How to turn a website into an app?

How to turn a website into an app?

In this smartphone era, a majority of people love to spend their time on a mobile platform, whether it’s shopping, entertainment, bill payment, or social media. Apart from that various popular brands such as Airbnb, Zillow, Dropbox, Google Docs, Starbucks, etc. have initially released a website and then launched their mobile application.

Why have these firms followed this approach?

Because the statistics reveal that mobile apps are used more as compared to websites:

  • 87% of users love to spend time on the apps, while just 13% spend time on the web.
  • Mobile Apps are expected to hit $188.9 billion revenue in 2020.
  • After shopping on a website, 42% of consumers use a shopping app or a communication app.
  • 83% of B2B marketers demand that mobile apps are an essential part of content marketing.
  • Retail apps conversation rate is 120% higher as compared to the website.

“Now the question is how to convert my website into a mobile app? Don’t worry, we will give you all the answers in the right manner”.

How many ways to Convert a website into mobile application?

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What is the best strategy to convert website to a mobile application?

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Is it Okay to Convert a Website to App using an App Builder?

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Are you still confused about whether you want to convert your website to an app or not? Then, here we will provide a list of essential reasons for the same.

Let’s look at all the points in detail:

7 Important Reasons to Turn Website into App

1. Smartphones are the present as well as the future of technology

According to Statista, there will be more than 3.8 billion smartphone users in 2021. This clearly indicates that around 50% of the world’s projected population will be using smartphones.

From alarm to tracking your fitness and from scheduling your tasks to reading news and paying bills, all these things can be done on a smartphone on a specific app.

2. Reliability across multiple screen sizes

One of the main reasons to convert websites to the mobile app is due to reliability on different screen sizes. Apps are adequately optimized and hence they can be accessed easily from different screen sizes.

However, a website isn’t optimized easily in different smartphones because of screen sizes. Moreover, the user finds it hard to access a website from a smartphone because they are not able to find services quickly.

For a website owner, it is challenging to incorporate a complete website on a small screen. Hence, it is hard to integrate all features of the website into the app. Why? Because it will make the application look complex with a lot of screens.

Reliability across multiple screen sizes

For example, a website with 5-6 features is equivalent to 10 pages on a mobile device. Hence, you should only add the main features useful for the app. Later, you should add more features in the updated version.

3. An App puts your website in front of potential and current users

This will 2X your visibility and help you to expand your audience.

Therefore, you should convert your website to an android app or convert the website into the iPhone app depending on the user’s mobile useability.

The majority of apps are purchased and downloaded by users either from Play Store or from the App Store. Therefore, deploying your app on any platform will help you to increase brand awareness.

As soon as the app is downloaded, it becomes a part of the user’s daily experience.

4. Mobile Apps provide extended functionality

Another essential reason to turn a website into an app is for extended functionality and features. Various features like camera, push notifications, GPS tracking, messaging, etc. can be integrated into an app for better UX.

Using mobile apps, businesses and industries will be able to send push notifications, notify customers about the critical updates, upcoming offers, and deals. Hence, It will ultimately help to improve the user’s interaction with the company.

5. An App sets you apart from your competitors

Apps become popular in the smartphone era, while websites are well-known from the beginning.

Having a mobile app for your business will create a positive image in the eyes of the target audience, as it indicates that the company has made investments to provide better user experience.

Secondly, studies have shown that millennials love to purchase from the company which uses the latest technology and provide quick and hassle-free experience.

6. Offline Capabilities

Mobile apps require internet connectivity to carry out essential operations; however, they can provide some basic features in offline mode too.

7. Quick Navigation

Interaction on the website is hard on mobile. Therefore, you don’t want your user’s to face this issue.

As soon as you turn the website into an app, it will provide quick navigation.

For converting your website to app, most of the mobile app development companies follow a standard process. Moreover, they will design every page with the utmost care so that users don’t find any issues while accessing it.

