Mobile Website Versus Mobile App: Why Your School Needs Both

Written by Webanywhere // January 12, 2018

Today, there’s an app for almost everything.

Just by downloading an app, you can make certain aspects of your everyday life easier: it may help you plan your schedule, track your fitness, do your weekly shopping, keep up to date with your social media profiles, or countless other tasks.

The explosion of apps is just part of the ongoing reign of the mobile device. Smartphones and tablets (though primarily the former) are essential companions for millions of us, helping us get through our professional and personal lives. Businesses and organisations are consistently recommended to invest in mobile advertising, and to ensure their websites are optimised to be mobile-friendly.

Your school can benefit from embracing the mobile market too, across both your website and an app – but why do you need both?

 

The Benefits of a Mobile Website

Mobile websites are basically similar to any other site: they revolve around connected HTML pages, incorporating numerous features and media.

However, what makes a mobile website different from those we tend to explore on our computers is that they are designed for smaller screens and touch-screen interaction. Google’s search algorithm now gives greater prominence to websites which are mobile-friendly, and this is only going to increase in years to come.

Mobile websites can present any form of media, just as standard domains do: images, video, text, animations, and submission forms can all be incorporated into your mobile website. Whereas accessing websites on mobile phones may have led to clumsy, monochromatic visuals once upon a time, you can now expect the same performance as you would on a high-end PC.

Mobile websites are immediately available, unlike apps which need to be downloaded. Why does this matter? Well, for example, let’s say you send an email to parents inviting them to check important resources on your site, and include a link to the relevant pages.

Parents will then be able to click the link and go directly to the information they need to see; if they do this on their mobile phone or tablet (as many of them will, especially if on the move or if they have no desktop computer at home), your mobile website will present the key information in a clear, accessible way.

If the same resources were available only via your app, parents would then either have to go to the effort of downloading it before they could access it. Alternatively, they may prefer to contact your school to get the details – taking more time out of their busy day.

Another reason your mobile website is an essential complement to an app is that they are compatible across multiple devices. Your app may only be available on, say, Android and iOS, meaning parents with a Windows phone would be unable to use it, but they would be able to reach your mobile website with no trouble.

Mobile websites have broader reach, too, as not every parent, grandparent, or guardian will feel comfortable downloading an app; they may even not understand how to. You need to ensure your online presence is as accessible to everyone as possible.

With all this in mind, it’s easy to think a mobile website alone is enough, but apps are equally important.

 

The Benefits of a Mobile App

Your school should invest in setting up an app for various reasons. First and foremost, mobile apps enable you to send push notifications or alerts to parents and other key users; these allow you to keep them informed of details either instead of, or alongside, emails and letters.

These notifications can be used for less-important information or to remind them of upcoming events. Notifications can either be clicked on to go to the relevant page of the app, or cleared from the screen if they are irrelevant. These are much less hassle for the recipient than a letter or phone call.

Another key difference between apps and mobile websites is that the former can be used offline. Not all functions of the app may be accessible without an internet connection, but others will be: parents and guardians can check on school calendars, reports, and more whilst offline.

A school app may also include maps of your grounds, the location of upcoming sports events, and destinations for field trips. Parents can even explore what homework has been set, take part in surveys, and more. Mobile apps do consume storage space on users’ mobile devices, so it’s vital to keep them down to a manageable size; if your school app demands too much storage space, parents may be reluctant to download it.

Your app typically requires more time and attention to manage than a mobile website, but giving your students’ parents a portal to your school they can carry with them at all times is an effective way to build bonds.

Mobile apps typically require access to certain functions in a user’s phone, such as finding their location, accessing contacts, and others. You need to make them aware of this before they download the app.

Offering an app also demonstrates that your school is on the cutting edge and able to meet the demands of modern life. If you want to give parents and guardians access to complex data on your school – such as Ofsted reports, visual information through graphs and charts – an app can process this a little more efficiently than a mobile website.

You can include certain features across both mobile sites and apps, of course. Communication options, such as email submission forms and click-to-call buttons, may be integrated into both with minimal effort; these provide users with a choice of contact methods in the palm of their hand, without having to dial a number, drop into the school, or even worry about typing email addresses properly.

 

The Bottom Line

Optimising your website for mobile devices and releasing an app will empower your school to build stronger relationships with parents and guardians, catering to all types of mobile device and preferences. Those who would rather download an app than navigate their phone’s browser will be satisfied, while anyone reluctant to add your school’s app to their device can just hop online instead.

Both school mobile websites and mobile apps allow you to customise their look and feel, reinforcing your institution’s ‘brand’ with your school’s colours and logo. Putting your school at the forefront of mobile technology is key to to maximize engagement and build strong bonds for years to come.

Get In Touch:

Your Full Name *

Your E-mail Address *

Your Telephone *

Enter your message here *

Thank You, your message has been sent.

