Today, more and more companies are giving importance to mobile strategy in their business. 

Besides mobile-only internet users, app usage has also reduced desktop usage. Resultantly, the organizations have started thinking again about their mobile strategy. 

In this brainstorming, the companies are struggling with a question, “Whether a mobile app or a mobile website is the right option to pick?

Many claim that there’s no need for a mobile app; just a site is enough, which appears to be engaging on mobile devices, while others say that the mobile apps hold various benefits that a site can’t offer. 

Although, while digging more, we will get to know there are a plethora of factors that a business owner or a company needs to consider before emerging with a decision. 

This post will give you an introduction to a mobile app, a mobile website, and its pros and cons. It will help you choose the best and suitable for your business. 

Statistics On Mobile App vs. Mobile Website Usage 

Well, the figures are already in favor of a mobile app; we still need to give you a proof. It will help you emerge with the right and best for your business.

Average Daily Time In USA, App Vs. Browser 2018-2022
  • According to app statistics of 2021, US users spend approximately 3 hours on the app and around 24 mins on the browser. 
  • Moreover, in 2022, the stats are likely to change as the app usage would increase to 3 hours 47 minutes, and browser time would decrease to 23 minutes

The stats say it all; still, we will cover almost all the pros and cons of both a mobile app and a mobile website to help you with your related queries. 

Keep reading!

What Is A Mobile App?

What Is A Mobile App

As we know, we can reach mobile websites through browsers, but it’s not the same in terms of mobile apps?  

Depending on the operating system type, mobile apps need to be downloaded from particular portals, like the App Store, Google Play, or others. 

Mobile apps provide speedy access to content and seamless interactions.

Various records say about 90% and even more users prefer mobile apps before mobile websites. 

Benefits Of Mobile Apps

Now, let’s check out the benefits and importance of having a mobile app.

1. Convenience

The analysis depicts that the apps are pretty popular compared to the websites, as they are more convenient. 

Mobile apps offer a better user experience, are easier to use, and load the content faster. 

Moreover, unlike sites, apps come with push notifications. Also, sharing special features, updates, and reminders within the mobile app increases retention and customer loyalty. 

Additionally, the mobile app design fits different screen sizes perfectly than websites. 

2. Working Offline

One more significant advantage of a mobile app is its offline usage. Yes, you read it right; some apps keep offering their users access to some features and content even without an Internet network. 

3. Personalization

Mobile applications are like a fantastic solution for the services that come into our regular use. An app permits the users to set their preferences, craft personal accounts, and keep their critical information in hand. 

From a business perspective, a mobile app offers required support for targeting an audience and hence developing marketing campaigns for distinct users groups. 

Drawback Of Mobile Apps

Now, it’s time to know the disadvantages of mobile apps. Let’s start then.

1. Compatibility

To make sure that your app functions correctly, a mobile app needs to fulfill every need of a specific operating system. It states that all the platforms – Android, iOS, and Windows, need a different app version. 

2. Support and Maintenance

When an app is built for many other platforms, its support also demands extra time and money. 

Moreover, you need to offer upgrades and resolve compatibility issues for all sorts of devices and perform this regularly. 

What Is A Mobile Website?

What Is A Website?

A mobile site is a way of accessing internet content through a browser. It’s specially crafted for mobile devices, and that’s why it is not showcased perfectly on desktop. 

Besides mobile, there’s one broader concept of websites optimizing websites for the smaller screens; yes, you are getting it right; it’s a website with responsive design. 

A responsive site holds HTML pages linked together that are viewed over the internet in browsers. Here, you will catch up with extraordinary things; however, it’s controlled to display perfectly on all-sized screens. 

It performs well on mobile-friendly sites, their desktop versions, and scales down for tablets and smartphones with touchscreen interfaces. Hence, responsive web design goes well with mobile devices like a mobile website. 

Mobile or responsive sites perform perfectly for supporting PR campaigns, marketing, or implementing outreach strategies. 

A mobile website is better than a mobile app in terms of accessibility, compatibility, and maintenance. It’s the first step to support and boost your mobile marketing campaign.

Benifits Of Mobile Website

To know which option to pick, let’s review the pros and cons of mobile websites. 

1. Broader Reach 

Because of the multi-device support that comes from responsive web design across many platforms, it’s becoming simple to reach a wider audience compared to the mobile app. 

2. Compatibility

A website improves the user experience across various types of mobile devices.  Users with various devices may appreciate the compatibility benefits that responsive websites offer. 

Apart from that, they support simple integration with other mobile features, like text messaging and QR codes. 

3. Support And Maintenance

Sites also cost less to upgrade. You just need to maintain their single version. Responsive or mobile websites allow you to change the design or content only by editing them flexibly and efficiently. After implementing the edits, updates become visible instantly across all sorts of devices. 

