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Stop trying to be an app

I’ve been reading a lot lately about how to make your web site (or web app) speedy in comparison to a native app (one you download). Just by nature, native apps that you download will be faster so everyone is trying to make their web apps perform similarly. This isn’t a bad idea but is it necessary?

I’m all for speedy web sites, don’t get me wrong. No one likes to wait for more than a few seconds for anything, native, web or otherwise. Native apps will (should) always be faster compared to web sites…and that’s just the way it is. Improving your site speed on a mobile device is a valid and necessary venture but at what point do you just accept that you need an app?

Putting premium gas in your Honda doesn’t make it run like a Ferrari. If you want a Ferrari, buy a Ferrari. There’s a point to which you can only improve your web site so much with plugins, tricks and hacks. For what, to mimic an app? Even then it can only ever imitate of a native app.

Of course, I have seen plenty of native apps that work a lot slower than web sites so just because you have an app doesn’t mean you’ll have the best car in the race. It all goes back to your case. What are you trying to do? What’s your goal? If your finish line can be reached with a web app, then make a web app and accept that it will not be as fast as a native app and that’s okay. It’s not a fair race in the first place.