Mobile Site? Mobile App? If you are a Law Firm, Choose the Mobile Site

A white, rounded square logo with an abstract S-shaped design on a gradient blue and purple background.

Mobile sites allow users on smart phones to have a better experience and access information quicker. We recently launched mobile sites for Bloomlegal, Public Law Center, and, but we never really considered creating a mobile app for the Android or iPhone. Why?”  Good question.

Do Lawyers Really Need a Mobile App?

When looking at a law firm web site, what do clients, potential clients, and other lawyers need?”  They need information:”  info on the firm, info on the attorneys or info on their cases. The firm needs to have that information in front of as many people as possible for marketing and client-relations purposes.

So the question is then: What can a mobile app do in conveying information that a mobile web site cannot?”  Is it faster, easier, and more convenient to access that info on a mobile app?”  Probably not.

Can the App do Anything Different than a Mobile Site?

HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS can do a lot now. You can have video, animations, games, canvas, and more. The two things that I have seen a mobile app do better with information about a law firm are: (1) upload photos, videos, files (iPhone prevents this from Safari); and (2) run faster once loaded because of the native functionality of the operating system. For most of our clients, the speed difference is negligible and the uploading functionality is not needed – unless you need a client portal / extranet.

Would your Users Download an App?

With a mobile site, the information is always available. Simply type in the firm’s domain name and you are redirected to the mobile site. With an app, the user has to download the app first. That is a critical step that may never take place. Will your users download an app?”  Offer something of extraordinary value and they may, but it better be worth their time.

Do you have the Budget?

Creating mobile apps can be expensive. Quotes vary from under $1,000 to over $5,000 for creating a mobile app. Your costs increase for multiple platforms, your actual mobile site, and, of course, your main web site.

Do you have the Time and Support?

Along with the expense, now you have to maintain two apps, the mobile site, and your main site. Unless you have some type of application to sync your web site, mobile site, Android app, and iPhone app, you could be in trouble.

Do you want Complete Control?

While this is a small issue, it should be considered: With a mobile app, your designer/developer has complete control. With a mobile app for the iPhone, you need to have it reviewed and published by Apple. While most legitimate apps make it through the review process, it is something to think about if you spend all that time to create an app and Apple simply disapproves.

More Reading

  1. Why We Don’t Create Apps For Most Of Our Clients
  2. Top 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Develop a Mobile App
  3. Is Developing a Mobile App Worth the Cost?
  4. Mobile Application vs. Mobile web and Where Mobile is Headed
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