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There is a huge difference between an app and a website, and organizations of all size need to consider whether theirs is a "one or the other" or "both" situation. Any organization knows they need to have a mobile accessible presence, still many are unaware of which choice is the best.
To help you make the right call about your organization's needs, let's take a moment to compare a mobile website versus mobile apps.
A mobile website is one that contains the entire website, and usually means that it has either been entirely redesigned for use on a mobile device or is the end result of responsive design that allows the site to automatically adjust based on the browser. Whether you are using a mobile tablet or smartphone, responsive design will know what to do to let you see the entire site.
Mobile apps, on the other hand are just that—applications. An app must be downloaded to your mobile device and then installed before it can be used. It allows a user to connect with your organization and find information.
If you are wondering if your organization needs both, let's look at the benefits. A mobile website gives potential visitors the full deal. It can feature the same content and functions as the website when accessed through a computer. However, the wise choice is to have your church website made with a responsive design.
Let’s focus on that for a second because many organizations wonder how to easily create a mobile website. The easiest way is to use a responsive design layout for your regular (desktop) website and make sure it adapts to any device. There is no reason to have a separate desktop and mobile website, and this is because when you update the desktop website, you automatically update the mobile website.
Mobile apps may have a huge array of the same features as the mobile website, but there is one major advantage: an app lives on the user's device. This means it can provide geo-targeted notifications, collect information about the user's behaviors and preferences, and mobile apps can be designed to make it amazingly easy to enjoy things like mobile payment or loyalty programs.
THE END CALL
So, should you stick with a mobile website or are mobile apps the way of the future? In reality there is one smart course of action for any organization. The answer is to be sure your website is mobile-ready with responsive design, but consider a mobile app in the near future if it’s not already in the works.
In 2016, Mobile Internet usage surpassed desktop usage for the first time in history. People are looking at websites on their mobile devices more than they do on desktop or laptop computers.
Additionally, users are using up to 30 apps per month. However, it had better be a good one because statistics also reveal that 20% of consumers drop mobile apps that do not function well, and even if they give them a second try, less than 16% go back for a third shot. So troubleshoot any mobile apps long before they are released.
Mobility is a must, and around 85% of the consumer market have indicated a preference for apps over mobile websites. It is interesting to consider where these technologies are going, but one certainty is that they are here to stay and your organization must be prepared to respond to whatever direction consumers go.