Web App vs Mobile App: What Should Your Startup Choose?

Prateek Saxena April 26, 2022

You have got the best startup app ideas and want to run a business around it, but are confused about choosing a web app or mobile app.

Is it the case with you too???

If you’re like most business visionaries, like when the seed for app development is planted in your thoughts, it feels practically difficult to contain your excitement. A surge of potential possibilities and plans begin streaming and you end up saying “this will be the big app.”

As technology for both mobile application and web application for startups have developed quickly, organizations fall into the dilemma of picking the right medium to achieve target users. There are circumstances in which organizations can develop either a web application or a mobile app for startups because of budget constraints. If you want, you can convert your website into a user-friendly mobile app.

In any case, most business people don’t have an idea about the difference between mobile and web application development. They are also clueless about what effect the business will have while choosing either of them. Thus, we are bringing a detailed app development guide for startups to help the entrepreneurs reach their goal.

Here are some facts about the app development for startups usage and conversion rates.

According to Insider Intelligence, the majority of mobile time is spent while connected to the internet. The US adults are estimated to spend more than 4 hours on average on the mobile internet, with 88% of that time within apps. The app percentage is forecasted to increase year over year.

Average Daily Time Spent in the US (App vs Browser)

Another study conducted by the TOP 30 PWAs report states that, the average conversion rate for progressive web apps was 36% higher than the one for native mobile apps.


The main reason behind this is due to a curious phenomenon called the “mobile revenue gap”, which is explained by Tom Karwatka, CEO at DivanteLTD,

Table of Contents

Definition of Web App Vs Mobile App

Choosing Web Apps vs Mobile Apps

How To Build A Mobile App For Startup?

Factors To Consider While Confused In Web Apps Vs Mobile Apps

Cost Of App Development for Startups

Wrapping Up

Moving on, let’s start by understanding the definition of mobile application and web application for startup.

Definition of Web App Vs Mobile App

What is a Mobile App?

We know what mobile apps are and have downloaded them as well. Here is a quick description. Any application that can run on a handheld or mobile phone (like a smartphone or tablet) with a function of offering support to its users is known as a mobile application.

What is a Web App?

Web Application is a self-supporting software that totally runs on the web browser. It is not required to download and install on computers of the end user. With the changing web application development, it can span over different pages or be limited to a single page.

Choosing Web Apps vs Mobile Apps

 Picking between web app vs mobile app for startup is typically a daunting task, especially when it is for startup. To start with, you can begin by comparing the benefits and limitations of both.

Let’s begin!

Benefits Of Web Apps

Web app


The greatest benefit you get with a web app vs mobile app for startup is the capacity for individuals to find content more effectively online. Basically, individuals don’t go onto the App Store or Google Play and search for things in a similar way they do on Google.

For example, you wouldn’t go to the App Store and search “pet stores close to me”.

As per reports, individuals roughly do 39.2 billion searches on Google each week.

Another report states that the App Store searches are around 500 million every week. This clearly states that applications are not intended to overwhelm everyday search inquiries, yet the insights are stunning.


It is cheaper to develop apps for the web as compared to mobile apps. One explanation is that iOS and Android have distinctive native features and functionality requirements that best app developers for startups need to account for and test completely. Likewise, unique device types and screen sizes require more custom coding, which can be tedious, time consuming, and demands a more significant level of expertise.

So you must be thinking, how does this make web advancement more reasonable?

You should know that the attempt to design, program, and improve pages for mobile applications is more time consuming for a development team than web. While web apps usually have to account for desktop as well as mobile views, responsive website composition has become an industry standard with a lot of well-maintained resources, libraries, and answers accessible online to help with this.


With a web app development you get the prompt advantage of being accessible on any device. Like discoverability, the ability for individuals to have the option to discover and access your content on any device type associated with the internet is a big benefit.

Like mobile apps, web apps don’t need storage space or getting discovered for downloads. With good content people can easily find your website online, click on the link and they are in your website.

With recent information showing that most individuals don’t download new applications consistently, as a startup your smartest option is to put resources into a web application- something that individuals are more able to evaluate first or even find organically through an online search.

Avoid Developer Fees

Maybe nothing is more quarrelsome in the app development for startups industry than the famous 30% revenue cut that Apple and Google take on application deals, incorporating subscriptions and in-app purchases (IAPs).

