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How to set up a mobile friendly business: choosing a website, an app, or both

13.09.2016 Anastasia Yurieva
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How to set up a mobile friendly business: choosing a website, an app, or both

In recent years the world shifted to mobile consuming, and it is of vital importance for business now to become mobile-friendly. There are two major ways to achieve it – to have an adaptive version of the website or to have a mobile application.

When you need to address the web or mobile app development company dozens of questions appear. Do you need to create a mobile app if your website already has the adaptive version? What is better for a particular kind of business? How to understand what to choose? As usual, there is no correct answer as each case is unique. What you need to do is to single out the main peculiarities of each alternative and choose the most appropriate for your particular case.

What you should know about the mobile-adaptive websites

Adaptive design is the ability of the website to be displayed correctly on different mobile devices. When your website becomes mobile-friendly, its interface is shown to the user in convenient and easy to use way on any mobile device. Otherwise, a user has to scroll your web pages left and right, up and down to find what he needs. In this case, he will hardly stay on your website for more than several seconds.

The main advantages

1. It has an affordable cost. Creating a mobile-adaptive design in a web development company is just a little more expensive than building a simple website or sometimes even equal. It is also much cheaper than developing a mobile app. You can just ask to write the appropriate code when you develop a website, and that’s it.

2. It can be easily updated. If you want to make any changes in your website and its mobile version you can do it with no problems.

3. It can be loaded quickly. Usually, mobile versions contain fewer graphics or even fewer information blocks than a website, preserving just the most important points. Such websites are rapidly loaded on mobile devices as they are not heavy.

4. It provides the possibility of choice. If your website’s visitor uses a mobile device, he is automatically redirected to the mobile version, but he can always choose to see the full one.

The main disadvantages

1. Be careful with different domains. If your mobile version is registered for another domain you may need to create separate content for it. Search engines would consider different domains as different websites. And if you have the same content on them, it will not be considered as unique, and you will have problems with ranking in the list of search results. To avoid this issue, you will regularly need to generate separate content for a full and mobile version.

2. Mobile-adapted websites are Internet-dependent. Remember that a mobile version can be loaded only if the Internet connection is available. It cannot operate offline. Thus, if your users have slow Internet or may don’t have it at all, they will not be able to load your website.

3. User’s opportunities are limited. Unlike with mobile apps, one cannot use such services as camera or geolocation using a mobile version.

Here we can make a conclusion that mobile version of the website would suit if you don’t need to work regularly with the content. If it is enough for a user to visit it from time to time and there is no reason to download any data, like photos or anything other, then mobile version may be just fine.

What you should know about the mobile applications

As to mobile applications, today they make an integral part of our everyday lives. In some cases, they can completely replace websites. There are already a lot of cases on the market when businesses develop applications instead of creating websites.

The main advantages

1. It can be used as a marketing tool. You can keep your user informed of any marketing activities you hold, utilizing push notifications or similar tools. You can also easily work with customer’s loyalty with the help of an app.

2. Payment systems can be installed. Your app’s visitors will be able to make a purchase as soon as they want to. It means that your conversion will be higher. You will not lose those clients who change their mind to make the purchase on their way to payment.

3. It can be used offline. It means that an app can be available to a user in any conditions, event if there is no Internet at all.

4. It is easily available. One doesn’t need to use a browser or save a link to enter an app. The application can be easily found and opened.

5. The devices’ hardware is available. One can use the mobile’s functions, such as camera, geolocation and so on.

The main disadvantages

1. App development costs more. The price depends on what kind of app you are going to develop, but it will cost more than a website in any way.

2. You need to choose a platform. You can develop your app only for one platform. But if you want to get the bigger market share then you should at least develop your app for two the most major platforms: iOS and Android. Usually, different developers work on different platforms. It means that you will have to pay twice at least. You can also create a hybrid. It would cost lower than two separate versions.

3. Moderation is necessary. All the apps are subject to moderation before they can be sold in App Store or Google Play.

4. Updates are difficult to be made. You need to hire a specialist to make amendments. Moreover, your updated app requires moderation re-approval. Even if you had a bug in your app which you simply needed to correct you will still have to go through the same scenario. This all takes both time and money.

From the above mentioned, we can make a conclusion that you should better create a mobile app if any hardware is required. For example, this can be a social network where a camera is often needed. Various payment possibilities make apps suitable for banks and online shops. Offline regime would be excellent for different dictionaries or references.

To get defined what is better for your particular case you should take all the enumerated aspects and associate them in relevance to your business. You should know exactly what you expect to get from your mobile audience and which of the variants, an app or an adaptive website, would assist you better in achieving your goals. But, in fact, if you are not limited in the budget then think about both alternatives at once. This is a good way to get the maximum market share.

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