is that they both are accessible on hand held devices.
Akin to any other website, a mobile website is laced with browser-based HTML pages that are linked together and are accessible over the Internet. Made for the smaller handheld device and touch-screen interface, the aforementioned are the characteristics that differentiate a mobile website from a standard website. Presently, responsive web design is a one-size-fits-all approach as it is mobile-friendly and compatible to any device, regardless of its size (from desktop, tablet to smartphones).
Similar to a website, mobile websites/responsive sites exhibit text content, images, video and allow mobile-centric features, such as click-to-call or location-based mapping.
Apps are downloaded on your mobile unlike website being browsed on the internet. Like a website, an app pulls content and data from the Internet, or may download the content and can be accessed without Internet connection.
Mobile (Responsive) Website or an app- which is best for you?
If developing an interactive game is your end goal, an app is the best choice for you. Mobile website, on the other hand, serves your purpose if you are looking for offering content to mass. Depending on your goal, you may require both a mobile website and an app. Having an app, however, doesn’t make sense when you do not have a mobile website. In a nutshell, a mobile website is unavoidable when you are diving into mobile web presence. An app is a secondary step as it is limited to a specific purpose, which is not obtained by a web browser.
Advantages of a Mobile Website
- Immediacy-A mobile website is easily accessible across a range of devices whereas an app needs to be downloaded first and installed from a store before using it. The downloading factor in an app creates a barrier between initial engagement and conversion.
- Shareability- The URL of a mobile website is easily shared among users through a simple link (via email, text message, Facebook or Twitter post) whereas an app can’t be shared in the same manner.
- Broader Reach-As mobile website is accessible across any devices, it becomes easy to share it among users, including search engines. A website has a huge reachability when compared to an app.
- A Mobile Website can Play the Role of an app: Similar to a standard website, mobile website can be built as a database-driven web application, which serves like an app. A mobile web can be used as an alternative to an app.
- Less Expensive-Development of a mobile website is less time consuming and more cost-effective than creating an app. A mobile website is more useful when you need to boost your presence across different platforms.
When is it Crucial to have an app?
Despite multiple benefits from mobile web, having an app is the best choice in specific scenarios. If you need to achieve one of the following, building an app is essential.
- Gaming: An app is only the best bet available for interactive games (e.g. Angry Birds) as it’s easy for the users to access it without Internet connection, preventing the consumption of data.
- Regular Usage/Personalization: An app is the only best choice if it is meant to be used as a personalized manner by users regularly, such as EverNote.
- Complex Calculations: If you are thinking of making something that will fetch data and help you in difficult calculations, reports pr chats (e.g banking or investment), an app helps you achieve your goal.
- Native Functionality: Mobile websites are doing excellent job at accessing certain mobile functions, such as click-to-call, GPS and SMS. If you, however, need to have access to user’s camera or processing power, an app does it in an effective way.
- No Internet Connection Needed: If you wish that your content is visible to your user without Internet connection or offer offline functionality, an app makes sense.
Having full internet presence is important for every brand to survive. Not having a mobile web access deprives you of incredibly large consumer and eventually your company is at a disadvantage. In today’s mobile-driven world, the question for a marketer is whether to opt for a mobile website or a mobile app. Creating both a mobile website and mobile app is more fruitful as the integration of the two advances the marketing goals. If, however, you have time and budget constraints, opt for a platform best suited to your needs.
If your goal is marketing-driven, or your aim is to deliver content and have a strong mobile presence that can be easily maintained, found on search engines, shared among users, mobile (responsive) website is a smart choice. If your goal, on the other hand, is to offer interactive services, personalized options and digital in-store supplements, you need to develop a mobile app. Should you need additional information, or need to discuss whether an app or a mobile website is suitable for your organization, feel free to contact Cosmolance Tech. Our professionals are here to guide you in every step of the way.