Mobile App or Mobile Website?Kiri Tamte-Horan
Over the past few years, the number of people who own an internet capable mobile device has risen dramatically. According to the Pew Research Center, 64% of American adults own a smart phone and 42% of American adults own a tablet. These are very significant numbers that will only continue to grow. With the increase in mobile device adoption comes an increase in mobile internet access. Because consumers are now able to access the internet at any given moment, it has become very important for businesses to make sure that their content is easily accessible and visible. But this brings about a very important question, “Should I create a mobile app specific to my business, or, should I optimize my website to work seamlessly on mobile devices?
The best way to answer this question is to break it down.
When it comes to how quickly and reliably your content will load, mobile apps often are a bit snappier due to their ability to store information on your device. However, with the increase in mobile network speed and the push for more and more wi-fi hotspots, mobile internet connections have gotten MUCH better. This brings mobile websites just about even with their app counterparts when it comes to performance.
Because of the knowledge needed to design and build a fully functional app across the two major device types (Apple OS and Android), the associated cost is almost always higher than mobile website optimization. Mobile web takes this category hands down.
Very similar to the previous category, updating a mobile application is not very easy. The process usually involves multiple revision processes, back and forth meetings with the developer, and eventually a new version of the app. This new version must then be physically downloaded by the user. In comparison, mobile optimization can often be done by a digital provider within a week or two and allows for changes to take effect immediately thanks to the dynamic nature of mobile web. Once again, I give the win to mobile web.
If you have begun to notice a theme, you’re not alone. As I mentioned above, mobile apps must be developed for each mobile operating system. Apple’s OS currently leads the market but is quickly being chased by Google’s Android. In addition to these giants, there are a few others with smaller shares of the market including Windows Phone. This becomes extremely expensive for businesses wanting to reach the largest number of potential customers. When we look at mobile web optimization, a single mobile web build can be created that works across all devices, and every operating system. This route saves time and money.
Apps are great, however; when it comes to most businesses and their content, consumers need it yesterday. This means that they do not want to waste time searching for a company’s app, downloading it, AND THEN finding the info that they needed such as a phone number or menu item. Instead, they will most likely search for the info on the web and be directed to the company’s website.
And the answer is…….Mobile website optimization. Mobile web wins this easily. It is almost always cheaper, more cost efficient, less time-consuming, and more user-friendly to optimize a website for mobile rather than creating a mobile app. Also, businesses need a mobile optimized website not only for the reasons explained above, but also because if they fail to do so, the largest search engine in the world will “severely penalize” their location within search results. For more information on “Mobilegeddon”, click here.
If you have any question about Mobile Website Optimization, you know where to find us……..on our mobile optimized website.