With the advent of internet and cellular devices, our world has shifted its focus towards applications that provide several tools and facilities both on web (for desktops) and on cellular devices (in form of applications). However, both these technologies come with their own set of benefits as well as drawbacks which are necessary to keep in mind if one is going to opt for any of these technology for personal or commercial use. So, let us jump straight into it.
Mobile websites are still popular thanks to cellphone compatible browsers like chrome, opera and Firefox etc. They are still used widely by most online business and other platforms for the following benefits:
- Very simple design that is easier to navigate: As various mobile users have different requirements; an exclusive mobile site usually comprises of very carefully chosen content with unique pages that are sufficient to fulfill the need of the users.
- Better User Experience: Mobile websites are specifically designed for cellular devices which not only improves user experience but also provides more satisfaction.
- Better Download Speed: Mobile sites are designed keeping the mobile standards in mind and the download speed is kept optimal which provides more browsing in less time.
- Improved Engagement along with the Context: One of the perks of the mobile website is that it allows users to engage immediately with features that are specific to cell-phones such as mapping functions, click-to-call etc.
- Enhanced Search Engine Rankings: Mobile friendly search engines such as Google ranks mobile friendly sites higher and permits placement in increasing number of mobile and local directories.
- Portability and Connectivity: Because of optimization of mobile sites for various devices such as iPad, the chances of connecting with specific audiences in an optimized manner are higher.
- Cost-effective and flexible: Having a mobile site is not only practical but also effective step towards a better user experience. A mobile site as an edge over mobile apps as they are readily available but apps need to be downloaded before they can be used.
Mobile websites however, are not entirely beneficial. They have their own flaws that make them a bit tacky for anyone deciding base their business portal on it!
- Need to carefully choose the content user wants to see: While it is easier to provide mobile optimized content, the users must also be provided with the content they require. If the content displayed to them is wrong, the users might be unsatisfied.
- Diverse optimization difficult: Optimizing mobile websites for different devices and screen sizes is a difficult task and it might not fit on every screen.
- Different user experience: There are cases when user can find some content on his desktop but if he returns on the site from his mobile, he doesn’t find it. This will leave him with a bad user experience.
- Maintenance: The content on mobile sites need to be updated and managed frequently.
Responsive Web Sites:
Responsive websites are very portable and offer great user experience. People love to opt for responsive websites as they can be compatible with any device (tablets, desktop, phones) and screen resolution. So here are the top benefits of having a responsive website:
- Flexibility: Fluidity is a feature of responsive sites and the content in them can move freely across any device of any resolution. Not only the grid but also the images are fluid just like a liquid, allowing content to fill an allotted space.
- Outstanding user experience: User experience is one key factor that determines the traffic on a website and even though content and the ease of discovery of a website also matters, it is the user experience that takes the lead. The main goal of responsive website design is to provide enhanced user experience that is not only optimal but also alluring irrespective of the device they are using. A responsive site accommodates anyone at any time during any need.
- Cost-efficient: Having a single website that suits the needs of all the devices does not only save resources but also the budget. In case of having a mobile website, user needs to maintain two websites i.e. one for mobile and one for desktop which can create significant overhead and financial burden. But one responsive website removes this issue.
- Google recommendation: Google prefers responsive web design for its mobile configuration and calls it the best practice for industry. The reason behind this preference is that responsive websites consist of a single URL and same HTML irrespective of their device. This makes it ideal for Google to organize, crawl and index the web pages. Not only this but content residing on a single website with one URL is not only easier to share but also better to interact with. Apart from that, Google now also considers user-experience as its ranking factor which is important when it comes to SEO.
- Easier Management: There is no doubt that managing a single website is better than managing two websites (for desktop and mobiles). One site also requires only one SEO campaign. One of the bigger benefits of responsive sites is the easy use of mobile SEO strategy which includes mobile specific keywords.
Here are some of the cons of adopting responsive websites:
- Speed of loading: HTML5 structured with CSS styles is a big chunk of responsive websites and all this data needs to be loaded. There are scenarios where some percent of desktop data is not to be shown, but it is still loaded and kept hidden using CSS. This increase the time it takes to load a website and most users leave a website if it is not loaded within 3 seconds. The more the delays, the less the conversion!
- Usages respect: The way the digital service can be used depends on the device as well as the context. It is not possible to cover each need of the user if the usage varies from desktop to a cellular device. Responsive design fails to cater 100% need of a user in this case.
- Compatibility with web browsers: Not all the browsers out their support HTML5 100%. Old smartphones and old web browsers still need to be compatible with HTML5 and for users, they need to own latest devices to get rid of this issue.
Mobile applications are the heart of cellphones today. Without these applications, our cellphones will be rendered useless. Here are the top reasons why people love mobile applications.
- Better Personalization: One of the main advantages of mobile apps is tailored communication to the users based on their location, behavior, interests, needs and usage. Providing a personalized experience to the user is easier with mobile apps. Users have the option to set the preferences according to their likings and depending on this, the users are served with customized content. Not only this but apps also track user engagement and his behavior to provide him with better custom recommendations.
- Easier notifications: The two type of notifications I.e. push notifications and in-app notifications are thrilling alternatives for establishing a less intrusive communication with the users. The potential of mobile apps to reach out to their users instantly via notifications have attracted my businesses. Businesses strategically plan their notification campaigns to not only do branding but also increase their sales.
- Using features of a cell-phone: Apps can easily access the features of mobile such as GPS, Camera, phone calls, compass, contact list.
- Off-line accessibility: One of the most fundamental differences between websites and an app is the option to use it offline. Even though most apps require internet for most of their features, they can still be used without internet.
- Designing Freedom: Even after several advancements in technology, websites are dependent on browsers to perform even the simplest of the tasks. But mobile applications do not have any restrictions like these. There are a lot of extensive features that a mobile app can incorporate. These features are based on gestures like “swipe”, “drag”, “hold”, “Tap” etc.
But not every application comes with just its benefits. Here are some of the drawbacks mobile application users face:
- Programming languages: The language used might not be fully compatible with other platforms for example many developers study Java but it is only good for Android but for iOS, many problems arise with java and unwanted limitations arise too!
- Battery drainage: Apps tend to drain battery of cellphones. It is a challenge for the developers to design battery efficient apps.
- Access to personal information and data: Most apps require that we allow them to access our personal data on phones as well as our details. This can cause some security concerns but most apps do ask for permission before accessing the user’s data and if he denies, the app cannot be installed.