Does Your Church Need a Mobile App?
Creating a website for your church can be a big undertaking. Creating a native mobile app for your church is an even bigger one! Churches that are looking into building or updating their website and even considering creating an app are making positive steps in the direction of jumping into the digital space and using it as a tool to move their mission forward.
As a church web design agency, we think this is awesome! Luckily, a well-designed responsive website can meet most of the needs or concerns a church has for its online presence. Some churches, however, have been left wondering if they also need a mobile app.
We aren’t going to give you a yes or no answer today because the scope of work and application is broad and will be unique to each church.
We will, however, help you understand the pros and cons of creating a native mobile church app and some alternative solutions.
Pros of a Native Mobile Church App
- Notifications- Nothing gets higher view rates than text messages or push notifications. Push notifications are built into the mobile device operating system and alert the user of a message from your application. Rather than an announcement or message being lost in a sea of emails, it gets an individual notification right from your app.
- Personalization- websites can be limited when it comes to data input. For a website, you will need to rely on logins and passwords each time you want to access your personalized information. With an app, users will remain logged into their personal user profiles.
- Better Integration- having an app would allow you to integrate with other functions of a mobile device such as a camera, photos, or GPS much easier than trying to pair it with a mobile website.
- Ease of Use- Apps are easy to install and access through a marketplace such as iTunes or google play. This makes it potentially easier to get an app than get someone to your website. Additionally, many user interface designs can feel more natural and easy to navigate in a native app.
Cons of a Native Mobile Church App
- Cost- The cost of creating a native app will far surpass the cost of building a website. This is because there are fewer developers who know how to both create and maintain apps. There are fewer set patterns for how an app should work so even if you have the funding to create an app you will also need money to fix any design changes moving forward.
- Timeline- It should be considered how long it takes to build a native app. Once your app is created it will also have to go through an approval process to get into the marketplace. The extensive timeline of getting an app to your user could have unforeseen impacts.
- Updates- Just like a website, an app will require ongoing updates. As hardware and software versions change, so will your app need to. This means in addition to keeping content up to date you will also have to keep up with iOS, Android, and other updates in your app.
Utilizing Existing Apps
Chances are, your church does not NEED a native app. Yes, there are benefits of having your own app and if you have the resources to create it, that’s awesome! (We can even help you create it!) We simply want to make sure churches that don’t have these resources don’t feel like they are stuck without them.
As we stated above, a well-designed responsive website will work wonders in addressing any problems or concerns you may be thinking about an app for.
For specific concerns, your website doesn’t address, there may already be apps that can be used to your benefit. For example, maybe you are looking for a way for small group leaders to communicate with their groups. There are already apps for that! Or maybe you’re wanting to easily let your congregation and community know about events coming without sending more emails. There’s an app for that too!
Torchable App is Coming Soon
As a company that is experienced with building church websites and passionate about equipping churches with the online tools they need to succeed, we have developed our own app, Torchable. For churches who don’t have the extensive resources to build their own app, we created Torchable to help churches communicate, collaborate, and connect!