If you are planning to expand your presence to mobile devices, you probably are asking yourself whether to make a mobile website or an application. And the classical answer is: it depends. Both can look similar but in reality, they are very different. And you need to choose based on your end goals.
Why mobile website?
Mobile website gives you a lot bigger audience reach than an app because it is accessible on all devices and users don’t need to download it. You don’t need to optimize it for every other device system that will save you money. Also, you can instantly update your website or website content, whereas app update is needed to be download by users. Mobile website gives you more flexibility and is cost effective.
Why mobile app?
Why not both?
Ultimately it depends on what you expect to gain from having a mobile website or an app. If you want to reach more people with a lot of content that is presented in a mobile-friendly form, you can choose mobile website. If you want to engage more with your users and create a better experience with your brand for them, make an app.
But if you want the first as well as second one, consider making both. First of all your website must be responsive to all devices regardless if you are going to make a mobile version of it or not. Always think about your users first. Secondly, a website and an app could be complementary and work together better than by itself. Of course, this means higher costs and not all businesses can effort such collaboration and it's not necessary for them. But if you want to improve overall brand awareness, keep in mind both options.
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