Responsive Website or Mobile App: Which is Better?

Is a Responsive Website or Mobile App best for your business?

responsive web development

Responsive website or mobile app? This it a hard question. Mobile apps are trendy. Many brands and companies benefit from having a mobile app. There are also many companies, after investing a lot of time and money into an app, realize that it doesn’t provide much ROI for them. Often a responsive website serves the exact same function, and even works better, than a mobile app.

If you’re wondering which direction your company should take – to build a responsive website or mobile app – here are five considerations:

1. Cost
A responsive site is much cheaper to develop. You also have a single platform to manage. A responsive site is easier to upgrade too. Mobile technology is rapidly changing, so if you’re planning on making an mobile app, don’t think that it’s a one-and-done deal. A mobile app is another long-term marketing commitment for your company (if you’re going to do it right). It will need some TLC, which involves updates, upgrades and continual edits for any outdated content.

2. Added Value
Ask yourself: Is there something only a phone can do? When you develop your app, you are tapping into the huge number of resources within a modern day smartphone – the incredible processing power, the graphics, the gyrosphere. If your company’s services would harness this power to best reach customers, then maybe you should consider an interactive app.

You may have a responsive site already. What unique value does your app give in addition to the responsive site? This is an important question to ask in thinking about a responsive website or mobile app.

3. Indexing
Will the app be correctly indexed in Google through Mobile App Indexing?
How will the app gain users?

If you are just wanting people to find you, it is much more simple to do effective SEO for a responsive site. However, a mobile app can increase user loyalty and usage. If someone will take the time to download your app, then they have already decided that your product and services are useful to them.

4. Off-line Usage
Does your service need to be used offline? Some examples being trekking maps software or college textbooks. Consider the speed of connection. If someone needs to access your inventory of products quickly, but the Internet is slow, perhaps a mobile app would be more effective than the online alternative.

5. Push Notifications
Do you want to send push notifications to your users? If you want to provide promotions or updates, this may be the best way to communicate special deals to your clients. Use push notifications wisely though. Think of them as personal messages you are sending only to those loyal customers who are wanting to hear from you.

There you are. Five factors to consider when deciding whether to develop a mobile app or a responsive site. There is not always an easy answer. However, the conclusion you come to depends on your starting point. If you are convinced you need a mobile app without looking carefully at your requirements, you could easily end up spending time and money you don’t have.

We love to develop mobile apps, either iOS or Android, at MobileApp Hands. However, when a new lead tells us they want a mobile app, we challenge them to convince us that it is the right decision. You should start with a responsive site as your plan and then work toward a mobile app when you have a convincing business case.

Want some help comparing a responsive website or mobile app solution? Contact us.

MobileApp Hands is a division of IT Hands. IT Hands offers custom web and mobile development services to web companies and ad agencies. We provide quality, affordable software development services to more than 350 clients.