Academy Schools

access

access device

Activities

advice

affordable

anti bullying

anti bullying month

Anti-Bullying Week

app

apps

assembly

assignments

Attainment

attendance

auditory

Augmented Reality

authentic learning

bbc micro bit

beatrix potter

Becta Guide

behaviour

Behaviour Management

behaviour management software

bespoke lesson content

best

Best Practice

BETT

BETT 2014

better

birthday

blog

Bloganywhere

blogging

blogging in school

blogging tools

Blogs

Bradford

brainwashing

budget

bullying

careers

ceop

charles dickens

children

christmas

Christmas message

class

classes

classroom

Cloud Computing

Collaboration

communication

Competition

confusing

continued professional development

CPD

Create your own character competition

creative school resources

cyberbullying

cyberbullying in school

Department for Education

Derbyshire

design

design your own egg

Differentiation

don'ts

dos

dropbox

e-learning

e-learning advice

e-learning events

e-learning in the classroom

e-portfolio

e-Portfolios

E-Safety

e-safety experts

e-safety in schools

e-safety survey

e-safety training sessions

Early Childhood Education Degrees

Early Years

easter competition

easter egg competition

easy to use

Ebacc

edtech

Education

Education and Technology Conference

education experts

education products

education technology

Education Tools

educational apps

educational technology

elearning

elearning apps

elearning competition

English

Enterprise day

eportfolio

esafety

esafety survey

Events

evernote

evolution of technology in schools

expert

experts

free e-learning products

free moodle events

free resources

free teacher events

free teacher webinar

free worksheets

French

Funding

gamification

GCSE

GDPR

Google

Google Apps

government

government guidelines

grades

Guest Infographic

guides

Handheld devices

Hardware

head office news

head teacher advice

head teacher of the week

help

helpful

History

Holy Family Catholic School

homework

homework block

homework month

homeworkanywhere

how to learn faster

how-to

ICT

ideas

IMLS Framework

improve

influential schools

Infographic

integrated e-learning solutions

Interactive Whiteboards

iPad

iPads

iPhones

jargon

Jobs

jotter

jotter mobile

Jotter Mobile app

Keighley

keynote

kids

kinesthetic

Laptops

laughing

LCMS

learn faster

learn faster advice

learn faster tips

Learn module

Learnanywhere

learner device

Learner Journey

learning

learning experience

learning faster

Learning Light

learning management

learning management system

learning management systems

Learning Platform

learning platforms

Learning Services

learning solutions

learning technologies

learning technology providers

Leicestershire

lesson plan

lesson planning

lesson plans

Literacy

literature

London

m-learning

Maths

mathsanywhere

message

messaging

microsoft

mindfulness in the classroom

missed

mlearning

Mobile

mobile app

mobile apps

mobile apps for schools

Mobile Friendly Websites

mobile learning

mobilegeddon

Modern Foreign Languages

money

MOOC

Moodle

Moodle 2

moodle 3.1

moodle 3.1 new features

Moodle 3.2

Moodle 3.4

moodle birthday

Moodle Conference

moodle experts

moodle lms

Moodle partner

Moodle SIMS Integration

moodle updates

moodle vle

most popular school website

Multi Academy Trust

Multi Academy Trusts

multiculturalism

national curriculum

Netbooks

new e-learning products

new elearning products

new elearning tools

New Ofsted Framework

news

newsanywhere

North East

North Yorkshire

Nottingham

Nottinghamshire

NQT

Numeracy

office 365

Ofsted

ofsted e-safety inspections

ofsted requirements for websites

ofsted school website requirements

online

Online Collaboration

Online Games

online learning

online learning solutions

online rewards system

online safety

online spellings tests

online tools

parent

parent communication

Parent Messenger

Parental Engagement

parents

passwords

Personalised Learning

Persuasive Technology

phishing

phone

Phonics

photos

Pi

pizero

planbook

podcast

Podcasting

poems

Poetry

powerpoint

presentation

press releases

Primary

primary education

primary lesson plans

Primary School

primary school competition

primary school website

primary school websites

primary schools

Prize

Procurement

product

professional development

promoting e-safety in school

PTT

pupil premium

pupil premium webinar

push notification

push notifications

quickvoice recorder

Radioanywhere

Raspberry

raspberry pi

RE

recruitment

reducing stress

Resources

responsive websites

revision

Riots

Safe Social Networking

Safeguarding

safety

save

school

school blogging

school blogs

school broadband

school competition

school eportfolio

School Information Regulations

school internet

School Jotter

school mobile app

school mobile apps

School Payments

school tips

School Web Design

School Website

school website design

school website help and advice

school website offers

school website system

school websites

Schoolanywhere

schools

schools technology

Science

scores

Sean Gilligan

Secondary

secondary learning platform

Secondary School

secondary school teachers

Secure Social Networking

security

SEN

senior leadership team

sharepoint

Shift Fatigue

silliness

SIMS

SKE

smartphones

SMS

Social Media

Social Networking

South Elmsall Carlton Junior & Infant School

spelling software

spellings

St Andrew’s Junior School

Studen

student engagement

Student Jotter

study

studying

studying tips

style

substitute teachers

Sugata Mitra

summary blog

support

tablets

teacher

Teacher Engagement

teacher resources

teachers

Teaching

Teaching Resources

tech savvy techer

technology

technology in education

technology in school

technology in schools

technology in the classroom

Test

text

texting

The Academies Show

The Achievement of Pupils

The Behaviour and Safety of Pupils

The BETT Show

The Quality of Leadership and Management

The Quality of Teaching

timeline

tips

tom starkey

top tips

Totara

totara lms

Tour de Yorkshire

training

training courses

tricks

Twitter

University

USA Moodle Partner

usage

useful

Video

video tutorials

Videocasts

virtual learning environments

virtual learning platforms

visual

VLE

vles

ways to save teachers time

Web Design

Webanywhere

webanywhere birthday

webanywhere events

webanywhere history

Webanywhere new products

webanywhere news

webanywhere office

webinar

Website Content

West Yorkshire

World Citizenship

York

Yorkshire