Gone are the days of the unresponsive word document websites with the bulletin board like links and lists of tags in varying sizes.
The way we consume data has changed massively over the years, and it’s obvious that design had to evolve inline with this.
It’s now more important than ever that your website is responsive and looks beautiful on all screen sizes. But have you ever thought about whether an app or a website is right for you?
With companies such as Nutshell Apps making it easier than ever to create manageable apps, there isn’t a more perfect time to delve into the land of the app.
Benefits of a Mobile Website
Did you know, that last year, the most common device to access the internet was a mobile phone? Yes, you heard that right. And not just by a small margin either. 79%.
Knowing that such a large percentage of the public use their mobiles to access the internet, it seems ridiculous to not cater to this market with a beautifully responsive website. After all, websites seem to be the naturally stepping stone up to an app right?
Let’s go through some of the benefits of a mobile website below:
Time and Cost
As a whole, websites are typically cheaper than an app to design and build. Not only are they more cost effective, but they are also considerably more time effective.
If you’re looking for something that needs to be live in a couple of weeks, it’s probably going to be best opting for a shiny new website.
Usage Spans Across All Devices
No matter what your device, you know that your website will definitely work.
Whether your web users are looking at your website on an android, an iPhone, tablet or laptop, as long as they have internet access – there are no restrictions! If you choose the right company, your website will look good, no matter what the screen size.
This may be something that you don’t think about at first, however somewhere down the line, you definitely will.
Website are easily shared between the public through links in texts, Facebook, blog posts – anywhere! This is something that an app lacks.
Yes, a website can mention your app and even link to it on the app store, however if the user doesn’t already have your app downloaded, that’s another step out of the way for them.
Updating your Content
With a website, one simple click of the ‘Publish’ button and your website has been updated, near enough instantly.
No matter whether you’re wanting to update text, change some images or add a new page, it’s a relatively easy task. However with an app, once you’ve updated an app, this update needs to be then pushed to users for them to download at their leisure.
It Can’t be Deleted
It’s great when someone downloads your app right?
But what happens when they forget about it/it gets deleted?
Unlike an app, your users can’t just delete your website once they’re bored of it. They can simply leave and return as they please, without being put off by the fact that they have to re-download.
Benefits of an App
You may now be thinking that apps are redundant if you have a website. But that’s very much not the case.
There are certain functionalities that are perfect for apps, and if you’re wanting any of these, a website just won’t cut it.
Do you/are you wanting to create games?
It seems a no-brainer that if you’re wanting something with high interactivity such as a game, that you need to go with an app.
A rather large benefit of an app is the ability to send out push notifications. Unlike a website, if your users have the app set up to receive notifications, you can directly send out messages to the user, whether they’re currently on the app or not.
Of course, this is to be used carefully, as to many notifications can easily push a user over the edge and cause them to delete the app altogether.
If your idea is another type of social media platform (or anything that involves regular usage and personalisation), it just makes sense to make this an app.
Having something that is easily accessible on a users device will allow them to check in on this as regularly as they like, without having to type in the address bar over and over again.
Tapping Into Your Phone’s Functionality
It’s true that with each and every passing day, web browser are getting better and better at tapping into your phone’s functionality. For example, when you click a phone number and your phone automatically calls this, or when you click an address and your maps app opens up to that address.
But if you’re wanting this cross over (maybe you’re wanting to access the phone’s camera), it makes a little more sense to do this via an app.
And last but not least, you can use an app online, or offline.
Yes, you may have some sections of the app where the user needs to be online. However a lot of the time, a user doesn’t have to be.
If you sell take away food via an app, yes it’s true customers may not be able to order over the app unless they’re online, but there’s nothing stopping them looking through your menu and picking up the phone.
With a website on the other hand, your customer wouldn’t be able to access anything at all.
As it doesn’t seem as if mobiles are going anywhere anytime soon, the website vs app debate will always be an important consideration for any online business.
If you’re wanting to establish something relatively quickly, that can be shared easily across devices and updated just as easily, a mobile website may be what’s best for you.
However if you’re wanting something with a more interactive, gaming feel or you’re wanting this to be something that your users have easy, regular offline access to, a mobile app is perfect for this.
With all of this debate, it’s important to remember that a mobile website and an app are not mutually exclusive.
There’s nothing stopping you from having both – if your budget allows!