Website or App – Which One Should You Choose for Your Small Business?

by Josh Biggs in Business on 25th February 2020

Nowadays, people heavily rely on their phones to do almost everything. They play games, shop, watch movies and shows on their phones, and so on. It is inevitable that we are witnessing the domination of mobile devices.

But, does that mean that it’s time to place all focus on mobile devices? In other words, should we ditch everything and build only apps? Or should we rather stick with the good old websites and try to optimize them for mobile users?

Without further ado, take a look below and see what would be the best fit for your business – an app or a website. You will get a better understanding of both options and you will also see what it would look like to combine these two.

If you are a first-time entrepreneur, this article will be of great use.

Capital differences between a website and an app

In order to figure out what option would fit your business needs best, you have to get a firm understanding of how and where a website and an app are different regarding your business’s needs.

A website can be accessed from all sorts of devices, both desktop, and handheld ones. On the other hand, when you build an app, you usually opt for one or two mobile platforms (iOs and Android).

This means that websites may have that starting advantage since you can build a website that is accessible both from phones and computers. 

Bear in mind, though, that a mobile website is quite similar to any other website out there. It consists of browser-based HTML pages that are linked together and accessed through the internet.

But, this type of website is different from a regular one due to the fact that it is designed for the smaller handheld device with a small display and touch-screen functionality.

Mobile websites display textual content, data, images, and video. They can also access features specifically designed for mobile devices including click-to-call or location-based mapping.

When it comes to apps, these are actually downloadable applications that you find on your platform’s store (Google Play or App Store).

Apps are downloaded and installed on mobile devices and they are not rendered within a browser!

As a user, one needs to visit their OS marketplace, download an app, and install it. The app may pull data from the internet, similarly to a website, or it may download the content so that it can be accessed when you are not connected to the internet.

If you decide to build a website, know this

lines of code in web design

Image by James Osborne from Pixabay

When building a website for your business, you need to figure out a few things first before you start investing money and actually building it.

Firstly, figure out a name for your website. Since it is going to be your business website, the domain name has to reflect your company.

This name serves as your website address and it has to make a great impression on your visitors. After all, that is what they will see first when they start looking for you online.

So, make sure that the name is easy to spell and remember, also make it catchy, and avoid numbers and hyphens.

Pick the right website builder

The name is important, but choosing the right builder is maybe even more important.

Failing to pick out the right website builder can result in poor website quality, awful design, and lack of functionalities.

Once you start looking for your perfect builder out of dozens of website builders for small businesses, make sure that you take a few things into consideration.

  1. First, determine your budget due to numerous expenses such as domain registration and hosting fees, design, theme, and so on.
  2. Decide what your priorities are and then choose your website builder. You need some idea of what you want your website to be. So, think well before you start building.
  3. See how easy it is to use. Try and find a website builder that has an intuitive editor that makes each change easy to complete.
  4. Finally, look for SEO features in a given builder. A good website builder should include SEO features that make doing on-site optimization easy.

Website benefits

In general, if you plan to prioritize marketing or public communications, a mobile website is the right choice.

A mobile website is instantly accessible to users through their browsers. But, apps require the user to first download and install the app from a marketplace before the content or app can be viewed.

Websites are also much easier to find since their pages can be displayed in search results and listed in industry-specific directories. So, qualified visitors will have no difficulties finding you.

Finally, mobile website development is cheaper and more time-effective than app development. This is especially true if you are looking for a presence on multiple platforms.

If you decide to build an app, have this in mind

Before you actually start developing your own app, do thorough market research.

This research helps you understand your rivals, user likes and dislikes, and ultimately it will show you your target audience. Once you finish this, you will have enough insights on what you need to do to make your app a success.

Then determine your budget. Know that app development prices generally range from $3,000 to $50,000.

Logically, the development needs to be well-aligned with your company’s preferences. Decide what the app will look like regarding features, details, user-interface, and make sure that the right technologies are utilized.

Choosing the right practices and technologies

Figure out how your target platforms work and implement your branding around their specific preferences. This is a measure you should take before you start designing your app.

Remember to prioritize equally good experience on both platforms (iOS and Android). Be careful when choosing the software solution that will allow this cross-platform transition. The app should run smoothly across numerous devices.

In the end, if you plan on developing this app yourself or guiding a team throughout the whole process, it would be wise to consider using Docker technology. And if you opt for it, know that there are many Docker hosting services available. But always weigh the pros and cons, since not all of them offer the same quality.

App benefits

a man smiling at his tablet

Image by Jess Foami from Pixabay

There is no doubt that the biggest advantage of having an app compared to having a website is a personalized experience. In other words, if you want to provide your customers with a more personalized experience, this is the way to do so. 

On top of that, if you want to gamify the whole user experience, building an app should do the trick. Customers need to be engaged and that is why an app is a great choice if you are looking for better engagement.

Also, an inherent capability of apps is the ability to send push notifications to users who have the app installed. This is a great way to send messages to users directly.

Finally, many browsers do not allow web-based push notifications. This allows website owners to similarly send notifications to visitors who opt-in on both desktop and compatible mobile devices.


Hopefully, you now have a clear understanding of what is better for your business’s needs. Both a website and an app have their own pros and cons, but it all comes down to your preferences and needs.

Also, you don’t have to only select one option. If you feel like you will achieve greater things by having both an app and a website, there is no reason not to try and build both an app and a website if you have enough budget.

Categories: Business