Which of the two is preferred more? Mobile website or Mobile app?
To many, the difference between a mobile website and a mobile app is not too evident. But, both are developed differently, keeping in mind different objectives. Below, the differences between the two, along with their pros and cons have been discussed. Read on to choose what you prefer among the two…
A mobile website is nothing different from the usual websites, except it is a browser-based way of accessing internet content. It has been designed keeping in mind mobile devices, and therefore cannot be displayed perfectly on desktops.
A mobile friendly website is basically your actual website shrunk down to fit the display of a mobile device. The function and display of a mobile website stays the same, though, one may need to zoom-in and scroll a lot.
A responsive website on the other hand, uses HTML pages which are linked together and are viewed in browsers over the internet. It works well not only with mobile-friendly websites and desktop versions of the same, but also works well for smartphones and tablets with touchscreen interfaces. Safe to say, a responsive web design goes perfectly well with mobile devices just as mobile websites.
To assess your choice between a mobile website and a mobile app better, its imperative to know the pros and cons of each…
Wider Reach-since a mobile website is accessible across various platforms and can be easily shared, it broadens the consumer reach. Also, in terms of search engines, it has greater reach abilities as compared to a mobile app which needs to be searched and then downloaded through either Google Play or Apple’s App Store.
Support and Maintenance. Websites also cost less to upgrade. There is bare minimum maintenance charges since you do not need to maintain various versions of them. Responsive/mobile websites allow you to make changes in the content or design just by editing them once and allow you to do the same efficiently. After implementing, updates become active and visible immediately across all types of devices.
SEO Traffic- Mobile optimized sites are now ranked higher in search engine results pages than sites that are not optimized for mobile. Companies with mobile-friendly sites are more likely to rank better, which results in greater brand visibility and further, higher website traffic.
Mobile websites have a wider reach, are easily attuned, and require less money than mobile applications. Yet, they have their limitations.
Convenience- Unlike a mobile app, a responsive/mobile website cannot handle all smartphone features very effectively. Features like camera, phone dialing etc are not necessarily developed for responsive/mobile websites.
Screen size- while having smaller devices is always convenient for portability issues, this small screen size may be of concern. The small screen size allows a lot less data as compared to a computer or laptop screen. This makes it a little inconvenient for users to surf the net on mobile devices.
User Experience. Since mobile experiences are significantly different than that of desktop experiences, the same interface for both platforms cannot be used. This is mainly associated with the single-window restriction. According to this, a user shouldn’t have to leave their current page to access all the content they’re looking for; however, with mobile websites it’s often impossible to fit everything onto one page.
Offline Access- mobile websites will most likely not work without an internet. A mobile website needs a good internet connection to operate.
Mobile applications as we know need to be downloaded from specific portals like the App Store or Google play. Mobile apps have been developed to provide faster access to content and easy interactions.
A mobile application will be most beneficial if one wants make use of features like GPS, scanners, click-to-call etc. Another good use of a mobile app is when one wants to develop a social platform wherein, images, videos or content can be shared. A mobile application is also the perfect choice for games and other services that require you to track progress in real-time scenarios or for daily reminders.
To decide what you prefer, the pros and cons of mobile apps are mentioned below-
Convenience– Research shows that the applications are preferred better and used more than their websites, mainly because they are more convenient. Mobile apps provide better user experiences, load content faster, and are user-friendly. Unlike websites, apps have push notifications, which give it a bonus point. Moreover, the capabilities of updates, special features, and reminders within an app help increases customer loyalty and retention base.
Personalization. Mobile apps are an apt answer for services that require frequent usage. Mobile applications allow users to personalize the app and its content to their fancy. For instance, user can set and save their preference, create their personal accounts etc.
Offline Access- Another major advantage with mobile apps is the prospect of using them offline. Since the apps have been downloaded and installed on mobile devices, they can continue providing consumers with access to content and various features even without an internet connection.
Compatibility– to maintain effective running, every mobile app, needs to be compatible or fulfill requirements of its particular operating system. Basically, this means that platforms like iOS, Android or Windows need a separate operating system.
Support and Maintenance- if an application is developed for several different platforms, supporting the same also takes more time and funds. This means that it is imperative to maintain regular updates and upgrades for the smooth functioning of these apps. Moreover, it is important to entice the users and get them to download the new update.
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