This is the first of three articles that will discuss whether a website or app is right for your business. Here we provide an overview of the subject. In the next two articles we’ll take a closer at the pros and cons of each option.

When it comes to the question of whether your company needs a website or app, many experts say ‘both’. After all, with both at your disposal, you can maximize the distribution of your content.

However, this two-pronged approach is not always realistic. More importantly, it may be a prudent decision only to pursue one option at a time. Which you need first is ultimately a business decision.

When considering a website or app, there are many factors that will influence the decision. These include:

  1. The products or services you sell
  2. Current industry trends
  3. Customer base
  4. The scope of your project goals
  5. Your budget

What’s the difference?

On the one hand, websites are excellent tools for disseminating information and educating visitors. They can be as simple as a kind of online brochure, or hundreds or thousands of pages deep.

Your website forms the core of your online identity and allows users to discover large amounts of content and learn about your business at their own pace.

Keep in mind that, as Internet usage on mobile devices continues to climb well beyond 50%, your website must be optimized for mobile viewing.

On the other hand, apps are immediately engaging and feature more specific (and limited) content than websites. They focus user attention on a few functions and deliver instant value. An app can also be a clear way to differentiate you from the competition by offering a similar service in a faster, more convenient format.

Apps can deliver information in real-time, provide location-based services, and access features native to your mobile device such as images, notifications, and sensors. Some app features and content can also be accessed offline.

Key considerations when choosing a website or app

Now that the core capabilities of website and apps are understood, two factors that will influence your decision will be business services and budget.

First, what kind of company are you? If you are a standard service business, a website is probably tool to begin with. A utility company is a good example of a business that would benefit more at the start from a beautiful, user-focused website with a lot of content.

For a tech-centric business (think Instagram or Grubhub) a mobile app would be more valuable because it allows for instant user action. The Waze app is a great example. Waze provides location-based navigation coupled with real-time updates from other users – no need to access a website.

Second, what is your budget? The cost of design and development can vary greatly depending on the scope of your website or app. Do you need an industry-winning utility or a simple, professional interface for users to interact with?

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

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