The Difference Between a Mobile App and Mobile Website for Small Business

October 07, 2014
Mike Dolpies

I have a mobile app! No you don’t – let’s clarify!

It’s a good idea to hit the basics once in a while.

That’s what we’re going to do in this week’s newsletter.

Let’s talk about the main differences between a Mobile App and a Mobile /Mobile Friendly/Responsive Webstie…

It’s always nice when I come across a business owner who thinks he has a “mobile app.”

That’s because his website looks OK on a smartphone and there’s a QR code linked to it.

Sorry… Amigo… That is NOT a mobile app.

That’s a website… and great… if the website shows well on a smartphone.

After all… these days… 15% to 50% (depending on your industry) of your website visitors will come from smartphones and tablets.

Good thing you have a website that shows well on mobile. We build all new websites on responsive design.

But that’s exactly what it is… a website.

A Mobile App

Much different.

Whenever I speak with someone who thinks they have a mobile app and they sound very un-sure… My first question is…

“Can you download your app in the Apple App Store?” “Uh… no???”

“Can you download your app in the Google Play Store?” “Hmm… No!??”

OK – you don’t have an app.

The difference…

A Mobile App is software designed to run on the operating system of your mobile device.

You download and install the app.

This makes it… what we call… Native. That means it runs on your device and actual ties into various functions of your phone and tablet. It can work with your camera, GPS, notifications and other functions.

It creates an icon on your home-screen.

You can even get to it WITHOUT the internet.

And there are more technical aspects, but we’ll skip those.

The main differences…

A mobile app is meant to be a customer/client engagement tool.

Your mobile app helps your branding because it can strengthen the relationship between you and your customers/clients.

One last take-away.

Right Now… Your Mobile App will not be “Discovered.”

Meaning… No prospect or someone who doesn’t really know you (except for a referral) will find your mobile app. This will change very soon.

That’s still the job of a decent prospect-generating website.

As I tell our clients and anyone thinking about a mobile app. “A Mobile App is 70% Retention and 30% marketing for New Business.”

There’s some clarity for you.



About the author

Mike Dolpies Mike Dolpies (aka Mike D.) owns “Ocean View Publishing, LLC” - a diverse media/Internet Marketing and Consulting Company. He started his first business when he was just 18 years old. By the time he was 23 that business had generated well over a Million Dollars in sales and was consistently in the top 20% of its industry. He's the Author of 6 different books. His first book, “Motion Before Motivation, The Success Secret That Never Fails,” became a bestseller on He's been a guest on the Fox Morning News several times and has been written about in many newspapers. His work has also appeared on and Fox

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