App or Website - What Is Better for Your Business? - HotThemes

App or Website - What Is Better for Your Business?

Companies are becoming more and more aware of the fact that mobile is here to stay. But what does that mean for entrepreneurs all around the globe? Well, it means that every serious business that aims at prosperity needs to have a mobile strategy.

We have witnessed mobile users overtaking, people have already switched from desktop to mobile devices. However, what is even more important is that app usage surpassed desktop usage.

Therefore, the equation has become quite simple. If a business wants to thrive, it has to re-think its mobile strategy.

But, how should you go about that? Are you going to stick with a mobile website or make an app instead? Ultimately, what will be better for your business?

If you need an answer, this article will help you come up with it.

Key differences between an app and a website

Key differences between an app and a website

It’s important to have a good understanding of key differences between an app and a website before you start evaluating the benefits of the two.

Both websites and apps can be accessed on handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets.

A mobile website is similar to any other website in the sense that it consists of browser-based HTML pages that are linked together and accessed through the internet. However, this kind of website is different from a regular one due to the fact that it is designed for the smaller handheld display and touch-screen capability.

Just like any other website, mobile websites display textual content, data, images, and video. They can also access mobile-specific features such as click-to-call or location-based mapping.

On the other hand, apps are actual applications downloaded and installed on mobile devices. They are not rendered within a browser.

To download an app, users have to visit their OS marketplaces (App Store or Google Play). The app may pull content and data from the internet, similarly to a website, or it may download the content so that it can be accessed offline.

Key things to know when building an app

One of the first things that you should do before you actually start developing your own business app is conducting thorough market research.

This will help you understand the competition, user likes and dislikes, and define your target audience. This way, you will get more insights on what you need to include to make your app a success.

Once you have done the research, you should determine your budget. Usually, app development prices range from $3,000 to $50,000.

The development has to be aligned with your company’s preferences. You need to decide what the app will look like in terms of features, details, user-interface, and experience.

However, you need to insist on getting the best bang for your buck during the development process. In order to achieve that, ensure that the right technologies are being utilized.

Pick the right technologies and practices

Learn how your target platforms work and implement your branding around their specific parameters. This is a measure you should take before you design your app.

If you hire a developer, make sure that the person designing your app is okay with this practice.

Remember to prioritize equally good experience on both platforms (iOS and Android). So, be careful when choosing the software solution that will allow this cross-platform transition. Your app needs to work well on all devices.

Finally, if you plan on developing this app yourself or guiding a team throughout the whole process, it would be wise to consider using Docker technology. If you go for Docker, know that there are many Docker hosting services available, so make sure to find specialized and optimized hosting.

Key things to know when building a website

The first thing you should do when building a website is to figure out a strong domain name for your business’s website. The domain name also serves as your website address and it has to make a decent impression on your visitors.

To do so, ensure that:

  • The name is easy to spell.
  • It is short and catchy.
  • You use good domain extension.
  • You don’t use numbers and hyphens.

Then make sure that you let people know what your business is about and what it does. Ensure that the main homepage banner, which is also known as the hero image, and all other page banners are great visual representations of the services that you are providing.

Distinguish landing pages from homepages

Speaking of homepages, don’t forget to distinguish a home page from a landing page. Once you start with marketing campaigns, compare landing pages vs. homepages.

This is important since a landing page can bring you a lot of conversions if you design it the right way.

Benefits of having a website

If your intentions are focused on marketing or public communications, a mobile website is almost always going to make sense as a practical first step in your mobile outreach strategy.

Below are the three main benefits of mobile websites.

Availability

A mobile website is instantly accessible to users via a browser across a range of devices.

Apps, on the other hand, require the user to first download and install the app from an app marketplace before the content or app can be viewed. This builds a considerable barrier between initial engagement and conversion.

Findability

Websites are much easier to find since their pages can be displayed in search results and listed in industry-specific directories.

This makes it easy for qualified visitors to find you. What’s more, your regular website visitors can be automatically sent to your mobile website when they are on a handheld device.

Websites are cheaper

Mobile website development is significantly more time and cost-effective than the development of a native app. This is especially true if you need to have a presence on different platforms.

Benefits of having an app

Benefits of having an app

If you are looking to provide a more personalized experience for your audience, building an app is the way to go.

Take a look at the three big reasons why you should consider building an app.

Interactive

If you are looking for ways to gamify the whole user experience, building an app is definitely the way to go.

People usually build apps when they want to keep visitors more engaged. And that is something you will likely achieve with an app.

Personalization

If your target users are going to be using your app in a personalized way on a regular basis (think EverNote, Facebook, online banking) then a native app provides a great way to personalize user experience.

Push notifications

An inherent capability of apps is the ability to send push notifications to users who have the app installed on their device, giving app publishers the ability to send messages to users directly.

It’s also interesting to note that many browsers now allow web-based push notifications, thus allowing website owners to similarly send notifications to visitors who opt-in on both desktop and compatible mobile devices.

Final thoughts

Now that you have an understanding of what you actually get with each of the two options, it’s time to decide what option best fits your preferences. Carefully consider both options, consult a few experts, and see whether your budget can support your idea and decision.

If you don’t have qualified individuals to pull off this project for you, do not be stingy when hiring. It doesn’t matter if you go for an app or a website, this is something that will represent your business. So make sure not to do something that can tarnish your reputation.