If you own a business and want to create a product that can be used on mobile devices, what would you tell your web managers to create? The two most popular options for mobile devices are mobile applications and a mobile responsive website. Both apps and websites can bring your small business to the next level for marketing and outreach, yet, the tricky part is deciding which to create.  The mobile app and the mobile responsive websites have unique benefits and possible hardships. It is necessary to beware of the software behind the development as well for cost purposes. Before diving into the mobile world, learn the difference between a mobile app and a mobile responsive website and the possible costs.

What is a mobile app?

A mobile application, most commonly referred to as an app, is a type of application software designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone and tablets, rather than desktop or laptop computers. Mobile apps have the ability to be “preloaded” onto a device through app stores depending on the operating system (i.e. Apple’s App Store, Android Market, Microsoft Windows Marketplace for Mobile, and Samsung Application Store). If your personal mobile device has Facebook or LinkedIn on the home screen, then you have downloaded apps before. Depending on the store that your small business will be using, there are certain costs for using each store. For example, the Microsoft Windows Marketplace for Mobile each developer is charged a registration fee of $99, Samsung only has about 600 apps in the store, and Apple only features the most prominent apps. Mobile apps are categorized according to whether they are web-based or native apps, an application program that has been developed for use on a particular platform or device. In this case, internet access may not be required for the mobile device because developers create a separate app version for each mobile device.

Mobile Apps definitely have advantages that should be considered for your small business. As mentioned previously, Native Apps do not require connection. If your business believes there are a group of offline users that will access your app then an app will help you access these users. Even though your business might not be for gaming, the gaming preference of an app can help your business with interactivity with customers. Mobile apps have an advantage over websites on data and creating complex decisions from this data. However, be aware of the costs of the original investment when creating an app because of the cost to the developers.

What is a mobile responsive website?

Mobile websites are just like other websites as there is a browser-based HTML pages that are linked together to be accessed on the internet. When a website is responsive and mobile, the design changes depending on the type of device/screen size. Being able to adjust very easily on mobile devices, a responsive website has a number of benefits for your small business and has the ability to compete with applications that are built onto a mobile device. A mobile website can be immediately accessed instead of waiting for an app to download. Also, a mobile website is compatible with different mobile devices because they are responsive. If having the most amount of people view your business on a mobile device is a top priority for marketing purposes, a mobile responsive website would be better than an app because mobile websites are much easier to find on the internet compared to an app store. An app cannot be shared with links like a website can be: this is a benefit for a mobile responsive website for sharing purposes. If your small business decides to use a website instead of an app, you may be avoiding costs by not using software and not having to pay developers if you are willing to do it yourself.

If you have any further questions about whether to use an app or a website, please feel free to contact Black Line Consulting HERE.