Since Apple and Google’s fee structure is so extravagant and disputable, this is one of the main reasons that startups should be aware of what charges they can anticipate. In case you’re on a limited budget, considering to cover an extra 30% expense for revenue share charges can be daunting particularly in the event that you’re relying upon recurring income in a membership model.

As a developer your smartest option is to simply do what needs to be done and factor in an extra 30% expense or more into your pricing structure. Or for more suitable reasons, develop a web application and stay away from these charges!

Easy to Update

Did you see a typo error on one of your web application pages? If you see what do you do?

Not a big deal, you simply fix the error, push the changes live and visitors will see the correct spelling. In any case, with a mobile app, the updating cycle is more burdensome. To build a mobile app the process goes like this, first you’ll have to fix the typos and upload a build to App Store Connect or Google Play Console, then you have to test the alpha or beta versions completely, and  finally submit your update for survey.

Your application update will generally go live between 24-48 hours after your submission. Not horrible, but rather still a drawn out process as compared to a web application that will automatically update itself! Now it might be easy for you to figure out the benefits of web apps.

Disadvantages of Web Apps 

Does not work offline

  • Web apps don’t work offline. But even though offline execution is supported with PWAs the execution is not promised all times (meaning it is very limited).

Slower than mobile apps

  • Web applications function and work slower as compared to native desktop apps and mobile apps.

Less advanced in features

  • May not be as discoverable as mobile apps as they are not listed in a specific database, such as the app store.

Quality and Security

  • In this mobile and web application development guide, you will know that the quality and security is guaranteed in web apps, as it doesn’t need to be approved by the app store.

Benefits Of Mobile Apps

mobile app


Mobile applications consider end user’s preferences dependent on their concern and interests. The mobile app for startups suggests customized content built on preferences while websites can’t give personalized data like a mobile application. This is one significant advantages of mobile apps that makes it more easy to use.

Work Online and Offline

When we say numerous applications work in offline mode, then this implies that they work without connecting to the internet and can offer the necessary services to the users while websites need an internet connection to load and access data. It is one of the significant benefits of mobile apps over websites. 


As indicated by research, users invest 18 times of their time in mobile applications than on websites based on mobile versions. They additionally perform more unique activities in them, that is, they change to pages, view point by point data, etc. Also the mobile app development for startups with Flutter is trending with the use of a single code base for multiple platforms.

Faster than web apps

Mobile applications are somewhat quicker than websites. These advantages of mobile apps lets users consistently prefer to utilize applications for any use as opposed to a website. As the applications store their information locally so it provides a somewhat quick information availability experience to the end-users.

Safe and secure

Mobile apps integrate with the device’s current security features to give better security to the clients. Within smartphones, safe access, sharing of information with a significant degree of security can be done.

Disadvantages of Mobile Apps

Support and Maintenance

  • Regular bug fixes and updates are required in mobile applications. In mobile applications, users need to download and install new updates.
  • In mobile websites the updates are executed automatically without requiring any user contribution.


  • Everyone realizes that mobile applications are created from scratch, which makes the development process big and time consuming.
  • Along with this, a couple of devices don’t support mobile applications on account of different platforms or various versions.

How To Build A Mobile App For Startup?

Successful mobile apps for startups are more expensive to create than web applications, and on the grounds that they are platform specific, launching an application across various platforms essentially implies beginning from scratch in place of design and development. Nonetheless, they are a lot quicker, and will in general be more advanced as far as features and functionalities are concerned.

Native mobile apps are developed and assembled utilizing specific dialects and Integrated Development Environments (IDE) depending upon the intended platform. Apple devices run on the iOS native operating system, so Apple applications are developed utilizing either Objective-C or Swift, and the Xcode IDE.

Native applications for Android are written in Java and are regularly fabricated utilizing the Android Studio or Eclipse IDE.

Apple and Google additionally provide their own development tools, interface components, and programming development packs (SDK) which engineers can use to build a mobile application.

How Long Does It Take To Build A Mobile App

How Web Apps Are Developed?

Web apps tend to be built using JavaScript, CSS and HTML5. Unlike mobile apps, there is no standard software development kit for building web apps. However, developers do have access to templates. Compared to mobile apps, web apps are usually quicker and easier to build — but they are much simpler in terms of features. If you’re interested in learning HTML, CSS and JavaScript, take a look at this free set of web development tutorials.

