Mobile App or Mobile Website?

For most people a mobile website is almost the same as a mobile app. That’s an understandable mistake, because they actually look-alike. Their most fundamental similarity is that they both function in a mobile device (tablet or smartphone). However, they do have many differences.

A mobile website is just like a desktop website in functions and content, only designed to fit a smaller screen. They are accessed through a browser. A mobile application is downloaded and installed on your smart phone or tablet from an app store (iTunes, Google Play, Blackberry App World or Windows Market Place).

An application can download content in your device, so that you may not need an internet connection afterwards, or it can load content from the internet just like a mobile website.

If you are feeling torn on what is best to have, here is a small tip: Identify your end goals!

A mobile website is the dominant option when it comes to a web presence. The mobile app is an extension of this presence, or more precisely, the versioning for a few- hard to carry out via website- functions. In other cases, an interactive game for instance, the mobile application is the solution you should first have in mind.

Analyzing the pros and cons of each option is a rather easy thing. Let’s take a closer look!

A mobile website is:

1) Easier to find and share (link via e-mail or social media)

2) Compatible to all types of mobile devices (Android, IOS etc)

3) More flexible in terms of content update (you post and off it goes!)

4) Certainly more cost and time effective

On the other hand a mobile app is:

1) Interactive (think of all these games!!)

2) Offering the ground for a personalised use

3) A must when in need of calculations, reports, data manipulation (bank apps ring any bell?)

4) Functional without an internet connection (now, is that convenient?!)

Conclusion brings us back to the first tip: identify your end goals! The dilemma “web app or mobile website” depends highly on how you intend to use them in your advertising campaign. Because, if visibility on search engines and marketing-oriented web presence is your goal, then the mobile website stands out as a choice. If you need functions resembling more a program than a website and you seek interactive engagement, you are most probably in need of a mobile application.

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