One issue which users don’t like is wasting their time to access any website on the mobile device. To resolve this, ensure that the user gets a user-friendly experience via a modern-day app.

Before we move forward, some people think that if they make their website responsive, then there is not any requirement to convert it into an app? Is it so?

We will provide a complete difference between Mobile Apps vs. Responsive Web Design.

Mobile Apps Vs. Responsive web design

The majority of traffic on any website comes from smartphones; hence, it is essential to adopt responsive web design for any website owner.

Responsible web design means a website that is instantly accessible across various mobile devices. Some features include ease-of-use, adaptive resolution, and orientation, broader reach, etc.

When compared with responsive web design, mobile apps have faster & better user-experience, hence they provide better performance. Also, they work without any need for internet connection and help to increase engagement via push notifications.

Moreover, they have access to mobile-specific functions such as click-to-call, SMS, device libraries, and GPS functions. If your app’s primary purpose is to provide a personalized experience, then you can achieve this through native app development as it can be accessed in most of the scenarios.

Mobile apps main purpose is convenience and user-experience. In order to make your doubts clear, let’s run a small test. Consider that you are a user who wants to use social media. What will you choose: a mobile app or a website? The answer is clear!

Mobile Apps Vs. Responsive web design

From the above image, you can observe that responsible web design is a good choice; however, it doesn’t replace the mobile app. Responsible design works when you just require a single page website with a short description, 1-2 features, and about us. In such a case, make sure that you provide valuable content to the users.

Apart from this, various users are looking for quick ways to convert their website into an app.

Is it okay to convert a website using an app builder?

No, it is not a right option to build an effective mobile application. However, if you want a cheap application, you can choose a builder and leave this blog right now. Besides this, there are many strong reasons not to go with the app builder.

The most important reason not to use a builder is that there is minimal possibility that your app gets accepted by the leading app stores such as Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

Now, if you want to develop a quality application, then we suggest going with custom app development.

We know! You’re thinking Why did we recommend it. Don’t worry! You can check out this quick comparison between App Builders and Custom Development.

Is it okay to convert a website using an app builder?

Now, you must have understood the difference between app builders and custom app development.

Now, if you have decided to go with the custom mobile app development, then you should start with an MVP. To know more about MVP, Jump to this section.

3 Ways to convert a website into a mobile app

List of different ways on how to turn a website into an app is given below:

1. Progressive Web Apps

This is basically a new technology developed by Google, which allows mobile devices to add a website or web application to a phone’s screen and then access it easily.

There are many leading companies that build progressive web applications. Here are the examples of PWA.

Progressive Web Apps

In order to convert your web app into a progressive web app, you will have to add it to the home screen icon, generate a web application manifest file, and build a service worker which enables the site to work offline and load faster and lastly, allow sending push notifications.

Keep in mind that when you load a progressive web app into a mobile app, it prompts the device to add it to the home screen. Presently, PWAs are only available for Android devices

ProsCons
Cost Less Than Mobile AppsLimited Hardware and Software Support
Apps can work in offline modeNo Download Store Presence
They are reliable and provide silky-smooth animationsNot compatible with iPhone and iPads
Discoverable by Search EnginesLimited Browser Support.

If you want to go with PWA, It is one of the best options to convert your website into a mobile application. It is more cost effective than mobile applications.

Share your requirements with us and we will review it and give you an exact quote.

2. Hybrid Mobile App Development

A hybrid app is mainly a single app build for different platforms. Here, one app will be able to fulfill the requirement on various operating systems like iOS, Android, Windows, and Blackberry.

In short, hybrid mobile development is mainly a combination of native apps and web applications. The two most popular frameworks which can be used to build hybrid apps are given below.

React Native

React Native

React Native is is the best choice if your website is developed using React.JS.
It is currently the trendy technology to develop hybrid mobile apps and migration from the current app can be done easily using this technology.

Hence, you will receive an application that utilizes native components of your smartphone’s OS (native buttons, inputs, and other device features).

