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Which is better: mobile version or mobile application for the site?

The trend of increasing number of mobile users of different sites is evident: with each passing day more and more users are growing. And, of course, this tendency is simply necessary to take into account when creating sites, otherwise you can lose from 30 to 50% of the target audience. Here’s just how to “please” mobile users? Create mobile version? Or maybe create a mobile app? Let’s find out which one is better: a mobile version of the site or a mobile application for the site?

Mobile technology is actively evolving, and virtually any modern smartphone can compete for functionality and performance with a good stationary PC of five or six years of age. And considering that today the city is constantly expanding the network of Wi-Fi hotspots, and with this mobile Internet is becoming more accessible, it becomes clear why users are increasingly preferring Internet surfing on mobile devices: so much easier and faster.

Website optimization for the needs of mobile users may be different nowadays. For example, some sites simply adjust their design automatically to the settings of mobile devices that display responsive web design), others have separate mobile versions, usually available on the subdomain of the main site, and third, have separate mobile applications that users can download and install on their devices.

Each of the approaches in site optimization for mobile features has both advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to carefully analyze them to choose the best one. The most common choice for site owners is between the mobile version and the mobile app, so let’s look at these two options in more detail.

First of all, it should be noted that the tasks in mobile versions of websites and mobile applications can be completely different. For example, a mobile version of a site may simply provide users with site content in a more mobile-friendly way, with the mobile version and main site features virtually identical. But the mobile application can already perform completely independent tasks and may not coincide with the main site – both in design and content.

Based on this, we can already draw the first conclusions about what is better for the site: if, for example, you only need to “migrate” a site to mobile space without changing its functionality and characteristics, then the mobile version would be better for this purpose, but if mobile users the site needs to provide some brand new content or functionality, in which case the scales will tip the mobile app to its side.

If both the mobile version of the site and the mobile application are to perform approximately the same tasks, as intended by the site owner, which option would be preferred in this case? To make a decision in this situation, you can try to compare some basic options of mobile versions and mobile applications for sites.

Complexity of development. Both mobile versions of sites and mobile applications can have a very different level of complexity – it all depends on the individual features of the site and the tasks set. However, it is considered that the development of a mobile application is more difficult, because, for example, to satisfy the requests of all members of the target audience, you have to create versions of the application for several platforms at once.

Difficulty of support. It is easy to guess that the support of a developed mobile application for the site is no less complicated than its development. And the application also needs to be constantly evolving, improving its functionality, as well as upgrading the design to meet the needs of the target audience. However, this is also true for mobile versions of sites.

Cost. Due to the fact that the development of mobile applications for websites is very difficult, the cost of such development is usually high. As a result, all things being equal, it is usually advisable to prefer the mobile version if the development budget is limited.

Appointment. Mobile versions of the site are targeted at all visitors, both existing and new. Mobile site applications, in turn, are targeted only at regular visitors: the first-time user does not need the application because they do not yet know whether the site meets its requirements. Accordingly, to attract new visitors, mobile applications are not suitable, and in this case, you should choose the mobile version.

There are many other criteria for comparing mobile versions of websites and mobile applications, however, without taking into account the individual characteristics of a site in each case, the best solution will not work. Therefore, only after careful analysis of the tasks assigned by the professionals of the professional web design studio can make a smart choice that will ensure the effective operation of the site for both users of desktop PCs and users of mobile devices.

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