The rise in mobile app usage has led many businesses to consider launching their own app, leading to the question of whether a mobile-friendly website is enough. However, the answer is not straightforward, as there are many factors to consider.
One factor is development. Developing an app and a mobile-friendly WordPress website are vastly different prospects. App development has traditionally been seen as complex and expensive, but the arrival of DIY app making solutions has made it easier and more affordable. Creating a mobile-friendly WordPress website, on the other hand, is relatively easy, with most WordPress websites being highly responsive on mobile devices by default.
Cost is another factor to consider. App development is known for being expensive due to the need for top-notch engineering and design talent, but no-code app making solutions have made it more affordable. Developing a mobile-friendly WordPress website requires little additional investment besides what is needed to run the website.
Time is also a factor, with app development taking longer due to its complexity, but no-code app makers have facilitated faster development. Creating a mobile-friendly WordPress website takes a small amount of time, with WordPress automatically creating a responsive mobile version in most cases.
Performance, offline access, user personalization, and marketing are other factors to consider when deciding between a mobile-friendly website and an app. Mobile websites are built to load on mobile browsers, while apps are designed to operate in a mobile environment, leading to differences in performance. Apps can operate offline on some level and have greater ability to personalize the user experience due to access to device resources. Marketing for mobile websites is more reliable as new users can access them directly with the click of a button, while app marketing requires users to download the app and go through user onboarding.
Ultimately, the choice between a mobile-friendly website and an app is not a zero-sum game. Both are important for the success of any business, and major platforms use their websites to funnel visitors to their mobile apps. The decision should be based on the specific needs of the business, with mobile-friendly websites being enough in some cases and apps being necessary in others.