Not too long ago, "having an online presence" meant maintaining a website. Now it's more like raising a family with a web site, a blog, multiple social media pages and a mobile presence. Sometimes that mobile piece can be a problem child, especially when you maintain an app and a mobile site.
Differences between mobile apps and mobile sites
We have learned that a mobile site can take shape beautifully with a responsive design, giving web admins the power to create a single set of content and have it displayed in multiple formats including phones, tablets and PCs. A mobile app offers a tool that operates more like a computer program and engages the user with personalization and you don't need that pesky Internet connection.
So what's the goal of your mobile presence?
Mobile web sites are instantly available. Users don't need to download or wait for the app to open. Mobile sites are searchable and your customers will be able to find them. Like any other web site, you can share your mobile site with a simple link across platforms giving the site a far greater reach than a mobile app.
Instantly available, searchable, shareable and findable are all good things for a business. Score one for the mobile website.
If you want something that behaves like an app, a mobile website can handle that too. Database-driven functionality allows developers to implement web applications and pretty soon that mobile website is acting like an application. As you continue to develop the mobile website by adding new functionality and getting rid of the old stuff, the site evolves and lives on. The lifecycle of most mobile apps is very short before an entirely new app must be created.
The purpose of an app
When a mobile site can simply become a part of an existing web site project, it only makes sense to establish your initial presence in the mobile world with a site. Keeping that in mind, an app can serve a very specific purpose for a business, and it shouldn't be dismissed completely.
If making your brand successful across online platforms fits your goals, you need to make smart choices not only for the initial rollout, but with careful consideration for the long-term maintenance of your marketing program. Talk with us and let us bring it all into focus.