4. SEO & Brand Visibility

Mobile-optimized websites are today ranked higher in search engine results pages compared to websites that are not optimized for mobile. 

Organizations holding mobile-friendly websites are expected to rank better which leads to increased brand visibility and improved website traffic. 

Mobile sites may be a reasonable option, but they are quite limited in terms of engagement and personalization. 

Drawback Of Mobile Websites

Mobile sites have better compatibility, wider reach, and need less money as compared to mobile apps. Still, they come with varied limitations. 

Let’s read them a few:

1. Convenience

A responsive or mobile website can’t offer all smartphone features as perfectly as an app. GPS, cameras, phone dialing, and more features included in mobile devices are not always well crafted for mobile/responsive websites. 

2. Offline Access

Even if you opt for the most informative and lightest way to craft your mobile website, it may still work offline with just the limited functionality utilizing cached pages. 

3. User Experience

As mobile experiences are different from desktop experiences implementing the exact interface for both platforms may affect your UX strategy. It looks like the single-window limitation, according to which the user is not required to leave the current page for content access. Although, with mobile websites, it’s usually impossible to fit almost everything onto a single page. 

What Is The Difference Between Mobile App & Mobile Website?

However, mobile apps and mobile websites are used in the same media, but both are different? 

A mobile app is a program that you need to download and install onto a users’ mobile device. 

On the contrary, mobile websites are just websites adapted to smartphone and tablet formats. 

Let’s differentiate between these two considering some of the significant factors. 

1. Intro

You can access mobile websites and apps through mobile devices, like tablets or phones. A mobile website is what it says. It’s a site that includes browser-based HTML pages that are connected. Responsive websites are crafted for distinct platforms and adjust to varied screen layouts and sizes. 

2. Access

A mobile site is accessed via an internet browser just by typing in the site’s URL in the navigation bar. It states that no download is required. Although, an internet connection is needed to gain access. 

The mobile app should be downloaded either from an online shop, like Google Play or the App Store. The app is then saved on the tablet or smartphone. Also, in most cases, it doesn’t need an internet connection to perform perfectly. 

3. Update

A mobile site update is conducted without notifying the user. It’s an online, automated process. 

However, for mobile apps, users are needed to authorize and download every update, which makes the users frustrated and lowers the brand’s flexibility. 

4. Purpose

A mobile application stays on users’ smartphones and is perfect for repeated and frequent use. It, therefore, replies to a specific requirement while increasing customer loyalty. 

However, the mobile site is crafted for mobile communication with the intention of informing or for specific events and promotions. 

5. Working 

Mobile apps are the apps that are downloaded and installed on a user’s mobile device. An app holds the caliber to pull data and content from the internet, like a website, or download data and content so that it can be accessed even in the absence of an internet connection. 

On the contrary, like traditional sites, mobile websites can showcase data images, text content, and video. 

Moreover, they can access mobile-specific features, like location-based mapping or click-to-call.

Which Is The Better Option?

When you are in a dilemma about whether to develop a mobile website or a mobile app, the right pick simply relies on your business requirements. 

If your target is to provide mobile-friendly content to a broad range of users, then a mobile site is perhaps a perfect choice. 

Although, if you need to engage better, communicate, and interact with your customers to increase customer loyalty, you can choose a mobile app. 

In most cases, you can mark your requirements before deciding. If done correctly, both can be valuable and strategic choices.

Comparison Summary Of Mobile App vs. Mobile Website

Criteria Mobile AppResponsive/Mobile Website
ReachAccessible for tablet and smartphone users only.Reaches a wider audience and covers all devices.
Compatibility Needs the development of a different version of every platform.Showcases perfectly on all sorts of devices.
Working OfflineWorks well offline Limited offline functionality
Convenience Offers better experience in routine usages; holds push notifications; loads content rapidly.Offers limited convenience because of screen size and the inability to hold all required info on one page. 
Ongoing Maintenance Needs extra cost and time for regular updation.Updating and supporting mobile devices is flexible, more straightforward, and requires less effort. 
Personalization Offers varied options for personalization.Offers average opportunities to personalize settings. 

Conclusion

So, after knowing the difference between a mobile app and a mobile website, we hope you have got answers to all your relevant queries. 

A critical point that we should review in the last is while deciding regarding developing a mobile website or a mobile app; you should accumulate and learn all your business needs, then move and make decisions accordingly. 

Author

I am an eCommerce consultant, a member of the Forbes technology council with a decade of experience in the ecommerce development segment. My expertise can make your business overcome any obstacles while you are dealing with the Magento ecommerce platform!