Posts Tagged ‘develop mobile website’

What is the difference between a mobile application and a mobile website?

With over 4 billion mobile phones in the world today, the need to develop a mobile application or a mobile website over just a standard website grows.

Web developers and web designers typically create standard websites with larger screens in mind. For example, a standard 19-inch, 5:4 aspect ratio computer monitor is going to be 1280 x 1024 pixels. A standard 19-inch monitor, 4:3 aspect ratio is going to be 1600 x 1200 pixels. It is common to find 22-inch monitors, 24-inch monitors and larger. As large scale computer and television monitors increase in size, it becomes even more important to develop mobile applications and mobile websites to display a “small-device-friendly” version of your website.

But after a company decides to develop for mobile devices, how do they determine whether a mobile application or a mobile website better fits their needs? So how do development costs, functionality, and hardware integration differ between mobile applications and mobile websites.

Below, some general truths about mobile applications versus mobile websites.

Cost and capabilities of mobile apps versus mobile websites, Infographic

Mobile Applications (also known as native mobile apps)

  • Mobile apps can integrate with the device operating system
  • In many cases mobile apps still work offline (assuming that the application does not need to connect to the internet or a database)
  • Mobile apps often better facilitate engagement due to their enhanced OS integration capabilities
  • Users often download mobile apps to a mobile device and then store them on their dashboard for more frequent use

Mobile Websites (also known as browser-based sites)

  • Mobile websites now look more like mobile applications (see m.target.com)
  • User can load from URL, do not have to download and store the app to their phone
  • Detect your device and display a special screen for that specific device
  • Do not have to pay to develop a Mobile App for multiple smart phone operating systems, can reduce development cost by as much as 50-60%

Keep in mind that every business is different. A mobile effort must perform in terms of your goals (i.e. conversion rates).  Don’t just select a mobile application or a mobile website.   Ask some questions to make sure you’ll optimize return on investment (ROI)

  1. Who is my customer?
  2. How do does my customer use mobile devices?
  3. What do we want customers to do as a result of this mobile effort?

At Unidev, we develop mobile apps and mobile websites.  Please contact us for more information.