One of the first considerations while planning to develop a mobile presence for your organization or business is whether you'd like to create a mobile website or app for your users. The huge number of mobile subscribers have caused widespread debates on what is more effective for a business; a mobile application or a mobile website. For you to have a successful mobile strategy it is quite important that you put mobile channels into consideration. Currently, most businesses use mobile websites and mobile apps. In this text, I'm going to shed more light on mobile app vs mobile website and the importance of each of the two channels to enable you to make informed decisions.
First, before evaluating the benefits of an app and a website, it would be important for you to know their key differences. A mobile site is comparable to other websites except that it comprises of a browser built HTML pages linked together and accessed through the Internet. Relatively, a mobile app is an application downloaded and installed on the phone as opposed to being run on the website.
A mobile site can instantly be accessed by users through a variety of devices; Android, Phone, Blackberry and much more Applications on the contrary, first need to be downloaded and installed from an application marketplace before they are viewed. This is a major barrier between action and initial engagement.
A single mobile site reaches subscribers in many different kinds of mobile platforms, while apps need a different version to be made for each kind of device. What's more, mobile sites can be easily integrated into other phone technologies such as OR Codes, SMS, and other Near Field Communication.
Mobile sites are more dynamic than apps in terms of flexibility to upgrade their contents. Changing the content of a mobile site only requires you to publish the edit a single time and the changes will be immediately accessible. Updating an application, on the contrary, is a process. First, the updates have to be sent to the users and then downloaded in order for the apps to be updated on the devices.
Mobile sites can be easily found by users due to the fact that their pages are displayed and listed on search results. This enables qualified guests to locate you Significantly, regular visitors to your site are immediately sent to your mobile site However, the visibility of an application is basically restricted to the creator's app store.
Mobile websites are shared among subscribers through their links are also known as URLs. This is done within text messages, emails, Twitter or Facebook posts. Publishers can also direct subscribers to a mobile site through print, website or from a blog.
Since mobile websites are accessible across many platforms which can be shared among subscribers and search engines, its reach has greater reach capability as compared to a mobile app.
The shelf-life of most apps is pretty short. So unless an app is really unique or useful it longevity on the user's device would be questionable. Sites, on the contrary, are always open for users to access at any time
Just like any website, mobile sites can be created as a data-driven, application acting exactly as an app. This can be an alternative to application development.
That said, a mobile site must be your first consideration in developing your web presence. However, an app is suitable for developing an application specific purposes which cannot be accomplished effectively by a browser.