Do I need a Mobile App or a Website Optimised for Mobile Devices?

Emma Gooderham, Naked Element


What are the differences between a Mobile App and a Website optimised for Mobile? And how can I work out which one is best for me? This is a question we often get asked here at Naked Element, and there are a lot of biased articles online favouring one or the other.


Consider that a Website optimised for mobile may be a public facing website or a secure login area for members, is easy to navigate on mobile phones and tablets but better viewed on desktops. A Mobile App may be a game you play on your phone, which is easy to navigate on mobiles.


There are differences between the two approaches, so in simple business language and without bias, here are a few things to consider to help you decide. It is worth noting that no one area should be considered in isolation.




A Mobile App may be downloaded from a store such as Play Store and Apple Store onto a phone, so that it is accessible by the user even when they are not connected to the Internet. This requires the user to download software onto their phone before they can see the content.


A Website optimised for mobile is only accessible via a browser when you are connected to the internet, so nothing needs to be downloaded and it’s easily accessible by new users.


Ask Yourself – Will my user base change frequently and be connected to the Internet at all times?


A Mobile App may be best if you have a specific set of users who will use the app intensively. It supports interactivity and regular use.


A Website optimised for mobile may be best if you have a lot of content that cannot easily be arranged on a Mobile App and if your user base may change.


Interactivity and amount of content


A Mobile App lends itself to regular and heavy use, such as gaming, managing your bank account or social media. A Website could also lend itself to regular and heavy use if it were a login area of a website where you manage your customers accounts, such as a quotation and ordering system, but the amount of content presented could be more extensive.


Ask Yourself – Have I got focused content that’s easily navigable and interactive?




A user would have to search for a Mobile App in their store, whereas the Website may be found via any search engine or accessed from a known public facing website.


Ask Yourself – How will you inform new and potential users where to find your App? Where would they expect to find it?


And finally, a Website optimised for Mobile can also be developed to behave and act like a Mobile App. So if you really like the idea of a Mobile App but the questions above direct you to a Website optimised for Mobile, we can help you achieve the best of both worlds.


A blog by Emma, Commercial Director

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