Web App v. Mobile App: Which Should a Start Up Develop First?

Web App v. Mobile App: Which Should a Start Up Develop First?

20 Jul 2020


Akash Shakya

A little over 3 billion people in the world currently use a smartphone. And that number continues to grow!

As mobile continues to become more and more popular, up and coming startups need to take this trend into consideration.

The web app v. mobile app debate has never been more important. Making the right choice for which app to develop first can shape the future of a company that’s just starting out.

Is your startup struggling with a direction to go down? Continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about which type of application you should develop first. 

Reach and Compatibility

Compatibility is notoriously frustrating when it comes to mobile. In Australia for example, around 45% of smartphone users use Apple’s iOS operating system, while the rest use Android.

Because that’s a near-even split, if you wanted to develop a mobile app, you’d need to develop one that’s compatible with iOS and one that’s compatible with Android. 

Web apps don’t face this kind of problem.

However, as we stated earlier, 3 billion people and counting have smartphones. And people are practically tied to their phones these days.

In fact, Men’s Health reports that Aussies spend around 38 days a year staring at their phones!

User engagement on mobile can sometimes be 50% higher when compared with web. One of the main reasons for this is that there’s never a need to log on after the first time.

Mobile apps do generally cost more to make, however. And they take longer to complete. Web apps are cheaper and faster to develop


Web apps tend to be more efficient for updates. All you have to do to update content is just edit the web app and then publish it. Changes will then automatically be seen.

When it comes to updating mobile apps, the development team will have to update the app and then ask the user to update from their end.

This is more cumbersome and something you need to think about if you suspect you’ll be implementing many updates.

Maintenance and Support

Maintaining your app is extremely important. Both mobile and web apps are prone to their own sorts of errors and bugs. 

Still, mobile apps are generally more secure than web apps. This is thanks to the fact that mobile apps can be taken offline after download.

Making sure that your team stays on top of the app and has regular maintenance checks is vital to have a prosperous application. 

Internet Connectivity

With this part of the app, it’s important to look at what your services require. 

Mobile typically wins in this category as Internet connectivity isn’t needed to open and use the application. This is thanks to the fact that it would use an in-app database.

It’s also going to run faster because of this.

Your customers can enjoy your app wherever they are and don’t have to worry about connectivity issues. 

Web apps are always going to need Internet connectivity to be accessed which could be a roadblock for some users. 


The beauty of mobile is that it can be used in significantly more places than web apps. If you offer a service that users can enjoy for short periods on a small device, then mobile might be the way to go.

However, if your app requires the user to spend a lot of time looking at the screen and to be able to do a lot of interacting with what’s happening, the web might be the better play.

Data Cost and Storage

Data is stored on the device itself when it comes to mobile apps. This will require the user to have free space on their tablet or smartphone device. 

If your app takes up too much space, it may affect the performance of the device overall and your user may decide to eventually delete the app. 

With web apps, your server will store all of the data and there shouldn’t be any deterioration of performance. However, if too many people are on your web app at once, this might overwhelm the server and cause the app to crash.

More than anything, you want your startup to give users an enjoyable, satisfying, and pleasing experience.

If you won’t have the capacity to do that with a mobile app, you should consider leaning towards developing a web-based application.

Because mobile apps need to be designed for multiple operating systems, they tend to cost more to develop and maintain. Especially because you now have to combat two different types of bugs and coding errors when they occur.

Web App v. Mobile App: Which Makes More Sense?

Many startups wrongly assume that they should automatically go with mobile because of how popular it is. However, what entrepreneurs need to realize that the most important thing is to give the user the best experience possible. 

Presenting them with an app that’s extremely flawed and laggy will only turn people away, no matter how convenient it is.

Ultimately, when it comes to web app v mobile app, it’s going to depend on the kind of experience you want the user to have and also the kind of experience that they’re actually going to get. 

Looking to take your new business to the next level? Depending on the type of app that you need, you’re still going to need an expert to help you go mobile or web-based.

Contact the professionals at EB Pearls to get started on your app today!

Akash Shakya

Coming from distributed computing background, Akash manages the Sydney operations. He is highly technical yet very business focused and is always driven to create successful business products for our clients.

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