Should I Build A Website or Create an App?

Our world as we know it today is undeniably digital. As a business owner, by improving your online presence, you can reach millions of possible customers around the world, easily outstretching the reach of most traditional advertising mediums and extending word-of-mouth possibilities exponentially. The problem though, is that we are faced with so many digital options to improve our business that sometimes we are confused as to to the route we should take.

At some point in your decision making though, in this fast-paced, digital world, you’re going to ask yourself, “should I build a website or create an app?” . This article will offer some timely advice that will help you effectively answer this question.

To start you off, you should know that websites and apps both offer unique advantages to companies.

Here’s a breakdown of the pros of a mobile website vs. an app, and what each can offer your business.

Mobile Websites vs. Mobile Apps

Today, most, if not all websites are ‘responsive’ (i.e can adapt to any type/size of device), making it a mobile website. Here’s a quick overview of how a website compares to an app.

  • A website is often less expensive than an app
  • A website enhances the user experience across different types of mobile devices.
  • A website works on all devices
  • A website is easier to link and share than an app

A mobile website can be easier for people to find when searching online. From a business perspective, a website is less difficult to create and update, as well. You don’t need separate versions of your website for iOS and Android, either.

App stores are constantly improving search functionality to make new apps easier to discover, but the app stores aren’t as accessible as the web. A mobile application requires developing a separate version for each operating system and device type. 

Websites still give smaller companies a better chance to be seen than a mobile app. Think about it. The last time you wanted to search online for accessories or a product you needed, did you go to Google (a website) or did you go to Play Store or the App Store?

Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Websites

Creating a mobile app for your business can improve your marketing reach, and provide a unique channel for attracting new customers or engaging with existing customers.

  • An app can attract new customers through the app stores
  • Mobile apps offer faster access to content and smoother interactions. 
  • An app can take advantage of phone and tablet hardware
  • An app can provide a unique experience to your customers

A mobile website is a great way to start a relationship with a customer, and an app can deepen existing relationships. Mobile apps give you unique options to engage with existing customers, as well as providing a personalized experience.

Customized user experiences start with hardware features native to phones and tablets. While it’s true that HTML5 has come a long way, making it much easier to deliver unique experiences, websites can’t track user behavior as well as an app can.

Can Your Website and App Work Together?

As mobile apps become easier to create and maintain though, many businesses are combining a mobile-friendly website with a mobile app. This combination can give you the best chance to expand your reach to new customers, as well as delivering a unique experience and customized content, deals, and information to your most loyal customers.

A common use case is to add language to your website, prompting visitors to download your mobile app. This gives you an excellent channel for reaching out to people, contacting them immediately via push notifications, as well as taking advantage of the capabilities of a mobile app.

Every company in every business sphere must make its own choice depending on its business strategy, marketing goals, and brand positioning. The choice is not about picking one of the two, but rather about finding the right solution that will provide the best results for your business.

So, in conclusion, you do not have to choose between an app and a website. An effective mobile strategy can reasonably include both a mobile website and an app.

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