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Startup Guide: Website vs Mobile App

  • By Farrah Shawky
  • 13-09-2018
  • Software

Starting a startup involves many difficult decisions and most of them can make or break the new business. In a world where the digital rules, a new very difficult decision rises to surface: should I start my business with a website? Or should I invest in a mobile application?

Follow the below steps and your decision will be easier.


Step 1: Think about what would be easier for your users.

If a mobile application will make your users lives considerably easier compared to a website then you have an easy decision to make.

Put your users first!

There are many great ideas that can only be useful if they are an application. For example, it goes without saying that Uber made the best (and most obvious) choice to commit to a mobile application format. One can only imagine the nightmare of booking a ride on a website.

If your answer to Step 1 is complicated and not exactly straightforward, then go to Step 2 below.


Step 2: Growth and monetization.

Think about how your service will grow and how and where monetization will come for your business. Forcast for a year to two years and think about the future of your business.

This will all depend on the industry of your business, target audience, pricing and more. However, if there is a significant advantage to using a website to a mobile app, for example then that’s what is best for your business.

If you don’t have an answer in Step 2, then go to Step 3 below.


Step 3: Prioritize the mobile experience.

With the world preferring mobile as it is always on hand, there is a huge emphasis on making sure things work on mobile as good as, or better than, on desktop. Even google is preferring websites that have a good score on mobile usability. This is all due to people using mobile devices more than ever.

So if you decide to start with a website, you have to make sure it is a responsive website that will allow you website to scale well on different devices without losing usability.

If you don’t have an answer in Step 3, then go to Step 4 below.


Step 4: Time to Market, Employee Skills, and Available Resources

If you have not made a decision yet, that would mean that your business would not necessarily benefit from one platform over the other. In this case, you would have to look at it from a more practical angle. What can you do with the resources available.

First, you have to consider the time it will take you to launch by using each platform, and if launching faster will benefit your business.

Second, you have to think about your employees, which will be easier for them to use or make if they are going to develop the website or mobile application internally. That is not all however, you have to consider how your business will be marketed online - digital marketing- SEO is very different from App Store Optimization, so you would have to consider your team members’ skills.

Last but not least, your resources. How can you best allocate your resources? Consider having surveys done, so you get a feel of what potential users will prefer. This will allow you to see the side of the users easier.

If you don’t have an answer in Step 4, then go to Step 5 below.


Step 5: Last Resort

If you have not made a decision prior to this step and have made careful consideration, then that means that your startup will not really benefit from one platform over the other.

You can have fun making this decision. Flip a coin, put your options on a dart board and throw a dart, write your options on small pieces of paper and have someone pick one.