Some popular apps built with React Native are as follows:

React Native
Pros of React Native App Development
High development speed for React-based apps
Web apps developed using React.Js can be easily converted into React Native by modifying some of the source code.
Big developers community enables you to get a feasible solution in a short time
Provides native user experience
As code is independent of platforms (iOS and Android). It can be used on both platforms.
Cost-effective solution
Pros of React Native App Development
Cons of React Native App Development
Less open-source solutions as it’s comparatively new technology
Not suitable for complex projects like mobile games or apps which need a high load
Low performance as compared to a native app

The performance of such an app is better as compared to a website, which runs in a browser. If you are looking for a budget-friendly way to convert your website to a mobile app, then you should consider react native app development.

If you want to build an app on both platforms(Android & iOS). It is the best option to convert your website into an app.

Ionic

Ionic is an open-source SDK for developing hybrid mobile applications. It helps to develop apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScrip with a single and reusable codebase.

Ionic is originally built on top of Apache Cordova and AngularJS. To create attractive and fully functional apps, Ionic possesses a set of UI components and functions. But, you will require Cordova and Phonegap for Ionic to work efficiently.

Ionic

If you want to turn your website into an app with ease, then go for Ionic app development.

Some popular apps built on Ionic are as follows:

MarketWatchPacificaSworkitJustWatch

Pros

  • Documentation is easy as most of the things are mentioned on the official website
  • It works on UIWebView (iOS) or WebView (Android)
  • Develop mobile app UI functionalities simply and effectively.
  • It is Platform independent
  • Ease of maintenance because of built-in browser instruments and debugging tools
  • Allows you to transform your Ionic app into a desktop or PWA

Cons

  • Performance issues due to high callbacks on native code
  • They can access every native feature of device like camera, gyroscope, but by using native plugins
  • Security Issues
  • Not suitable to develop high-end complex applications

Apart from these, there are other popular frameworks which can be used to build hybrid apps.

To know more in detail about these frameworks, read our guide on Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Frameworks.

3. Native App Development

Native app development allows you to create an app for various systems such as Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry. However, an app developed using the native platform will only work on a specific operating system.

Native App Development

If your web application is developed, then you only have to develop mobile clients for both Android mobile apps and iOS mobile apps. Here, it will be connected to the same backend where your web client is.

In order to turn the website to an android app or develop a feature-rich android app based on the current market scenario, you can take the help of android app developers. They will be familiar with Java and Kotlin. They will look after all the things of the app such as design, development, testing, and deployment.

If you want to turn the website into an iPhone app or build a fully-functional iOS app, then you can take the help of iPhone app developers. They will be well-versed with Objective-C or Swift programming language. They will provide you the best iOS app as per the current market requirement.

Pros

  • Contains various modules and libraries for solving various development issues
  • High performance and awesome user experience
  • Personalization
  • Provides better safety and security
  • Better positioning on the specific app stores

Cons

  • More development time
  • Expensive

Now if you have made up your mind to convert a website to an app but still confused about whether to choose Native or Hybrid app development, then read our guide on Native App Development Vs. Hybrid App Development.

Also, you have to keep in mind that users have a different behavioral pattern on websites and mobile. What strategy should a developer keep in mind while converting a website to the app? A list of all these factors is given below.

What is the best strategy to convert a website to a mobile app?

1. Develop an MVP

First and foremost, you should develop an MVP of your product. It’s basically a functional prototype that consists of only core features and then later updated as per the requirement of the user.

Develop an MVP

By applying this idea, you will be able to put your idea into reality without wasting more money. Here, you have to obtain constant feedback from users and engage with developers to improve functionalities.

Therefore, we believe that investing in an MVP will help you to develop a strong foundation for the further development process of the application.

There are many companies who have adopted the MVP strategy for building their app. Here is the list of some companies that have first built MVP and then updated it regularly to become successful.

