We’ve come to a time where building a strong digital presence is, undoubtedly, a must for any business’s success. There is literally no one denying that you need to develop some kind of app or website to stay on top of your industry. While a few people choose to go for one or the other, the fact that you’re reading this probably means that you are looking to go for the big prize and make them both. But what should you go for first?
The App vs. Website dilemma is one whole can of worms. At first glance, the costs and benefits of both might seem a bit too similar to care. They both require a significant investment, both should be easily accessible to your target customers, and they will both probably require you to outsource java development or some other kind of IT assistance.
However, diving deeper into the subject will shine some light on which one is the best starting point for your business, and most importantly, why. Here are three key points you should keep in mind before making a decision.
1. Take a look at your budget
Yes, the first thing you need to take a look at is your budget for going online. Also, if you want to build the best possible product in the least amount of time, it might be best to seek out help from software and java development companies, so keep that in mind. But here’s the budget fact you’ll run into most often: in most cases, developing a website first and a mobile app later is the cheaper option. Why? Well, there are three general reasons:
- Websites have a lower cost of development
- Websites work on every device
- Websites are easier to link and share
All of these means that your brand will have the opportunity to create, display and update content right away and with less work. Unlike websites, apps need to go through all kinds of adjustments to be viable in each platform (Android, Windows, iOS, etc), which would require a higher investment to guarantee that your brand reaches your target audience across all platforms.
Websites clearly take the lead over apps on this matter. So if budget is the main item on your checklist, then you should probably go for a website. However, the cost of development doesn’t really matter if your final product isn’t going to meet your goals. If you want people to actually use your software product, you need to power whatever is that you are offering them.
2. Heighten your core features
What would make your software product valuable and different from others in the market? Having a clear layout of your core features will make it far easier for you to make a decision since both websites and apps have their own strengths and weaknesses.
If you’re thinking about integrating any kind of phone native features (such as GPS, camera, sensors, gyroscope, etc), then it is obviously optimal to go first for the mobile app. Of course, web applications have come so far that you can actually access a lot of smartphone native features through technologies like HTML5, APIs, and NodeJS.
However, if software features matter a lot to you, bear in mind that web apps are still unable to access geo-targeted push notifications or iOS in-app notifications. The fact that web apps can access a few smartphone features doesn’t mean they will provide the same experience as native mobile apps, though. Native apps simply have better performance, as they have access to more device processing power than a web app—one of the key factors for optimal user experience.
3. Prioritize User Experience
While websites are great for starting relationships with your target audience, applications are far better at deepening those ties. The reason for this is that app developers can leverage on unique features to engage customers on a personalized level.
Apps have an edge on prioritizing User Experience thanks to the customizable nature of mobile tech. While the latest improvements in HTML5 have certainly come a long way, websites are still unable to track user behavior as meticulously and efficiently as applications can. Not only that, but apps can actually enhance the user experience by taking advantage of native mobile features like geolocation and push notifications.
Having access to features like these makes it easier for your customers to get in contact with your brand. For instance, websites can’t send users targeted local recommendations via geolocation or tell users about deals and events through push notifications. Applications also have the grand advantage of immediacy. Since users carry their phones almost the entire time, customers are constantly within reach, and there’s no need to wait for them to check their emails or come back to your site.
Some final words
Whether you choose to go for one or the other, keep in mind that your end goal should be the proper integration of both software products. To achieve this, you should also start learning something about Java development, or whatever programming language best suits your needs.
In the future, mobile and web development will continue to become more accessible for all types of businesses, thanks to trends like software and development outsourcing. However, to get the most out of both, it is necessary to integrate them and let each increase your chances of expanding your brand. By working together, apps and websites can reach new customers, deliver customized content, deals, and all kinds of information.
All in all, choosing between an app and a website will always depend on your business goals. A clear north and the right people by your side will set you on the right path.