Do you remember the days when mobile phones were only used for making phone calls and texting? But, nowadays, things are quite different.
An average mobile phone user probably spends the least of his time on the phone making calls. Instead, people play games, shop, watch shows, and a plethora of other things on their smart devices nowadays.
So, there is no surprise that we are witnessing a proper boom in mobile phone use in recent years.
This trend is slowly reshaping the world. And, this world also includes the business sphere. That is why many brands are focusing all their efforts on creating an app for their business.
Having a website seems not to be enough anymore. But, is that really the case? Are websites still necessary and invaluable?
Take a look.
A Website Vs. an App – Major Differences
One has to understand all the drawbacks and advantages of each option in order to come up with a good decision. So, let’s first see how an app is different from a website and vice versa.
A website can be accessed from almost all kinds of devices. You can visit a website on your phone, laptop, PC, and even your smart TV. On the other hand, when an app is created, one has to have a phone or a tablet running iOS or Android.
It is obvious that websites have this advantage over apps. A website can be accessed from almost all devices, wherever you are. The situation isn’t quite the same for apps.
Additionally, know that a mobile website is quite similar to any other website. There are HTML pages that are browser-based linked together and accessed through the internet.
Logically, this type of website is different from a usual website thanks to the fact that it was designed for smaller screens that have touch-screen functionalities.
Apps, however, have to be downloaded in order to access them. A user has to visit their platform’s marketplace (App Store or Google Play), download the app and then install it.
Bottom line is that apps are downloaded and installed, and they can’t be rendered within a web browser. An app can also download data from the internet, just like a website, or it may just pull data online.
Finally, an app can download and store data so that it can be accessed as content whenever a device isn’t connected to the internet. A website can’t do that. When a device is offline, a website may be accessed through cache, but, in that case, it’s completely nonfunctional.
What if you want a website for your business?
If you decide that the best option for your business is a business website, you should have a few things in mind. Learn the following before you start investing money in the website.
Be aware of the fact that your website’s name is quite important. So, you have to sit down and do the thinking thoroughly. The domain name has to reflect what your business stands for and what it is about.
The name you select will be the website’s address. However, it also needs to make a great first impression on your visitors since that is what they will first see when they start looking for your business online.
Ensure that the name is easy to remember and easy to spell. And also, avoid hyphens and numbers at all costs.
Pick the website builder carefully
One thing that is crucial in regards to website creation is the website builder.
If you pick a bad website builder, your website quality will suffer, the design most likely won’t be attractive, and functionalities will be limited.
Take a few things into consideration once you set out to find your perfect builder out of dozens of website builders for a small business.
- Determine your budget. There are many fees and expenses when building a website (hosting fees, design, theme, plug-ins, domain registration).
- Rethink your priorities and then choose the builder. You need a good idea of what you want your website to be and what its purpose is. Think about that before you start building.
- Look for a website builder that is user-friendly. For instance, nowadays there are builders that are quite intuitive, some even have drag-and-drop options that require no coding at all.
- Consider SEO features when choosing a builder. A good website builder should include SEO features that can make on-site optimization easy.
Benefits of having a website
A mobile website is the best option if you want to emphasize marketing and public communications. It is accessible to users through their browsers immediately.
Websites are also much easier to find because their pages can be displayed in search results and listed in industry-specific directories. Hence, qualified visitors will find you easily.
In the end, mobile website development is cheaper and more time-effective than app development. This is especially true if you are looking for a presence on multiple platforms.
What if you want an App for your business?
If you decide to develop an app for your business, you should first conduct deep market research.
This will help you better understand your rivals. But, you will also learn a lot about what users like and dislike. When you combine these findings, you will know what exactly your app needs in order to be a success.
Once you are done with research, determine your budget. Establishing a budget is a prerequisite for every project. And, developing an app is not an exception.
Just know that the app development prices usually range from $3,000 to $50,000. But, the price can go even higher in some cases.
Finally, keep in mind that the development needs to be aligned with your business’s preferences. You need to decide what the app will look like.
This means that you are the one to decide about features, details, user-interface and everything that is important.
Also, ensure that the appropriate technologies are utilized.
Follow the Best practices and use the Best Technologies
Think about how your target platforms function and then implement your branding around the platform’s specific preferences.
Take this step before you start designing your business app.
Prioritize equally good experience on both platforms. Android and iOS users both deserve to enjoy the best experience possible. Their taste in smartphones shouldn’t make a difference.
In other words, your app needs to run well on all devices.
If you want to hire a team to develop your app, make sure that they are meeting the grade and see if they know how to utilize the best practices and technologies.
For instance, all experts know how good Docker is. So, when hiring, check if your candidates know what Docker container hosting is and how it works. This helps with app development and every decent coder is aware of it.
Benefits of having an app
The biggest advantage of having an app compared to having a website is a personalized experience. So, if you want to provide your customers with a more personalized experience, this is the way to do so.
On top of that, if you want to gamify the whole user experience, building an app should do the trick. Customers need to be engaged and that is why an app is a great choice if you are looking for better engagement.
Also, an inherent capability of apps is the ability to send push notifications to users who have the app installed. This is a great way to send messages to users directly.
Sit down and evaluate what your business needs. Then double-check this article and figure out whether an app or a website will suit your business better.
If you think that having both a website and an app for your business is the best option, go for it. However, do know that, logically, that would be the most expensive option.