WHICH OPTION IS BEST FOR MY FIRM?

The argument for mobile website against a mobile app can be a hotly contested. Many people feel that a mobile app is not required, and that a website that looks good on mobile devices will do the trick. Others argue that mobile apps have benefits not available on a mobile website. Who is right?

All firms need a responsive website that looks great on mobile. It’s not difficult to get a mobile friendly website, and there are no real downsides. Visitors are going to view your website on their devices, and you need to support that. It’s obvious that you need a mobile friendly website, but is a mobile app required? Is a mobile app going to serve your firm and clients better than your mobile website?

Here’s a summary of some of the arguments for and against each option to help you decide whether a mobile app or a mobile website is best for your firm.

Mobile website pros and cons

In most cases a mobile website is not a separate website, it’s a mobile device friendly website that works for all screen sizes. Mobile visitors can access most of the content you have on your full website, but optimally displayed for smaller screens. Given the ease of access all firms that have a website should have one that is mobile friendly. The arguments for and against are really just for comparison to a mobile app.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Works on all devices
  • Easy to setup
  • Easy to maintain

Cons

  • No push notifications
  • No offline access
  • No app store presence
  • Limited internal app

Poor design can cause problems like:

  • Performance issues
  • Cluttered design
  • Poor usability

A well designed mobile website can be a huge asset. Given the amount of internet traffic on mobile devices, it’s clear that all firms need one, but it still can’t do things a mobile app can do.

Mobile app pros and cons

Mobile apps can do things websites can’t, like push notifications and offline access, but they also have cons. However, many firms can benefit from one. Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Push notifications
  • Offline access
  • Faster performance
  • Less cluttered
  • Improved SEO
  • Get on the app stores
  • Strong marketing message

Cons

  • Costly setup
  • Costly maintenance
  • Limited use offline

The winner

The winner depends on your firm. For firms with a limited budget looking for a mobile presence, the mobile website wins. Firms with the financial means, looking to expand their marketing and demonstrate to clients that they are changing with the times, the mobile app wins.

For many firms, the winner is a combination of both. A two-pronged mobile strategy can leverage both a mobile site and an app for maximum distribution of your content.

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