Should I Build An App or Website For My Startup?

When you are first starting up, you’ll be forced to prioritize and make decisions even when you want to do it all. A common question we get asked at Nuscreen is whether it’s best to build an app or a website.

There are a number of considerations that should be thought through before making a decision that will have such a huge impact on your business. To help navigate this, we’ve put together an 8-point guide to help you and your team get to a decision faster.

Taking the time to go through and dig a bit deeper into these points can save you time and money. Making the wrong decision and starting to build can be costly if you need to start again. If you can’t answer all 8 points, it might be worth spending time to iron out the details before briefing in a development team!

Choosing between building an app or website ultimately it comes down to what is right for your business. Knowing the parameters to make an informed decision can be helpful in navigating the conversation with your team internally and also with your development partner.

To start the decision-making process, answer these questions in as much detail as possible:

1. What is your budget?

Some budget parameters…

$50K or less – website

$50 - $150K – hybrid app

$150K and up – it’s also worth exploring whether there’s a benefit to having both. Building native apps for iOS and Android along with an accompanying website can make a lot of sense.

2. Are you looking for a cost-effective solution for launch or long-term?

Completing a project or running a business can have very different in terms of your operational cost structure. The on-going resources required might sway you into one direction or another.

3. How important is speed to market?

To prioritize speed, consider first building out an MVP. Your MVP is your minimum viable product that will help you get to market as soon as possible. The benefit of getting to market faster, is you can real people using your app or site sooner so that you can iterate based on the feedback you get.

4. Who is your target audience?

If you are a new company, this question might be a sticking point. It’s important to narrow down who you are actually targeting through your app or website. This will help you narrow your focus and understand who you are tailoring your communication towards.

If you haven’t identified your target audience, it may be worth going through a buyer persona exercise to establish who you are trying to reach.

It’s important to put your personal opinion and bias aside here. For example, just because you don’t buy products regularly through an app, doesn’t mean your customers follow that same mindset as you do.

5. How important is accessibility?

Content, navigation, clarity, testing, and designing for multiple browsers and assistive tools are essential parts of a more accessible experience

15% of the world’s population has some sort of disability.

Depending on your company, this may be a larger factor than you anticipate and more costly.

6. How frequently will be you be updating with new content?

Will you be pushing content to your website through a content management system, updating products on your app? Think about how often you will require content updates post launch.

7. What is the cost to acquire new customers? How will people find you?

The cost of acquiring an app user who subscribes to a paid service is a lot more expensive than any of the other types of acquisitions. It averages to $162.22 per user.

8. What is the best and most user-friendly experience for your customers?

If your company’s unique selling proposition involves location awareness or small, frequent transactions – mobile app is likely the way to go.

Now that you have an idea of the answers to your 8-point guide, you should have a more clear idea of the direction you should take.

If you don’t, and the information is coming out clear as mud, it might be a good idea to spend some time getting clarity within your team before you start spending on the build portion of your project.