Mobile Application vs. Mobile Website: Which Is Better?

Smartphone usage has experienced a surge in growth over the past five years. Analysts say that it will continue to grow exponentially in the next decade.

For companies that are keen on maximizing their efforts in reaching their target audience, they have the option in choosing between a mobile website or a mobile application. Both methods are effective in capturing the mobile audience, yet depending on a number of factors, not both of them are equally beneficial.

Lets take a closer look at the difference between a mobile application and a mobile website.

Mobile Application

Mobile applications are programs that run on smartphones. These programs are usually small in size and range in functionality. One benefit of mobile apps is that it can be used or accessed offline, without an internet connection. However, not all applications are free and in order to use all the functions of an application, an internet connection may be required. Another advantage of mobile applications is the loading time. Well-developed applications are reliable and have very short loading times. This is important for people that are always on the go, or rely on a specific application for work or school. Businesses that are looking to develop an interactive game for their company may benefit from a mobile application.

The first disadvantage of mobile applications is the development cost. It generally cost more to develop an application for a business. Choosing which platform you want to launch the application on is another factor to consider.

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage is maintaining an application if the app is spread across different operating systems. This is due to the fact that there are at least three major operating systems for mobile phones out in the market today. Therefore, if you want to cater to as much mobile users as possible, three different versions of the application must be made as well. Releasing updates for each operating system is also very costly. Some applications that are not able to do this well do not offer the same set of functions for all the operating systems. This can be very frustrating for consumers and is usually a base of comparison in conversations about the application.

Mobile Website

Mobile websites are websites that are made for smartphones. These types of websites are usually smaller (due to display compatibility) and sometimes have fewer features in order to cater to the mobile phone. Mobile websites do not have as much compatibility issues when it comes to the different types of mobile platforms. Mobile websites can be shared in an easier manner compare to applications by simply providing the URL in a text of email. Updates for a mobile website can be applied faster as well. Updating an application requires the user to download an update patch. For those that are pressed for time and on a tight budget, a mobile website is a wiser option.


Phriskweb offers mobile website development for a range of businesses. Our services start at as low as $499. We can guarantee a one-week turn around. Phriskweb also offers other web development services that can support your mobile website.