SaaS or Software as a service has become popular in recent years due to easy accessibility and wide usage. What's more, SaaS applications are available in both web applications and mobile apps at the same time. But now, if you want to start with your own SaaS app, then a topic that will definitely arise is web vs mobile, which is better in the first stage of a SaaS app.
In this article, we will go through every factor that comes along when you are starting with the first step of both web and mobile SaaS app so that you can understand which one you should pick for yourself or your company.
What is SaaS?
Software as a Service or more commonly known as SaaS is cloud data sharing service that allows the users to access data via an internet connection instead of downloading any sort of software for your desktop and also comes with a mobile variant as well.
The services that come along with a SaaS app can vary from a software company to a software company because the services can range from business applications to communication software, so it literally up to the tech companies to decide what type of cloud-based service would they want to opt for.
The development of SaaS apps is mostly agile development because a SaaS app is always developing, and it goes to perfection after customer reviews and opinions, and that is a big part of the development of a SaaS app. And that’s why figuring out the first step for the SaaS app is critical, to say the least.
Not to mention SaaS app is subscription-based, and therefore, whether you are going for a web app or mobile app, customers will have to pick the desired subscription plan before using the services. But you can always generate hype by making the Beta software tests free or available on the application. This can also be a great promotion for the app.
SaaS Web Apps
The most intriguing factor about the SaaS web app is that you don’t need to download any software on your device and can just use it directly from your browser with your username and password. And as it is on the desktop or laptop, you can access other complex applications at the same time.
People tend to use SaaS web applications for most office and school works. And generally, if a SaaS service provides the option of group work, users tend to use that on their computers rather than phones.
But that’s not true all the time as people can also join in these types of SaaS apps with their mobile phones as well. But in general, SaaS web apps are used for these types of office and team-building related works.
In this day and age, there are a handful of people who don’t own a smartphone at their disposal, and mobile software regarding SaaS apps are getting popular by the day. The great thing about using mobile for SaaS app is that you have two advantages. First, you can access the app like your desktop or laptop directly via the web browser. Second, you can download the SaaS app for your iOS or Android via apple store or Google Play and directly start using it through the dedicated mobile software.
The UI/UX design is more interesting and handier than in desktop form for mobile as although you can access the SaaS app through the web browser from your mobile. It seems a bit impractical, and that’s where the dedicated mobile app comes in. And through that, you can easily access all the data easily and smoothly.
Because you can carry your mobile phone almost anywhere, this version of SaaS app usage is becoming more and more popular daily, and due to the convenience that the application provides, we can understand why it is so popular among people.
Web vs. Mobile: Which is Better for the First Stage of a SaaS
Now that we have a brief introduction of both the web and mobile versions of a SaaS app let’s discuss which one of them is more suited for the first stage of SaaS. And the first stage of any SaaS app is the pre-startup or initial startup for the app.
In this section of SaaS software development, the tech companies go through all the initial steps that will be taken to create the SaaS app.
And depending on your preference, these steps will have many alterations and variations as the web version and the mobile version will have similarities but at the same time will have a different approach to many steps. This will also have a huge impact on pricing and the time required to develop the app.
Therefore, figuring out the first stage of a SaaS app is the most crucial step, as the entire working process of the development depends on how thorough and stable it is. But that being said, you also need to keep in mind that SaaS app development follows agile development for most cases meaning everything can also be changed depending on software testing and customer input.
Here are the most common differences that come along with the first stage of SaaS app development between web app development and mobile app development:
UI/UX Design and Development
The first difference that you will notice between web app development and mobile app development is the differences between UI/UX design and development. Although the initial UX/UI design will match both the web app and the mobile app, the similarities will be on colour and menu and sub-menu designs, but the initial web pages will be different as users won’t be interacting the same way.
Because in a desktop or a laptop the screen is bigger and therefore the webpage will also be bigger. Therefore, many options will be available directly on the webpage. But for the mobile application, the main screen or the main focus for each webpage will be at the front.
