Online Websites vs. Smartphone Apps: Which Provides Better User Experience?

Online Websites vs. Smartphone Apps: Which Provides Better User Experience?

There has been a lot of controversy over online websites-mobile apps preference. Customers’ reviews on however reveals that companies are becoming increasingly aware of the fact that they need to embrace a mobile strategy. Feedbacks from users’ experiences show that not only has the number of mobile-only internet users overtaken desktop-only but app usage has also surpassed desktop usage.

As a result of this most companies are changing their mobile strategies. Yet there is still confusion as to whether a mobile app or an online website is the right way to go.

Examining the Difference Between Mobile Apps and Online Websites

Both apps and mobile websites are accessed via a mobile device such as a phone or tablet. A mobile website is exactly as it sounds. It’s a website that consists of browser-based HTML pages that are linked together. Responsive websites are designed for different platforms and adjust to different screen sizes and layouts. Responsive websites are becoming increasingly standard.

Like traditional websites mobile websites can display text content data images and video. They can also access mobile-specific features such as click-to-call or location-based mapping. Mobile apps on the other hand are applications that are downloaded and installed on a user’s mobile device. An app can pull content and data from the Internet similar to a website or it can download the content so that it can be accessed without an Internet connection.

Merits of Mobile Apps

1.   Opportunity for Branding

Since a mobile app is an entirely separate entity from a company’s website it has the ability to offer new branding opportunities to users. This means that companies can experiment with new branding tactics and styles with a mobile app. It’s important to note that a mobile app offers a completely different experience for the user. If your website can’t offer enough value for your customers a mobile app may be the way to go as it offers users with another channel for engagement.

2.   Personalization

Personalization is about offering tailored communication to users based on their interests location usage behavior and more. With mobile apps it’s easy to offer users a personalized experience. Mobile apps can let users set up their preferences when they have originally downloaded the app and customize it to suit their needs. Apps can also track user engagement and use it to offer custom recommendations and updates to the users.

3.   Offline Access

Mobile apps can run without internet connection. Although many apps require internet connectivity to perform most of their tasks they can still offer content and functionality to users while in offline mode. With this advantage users can access information anytime anywhere.

4.   Customer Engagement

Mobile apps run with their own interface environment which enables users to become more immersed in the mobile experience. They are built with a purpose for example more convenient banking. They address user pain points and make it easier for users to achieve a goal.

Merits of Online Websites

1.   Wider Audience

Because a mobile website is accessible across platforms and can be easily shared. Secondly in terms of search engines it has greater reach capability than a mobile app which has to be searched and downloaded in either Google Play or Apple’s App Store.

2.   Lower Cost

Depending on complexity a responsive mobile site can be more cost-effective than mobile app development. This holds true if you want your app to have a presence on more than one platform.


The arguments over preference between mobile apps and online websites may be unending. However we hope this article has helped in keeping you informed on why one has an edge over the other in certain aspects and vice versa.

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