Mobile Website vs. Mobile App — Which is right for your school?

St Cecilia Catholic School

St Cecilia Catholic School“Should my school have an app?”

We get asked this question all the time. Before we can reply with an answer, we ask a few questions of our own:

  1. Why do you think you need it?
  2. Who will be using the app if it’s created?
  3. What do you want this app to do?

What is the difference between a mobile website and a mobile app? They both can look very similar when glancing at them because of the small layout and similar design. But, when deciding which is best for your school, there are a few things to consider: Target audience, available budget and your end goal.

To begin with, a mobile application (app for short) is a program saved directly onto a mobile device (such as a smartphone or tablet). Since these apps live on the device, they can be used while you’re offline (without internet accessibility). Mobile apps have to be developed and designed for the mobile operating system(s) you would like it to operate on, whether that includes Apple’s iOS, the Android platform, or both. The development of such an application for any school could prove to be quite time-consuming and expensive.

Mobile websites streamline and optimize the way your normal website is viewed and used on a mobile device. The easiest way to achieve a mobile website is by developing a site which uses responsive design. A responsive website automatically adjusts to browser width whether you’re on a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.

Here are a few differences between mobile websites and mobile apps that may help you decide.

Mobile Websites:

  • Accessed through browsing the internet
  • Can display text content, data, images and video
  • Somewhat limited features
  • Can reach all mobile users regardless of the device
  • Less expensive to develop when compared to a mobile app
  • Best for attracting new customers
  • Can be found on search engines
  • Easily sharable

Mobile Applications:

  • Downloaded and installed on your mobile device/tablet via an app store (Google Play, iOS App Store, Blackberry World, Windows Phone Store, etc)
  • Can make use of phone features like location services, camera, etc.
  • Allows push notifications
  • More expensive to develop when compared to a mobile website
  • Best for your existing school families or staff to use
  • Users can customize
  • Not easily sharable

Bullpen Marketing has the experience and know-how to create the prefect solution for your school, no matter if it’s a mobile friendly, responsive website or a mobile app. Contact us today to see how we can help your school shine! What to take a look at our work? Click here to view our website portfolio.