Other options and tolls will be placed strategically, and users will need to access them one at a time to use them. This will require the UX design to change compared to the web apps UX design. And it can be a bit complex than the web app design too.
So, if simplicity is on the menu, then the web app’s UX/UI design is the most suitable option for the SaaS app as it will require less focus compared to the mobile app’s UI/UX design.
But that being said, for both scenarios, a big amount of time and focus will be required to execute a perfect UI/UX design for the SaaS app. Because, the first look and initial interface matters the most when it comes to SaaS apps.
Next in line is accessibility, and for the web app development of the SaaS app, this process is quite easy as any browser should be able to support the web app without any problems.
But when it comes to mobile app’s accessibility, this matter becomes a bit trickier as there are two types of smartphone interfaces regarding mobile apps. So, if you are going to build your SaaS app for mobile, then you have to consider both android app development and iOS app development at the same time.
And as these two different types of platforms don’t openly support cross-platform apps, you need to build two versions of the same mobile app regarding the SaaS app, one for the apple store and one for the google store.
Now, this can be a bit time consuming, to say the least. But then again, both apps will follow the same principle, so it will be very easy once you have done the coding and designing for one.
In this case, a web app seems to be the best choice because if you build a web app, it can still be accessed through a smart mobile via the mobile’s browser, but then again, it won’t much be optimized, to begin with.
Coding Architecture and Software
The most crucial factor that comes with app development is coding, and the coding for web SaaS app and mobile SaaS app is very different. A SaaS app follows multi-tenant architecture that requires complex coding and the use of different software in the process.
On the other hand, if you are going for a mobile app for SaaS app, then they're also android and iOS systems to choose from at first. For iOS or apple-based apps, you might have to opt for swift UI, and this goes on.
So, depending on the architecture and the usage of software it is safe to say that both web and mobile version of a SaaS app requires a huge investment of time and experience and in this case, both are equally time-consuming.
Customization is a big part of SaaS apps because as the development follows the agile development method, SaaS apps are always taking client input after initial software testing and trying to improve over gained data.
Therefore, customization of the SaaS app is a regular task. And surprisingly enough, the customization process for both the web app and mobile app is quite the same except for the different coding styles.
But then again, customization regarding the UI and the UX design will be completely different as both type of apps follows a different layout of UI and UX design, to begin with.
Also, customization requests may be different as many users might like the initial design of the web app’s UI design but won’t approve the UI design of the mobile app and vice versa.
Security is a major factor for any web or mobile application, and SaaS apps require more attention to safety and security because most of the users use the apps for official purposes, and if their data is breached, that will open a lot of problems that you don’t want to face.
The big difference between the security from the web to the mobile app is that the mobile app has an extra layer of security that comes with the apple store or android or play store security initiative. The mobile apps also contain authentication factors and two-step securities for safety measures.
And web apps also come with their own set of security measures along with authentication factors and a two-step verification process. But unless windows firewall is active, it doesn’t come with an extra security layer that mobile app has. But that being said, both apps have great security and safety measures that can’t easily be penetrated.
SaaS App for Web or Mobile?
So, now that we have gone through the differences along with the advantages and disadvantages of both web and mobile SaaS apps, which one do we prefer the most?
The answer is both of them, and it depends on the circumstances along with the type of users who will use this app and for what purpose. Because if the app is for holding complex meetings and large presentations or office work, then it is definitely safe to go with a web app as users are highly likely to be in front of a desktop or a laptop.
But if the app is meant for school work or finding resources over a project that requires a quick view at any time, then the mobile app is a perfect choice.
There is also the fact of money as mobile SaaS apps tend to cost more time and money as the UI/UX design and development is complex compared to the web app. And also, there needs to be different coding for iOS app development and android app development. So, if you want to save money, then the web app is the way to go.
Therefore, choose web or mobile depending on the situation, budget and time.
Web vs mobile in the first stage of the SaaS app is always a complex topic to tackle. But hopefully, if you have come this far in the article, then you already know the deciding factors regarding web and mobile SaaS app.
So, find out which method works for you and then pick the right choice for yourself. Or you can always go for both if you are feeling optimistic!