Each minute the Internet evolves at lightning speed, and that can be intimidating for small business owners to keep up. For most small business owners, worrying about technological leaps and trends is the least of concerns. Instead, they focus on a traditional approach that has worked thus far.
Although, a traditional outlook makes sense to some degree, mobile marketing is here to stay and slated to grow at a pace that can be daunting for smaller businesses. The only option out of this dilemma is to ramp up online presence to suit the ecosystem. As to the question of ‘how’ – the answer lies between technology of responsive websites, mobile websites and mobile applications.
A responsive website uses a CSS style sheet that allows the website to look great on any device, whether it is a PC, phone or tablet of different screen sizes, the website will render perfectly. It is usually not a separate website, just a design that works for all screen sizes allowing mobile visitors to access website content optimized for smaller screens.
A mobile website uses more contemporary front-end technologies like HTML5 or WebKit features without the need for backward compatibility with older browsers. A Mwebsite can be considerably inexpensive than a responsive design that requires a complex rebuild of everything, enabling enhanced user experience at much lower maintenance costs.
An app is usually designed to achieve a very precise objective. Whether it is a game or a banking app, or an app to find vegetarian restaurants in a city, they are designed to be interactive and task oriented with allowance for purchases to be made within the app. They aren’t necessary for some businesses, however, can be of great benefit for most.
Responsive Website vs. Mobile Website
Responsive websites cannot be created by simply rearranging the existing elements, especially from complex structures of full websites. Responsive design is much more expensive, it usually requires a complete overhaul of the existing website from the ground up, keeping in mind that attention to user experience is paramount.
On the other hand, if your goals are primarily oriented towards marketing and communications, a Mwebsite makes a practical first step in your mobile strategy as mobile websites have a few inherent benefits over responsive websites, including compatibility and cost-effectiveness.
MWebsites vs. Mobile Apps
Between the choice of mobile website and mobile app, the most appropriate choice depends on your end goals. Logically, it rarely makes sense to launch an app without having a Mwebsite in place. If your goal is offering mobile-friendly content to a wider audience, then a Mwebsite suits the purpose. Whereas, apps are useful when tackling a very specific purpose that cannot be effectively accomplished via a web browser.
Responsive Websites vs. Mobile Apps
this is where it gets tricky. Between the two, you should do both – if you can. In the interest of budgets, many small businesses end up choosing between the two. However, the available modern day tools remove that variable from the equation effectively.
While a responsive website will feature everything with ease of access, the mobile app may have a more specific task to accomplish, and will interact with users in a personalized way that a website just cannot hope to achieve.
For many businesses, harnessing a two-pronged mobile strategy that leverages both mobile site and app for maximum distribution of content is necessary. While the choice between a responsive website and a mobile website can be debated, mobile apps win emphatically over both. Well-designed mobile websites can be an asset for a business, but it still cannot achieve what mobile apps can, especially when it comes to gathering user information. Selecting one over the other should be the last resort, if at all, especially for a business that wishes to survive and thrive in the digital age.