Which is better – a mobile application or a mobile version of the site?

Zufan Asmara
February 26, 2020

Which is better — mobile website or the mobile app: the main differences and popular examples for the right users’ choice.

The role of mobile Internet resources has grown significantly in recent years. They are used in various spheres of business, social, cultural life. The most popular directions are entertainment, communication, and trading. Such services as YouTube, Netflix, Facebook, and AliExpress provide their users with a vast variety of abilities for use on smartphones and tablets. One of them is a choice between a mobile website and application.

Sometimes the choice becomes a problem for users with no experience. They often don’t know which is better — a mobile app or a mobile version of the site. This article provides a detailed comparison of the two formats. Here you’ll find the most important pros and cons of both variants. The comparison was made according to the most important features for users. These are:

  • technical specialities;
  • functional abilities;
  • safe and stable use; 
  • interface usability;
  • additional profit!

As examples, we used mobile sites and applications for iOS/Android versions of some popular resources. They are YouTube and Netflix that provide online broadcasts; famous social network Facebook; global virtual marketplace AliExpress; and online bookmaker Parimatch. Each of them offers both websites and apps for mobile gadgets. This review will help you to select the best variant.

Technical features

First of all, let’s compare the mobile app and site according to their general abilities. We are talking about the specifics of mobile devices and internet signal speed. 

Mobile website requires less free memory, but it needs a stable high speed. On the contrary, application demands more free memory space, and it is not highly dependent on an unstable network signal. Especially, these features are important for YouTube, Netflix, and Parimatch users that provide online broadcasts and streaming.

According to this feature, the choice depends on the technical characteristics of a mobile device and specialities of internet provider. In any case, for users who are often on the road, it is recommended to use iOS / Android apps. Even if it is not enough free memory on a smartphone you can temporarily suspend other programs to get more free space. It’s much more difficult to solve problems with Internet speed, which may depend on the distance from the distribution device of your internet provider.


If we compare the functionality of mobile sites and applications, in each case they differ. For example, Netflix users are limited in watching videos via mobile website. This resource provides only account management and catalogue view. Those users who need watching videos have to download the app. In most other cases the functionality of websites and applications is similar. Anyhow, the best resources provide their mobile versions with the whole range of functions which are realized at full versions.

Safety and reliability

The next feature which is very important for users is software safety and reliability. Here we will consider several important points at once. The first one is protection against unauthorized access. Of course, both mobile sites and applications provide strong protection of users’ accounts and personal data. However, practice demonstrates that mobile sites users are having problems more often. Applications have more close and safe structure, as confirmed by numerous reviews of real users.

Moreover, the mobile app provides more reliability. It means the blocking protection that often happens with some resources on various reasons. Especially this feature is important for gamblers. Online bookies and casinos are sometimes blocked by internet providers or supervisory authorities. The same situation may happen to trading, entertainment, news, and other resources. To protect users with stable access, such resources are provided to them by mobile applications.


One else important feature is usability. It means convenience in use. Both modern mobile websites and applications are characterized with high usability level. However, app users usually get more abilities. For example, such features as multi-language version, 24/7 support, or instant payments (if the function is provided) are excellently realized both in websites and applications.

Concerning some other usability specialities, apps are more preferable. The best example here is Facebook. Its messenger is not available for mobile website users. It is realized for the full version and mobile app only. The same situation is on some other popular resources where applications usability level is much higher. Moreover, such service, like AliExpress, provides different download programs for iPhone, iPad, and Google Android.


The last feature that has to be taken to account is a benefit. Here we mean some additional profit that users get. Moreover, we are talking about the benefits that can be obtained by using a mobile app or website. The example of such feature is a bonus for new users that have download Netflix or YouTube Music application. The same presents get Parimatch users and customers of some other popular apps. Thus, in this indicator applications are also superior mobile versions for browser.

To summarize. Both websites and apps are quite important for modern users. These resources provide as many abilities as it is possible. The only problem that can appear before the user is the right choice. Here it should be noticed that application is a more acceptable choice in most cases. The only advantage of a mobile site is easier to use and less memory space, anyhow, we advise to have both variants on your mobile device. This would provide the best use according to the situation.

About the Author

Zufan Asmara

Hi, my name is Zufan Asmara. I'm 32 and I live in South Africa. My main way of earning a living is freelance. I write articles on various topics. In most texts, I describe countries and their traditions because travelling is my #1 hobby. Especially, a lot of articles are dedicated to national sports that are my #2 hobby. I'm fond of sports myself, and my favourite sports are tennis, surfing, and athletics. There are many articles about business, politics, technologies, and important historical facts, too.

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