The Curious Case of Website or Webapps or Both?

The question facing all web content developers is simple, Website or Webapp?

And the answer, who knows?

So far the jury is out on which way is the right way, but one thing is clear, there is no single silver bullet in this game.  Websites and Webapps both need to be part of the integrated game plan.  You simply cannot afford to be without one or the other.

And it will ultimately depend on the kind of market place you are in.  There will be instances where website optimized for smartphones, tablets and desktops makes most sense.  Webapps simply will not be cost effective.

Consider this:

  • Today, most people read news and features on publishers’ websites using mobile devices.
  • Most news websites detect and adapt themselves to smaller screens or offer via Webapps.
  • Amazon Kindle, Google Reader, Flipboard dominate the market.
  • Nielsen study reported that while 33 percent of tablet and smart-phone users had downloaded news apps in the previous 30 days, only 19 percent of users had actually paid.
  • Financial Times dropped their iPad and iPhone app from iTunes.  They have now launched a new website, developed under the new HTML5 standards, allowing any device to access the content with single development model.

On the other hand, if you have a need for repeat orders from the same customer, again and again, it will make sense to develop Webapp which can be customized for each customer’s needs and has profile information stored locally in the device.

Net benefit, you get the order for widgets and your customer is not filling his or her name again and again!

So, weigh your options!  There is no cookie cutter formula here.