For every business trying to create a digital presence, there is one concern that keeps haunting. Which platform to use, a website or a mobile application?
This article will help you differentiate between the two and understand what suits your type of business best. But, before that, let’s understand what each of these platforms is.
A website is a set of publicly available linked webpages that contain text, images, video, audio, or other media under one domain name. They are usually informative.
A website could be a simple combination of several static pages or as complex as several web applications running simultaneously and everything else in between.
Websites are basically divided into static and dynamic, and the creative concept and software of a website determine whether it is static or dynamic.
Static websites present the visitor with just online information. A static website can be a simple company website with detailed information about a company’s portfolio, future projects, contacts, and so on. Setting it up typically requires basic website skills and knowledge of HTML and CSS.
However, dynamic websites use databases to store and handle information, making it possible to automatically change websites’ content in predetermined cases. A dynamic website can be any portal, e-commerce store, or blog that you visit every day. The list of dynamic website programs is much longer, including ASP, JSP, Perl, PHP, and many more.
An application, often abbreviated to an app, is a program or set of programs that enables end-users to perform specific functions. It is software that combines certain functions in a way that is accessible to the user.
An application falls under the umbrella of software, so it is sometimes referred to as application software. Like any other software, an application is either a program or a set of programs. But that said, every type of software or program is not an application.
The uniqueness of applications lies in the fact that they are designed to interact with the end-user of a computer or device and helps them perform certain tasks. Because applications are built for users, the user interface is interesting and graphical for the user to interact.
Applications are primarily of three types – mobile applications, web applications, and SaaS or software-as-a-service applications.
A mobile application refers to an application designed to run on a mobile device, either smartphones or tablets. Even though applications are typically small software units with limited functionality, they still provide users with high-quality services and experiences.
A web application is a collection of items within a website that performs tasks over the Internet. Web applications run on web servers and use web browsers as their user interface.
Software-as-a-Service or SaaS, for short, is a cloud-based method of delivering software to users. What differentiates SaaS applications from the rest is that users have to subscribe to the app instead of buying and installing it once. Users can log in and use the SaaS application from any compatible device over the Internet. It can be accessed both through a browser or through an app. But the actual application runs on cloud servers that may be far away from the user’s location.
Alright, now that we have a fair idea of what website and applications are, their different types, and how they function, let’s move on to how they are different from each other. To start, we will compare the benefits of a website with that of an application.
With the benefits out of the picture, we will now understand which platform will better suit a business you are into. This will help you choose between whether you need a website for your business or an application.
What kinds of businesses need a website?
Suppose you run a small business and act locally for your customers. In that case, all you need is a boutique website or brochure site where you briefly cover your brand, location indicator with a map, and business opportunities.
If you’re running a family business, startup, or business with fewer employees, think about your brand website for marketing and customer acquisition. A simple, custom WordPress website design can meet most business needs.
If you run a popular small business, you need a specially designed website to showcase your products/services to customers.
If you are established in the market and growing, you can also start digital marketing using web design.
What kinds of businesses need an application?
Suppose you run a local business that provides home delivery or business that expects constant interactions with customers regularly. In that case, you can automate this process with an innovative custom application.
If you’re in manufacturing, agricultural, textile, or multi-site industry with multiple external divisions to reach the end customer, you may need multiple applications to run your business efficiently. Keeping them all together in one web application will be a huge benefit to your business process.
If your business needs customer interaction at any time, you may need a web app with chat, social media, API integrations, and custom API development to deliver web services on time.
These are just a few scenarios to help you better understand which platform is better for a business – website or application. But, if you want to understand what specifically suits your business and how to move forward with your digital marketing, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.