According to Google, App is “A self-contained program or piece of software designed to fulfill a particular purpose; an application, especially as downloaded by a user to a mobile device.”
A lot of web designers are claiming that apps may mean the death of websites, but experts and many webmasters disagree. Ask people about the number of apps they have download in the last few months, and the numbers are anything but impressive. Yes, the use of apps has increased exponentially in the last five years, but does that mean clients can ditch websites? Well, the answer is NO.
The mobile factor
More than 50% of all internet searches are initiated on a mobile device, and this confirms one simple fact – People are relying more on handheld devices. Unfortunately, many brands have started to believe that this particular fact hints at the need for an app. The point is people use apps, but they only use apps that are relevant to them. Most people will have Uber on their phone, for instance, but does that mean they are also trying all cab aggregator service apps, as well? Probably, no.
To tap into the mobile segment, companies and brands need something more important – A responsive website. A responsive website is the one that has been designed and optimized for use on all screen sizes. For that, you need a web development company and not an app developer.
When to consider an app for your brand?
Well, you should consider an app for your company when you have considerable brand value. When Google comes up with a new app, people will download it, try the app, and may choose to either keep or delete it. The app store is buzzing with millions of apps, but how many actually gain money? In fact, apart from the popular apps, most are biting the dust! It doesn’t cost much to launch a simple app, but performance is never guaranteed.
However, this is not about bashing the need for app development. In fact, having an app is recommended in three situations –
- When your brand has enough value
- When the services are more accessible on an app
- When the website cannot manage tasks that can be done easily on an app.
The need for responsive websites
When people are looking for businesses, they are searching on their browser – Not on Google Play Store or App Store.
Businesses often tend to miss out on this simple aspect. If a company website is optimized for mobile screens, chances are high that people will check their services and offerings on the go. Responsive websites are easy to use and are designed to make the browsing experience better, and if your company doesn’t know how to the web design right, you can always choose to get a designer on-board.
You need an app to replicate the website
Companies need to understand that an app should offer more than what the website is offering, or else, the whole functionality is lost. A responsive website helps in achieving that and often for a lot less money.
One of the other reasons why responsive websites are more important is because of maintenance. Maintaining, updating and ensuring the overall functionality of a website will not require as much effort like an app. Apps require more attention, and for smaller companies, growing brands and enterprises that are trying to find a foothold in the market, responsive websites are better by all means.
Until your company is ready to take the plunge, go for a responsive website, and if the website cannot manage the load or services, think of an app later.