When to choose a mobile app and when to choose a mobile website
March 2, 2011

When to choose a mobile website vs mobile app


We often have clients come to us asking us to build them a mobile "app." In some instances, an app is the best solution for addressing your customer's mobile needs, but we felt this would be a good opportunity to explain why we often recommend building a mobile website instead of a mobile app:
 

  1. Apps are expensive; you have to build a unique app for each major platform in order for it to be universally accessible (Apple, Android, etc...)
  2. You have to pay the major providers to have your app in their store...this makes it even more expensive.
  3. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to develop a simple app.
  4. Ongoing support and maintenance - once your app launches, you have to pay programmers to constantly update your app to keep up with current standards. 
  5. Users want apps that they will use on a regular basis, and they want apps that will serve a unique new purpose. Providing the same information in an app that you provide on your website will not motivate users to download your app. Most small businesses don't have a true purpose for an app; therefore it's difficult to justify the cost.
  6. Building a mobile version of your website will create a better, more universal experience for your mobile customers, and you can do many of the same things in a mobile website that you can do in an app. In fact, many apps are simply websites housed inside of an app icon.