Technical Fight: Mobile Applications VS Mobile Sites


Doubt whether to make a mobile app? Or do you think that the mobile version of the site will be enough? We have collected 6 arguments to help you decide what is best to develop first.

Complexity of choice

Many companies are faced with the choice of what is best to do in addition to an existing site: a mobile app or a mobile/adaptive version of the site. Over the past few years, adaptive design and mobile versions of websites have become major tools to attract mobile traffic. But as the number of mobile users grows every month, adaptive design alone is no longer enough.

However, not every company urgently needs to find a developer to create its own mobile application.

It is not necessary to make a mobile application if:

  • you need to increase coverage and attract new traffic;
  • you don’t have a customer base yet;
  • you cannot buy a product through the site, but you can order a consultation;
  • the client will use your product/service less than once a month;
  • you don’t have the resources to constantly update the application and advance to the top;
  • you are ready to provide your goods/services through aggregator services (e.g. Delivery club for food delivery).

Specialists of search engines say that for search engines, there is no fundamental difference between the mobile version of the site and the adaptive layout. In other words, you can choose the option that is more convenient for you.

Mobile applications are worth developing if:

  • you want to work with the loyalty of an existing client (at least familiar with the brand);
  • you provide a service that can be booked without additional calls and without discussing the terms of purchase (meal booking, taxi, appointment, hotel reservation, etc.);
  • the process of interaction with the product is long (foreign language training, sports, advice, etc.);
  • you want to get to the catalog of areas of activity to attract new customers (food delivery services);
  • you need a high level of personalization, constant contact with the customer or work with specific functions (camera, geolocation, etc.);
  • you want to collect detailed information about your client.

Business giants

The vast majority of well-known companies have mobile applications. The key point here is that the development and support of an application will not hit their budget, but will increase customer loyalty.

Small companies first need to attract customers – to create a database of contacts, and then to work with loyalty.

Mobile version of the site

The pros:

  1. Quick start. You can create a mobile version of the site quickly enough.
  2. It is developed once for all devices


  1. Users expect to see something more convenient than the site. For example, a unique interface or features.
  2. Download speed. Long loading times will surely scare away a lot of users.
  3. The era of mobile applications. Mobile site does not allow as deep interaction with the brand as mobile apps allow. According to some data, 86% of the time mobile phone users spend spent inside the application rather than in browsers.

HTML5 or hybrid mobile application

The pros:

  1. A hybrid HTML5-based mobile app will help your app take its place on your client’s phone.
  2. HTML5 and hybrid apps can be launched quickly.


  1. It’s basically a mobile site that won’t meet user expectations
  2. All the shortcomings of the mobile version of the site will also be present in a hybrid mobile application (speed, functionality, and uniqueness).
  3. A long way to buy a product or order a service.

Mobile applications are a trend, but they do not guarantee an increase in sales and the number of clients. If you still have doubts about whether you need an application, follow the following algorithm:

  1. Examine your audience and find out if they use an application (How? Which one?).
  2. Determine how your application will benefit your users and how much revenue it will generate for you.
  3. Find out what the development will cost.
  4. Add to this the promotion costs.
  5. Calculate whether the cost of the application is comparable to the income you will receive from it.

If there are doubts about the usefulness of the application for customers or you are not sure that it will pay off, it is better not to rush with development and stop at the mobile version of the site. If you were able to clearly answer to every point, and the income really covers the costs of creation and development, then the mobile application is your variant.

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