If you want my opinion, Mobile Website Development (I use Responsive WordPress Themes) should be a business’s first step towards establishing their mobile presence. Apps are cool but better used for specific reasons and to build interactive engagement with users.
Let’s examine a few differences between mobile websites and mobile apps first:
- They are instantly accessible
- Compatible across all devices (They better be!)
- Easier to be found
- URL’s can be shared easily between users
- They cannot be deleted
- Easier and cheaper to develop
- Easy to maintain, really no extra work necessary
- They can deliver catalogs, content and shopping options
- Download and installation is required
- Separate versions for each device is needed
- Typically restricted to manufacture app store
- Not possible to share
- Most apps are deleted with 30 days
- Time consuming and expensive
- Upgrades and ongoing development are needed
- They can have feature rich functionality though
So why should you choose a mobile website? When is better to develop a mobile app?
That’s actually pretty easy. First,
- Mobile website should be your first step into the mobile Industry
- It really doesn’t make sense to develop an app without already having a mobile website
- Mobile sites reach broader audiences, get ranked in search engines and can be shared across social networks
- Mobile websites can even be modified later on into database driven web apps
- It’s easier to drive traffic to specific mobile landing pages
- If you are looking for feature rich functionalities, then it’s time to contemplate an app
- If your niche consists of interaction and gaming, go with an app
- If you are going to provide something that doesn’t require an internet connection, go with an app
What you choose really depends on what you aim to do, provide and who your audience is. Apps provide rich media integration while mobile websites offer wider reach at lower costs.
Do you have a mobile website or mobile app? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments!