What Is The Difference Between A Mobile Site And A Mobile App?

What Is The Difference Between A Mobile Site And A Mobile App?

Again and again, we face this question: What is the difference between a Mobile Site and a Mobile App? Many times it is not clear to everyone the pros and cons of each option but mainly the specifics of each solution. We are sure that with this article you will understand many things about these two concepts. 

Starting to describe you, I must emphasize that there is no one right answer, on the contrary, the choice of the right approach depends on many factors and mainly:

  • The type of content marketing we want to make available in the mobile environment
  • The audience we are addressing
  • The way and how often users will consume this content

Below we will see each option separately and you will understand what I mean.

Mobile Site

It is about creating a page that addresses and adapts only to mobiles. The mobile site has a special design and technical implementation, based on the small screen resolution, the different navigation behavior dictated by the touch screen devices but also the technical limitations set by the connections of the mobile phones. The user browses the Internet normally through the mobile browser he uses and the site realizes that the user visits it from a mobile and not from a desktop/laptop, so it displays the mobile version of the page.

Mobile sites are becoming more and more necessary, mobile apps are slowly gaining in popularity, as they offer the user a “seamless” experience, simple and easy, without the need to search and download an application on his mobile. They are mainly suitable for sites that just want to reproduce the content of the desktop version in mobile version (without adding additional functionality especially for mobile), for e-shops, brand sites, and corporate sites. Through a mobile site, we can win the “casual” mobile user who browses the web and for some reason ends up on our page.

Pros: Mobile Site

  • Immediately available to all users
  • Easy and immediate content renewal
  • Greater reach of potential users
  • Economic solution and fast implementation
  • Easy maintenance

Cons: Mobile Site

  • Limited functionality (still)
  • Less frequent use

Usually the Mobile Site is ideal for:

  • Brand sites
  • News sites
  • E-shops
  • Portals
  • Corporate sites
  • Less Frequent Use

Mobile App

It is about creating an application, which is then available in the app stores/marketplaces of each operating system (App Store for iOS, Google Play for Android, etc.), from where a user can download it to their personal device. From there it has easy access to the content of the application, which usually includes some functionality that can be played offline.

mobile app

Mobile apps enable designers and technicians to create a very user-friendly UI, as the possibilities are much greater in the “native” environment. They also allow the creation of additional functions that take advantage of the special features of each device (eg compass, accelerometer, camera, etc.). This makes apps the most suitable platform for interactive games and special promo applications that require special functionality. Surveys also say that users prefer them for repetitive actions(eg web banking, reading news on a news portal, etc.) since access to an application is just a “tap” away. Creating an app is not recommended, in case all we want to do is reproduce the content and functionality of the desktop site (with the exception of the news sites favored by the apps).


  • Very good usability
  • Utilization of native functionalities
  • Quality result and very good UX


  • Time consuming approval process from app stores
  • Less reach if users need to download the app
  • It can be a more costly solution
  • Maintenance and upgrades to whatever OS the app has uploaded

Usually the Mobile App is ideal for:

  • Gaming
  • Tools (eg Ebanking, indexes)
  • Marketing promos
  • Special features (eg Augmented reality apps)
  • News sites
  • Frequent and repeated use


In short, if you just want the user of your website to be able to comfortably navigate the content of your site then a mobile site covers you without a second thought. If you still intend to create a tool or other special promotional application, then probably the app is suitable for your case as you will be able to keep your customer interested with various tools.

Also read: What Is SIEM And What Is It For?


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