Website VS App: Which one should you use?

We are in a ‘mobile era’ where most of the internet users have a smartphone or tablet. Most of the websites have mobile-friendly sites that are tailored to allow users to access them using mobile phones easily. Most businesses have at least one website that is functional, but, we can not say the same about applications.

Some businesses, like Jumia, have both websites and applications. In such a case, which option should you use? We look at both sides of the coin in this article.

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Advantages of a Website over an App

Mobile Websites Are Instantly Available. Users simply have to have a browser, which normally comes pre-installed on their phones. Apps, on the other hand, require the user to first download and install the app from an app marketplace before the content or application can be viewed.

Mobile Websites are Compatible Across many Devices. A single mobile website can reach users across many different types of mobile devices, whereas native apps require a separate version to be developed for each type of device. Also, some apps require your smartphone operating system is of a certain version before they can work. Furthermore, mobile website URLs are easily integrated within other mobile technologies such as SMS, QR Codes and near field communication (NFC).

Mobile Websites Can Be Updated Instantly. If a business owner wants to change the design or content of a mobile website, they simply publish the edit once and the changes are immediately visible; updating an app, on the other hand, requires the updates to be pushed to users, which then must be downloaded in order to update the app on each type of device. 

Mobile Websites Can’t be Deleted. An app can easily be deleted by the user. Once it nags the user, it can be binned immediately. So unless the app is something truly unique and/or useful, it’s questionable how long it will last on a user’s device. Mobile websites, on the other hand, are always available for users to return to them. 

Mobile Websites are Easier and Less Expensive to develop. Mobile website development is considerably more time and cost-effective than the development of a native app, especially if you need to have a presence on different platforms hence requiring the development of multiple apps.

Support and Maintenance. Properly supporting and maintaining an app in terms of upgrades, testing, compatibility issues, and ongoing development is much more expensive than supporting a website over time.


Related Article: How to disable in-app browser on major apps


Advantages of Mobile apps over mobile websites

Personalization. Users love highly tailored content according to their preferences and mobile apps make it easy to cater to personalized experiences. A mobile app can let users clearly define and set their preferences from the beginning, based on which they can be served customized content. The app will observe their engagement and behavior to offer custom recommendations and filter updates for them depending upon their actual location in real-time.

Speed. Properly developed applications are usually 1.5 times faster than mobile websites and they perform actions much faster too. Applications store their data locally on your device and data retrieval happens in the blink of an eye. In the case of websites, data needs to be fetched from the web servers which can take from few seconds to a minute depending upon the network speed and packet sizes.

Compatibility with device features. Mobile apps can be codded into utilizing various features of a native device. So, once downloaded they can use features like Camera that can scan PFDs, QR and Bar codes, and NFC to use for payments, GPS to connect with maps and other services and this can be utilized for thousands of different purposes.

Branding. Every mobile app is customized according to a company’s branding. Businesses can virtually change how their apps appear along with colors and layout whenever they want with version upgrades.

Search Engine Optimization. Google these days rank in-app content too and businesses can modify content in an application to help with their website SEO. Also, apps can be optimized on respective app stores to rank highly and include certain Dynamic Success Metrics that will ensure your application’s success via SEO tricks for application optimization.

A mobile website is similar to any other website in that it consists of browser-based HTML pages that are linked together and accessed over the Internet. What distinguishes a mobile website from a standard website is the fact that it is designed for the smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface. Apps are actual applications that are downloaded and installed on your mobile device, rather than being rendered within a browser.

We would like to know, which of the two is your preference especially when you have the luxury to choose between the two.