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Mobile Apps v Mobile Sites

by  David Dwyer on  21/08/2015

Why a mobile app could be far more expensive than you realise?

The continued growth of mobile phone technology, combined with the emergence of 4G and out of home WiFi has changed consumers relationship with their phones. The speed and reliability of connection mean that even the most complicated and bandwidth-hungry applications and Mobile websites are now accessible on the go. As a result, business owners large and small are desperately trying to jump on the mobile bandwagon and keep up with both consumer demand and their competitors.

But when it comes to using the mobile platform for their business, business owners, large and small, are often mis-sold in favour of mobile apps rather than mobile optimised websites. At Inspire, when it comes to creating mobile solutions for our clients, we believe that we need to understand the problem to be solved by the solution, users location, users need before assessing what will deliver the best solution.


Why the mobile gold rush?

It's a given that mobile phones are now an almost permanent companion for so many of us. If we take the time to look up from our own mobile devices when we're out and about we will notice that we're not alone. That impression is backed up by stats. In 2014, the number of global mobile device owners overtook desktop device users for the first time. It's also the year that witnessed users spend more time on mobile devices than their desktop machines for the first time.


The Hype Trap

Business owners see the rise in mobile usage with their own eyes, a view that is reinforced by the wider media coverage. Mobile, is quite literally everywhere. It's not surprising that so many make the logical leap and decide that they need to make sure that their business can thrive, in the new Mobile World. That's something that we fully endorse at Inspire, as we are constantly reminding clients to remember the importance that mobile plays in their online marketing efforts. However, many business owners make the leap and decide that a mobile app is the only way to go.

We can understand it. Apps are a little bit sexier, and carry with them a certain amount of kudos. Being able to tell a friend, client or competitor that you have an app for your business carries with it a certain prestige. In many cases the actual functionality is an afterthought, it's simply an app land grab, a digital stake in the ground.  Sometimes, the rush to get an app up on the various app stores is a reaction to a competitor stealing your app thunder. Very much a case of keeping up with the "Jones's".


The Reality of Mobile Apps

Mobile apps may well be the right solution for your business, but we urge anyone considering doing so, to do so with their eyes open.



Mobile apps typically take longer to develop because of the customisation required to support different devices and also the different app stores. Apple's App Store, Google's Play Store and Microsoft's Windows Store, all have different requirements.



The result of the more complex development process, not surprisingly, is that the cost of app development is relatively high.


App Declined

All app stores have a very detailed approval process before your app can be made available to the public. If your app developer doesn't follow the strict requirements, you could find that your app is rejected.



Even if your app is approved, merely getting your app onto the app store is not enough. Build it, and the truth is, they probably won't come. With 1.5 million apps in the Apple App Store and 1.6 million in the Google Play store - competition is fierce.



And of course, as mobile handset providers continually upgrade their operating systems and release new versions of their phones, your apps will have to be updated. Changing your financial commitment from a one-off, to a very long-term one.


The Case for Mobile Websites

At Inspire, we believe in a mobile-first approach to your website and in practical terms that mean creating a mobile-specific website. They work across different mobile web browser platforms, require no third-party approval and ultimately give you control over your mobile marketing efforts. They cost less to build and maintain and are in most cases are a more effective means of delivering your content to your audience. In Google's most recent algorithm change in April (nicknamed 'mobilegeddon'), sites that are 'mobile friendly' were rewarded with better rankings, as Google continues to up the search game to match the changing nature of mobile.


Mobile Websites @Inspire

We've developed dozens of mobile websites over the last few years and as a result of increased demand created a dedicated Mobile Website package that starts as low as £395 (excl VAT).

Because we take a user centric approach we have tailored the functionality further so that your mobile online presence will deliver greater value and return.

What difference could a user-friendly mobile website deliver for your business?

To find out more, and start the conversation get in touch with David on 01738 700 006 or send us a message through our contact form.


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

Digital Trends, Inspire Web Development, m-commerce, Mobile Apps, Mobile Commerce, Mobile Websites, Responsive Web Design, The Evolving Web, UI, User Interface, Web Consultancy, Web Design
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