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Mobile Apps Vs Mobile Web - Which will Your Business Choose?

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Weight loss mobile smart phones can be bought, the buzz around mobile phone applications gets ever louder. So, ever see should rush out and acquire a mobile app developed - right? Perhaps not.

The low-down on mobile phone applications and mobile websites.

Let us get the definitions off the beaten track. Mobile apps are basically small applications that you download and are powered by your feature phone or cell phone. An app will run locally on the handset and may or might not access services on the web to update and refresh the information that's displayed. In contrast, a mobile web site is basically a slimmed down sort of a normal website that's optimised to the smaller display area that's conventional feature phones and smartphones. Mobile websites are likely to be accessed via a browser application on the handset.

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Which one should I choose for my business?

Well, first off, mobile apps are cool and because of the Apple iPhone and Android mobile phone app stores, they're easier than ever to access and download. You simply must develop a different version of your app per major mobile os though - about 4 or 5 of those at the moment.

On the other hand, a properly designed mobile website can be looked at on pretty much any mobile containing web access. You can not do as much using them as you could with the app though, because they rely on web technologies and don't have access to all the fancy built-in-features an app running natively on your own handset will have - things like the camera, GPS module, address book. There's always a catch.

Your best option will depend on your business. We can't give you the answer, but we can easily hopefully give you some helpful advice before you go spending any one of that critical marketing budget. Neglect the hype, forget about the cool factor, and think about the following important points before you make your decision - Need. Audience. Budget.

Should i really need a mobile app or mobile website?

Before commencing out, it's worth documenting your list of reasons behind creating a mobile app or mobile website for the business. Think about what you would like to achieve and what you would like your product to do.

Have you been trying to create a potential new revenue stream? Do you need new ways to advertise your business? Are you targeting other manufacturers or consumers? How must customers access your current products and services? Will your products or services display interactive content or should it be used as a static information portal? How frequently will you be updating content? What sort of content will you be displaying? Will be your product fun or unique? Can it always require internet access?

We could go on and on but ultimately it's not a question of regardless of whether you need a mobile app or mobile website. Rather, it's about what is best for your company and we can only give some guidelines.

If you don't already have a website or will be in the middle of building one, ask your online developers to build it in a way that it will be optmised for mobile. It may well require an extra outlay but will be less costly than starting from scratch.

If your existing web site is relatively static but want to enhance your online presence and obtain the benefits of mobile advertising, think about a mobile website. Website visitors coming from mobile ad clicks will receive good first impression of your respective business when they are presented with easily readable information formatted nicely for his or her mobile phone.

If your product is for fun, is highly interactive, is supposed as a standalone marketing device or revenue generator, was created to be used offline, or requires users to regularly access large video or media files it probably makes more sense to go along the mobile app route.

Who will be the audience for my mobile app or mobile website?

When we talk about audience, were referring to two very separate ideas - the prospective market for your business and also the overall set of folks that can actually access mobile phone applications and mobile optimised websites.

To start with, think about your existing customer base and how they currently talk with your business through your website, Bottles, Facebook pages, and LinkedIn profile. Since smartphones will only become more plus more prevalent, a mobile app or website gives you a good platform to create on existing customer relationships and extend your reach to a population which is becoming increasingly mobile.

If your main aim would be to increase your profile and presence inside the mobile space, it's a good idea to start off by taking benefit of existing technologies. If people are using Facebook on their mobile and click a link on your Fanpage for more info, its a good bet that unless your page loads using some seconds and displays well, they will give up and go elsewhere pretty fast. Main point here - best to ensure any pages you hyperlink to from your social media sites load quickly, display relevant information, and appear good on mobile.

The main benefit of a mobile web site is it's large audience reach. A website that is properly optimised for mobile should display well for the majority of feature phones and smartphones that are web-enabled. However, when you move into the realm of apps, things turned into a whole lot different. Since apps are generally confined to smart phones, your target audience is narrowed towards the phones or platform(s) the application is designed to run on as well as the percentage of people actively using each platform.

Our main advice for you here is before going on the app route, consider the size of your own potential business audience and discover how many of them are using the 5 major cell phone operating systems: iOS (iPhone), Android, Blackberry OS, Symbian (Nokia), and Windows. As a result, you will get a good sense of how many versions of the app you should potentially develop.

Just how much should I budget for a mobile app or mobile website?

Answer: How long is a piece of string? There really is no easy answer to this. It will come down to exactly what you want to achieve and what you want your site or app in order to do and ultimately whom you get to do it. It would be unfair to even give guide prices but what we can say is that any prices you are quoted should be grounded the truth is.

If your site is according to WordPress or some similar cms, there may be free or low-cost plugins open to display the pages optimised for mobile. If the main website was built using recent technologies like xhtml and css, optimising it for mobile mustn't be that difficult or costly, assuming it's got mostly static content. When it has more dynamic pleased with lots of bells and whistles, don't be tempted to just replicate each page. Limit your site to the pages that will transfer well to smaller mobile screens.

Around the mobile app side, the expenses can range from hundreds to tens of thousands, depending on the complexity in the app and the number of platforms it will be made for. There are sites on the web where you can create basic apps for free but these will typically be restricted to a predefined group of templates that allow minimal modifications. Some might also charge for hosting content that's something to watch out for.