Implemented an MVP

These brands strongly follow MVP strategies to build their mobile applications. Because of It provides various benefits. Here we mention some of them.

  • Focuses on the core ideas of app
  • Verifying Market Demand
  • Winning Stakeholder/Investor Buy-In
  • Gives targeted users an early testing opportunity
  • Testing Business Concepts
  • Developing an effective Monetization Strategy
  • Cost-Effective
  • Saves development time

If you want to build an MVP and know the exact cost of your requirements, You can get in touch with us and we will review and give you an exact quote.

2. Design

If you want to turn your website into an app properly, you should look after all the aspects of UI.

Complete focus on UX

When it comes to UX, a minimalist approach is best for mobile app development. Web pages consist of various buttons, blocks, etc. Implementing all these things in an app is challenging.

The main purpose here is to be selective and to integrate only the key features. The best idea here is to only have a few screens and provide exceptional quality to the users.

Simplicity

Interaction on a website is complicated sometimes. The mobile interface should consist of proper positioning of features and quick navigation.

Hamburger menu

The hamburger menu is the best example of a hidden menu. The main purpose of this menu is simple; it doesn’t hold a screen space until a user taps or swipes on it.

Simplicity
ProsCons
Saves a lot of spaceMakes page less important
Easily recognizableLow engagement as the user has to perform one more action to open menu
Enables you to hold various navigation optionsLocated out of the thumb-friendly zone, therefore it is difficult to reach tab Bar

Tab bar is another popular navigation option that you must have used earlier. It’s placed on top or bottom of the screen and consists of some most basic navigation options.

ProsCons
Tab bar is located in the thumb-friendly zone, therefore it’s easy to reachBest when your app needs a lot of menu interactions
It’s in user’s view sight, therefore works in most of the casesIt’s always visible, so you have to understand how it matches with other screens
Navigate with just a single tapHides content
Best when your app needs a lot of menu interactionsHolds limited options (max up to 5)

Gesture-based navigation

Here, rather than menus and icons, you have to use different gestures to switch from one screen to another.

Gesture-based navigation
ProsCons
Saves spaces by which you will be able to add more valuable contentSome gestures need more user effort like shaking or rotating a device
They are intentional hence the user will understand just by launching the appApp interface in the app’s navigation system
Helps to build for an immersive experienceMaybe confusing for various uses

Instant Gratification

Users should get instant alerts when they perform any action. This helps to increase engagement. User’s don’t like anytime page loading time increases and a number of actions or screen increases.

Moreover, it is important that search bars have filters; this will help the user to find a particular product or item with ease. If the user wants more filters, they can switch to a desktop version.

Mobile Platform

While developing an app, we need to be confident enough that it should work on all the screens and platforms such as Android or iOS. Both the systems have their own differences.

Android’s market share 72.48%, while iOS market share is just 26.91% as of September 2019. Android has fewer UI requirements, while iOS has fewer fragmentation.

Mobile has a lot of benefits as compared to websites. They have access to the device’s services and hardware. Using the device’s GPS, camera, gyroscope, etc, we can identify its location, position and motion and more.

Conclusion

Here we conclude that our detailed guide on how to convert your website into an app.

Initially, to convert a website into an app, you may have a low budget, and spending a lot of money may not be a suitable option for you. Hence, you can go with the MVP version.

Besides going with MVP, you also have an option to convert your website into a Progressive Web App. If you have enough budget and want to develop a quality app, there is no substitute for custom mobile app development.

However, if you are looking for a cost-effective option for custom app development, you can go with a hybrid application. At Guru TechnoLabs, a mobile app development company, we provide all kinds of mobile porting services that help your business move forward.

Moreover, we have converted many websites into mobile apps for clients worldwide. Hence, we can understand your business and develop the best application considering your budget and timeline.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

An entrepreneur, an IT professional. Tech geek. Founder & CEO at Guru Technolabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. Loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in IT field.