How a mobile website is different from a mobile app

How a mobile website is different from a mobile app

In what way is a mobile website different from a desktop website? What is a mobile app? Is there a difference between them? As we move into the era of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, many clients ask me questions like these. In the case of the two, confusion is inevitable if you aren’t technically inclined. In this article How a mobile website is different from a mobile app.

How a mobile website is different from a mobile app
How a mobile website is different from a mobile app

As they are both similar yet different, you may be unable to differentiate them.

What are the main differences?

An optimized mobile website is a version of your current website adapted to smartphones and other mobile devices. Your users will benefit from a mobile-specific version of your website since smartphones have smaller screens and are touch-based devices. Since only a web browser is required to access mobile websites, they are accessible on various mobile platforms (such as iPhones, Androids, Blackberrys, etc.).

Downloading and installing a mobile app is the same as installing a software application on a computer. Numerous mobile apps exist, including calendars, video games, bank account managers, and even websites. Apps for mobile devices must be specifically designed for them. For example, using an iPhone app on an Android device will not work.

Also, Read | How To Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Are you in need of one or the other? Are both necessary for you?

It won’t be long before mobile websites become the norm as smartphones become more affordable and wireless speeds improve. Usability and rate this is the main reason. Sites are typically designed to be used with a mouse/keyboard and larger screens. A faster Internet connection is also considered when creating them. Mobile devices have smaller screens and touch-based interfaces, making navigation and browsing more accessible and quicker on mobile websites. Images and other content on the website should also have smaller file sizes to speed up downloads.

Sometimes, a mobile app would make more sense for some websites, or some sites would function best as mobile apps only. Examples of this type of website would be an e-commerce website or a bank website. As a quick test, here are the results I got when I tried to access my bank account with both methods:

Website for mobile devices:

  • Pros: No download or installation required, accessible from any mobile device using any web browser
  • The cons include a slower response time and a lack of responsiveness. It must be navigated using the web browser (or bookmarks are suggested). It is not possible to take pictures of deposits using the built-in camera.
  • App for mobile devices:
  • The pros include the ease of use, service speed, and access to the application (after installation). Native device code makes a device more responsive. The deposit can be made using the camera built into the machine.
  • The downside is that you have to download and install it first. Writing and approving an app for a specific device(s) is necessary.

Mobile apps can be downloaded and installed once after you download them. Despite that, once the mobile app is completed, it is significantly faster and more responsive than its mobile website counterpart. It makes perfect sense to use the mobile app if you frequently manage your account online. 

Mobile websites offer the advantage of checking your account quickly on any mobile device without requiring installation. For example, your phone’s battery is dead, so you need to use your account on your friend’s phone to make an online payment. Using the mobile website to make the cost is the only option for your friend since he has a different bank and does not want to install anything on his phone.

In addition to time and cost, it is crucial to consider compatibility. The development of mobile apps costs significantly more than the development of mobile websites. It is only possible to create a mobile app for the platform on which it was built. Apps on iPhones, Androids, and Blackberrys require three different versions. Unlike a mobile website, which works across all mobile platforms, a mobile website has one version.


A mobile version of the website is often enough to accomplish the task. A mobile app could be highly beneficial, depending on the website’s content and features. An area of the website may be heavily used depending on how much traffic it receives. Users could make appointments and book appointments on the website, for instance. According to data analytics, this website section gets the most traffic and is most frequently used. Your users would likely download and use a separate mobile app designed specifically for booking and making appointments.