Website Vs Mobile App: Which One Is Better?

By April CheongPublished at 17 May, 2021

As the most well known IT consultant and software development company in Malaysia, Techies often gets lot of requests to develop mobile applications for multinational companies. However, the question is: Does the company already owned a website before? Surprisingly, many of them don't. Does that mean mobile app is much more important than company's website? Why does mobile app seems more desirable? We will answer this burning questions here. For those of you who are planning to create a website or mobile app for your company, this article will help you to decide wisely. In reality, do you need a website or mobile application, or both?

Techies always ensure that our clients get a software product that really suits their needs. Delivering more value to clients by providing multiple perspectives on technology and business will create a frequency alignment between Techies and clients. To address the question, the purpose of making web app and mobile app is entirely different. The web app aims to increase user acquisition of the application. In opposite, the mobile app aims to increase user engagement with the application. This is the main difference.

Well, let's put this into a real life scenario. For start-up company that is just starting out and doesn't have enough users to use the app, do you think it's more suitable to use a web app or a mobile app? Write in the comments section below to let us know your thought. We will answer this starting from the perspective of web app functionality.

Why Web App?

The rapid advancement of technology has had a significant positive impact on startup business. Since the introduction of internet technology to the wider community, websites have become increasingly common to have. The ease of access and responsiveness of web app which is getting better every year, make web app the right choice for every startups.

What Exactly is Web App?

Web app actually stands for Website application. The website is a page that can be accessed by online user using a browser. Pages on a website can also have many functions, for example, they can display multimedia content. Well, for an application website it means a page that has a specific and complex features that can be accessed using web browser both via desktop and mobile.

What many people misunderstand is that a web app can only be optimal if you use desktop. In fact, because mobile phones have become a necessity for the community, nowadays many web apps, both accessed using mobile phones and desktops, are just as functional. Especially since Google introduced the Progressive Web App, well, it's getting more and more mobile-friendly web app.

If that's the case, in what kind of circumstance it is wise to choose a web app? Check out the following explanation.

1. The Initial Stage of App Development

At the beginning of application development, both companies with “startup” status, as well as companies in general, will focus on giving a first impression to the user. Delivering value must be fast. Putting the burden on the user to study application functions for too long is definitely not a good experience. They might run away immediately.

Especially, at startup companies. When they want to do a wave check of an idea in the form of an application, the web app is the first thing that is most recommended. This solution is safe solution for users and safe solution for startup companies themselves. Why is it safe? Users do not need to download applications, so that user data on mobile phones can be more in control. Likewise for startup companies, analyzing the required data related to user activity in the web app is sufficient. Especially if the application being built is still in the early stages of development.

Talking about the initial stage of application development, you must know the term Minimum Viable Product (MVP). MVP is an early version of an application that has "sufficient" features to meet user needs in order to get feedback from users for future application development. Why is the web app so suitable for making an MVP?

The first reason is production cost. Yes, the production cost required to build a web app will be more affordable than building a mobile app. Why is that so? That's because in the software development process there will be additional processes of mobile development where these stages might have additional cost.

Not to mention if you intend to develop native Android and native iOS applications separately. Wow, it will be much more expensive. Just imagine, if at the time of building an MVP that was far from perfect, we used a native mobile app, how much would it cost just to make the MVP? If cost isn't an issue, then we can omit this point. However, if cost efficiency is highly needed, it seems that a web app can be of great help.

2. Exposure - Google Is Everything

Almost everyone who uses the internet must know Google as a search engine. In fact, almost everything is searched via Google. Starting from the name of your crush, to the extend of the fact whether UFO exists. Well, interestingly, if you develop a web app, it will be easier for you to get exposure with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Yes, web app is SEO friendly. Especially for new applications, exposure is really needed. The more users who visit your web app, the more information you can get for future product development. This is the main usage of SEO in website application.

In addition, there is a Google Ads feature where you can advertise by adjusting the demographics and search terms that you want on the Google platform. By having a web app, users who enter the portal through advertisements will convert faster. Why? They don't need to download it first. So, the value of the application that you have, can be directly felt by the user without the need to increase the burden by downloading the application.

However, there are still many perceptions that view web apps as outdated. Let's look at the myths related to the following web app:

The web app is ancient This is a myth. Now web apps are no less responsive than mobile apps. Especially now that it has entered the era of the mobile first world. Where mobile is the main thing. The web app has also been optimized for mobile viewing. Especially since the introduction of the Progressive web app (PWA). Web technology for mobile is also getting better!

Web apps are expensive They are relatively cheap. If you compare the costs required to create a web app or mobile app, web apps are much cheaper than mobile apps. What is the reason? Because it reduces one stage of development; Android / iOS development as explained above.

The web app can't be downloaded That is precisely the advantage of a web app, users don't need to download an application if they want to use it. If you still insist on having an application that can be downloaded and installed with a budget that is relatively below the cost of making a mobile app, relax, thanks to PWA technology, now web apps can also be downloaded.

Right now since the issue of data security is becoming a huge trend nowadays, users have a tendency not to simply install applications on their cell phones. However, by using web apps, without the need to download the application, users can already enjoy the features in the application.

Does this means that mobile app is not important? Not really. In the section above, we have explained that the web app & mobile app have different purposes. Now, if you already have an audience that can be said to be quite a lot, or at least already close to or even already meeting the minimum target market that you are looking for, having a mobile app is a smart move!

To be continued in our next blog - Discussing the pros and cons of mobile app..

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