In the present day world, you cannot grudge the profound importance of mobile websites. If you have a website that is not optimized for mobile usage, you are losing out on a major chunk of benefits. However, when you talk about a mobile presence, another idea is sure to cross your mind – a mobile app. So, what should be your choice?
What exactly is the difference between mobile website and a mobile app?
The only similarity between a mobile website and an app is that both of them run on mobile phones and other handheld devices. Barring this similarity, there is little in common between them.
The main difference between a mobile app and website is in their access route. A mobile website is always present on the browser. You users only need to type the URL in their mobile browser and the website opens on their screens. Users do not have to pay anything to access a website through a browser.
Apps, on the other hand, need to be downloaded and installed in the phone. Moreover, providing a free app might not be feasible for you, in which case, you need to levy a fee. This might put off several customers. With a mobile website, you don't have to suffer this setback.
What should you choose?
The choice depends entirely on your purpose and objectives. An app is a good choice when you want to provide short cuts to certain features provided by your service. However, if your purpose is to offer a complete website experience, a mobile website should be your choice.
Between the two, mobile website is more comprehensive and offers all the functionality of an app. Apps, on the other hand, fulfill a specific purpose and do not offer comprehensive functionality akin to mobile website.
Experts opine that if you don't already have a mobile web presence, your first priority should be a mobile website. An app can be used as an appendix for the website, at best. If you have a responsive website, you can consider building an app exclusively for mobile use.
How is a mobile website better than an app?
A mobile website is better than an app because it offers instant and unconditional access. Also, mobile websites are built to be compatible with all the mobile browsers. Apps might have to be specific to a mobile operating system. For instance, an app built for android might not offer the best performance on the iOS platform.
Another major benefit of mobile website is in terms of scalability and upgrade. While mobile websites are easy to upgrade, app upgrade is tougher. A very important point to keep in mind is that every upgrade made to an app needs to be downloaded or upgraded by the user. If users choose not to move to the latest version, the upgrade becomes useless. With mobile websites, this problem does not exist. When the user opens the website on the browser, the upgraded version appears on the screen.
You cannot ignore the fact that apps can be deleted from the mobile device if the user is low on space. Websites don't take up space on the device and hence, can never be deleted.
So, for more reason than not, mobile websites have an upper hand over apps.
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