Web applications will in general be assembled utilizing JavaScript, CSS and HTML5. Not at all like portable applications, there is no standard programming advancement unit for building web applications. Notwithstanding, designers do approach formats. Contrasted with portable applications, web applications are generally speedier and simpler to assemble — however they are a lot less difficult as far as highlights. In case you’re keen on learning HTML, CSS and JavaScript, investigate this free arrangement of web improvement instructional exercises.

How many hours does it take to develop an app

Factors To Consider While Confused In Web Apps Vs Mobile Apps

What does your market research uncover?

What you need to comprehend is that you are going to bring something new to the market. So generally, there will be risk implied in it. Individuals may like what you’re selling and they may not. So it is vital that you direct careful market research or surveys prior to making any big commitments or investments. What you require is to:

  1. Ensure people need the solution that you’re providing.
  2. Know the user’s behavior.

Click here to know

Do you need a phone’s native features?

By native features we mean mobile hardware features like camera, speaker, and mic. You should be in a position for your best startup app ideas that you could respond to these two inquiries:

  • Will you store a device’s current location?
  • Is it required to utilize a mobile’s features like camera, mic, and speakers?

Assuming the response is yes to both of these questions, then it is better to opt for a native mobile app for startups. Presently, developers can develop a web application which can utilize a mobile’s native features, yet they do not improve the solution, and instead make it messy and moderate. Besides, some smartphone platforms limit web apps from utilizing certain native features just like iOS does with geo-notifications.

Do you need to personalize the user experience?

Personalization is best done on native or hybrid mobile applications, as they permit you to introduce unique experiences and customized functions to specific users, instead of a wide, one size fits all experience for everybody.

For example, Spotify, adopts a profoundly customized strategy by giving users a unique content (in this case- it is Discover Weekly) and recommendations. This is a totally determined algorithm that is dependent on both the individual users’ behavior and accumulated information which permits Spotify to analyze and predict trends across its whole user base.

Personalization can likewise take advantage of hardware features, for example, area services. In 2015 Spotify broadly partnered together with the Nike+ Running application to produce playlists based on the users’ running speed.

Will users be motivated to download a mobile app?

While application downloads are rising in popularity around the world, there is some drop off while focusing on users in developed markets like the UK, USA, and Japan. Getting individuals to download a mobile application can be an obstacle, as it adds another grating point to the user journey.

There is a solid case to build a mobile app first when there is a reasonable advantage for downloading an application. For instance, ticketing applications are mainstream because they collect important data and functionality all in one place, providing a consistent user experience that is optimized for speed. This addresses a key pain point for users who might be in a hurry or want the convenience of having all their movement in one place.

If this quick need is less articulated, it could be worth considering a web application that provides instant access. This is particularly significant in case you’re providing data or content, as users are less inclined to hold on to download an application if their need is prompt.

Cost Of App Development for Startups

Building a full featured website or a mobile application ought to be viewed as three different budget lines.

As per the Clutch reports, the middle expense of building a full-featured mobile application is somewhere in the range of $37,913 and $171,450. This is the expense of building a mobile application for only one platform (either iOS or Android).

For mobile application MVP, the cost estimates would be near to $5,000-$15,000. That would be a basic application with just one and three core features and alluring minimal design.

The average web app startup development cost is between $10,000 to $150,000, again generally relying upon your product intricacy and the web app development company that you recruit.

You can reduce the numbers if you choose to outsource the development to a more affordable region (think Eastern Europe or Latin America), where average hourly rates are between $35 to $75, compared to the U.S. developers’ rates of $100-$200 per hour.

You can reduce the cost on the off chance that you decide to outsource the development to a more affordable price, for example Eastern Europe or Latin America, where normal hourly rates are between $35 to $75, as compared to startup app development company USA or web application development USA prices of developers ranging from $100-$200 per hour.

Building an all around streamlined mobile website will have a less cost than web app and mobile app cost, but you know the consequences right!


Wrapping Up

So this was all for the app development guide for startups. Hope you have gained something useful while reading it. If you are in doubt about what to choose, you can take help of an experienced web and mobile app development company like us to guide you through your journey.

Prateek Saxena
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