Apps, also known as software applications, are not directly accessible via the internet. It must be downloaded to a tablet or smartphone.
Mobile websites automatically scale to the screen size of your viewers’ devices.
An app is a great way to communicate with your customers, sometimes offline.
Many people wonder but few people are brave enough to ask the question “What’s an app?” A better question would be “What makes an application an app?” You use apps all day. Many businesses also have apps. But when it comes down to what makes an app different from a mobile website? Most people don’t know the answer.
An app and a website are two different things. They have many similarities, but also have their own strengths and weaknesses. You need to be current in order to promote your business online.
This guide is for small businesses that feel lost in the maze of mobile apps, software and websites.
What exactly is an app?
App is abbreviated for “software application” and must be downloaded to allow the user access it. Apps are designed for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. Software companies often offer app versions of their products to allow users to access the software’s functionality from their mobile devices.
What is the importance of apps?
Websites were originally created for desktop and laptop computers before tablets and smartphones existed. These websites’ designs were not responsive, meaning they didn’t scale well to smaller screen sizes. It was also difficult to view or use on smaller screens. This wasn’t a problem at first because nobody was trying to view websites via tablets or smartphones. However, mobile devices quickly became more popular and the drawbacks of these website designs became apparent.
Mobile websites were created by many SMBs that had websites. Users could view their websites on the move and use them with touchscreen devices.
Apps, websites, and mobile sites used to exist in different categories for a while, but they are now becoming commonplace and the lines are blurring.
What are the benefits of creating a business application?
App development can be a great way to promote your business. Apps allow businesses to send push and/or in app notifications, provided that the app user consents. It is extremely valuable to be able to reach customers who are already interested in your brand (or else they wouldn’t have downloaded it in the first place). However, many users choose to not receive notifications.
Apps can also be used offline. Although most functions of apps, such as accessing maps or making in-app purchases, work only online, basic information (such as store hours, menus, and products) can still be accessed offline.
How can I create an app?
You have three options to create an app for your company. You will need to have a team of developers available if you plan on building your app in-house. This is a common problem for small businesses.
Hiring an app developer
It is similar to hiring a designer, patent attorney or other professional services when you hire an app developer. There are both app development companies that specialize in developing apps for small businesses and individuals who are freelancers or contractors.
Although the cost of app creation software is higher than hiring an outside developer, you have far more control over creating apps that are truly unique and custom. An app developer may be the best option for you if you need specific functionality, security and compliance requirements. App creation software is a better option if your budget is tight and your needs are simple.
Software for app creation
There are many mobile app development tools available, with a wide range of quality and process options. Some apps development tools are easy to use, and these are often referred to simply as “drag-and drop” format. To customize other apps, you will need to have some programming and development skills.
The drag-and-drop app creators are generally cheaper and easier to use, but they’re not as customizable. Although they tend to be limited in scope and template-based, they can still be a great choice for simple app creation, especially for small businesses.
Is there anything negative about creating a custom app for your business?
It can take more time to create, publish, promote, and maintain apps than managing a mobile site. To reach users of both Android and Apple products, your app must be approved by the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. App store guidelines aren’t set in stone. You will need to ensure that your app is in compliance with these changes. A website is required by most businesses. If you decide to go with an app (unless you are going to abandon websites entirely), you will likely also need one.
After creating your business app, another obstacle that you might face is getting people to use it. If you have a business that is well-established and have a marketing plan to inform customers about your app or if your app provides valuable functionality, this may not be a problem.
Do I prefer a responsive website to an app?
While both apps and websites can be created quickly, responsive websites are best for small businesses that do not have tech expertise or aren’t app-specific. Both apps and responsive websites (also known as mobile websites) offer many of the same features, including one-click calling and social sharing. Apps require downloading, but responsive websites don’t. Phone space is limited. Customers of local businesses use regular browsers to search for information. A responsive web design allows them to connect with you from any device, without the need to do additional marketing.
Responsive websites can be easier to manage than apps. You can update information on a responsive website by simply changing it once. It will then automatically apply the changes to all devices, regardless of operating system.