An App Or a Mobile Website?

Published March 27th, 2012 by Farin Innovations

One of the things that is definitely true about today's electronic world is that things change with lightning fast speed. Because of this it can be very tricky for business owners to know exactly which technology might work best.

For instance it seems like now everyone has access to either smart phone or some sort of mobile device that can access the Internet. You're likely familiar with downloading apps, and you may be familiar with going online and looking at websites on your phone, but when it comes to your own business, do you need an app or a mobile website? And what’s the difference between the two?

The first thing that you should know is that an app needs to be in an app store. An app is only available if someone purchases it and then downloads it. This means that in order to find the app, the customer actually has to go to the app store and look for it. That can make things tricky for the business professional. For example, let's say that you own a clothing boutique. It's very unlikely that anyone is going to go onto and app store to specifically look for your app. They are much more likely to go onto a search website into type in a search term for your site.

So how do you get your business noticed when it comes to smart phones? That's where the mobile website comes into play. Mobile websites are basically streamlined versions of the website that you already have. The streamlined site takes away many of the visuals and effects that can slow down the smart phone or tablet computer and focuses generally on just the content of the site.

One of the reasons is easy to get confused about the difference between and app and a mobile website is the fact that a mobile website is off and referred to by experts as a web-based app. In fact, it's often hard to tell the difference between the two, simply because many apps actually direct people onto mobile websites.

There are companies that offer mobile website hosting for businesses, such as offers a mobile website for the price of $25 a month and requires no setup fees or commitments. What does this mean for the businessman? It means if you keep only a few customers because of the mobile website, it paid for itself.

Another difference between a mobile website and an app is that a mobile website can be viewed on almost all smart phones. An app actually has to be specifically created for each device, which can get expensive. And app has to be downloaded, whereas a mobile website is available instantly. If you choose to update your mobile website, your visitors will immediately see the updated version, but if you have an app, they will have to re-download and reinstall the app.

This doesn't mean that having an app is a bad thing – there are many businesses that will actually benefit from having and app. The vast majority of businesses, however, will do much better if they have a mobile website than if they spend the time and money to have an app created. If you plan on offering your visitors content the they can access when they are offline, an app may work best for your website. If you're like most business owners, however, and simply want to direct your customers to the content on your website, then a mobile website is definitely the best way to go.

Farin Innovations is a web design company that specializes in custom website development, social media strategySEO and content management system. If you’re looking for help to create, maintain, or revamp a website, feel free to give us a call or to fill out our contact form.

An App Or a Mobile Website?