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Who Comes Out on Top – Custom Mobile Apps versus Responsive Website Design

For all businesses nowadays, responsive website design is essentially a must. With such a huge percentage of browsing done on mobile devices nowadays, there’s no getting away from the fact that without mobile-friendly design, you’re losing out on a potentially huge number of visitors.

While that might not be quite such crushing news for extremely niche or technical industry sites, for any business operating an e-commerce site, or trying to appeal to a wider, mainstream demographic, going without quality mobile design simply isn’t an option.

That raises the question, which is better, a native mobile app for their users and customers to download, or a responsively designed website?

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design has been around longer than it’s adversary, and while it has its benefits, it also has some clear shortcomings. Website designers have learned to do some pretty great things with responsive mobile design in the last few years.

Pros – It’s quicker to launch, much quicker than designing and creating an app from the ground up, and the fact is, nearly all businesses need responsive web design anyway nowadays. It’s also cheaper than building a native mobile app.

Cons – The fact is, it’s just not as functional or useful as a mobile app, and the convenience and speed of operation are also dramatically lower.

Custom Mobile Apps

Mobile apps have a good few benefits over responsively designed sites, but it all comes at some potent costs, namely time and money.

Pros – There’s little quite as good for marketing and brand recognition as a mobile app, you’re always going to be sitting in the background of a customers phone, waiting to be noticed. On top of that, the range of functionality and general speed of mobile apps puts responsively designed sites to shame. Plus, you can enjoy content while disconnected from mobile data or Wi-Fi.

Cons – The cons are pretty simple here, creating a native mobile app is tough, requiring the right team with the right skills. Even with the perfect website and app design company, it can still be an expensive and slow process.

This is why businesses pay good money for their mobile apps, because a badly designed or implemented option simply makes them look amateurish.

Who Comes Out on Top?

At the end of the day, viewing them in terms of one being better than the other is the wrong way to look at things. You need to view things as a structure, with a basic website being rung one, responsive website being rung two, and a custom mobile app being rung three.

You can’t have a mobile app without a quality responsive site, so in that way, it’s completely dependent, but a well-designed mobile app is always going to be the clear winner in the end.


If you’re looking to get a mobile app built for your business, or if you’re interested in getting your site looking great on mobile devices, give us a call on +44 (0) 203 793 0306 or drop us an email at  info@viziononline.co.uk, and we can answer any questions you might have.