5/08/2016 - Posted by Emily Healey
Last week we talked about whether a website or a mobile app is the right choice for your business. What we didn’t mention is that there is another option out there, the humble web app. Like the name suggests, it’s basically a hybrid of the two. Once again we’re going to run through the basics and give you a few examples of when it might be a good choice for your business.
There are a few different kinds of web applications but what we’re talking about here is a browser-based application. Their function is highly practical and built to enable and maximise optimization when viewing a website’s content on a small screen. The coding for a web app is fairly simple, closer to that of a website than a mobile app, and made simpler still by the development tools available online.
Just like a website is accessed through your go-to web browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, et al.), a web app is accessed through your phone or tablet’s web browser. The difference? It doesn’t look like your average website because it’s designed to maximise compatibility and user experience when web browsing on your mobile device.
Design-wise, web apps often look a lot like mobile apps, but without the need to download anything extra. This can be a real advantage for your customers but you do miss out on potential profit from app sales (both from the outright purchase and ongoing in-app purchases). You will need to weigh this up along with the cheaper development costs of web apps vs mobile apps.
If you’ve already decided to stick with a website over developing a mobile app, having a web app built can give you much of the functionality you would otherwise miss out on. For example, a content heavy website might exist alongside a slimmed down web app that brings you straight to the actionable aspects of the page such as a contact or booking page. That might be everything the customer needs to access on their phone.
With many people browsing the internet primarily on their phone these days, having an easy-to-navigate web app over a clunky, oversized web page, could very well be the difference between a customer staying on your site or moving on over to your competitor’s web app instead, which could result in loss of business for you. To give your business the most reach possible, some degree of mobile accessibility is a must.
Web apps are definitely worth considering when creating a digital presence for your business. If you’ve decided a website is the right choice for you based on ease, need, budget or just personal preference, a web app can be easily developed alongside it to give you greater reach at little additional cost. If you’re still unsure, open up some of your favourite websites on your phone and see what they’re doing, you’ll quickly be convinced.