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To kick off our blog series on understanding mobile apps versus mobile sites, we will start by giving you the ultimate checklist to use when deciding between the two. There are many different components that go into deciding if building a mobile app or a mobile site will be beneficial to your business. To understand which route will best help you reach your customers consider the checklist below.

Utility: Are you targeting a large demographic or a more niche audience? A mobile website will work on any device that has a web browser, while a mobile applicationĀ  must be built to be used by a certain device. This means just about anyone with a smart phone can access your mobile site, but an Android user can not access your mobile app if it is only built for iPhone users.

Need: If your company offers a service, your customers may find a mobile app of more use than a mobile website. A mobile app may have many features that offer the services that your business provides and therefore would be very useful to your customer on the go. If your business is looking to offer more of a mobile online presence and not actually offer services, then a mobile website would be more beneficial.

Traffic: It’s important to know how your customers are accessing your website. If you find that most of your site visits are from a mobile device, then it may be in your best interest to create a mobile site so your customers can easily pay an invoice, leave a comment or contact you on the go. If your customers will need to visit your site frequently for updates or service, then a mobile app may serve better for your customers.

Content: Deciding between a mobile app or a mobile site may be as simple as realizing the type of content your customer will access. If you have mostly text then a mobile website would suffice. If you are wanting to push video and other media-rich content to your customer, then a mobile app is the way to go.

Availability: Whether you develop a mobile app or a mobile site for your business, you are developing a mobile presence and that is a success. When a customer downloads your app they have constant access to your business. Also, when a customer uses a mobile device to search your business in a search engine they will be taken to your mobile site. Having a mobile app or a mobile site gives your business the ability to be accessible to your customer 24/7.

Cost: The cost for building a mobile site or a mobile app vary based on many variables. Since a mobile app builds it’s cost in the maintenance, a mobile site tends to be a more cost effective route for small businesses to take. All of the factors in this checklist will help you understand if the cost of maintaining a mobile app is worth it to your business. You can always transition your mobile website into a mobile app in the future.

Read more information on this checklist here.