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Developing A Mobile Web Presence: Should You Start With A Mobile Website Or A Mobile App?

As the world has become more technologically advanced, owning and using devices with Internet capabilities has become mainstream. Many devices are mobile, so you can get online at any time, from any location. As a business owner, you are now faced with different choices for your web presence. While you may already have a website up and running, it is not enough. To remain competitive, people need to be able to look up your business from a mobile device. So, do you have a mobile website developed, or choose to have a mobile app instead? Here are a few things to consider while making your decision.

Mobile Website

Contrary to common belief, when you access a mobile website on a Smartphone or tablet, you are not looking at the same things you would see on the company’s website accessed from a desktop or laptop computer. Generally, the flash programs, streaming music, and other bells and whistles are left off a mobile website to ensure you can navigate quickly and easily through the site. It is browser based, meaning you have to have an Internet connection to view it. Any device that can access the Internet can see and use a mobile website. You can view the information on the site in real time as it is updated constantly. 

Mobile App

A mobile app is downloaded to your device. It is possible to access an app when you are not online. However, anything you see on the site may need to be updated to be accurate. For example, if you have an online app that allows you to order merchandise from your phone, you can see the catalog and put things in your shopping cart while you are offline. However, until you go online, the order is not placed. In addition, you may find out an item you want is out of stock after getting online to complete the transaction. Another drawback to apps is that they are device and operating system specific. They are not going to work on every device just because it can connect to the Internet. You may be able to use the app on your phone, but not on your tablet or vice versa.

Having some type of web presence that can be accessed on the go is vital to your business. If you want to reach the most customers and offer them information about your company and business, go with a mobile website. However, if you are more interested in creating an interactive game, or allowing customers to view the information offline, go with an app. You can always start with a website and add an app later, or, you could create a website that is more interactive and can be used as an app too. The important thing is to provide your customers with a way of finding you when they are not near a computer.