Website vs Web App vs Mobile App: Choosing the Best for Your Business

20 December, 2023

Charlie Munger

In today's digital world, having a strong online presence is crucial. But with so many options available, deciding how to build that presence can be overwhelming. Should you create a website, a web app, or a mobile app? Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice for you depends on your specific goals and target audience.

Websites: The OG Online Experience

Websites are the granddaddies of the digital world, offering a familiar and accessible platform for showcasing information and building a brand.


  • Broad reach: Accessible through any web browser on any device, websites offer the widest possible audience reach.
  • SEO friendly: Websites can be optimised for search engines, making it easier for potential customers to find you.
  • Cost-effective: Websites are generally cheaper to develop and maintain compared to apps.
  • Easy updates: Content updates can be made quickly and easily without requiring users to download anything.


  • Limited functionality: Websites can be restricted in functionality compared to apps. Complex features and offline access might be challenging.
  • Dependence on internet: A website requires an internet connection to function, which can limit usability on the go.
  • Less engaging experience: Websites might not offer the same level of interactivity and user engagement as apps.

Web Apps: Websites on Steroids

Web apps blur the line between websites and traditional software applications. They run within a web browser but offer features typically associated with apps, like offline functionality and richer user experiences.


  • Offline functionality: Some web apps can work without an internet connection, making them more versatile than websites.
  • Richer features: Web apps can offer more complex features and functionality compared to traditional websites.
  • Greater user engagement: Web apps can provide a more interactive and engaging user experience.


  • Limited reach: Web apps require a specific web address and might not be as easily discoverable as websites.
  • Device limitations: Web app functionality might vary depending on the device and browser used.
  • Development complexity: Developing web apps can be more complex and expensive than websites.

Mobile Apps: Taking it On-the-Go

Mobile apps are software applications designed specifically for smartphones and tablets. They offer a native experience, leveraging the device's features like GPS, camera, and push notifications.


  • Native experience: Mobile apps provide a smooth and intuitive user experience optimised for specific devices.
  • Offline functionality: Many mobile apps can function without an internet connection, offering greater usability on the go.
  • Push notifications: Mobile apps can send users timely updates and reminders, fostering engagement.


  • Limited reach: Mobile apps require users to download and install them, potentially limiting their reach compared to websites.
  • Development cost: Developing mobile apps for different platforms (iOS, Android) can be expensive and time-consuming.
  • App store approval: The app store approval process can add time and complexity to the development cycle.

So, What's the Right Choice for You?

The best approach depends on your specific needs. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Target audience: Who are you trying to reach? If your audience spends most of their time on desktops, a website might suffice. But for a mobile-first audience, a mobile app could be crucial.
  • Functionality: What features do you need your platform to offer? Simple information sharing might be suited for a website, while complex tasks might require a web app or mobile app.
  • Budget: Developing and maintaining apps can be more expensive than websites. Consider your budget constraints before making a decision.

The Final Word: It's Not Always Either/Or

In some cases, you might not have to choose just one. A responsive website that adapts to different screen sizes can provide a good starting point, with the option of adding a mobile app later if needed. Hybrid apps, which can be downloaded like native apps but built with web technologies, offer another alternative.

By carefully considering your target audience, your goals, and your resources, you can select the right development approach to build a strong and successful online presence.