The concept of a smartphone app has now been around for a good few years, and since the sudden rise in smartphone usage worldwide, the one question that businesses are constantly asking themselves when looking to adapt to the mobile world is – ‘Should I Choose a Native App or a Mobile Website?’
For budget conscious businesses looking to get into the mobile space, this can be a difficult question to answer, and unfortunately like many things in life, the answer to this is really dependent on your own circumstances.
Each year there are more reasons to weigh mobile apps and mobile websites against each other, and in 2014 there is still no clear winner; it’s a constant seesaw that never truly wants to balance out.
Quite frankly, mobile websites tend to be the cheapest option, and also the most hassle-free – with a mobile website, you are only developing one portal that can be accessed across multiple operating systems, whilst with mobile apps, you’ll need to create multiple versions across different mobile OS’s if you plan to connect with your entire customer base. So, with this in mind, let’s take a look at the reasons why mobile websites can offer more than mobile apps, and at a better price, too.
Keeping Up to Date
As your business develops, your online presence will, too. You may start to offer new services, or open up new loyalty programs for your customers, and these are the kinds of things customers will be excited to have access to whilst on the go.
Making changes to your business could mean having to push out updates to your mobile application or potentially even releasing a brand new app to reflect these changes. In this case, it’s possible that connections with some of your customers could be lost – they may not want to download a new app, or may not have the mobile data allowance to download a new app update.
With a mobile website, however, you will not run into these problems. Instead, customers will be able to access all of your updated content in the same place every time changes are made live. With a website address, customers will also be able to visit your website on new devices without having to go through the process of downloading an application again.
One Size Fits All
One of the biggest problems with the smartphone industry in 2014 is device fragmentation. Even Apple’s beautiful mobile ecosystem is now the home to devices with varying screen sizes and pixel densities, and as an app developer, this ends up becoming one massive headache.
With a decent mobile website developer on your side, you can potentially create a mobile site that works smoothly on any screen size, and any operating system. This could save you a lot of money in the long run, because it means you aren’t paying a developer extra time to fix any major compatibility issues that may occur.
If you’re an online business that relies on advertising as a form of revenue, then you may find that mobile websites offer a better return than mobile applications do. Whilst the mobile app marketing industry is growing, desktop advertising and affiliate networks are still going strong.
Using the same desktop advertising platforms on your mobile website will make things easier when tracking analytics, data and revenue, and id you simply port over your desktop website into a mobile format, you can potentially earn advertising revenue from the same content that was already available on your desktop website.
Both mobile applications and mobile websites have their pro’s and con’s, but developing mobile websites tends to be more convenient, and ultimately a lot cheaper in the long run than applications do. Hopefully this article has pointed out the benefits of owning a mobile website in 2014, and why this may be the better choice out of the two. Get a free preview of your mobile website today!