It’s not as simple as it sounds, and there are some important angles to investigate before making the decision. Let’s take a look at the three primary points to consider before taking the plunge into a custom app or a responsive website.
While you could run up a bill with a website loaded with bells & whistles, a well-designed app will usually fetch a bigger price tag. For websites, HTML programming often covers the bases across platforms. A responsive website can detect different platforms and perform properly across many devices with general coding. For custom (or native) apps, it can take coding in several programming languages to make your app appear and function correctly across iPhones, Androids, and all the different kinds of tablets. An app may also need more support to work properly, squash bugs, and maintain the ongoing upgrades to different operating systems.
Takeaway: Know your budget not just for the initial build but for ongoing maintenance, projected upgrades, and feature changes. If you’re still in your shoestring days, a responsive website that looks and acts great on mobile devices is your best bet.
Be sure to dig deep into the tools and functions you want your website or app to have. We have all bookmarked websites that are beautifully designed, user friendly, or multi-functional, and we’ve downloaded apps that offer us services at our fingertips. What’s the primary goal behind your product and what tools best serve its purpose? Do you need to tap into new tools such as on-demand APIs through established services like Postmates and Uber? Do you need GPS location-based services as a central tool in your product? Think about your competitors and what tools they are using in their digital products and look for innovations in other industries that you can tap into.
Takeaway: There are some cutting-edge services that are only available by building a custom app. Be clear about what services you need to accomplish your goals and create a prioritized list. If the unique tools of an app can position you as a pioneer or greatly expand your portfolio of services, it’s time to build your own app.
More specifically, know where your audience is located within the digital world. Is your target audience the highly smartphone-savvy millennial generation? Or is your product geared toward a community of people who tend to make their purchases online through websites? Think about not only how your audience prefers to interact with online content and services but also how your product will reach them. Websites can be optimized to target your audience or campaigns can be created to make sure your website shows up when your audience searches for your services. Apps live in an App Store and are often discovered in very different ways from a website. Be sure to research the different avenues of customer acquisition when your product is on a website or an app.
Takeaway: Take a look at your marketing and advertising models. Plan for the changes that would be required if you went with either one. How can you best serve your audience?
Website or app, it’s not an easy question. We can help! We love to work on these tough questions with our clients to help grow their businesses. Get in touch for more info!