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The world has gone mobile a long time ago and the one who thinks opposite is only fooling himself. Mobile development gains more and more popularity these days. According to Cisco White Paper, portable devices own more than 45% of global web traffic and this number is growing really fast. For the past years many website owners went mobile because of stable evolving of traffic through mobile gadgets. However, many businesses are still terrified of investing into mobile because they aren't sure what path to choose: native applications, website mobile versions or responsive websites.
First, please do remember that despite the fact that most search engines adapt websites for mobile view, it's not enough for users to like them because the process of their adaption can bring unexpected results sometimes.
Well, let's get back to the most popular approaches to go mobile and go through their advantages and disadvantages.
It's one of the most popular ways to ensure user's comfort in site inspection on mobile devices. This approach allows having a website that naturally fits any screen size of any portable gadget. Developers accomplish this by adjusting the website design, content, and navigation to guarantee the same user experience for desktop and mobile users. Basically, you have one site that has the same look across all devices.
This way of going mobile possesses the following advantages:
Responsive sites are much easier to manage due to the fact that you administer just one site across all platforms and devices.
Having a single resource locator can ensure that users will hit the website on mobile gadgets without redirections.
By creating a responsive website, you eliminate the need to create special content for portable devices. Besides, you can optimize the site only once and enjoy your marketing strategy on mobile gadgets since no additional work is needed to promote the site in mobile web browsers.
Here it comes down to an elementary math. One website costs cheaper that two, right?
Despite all the pros, responsive website can bring a list of downsides, including:
Designing a single site for desktop and mobile devices is easier to you, however, not for your visitors. Often, there is a need to additionally stress some points to increase conversion on mobile platforms.
Despite the fact that the world is constantly improving the technology we use every day, especially portable devices, but a segment of people that use outdated gadgets with ancient browsers will be your problem. There is a good possibility that they won't see the website the way it needs to be seen. In addition, when your website is experiencing any technical issue, for instance, users overload or server problem, the site will be screwed across all platforms.
Mobile UX extremely differs from the desktop one. That's why in order to ensure similar UX across all devices you can harm an overall user experience and end up losing clients.
To conclude the points made above, it should be said that in some situations web owners can benefit from the responsive website, however, it's not an ultimate solution since it's fraught with many disadvantages.
A mobile site allows you to ensure specific UX since the website is created taking into account all specification of mobile platforms. In the developing process, you need to consider the possible screen sizes, method of potential interaction (touch or keyboard functions), optimal loading speed considering low-speed connections and many other factors. The website should be easy to navigate and use and content should be readable and fully available. Often, developers implement special approaches to improve ergonomics, for example, organize content blocks into one column that looks good on a small screen.
Mobile websites can provide web owner with a number of upsides, such as:
The mobile website guarantees an astonishing UX since it's optimized according to the standards of portable devices and takes into account all flaws of the platform.
The website loads faster on mobile gadgets thanks to the specific optimization.
Well, creating a mobile website will be a bit more expensive than building responsive one, however, it's still cheaper than building an app and is worth its money.
Mobile websites will be ranked higher in local SERPs thanks to search engine algorithms.
Users can visit the website immediately after a short redirection instead of downloading and installing an application.
Nevertheless, this approach also possesses the following cons:
Responsive websites are good because they can be available from any device under a single URL. When choosing mobile websites, you should be ready to the risks of losing impatient clients because of redirection or a necessity to remember multiple URLs.
Mobile websites require the building of a separate marketing strategy and additional optimization work that will be different from the steps you took when optimizing a desktop website.
Math again. You get double-trouble - two times more websites to administer.
You need to consider many things to ensure astonishing UX, for example, take into account that smartphones can be connected with keyboard and mouse and you need to include that method of interaction to your touchscreen functions.
As a conclusion, mobile websites are great for web owners who want to show more respect for users, but don't have enough budget for mobile apps or just want to make the first step into a mobile market.
Applications are designed specifically for mobile devices and, often, they fully or partly can work without internet connection. Such applications aren't compatible with various platforms since they are built for a specific OS. Apps can be download from platform app store, for instance, App Store, Google Play or Windows Store, and immediately installed on a device. These apps are flexible and involve the features of user's smartphone like camera, microphone, gallery, click-to-call buttons, etc.
Native applications have the following advantages before other ways of going mobile:
These apps ensure the best performance and the most incredible user experience since they are designed to fit the particular platform.
Even without the internet connection apps can deliver all information in a matter of seconds.
Mobile platforms, especially touchscreen-based ones provide you with a range of features that you can use in order to ensure amazing UX.
Once a user gets an application installed, it settles in the menu and can remind the user to visit it by sending push notifications.
Despite all advantages, native applications have such downsides:
Native applications are built for a particular platform and can't function across other operation systems.
All upgrades and bug fixing have to be approved and submitted by the appropriate application store. This process can take up to a couple of months, especially if you made a mistake when filling an application. Besides, not every user will want to update his or her OS every week or so and prefer to hold for an outdated version.
This is definitely the most expensive way because the mobile app development will cost you a fortune.
Mobile apps require different marketing approach that must comply with mobile promotion laws. Another additional item of expenditure - mobile marketer.
The approach of going mobile by using mobile applications established itself as one of the most successful ways to win more users and increase sales, however, it can also be a source of troubles considering development and maintenance price.
The answer to this question is tightly linked with the goals you want to achieve. Many businesses combine a couple approaches in order to receive the best conversion, for example, optimize the website for mobile devices and create native applications. In addition, before choosing the way of entering the mobile world, you should decide on the budget you are willing to spend. If your content will be updated frequently, then a responsive website is your best choice because it would be easier and cheaper to administer. If you aim to deliver excellent UX, then a native application should be your choice.
In some cases, all three solutions will work best and complement each other. That's why before selecting the way of going mobile, you should consult with industry specialists. Program-Ace is a company with many years' experience in the field of mobile and web development. Our qualified specialists are ready to help you choose the best way for your business to enter mobile market and can take over the development side to ensure the best results of your future project.