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To App or Not to App: Mobile websites v Apps

by  David Dwyer on  10/06/2014    2125 Reads

Don't become blinded by the app - a mobile site might work best

If there’s one question we get asked more than any other at the moment it’s: “Can you build us an app?”  My answer is always, “Yes, of course we can, but is it appropriate. And will a mobile website deliver the same functionality.” 

 

It’s Inspire’s policy to be honest with clients when we’re building their websites, and while we could probably make a lot of money by creating apps for them, if they’ve got a well-designed, mobile-friendly website, there’s no need for an app too.

 

Don’t get me wrong: apps are great, and there are some situations when only an app will do. But in my opinion, mobile websites in most cases, are actually better than apps. And here’s why.

 

Mobile websites:

  • Use the same content management system as your main website does. Once you update the content on one, it’s automatically updated on the other.
  • When developed will work on all browsers types for all devices, unlike apps that need to be developed and updated each time new versions are released for iOS, Windows or Android.
  • Can be designed to give your user the same experience he or she would have on an app – including being bookmarked to the user’s home screen, click to call, download contact details to address book, and many other user actions.
  • Are ready to go from the minute a user lands on your website, with no subsequent patch updates needing downloaded. Any patches or updates are applied at the server, not client end.
  • Cost much much less than an app to develop, and can be updated as and when – without the need to develop a new version of the whole app when a new platform version is released.
  • Don’t require any payment to be made to app market place platforms – which means more money for you!

David Dwyer is Managing Director of Inspire Web Development. He has years of experience in a range of web and IT roles plus seven years in sales and marketing in a blue-chip FMCG company. David’s academic and professional qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Business Economics (Personnel & Ergonomics) from the University of Paisley, an MSc in Information Technology (Systems) from Heriot-Watt University and PRINCE2 Practitioner-level certification. He is also an active member of the British Computer Society, Entrepreneurial Exchange and Business for Scotland.

 

Follow Inspire on Twitter @inspireltd and @developersos

 

Mobile Apps, Mobile Websites, Responsive Web Design, The Evolving Web
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