Contact us

Mobile App Vs. Mobile Website - What To Choose?

March 15, 2024 by
  • IT Consulting

The mobile industry has boomed in the past few years, making it impossible not to be present online and on mobile. As it represents such an essential part of our lives, we know it's not something to be ignored. This article will get a more precise overview of the difference between mobile apps vs. mobile websites and what would be more appropriate for your business. It can be pretty tricky to determine which direction to take when choosing between both.

Difference between Mobile App vs. Mobile Website

A mobile app is an application that you download from the App Store or Google Play made from custom software development. The main difference between a mobile website and a mobile application is that, when using an application, everything happens on your device. On the one hand, this could be seen as being more practical, but on the other hand, it can lead to not having access to certain features if you don't have an internet connection.

A mobile website is a different version of your website, optimized for smaller phones and tablets. It also appears differently on the screen depending on the device you are using.

All this means is that when users visit your website from their mobile devices, they get access to precisely the same content, regardless of the device they are using. This is an advantage because your users don't need to download anything to view the content on their screen when you have a mobile website.

Desirable Features in a Mobile App vs. Mobile Website

In the software development process, there are some advantages and disadvantages in mobile app development or a mobile website. However, not every business requires the same features, and both options have pros and cons. Suppose you want to build a mobile app. In that case, it is essential that your users can easily navigate through the application, reach all of its features even if they do not have an internet connection available, and so forth. Although there are many options available for mobile applications, there are some features that you might want to consider for your users to feel motivated and interested in downloading the application. 80% of internet users own smartphones. Therefore, if your app includes a well-defined purpose, is easy-to-use, and has an aesthetically pleasing design, it is more likely to be downloaded. On the other hand, for your users to visit your website from their mobile devices, you need to make sure that it's user-friendly and compatible with different devices. When thinking about your site's content, it is essential that when they reach a certain point on their screen, they can easily navigate back to the previous page and so on. When considering a mobile website, it is essential that your business wants to get in touch with mobile users, its target audience and that you want to make sure they can easily find what they are looking for when visiting your site.

What Device Is Mostly Used Nowadays?

According to Statista, currently, more mobile phone users worldwide, reaching over 5 billion at the end of 2017. This means that a big part of your target audience will be using their mobile phones to surf the web, and it would make sense for you to consider both options to be easily reachable by them. On average, people use up to three different devices to access the internet. Although laptops are still used, smartphones are the device most people use when browsing online. For this reason, your business must consider all devices that could be used by their users when visiting your website or downloading your application.

Mobile App Vs. Mobile Website - Which One Should You Choose?

There are certain features that you need to consider when deciding whether building a mobile application or mobile websites development is better for your business. However, if you want all of these things in one place, then a mobile app would be the best option. On the other hand, if your target audience consists mainly of smartphone users and you want them to access all of your content, a mobile website would be the best option. Therefore, your software development team must consider what features and benefits your business intends to offer and not only look at which one appears easiest.

Mobile App vs. Mobile Website - Looking At Costs

If you want to build a mobile app, you need to consider that there will be costs for developing your application. These include the cost of designing and coding your application. You may also want to choose an app development company to help you with this process, which will bring additional charges. On the other hand, if you decide to go for a mobile website, your costs will be related to the design and hosting of your website.

Pros and Cons of Mobile Apps

1. Availability

One of the main advantages of mobile apps is that they are available whenever the user wants to access them. According to a study done by ComScore, ordinary people spend 87% of their time using applications that reside on their smartphones while only 13% on the mobile web. Although this number has decreased in recent years, it still proves that people mostly use applications when surfing the web.

2. Customization from the initial design

In software development and designing of your mobile application, you have more freedom of choice since you can customize almost everything concerning your app. You can work with various colors and customize many features to make your application unique. This is not possible for mobile websites since they are usually pre-built.

3. Uniqueness

Since your mobile app is only available in the form of an application for specific devices, using one will help you stand out from the crowd in an increasingly crowded market. It also gives you more creative freedom, which comes hand in hand with the fact that you are creating something only available on specific devices.

4. Personalization

When it comes to mobile applications, many features allow you to personalize your content through software programming. This could be done by customizing what someone sees when opening your app or allowing them to change its settings to fit their own needs.

5. Higher Revenue

According to a study published by ComScore, an average person spends about 30 hours per month on mobile applications and only 15 hours surfing the web from their mobile device. This means that you can increase your revenue by providing something that people will use more frequently.

Pros and Cons of Mobile Websites

1. Rapid Development

The fact that a mobile website is built on HTML5, a language that can design any web page, allows for a much more rapid development process. In addition to this, there are no costs for building your website, and the only ones you have are related to the design.

2. Availability on Multiple Devices

The fact that your website is available for multiple devices means that it does not limit you to a specific segment of users and gives all of them an equal opportunity of accessing your services and products. This is an advantage if you want to expand your business beyond smartphones.

3. Availability on Multiple Platforms

If you build an application for a specific operating system, it is only available to people who have this OS installed on their device. This means that there are segments of your potential customers which cannot access them no matter how hard they might try. This problem does not exist with mobile websites since all users have equal access to your services.

4. Higher Costs for Maintenance

The fact that mobile websites are built on HTML5 means that they require less maintenance than applications that need to be downloaded from the store where they reside. If you want to develop an application, it might take several weeks before it is finally available since app stores usually require a lengthy process before your app is approved.

5. Lower Revenue

Although mobile websites are not as effective for making money, they are much cheaper than building an application that needs to be developed from scratch. If you are looking for something which will give you better results without spending too much time and money, mobile websites are a way to go.

When Should You Go For A Mobile App?

If you want to expand your business and reach out to a broader audience, building an application might be the right thing for you. This is especially because 90% of media time is spent on apps, while 10% is spent on the web. Since many people use their tablets when browsing the web from home or in their office, it will give them more control over what they see. In addition, applications have much greater functionality than mobile websites, and many of them provide their customers with a wide selection of services. In general, you should consider building an application if your website cannot meet the needs of all customers who visit your page or you want to bring specific content to users who might not have access to it otherwise. Certain apps might be almost impossible to build using mobile websites. For example, you should consider developing an application if what you need involves complex graphics or heavy animations. Even though this means that the costs will be much higher, your website will have a better look and feel, which can help you stand out in the crowd when it comes to customer attraction.

When Should You Go For A Mobile Website?

Since mobile websites are much cheaper to build, they are something that you should consider when starting your business. Although your customers might not have the same experience as if they were using an application, it will allow you to show them the value of your service even before building a complete version of it. A mobile website is great for beginners who want to test the water before deciding whether or not they should invest their money and efforts into something that might be a financial loss. If you're going to offer your customers an alternative, build a mobile website and see how it performs. This way, you will know whether there is room for improvement and decide if you need to develop an application at the end of the day. 80% of internet users own smartphones, and therefore, whichever you choose, your business will benefit from having a mobile website or an application. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so consider them carefully before deciding what is suitable for you. It is always better to focus on a single project rather than do too many things at once since this might lead to confusion and poor results.


A mobile website is slightly more expensive to build than an application. It is usually the preferred choice for smaller businesses that cannot afford to spend too much money on something that might not bring many customers. 68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their strategy to boost their revenues. This way, they can test the waters and see what works best before finally deciding whether they should stick with a mobile website or shift towards building an application that can help them grow their business.