4 Ways to Turn a Website Into an App
In this smartphone era, people worldwide have become reliant on mobile apps for the majority of tasks. These mobile apps are the driving force behind various businesses. They have helped them to take their business to a new level.
Some of the leading brands globally understood the importance of mobile apps and decided to turn the website into a mobile app or PWA. For example, Airbnb, Zillow, Dropbox, Google Docs, Starbucks, etc. By doing this, they have reached a wider audience and increased their revenue.
Besides this, various statistics prove mobile apps are used more than websites:
- On average, US adults spend 4 hours on their smartphones according to eMarketer.
- As per Statista, revenue generated from mobile apps is expected to reach 613 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.
Considering the statistics, if you decide to convert a website into an app, you have reached the right place.
Here we will first provide essential reasons to turn a website into an app. After this, we will look at the type of app you can convert your website into, and then we will discuss four ways to turn a website into an app.
So, let’s get started.
8 Important Reasons to Turn a Website into App
There are various benefits of mobile apps for businesses, due to which they invest in it. Here we will walk you through some of the crucial reasons to turn a website into an app.
1. Fulfill the Expectations of Modern Users
According to Statista, there are more than 6 billion smartphone users worldwide, and this number is expected to reach 7 billion in the next few years.
The main reason behind the growth of smartphones is the ease of access to the internet. The second reason behind the rise of smartphones is applications that make people’s tasks efficient.
Applications have now become an integral part of our lives. We use different apps to carry out tasks like paying bills, booking tickets, playing games, watching videos, taking pictures, etc. Moreover, we use these apps in repeat mode as they are placed on the home screen of our smartphones.
On the contrary, repeat usage is not possible on a website. If you have created a website with a purpose where users visit once, carry out their task, and close it, then it is okay.
However, if you want users to keep coming back to you and establish a long-term relationship, converting a website to a mobile app is necessary.
If your app solves an issue that users face on a frequent basis, people will repeatedly use it. By this, you can fulfill the expectations of a specific audience.
2. Reliability across Multiple Screen Sizes
One of the main reasons to convert websites to mobile apps is the reliability of different screen sizes. Apps are adequately optimized, and hence users can easily access them from different screen sizes.
However, a website is not optimized easily on 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 website features into the app. Why? Because it will make the app look complex with a lot of screens.
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 Helps you Reach a Wider Audience
An app will 2X your visibility and help you to expand your audience. Therefore, you should convert your website to an iOS or Android app depending on the user’s mobile usability.
Most apps are purchased and downloaded by users either from the Play Store or the App Store. Therefore, deploying your app on any platform will help you to increase brand awareness.
As soon as a user downloads an app, it becomes a part of their daily experience.
4. Push Notifications
One of the most essential benefits of mobile apps is the potential to send push notifications. With mobile apps, you can alert users about any sales, offers, discounts, new product or service launches, etc.
Push notifications grab the users’ attention as they get displayed on the top of the screen or home screen.
5. Offline Capabilities
Even though the internet is present worldwide, some regions still have poor internet connections.
Websites require a constant internet connection to access anything. On the contrary, mobile apps require internet connectivity to carry out essential operations. However, mobile apps can provide some basic features in offline mode too.
Google doc is a great example. Users can access Google docs in offline mode & once their internet is back, all the things get saved on the cloud.
6. Apps can be the Main Source of Revenue
You create a mobile app to reach a wider audience. Eventually, mobile apps can become your revenue-generating machine.
By turning your website into an app, you can generate revenue through advertising, in-app purchases, subscriptions, etc.
7. Access to Device Features
One of the crucial reasons to turn a website into an app is that mobile apps have access to different device capabilities. However, a web browser cannot access device features.
By creating a mobile app, you can make various integrations like GPS, camera, phone contacts, etc.
8. An App Sets You apart from Your Competitors
Having a mobile app for your business creates a positive image in the eyes of the target audience. It indicates to users that the company has made investments to provide a better experience.
Secondly, studies have shown that millennials love to purchase from a company that uses the latest technology and provides a quick and hassle-free experience.
For converting your website to a mobile app, most app development companies follow a standard process. Moreover, they design every page with the utmost care to ensure users don’t find any issues while accessing it.
One issue which users don’t like is wasting their time accessing any website on a mobile device. To resolve this, ensure that the user gets a user-friendly experience via a modern-day app.
Which Type of App Should You Turn Your Website into?
There are mainly three types of apps you can convert your website into. These include native apps, hybrid apps, and progressive web apps. Let us look at them in detail.
1. Native Apps
Native apps are smartphone apps developed from scratch using a specific programming language for a particular platform, such as Android or iOS.
To turn the website into 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, such as design, development, testing, and deployment.
If you want to turn the website into an iOS app, then you can reach out to the iPhone app developers. They are well-versed with Objective-C or Swift programming language. Hence, they can efficiently convert your website into an iOS app as per the current market requirement.
Let’s discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of native apps:
Pros of Native Apps
- Developers can utilize various modules and libraries for solving various development issues.
- They offer high performance and best-in-class user experience.
- They help you to provide better personalization to users.
- You can provide better security and safety to the users through native apps.
- They can access device capabilities like facial recognition, GPS, accelerometer, etc.
Cons of Native Apps
- They take more development time.
- They are pretty expensive compared to other options.
- Developers have to spend a lot of time supporting and maintaining the app.
2. Hybrid Apps
In hybrid apps, the web pages are wrapped inside the mobile app using the web view. Hence, these apps perform & feel just like the native apps and offer an excellent user experience.
Performance is one of the core concerns in hybrid apps, particularly when creating apps from scratch. Hybrid apps have evolved over the last few years with the launch of frameworks like Ionic & Xamarin. Developers now use various frameworks and the latest web-based technologies to create apps that run efficiently on a range of devices.
Pros of Hybrid Apps
- A hybrid app is built using a single code and runs well on multiple platforms & devices. Hence, it is cost-effective.
- They are simple to update and maintain as developers don’t need to look after multiple codebases.
- By creating a hybrid app, you can target users on multiple platforms and reach a wider audience.
Cons of Hybrid Apps
- These apps offer slower performance.
- It has limitations when it comes to functionalities. Hence it is not suitable to develop complex apps.
- The user interface of the hybrid apps doesn’t offer the best experience as the app is not built for a single platform.
- Developers find it challenging to debug hybrid apps as the code is written for various platforms.
- Hybrid apps require constant internet connection to ensure that all functionalities work appropriately.
3. Progressive Web Apps
It is a new technology developed by Google that allows mobile devices to add a website or web app to a phone’s screen and access it easily.
Many leading companies worldwide have built progressive web apps for their website. Here are the examples of PWA that will inspire you to create for your website.
For converting your website into a progressive web app, you will have to add it to the home screen icon, generate a web app manifest file, and build a service worker. By doing this, your site will work offline, load faster, and allow you to send push notifications.
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.
Pros of PWAs
- Costs less than mobile apps.
- PWAs can work in offline mode.
- They are reliable and provide silky-smooth animations.
- Easily discoverable by search engines.
Cons of PWAs
- They have limited hardware and software support.
- No app store for PWAs.
- Not compatible with iPhones and iPads.
- It has limited browser support.
If you are looking for a cost-effective way to convert your website to a mobile app, then go with PWA.
Feel free to share your requirements with us. We will review it and give you an exact quote.
After understanding the types of apps you can convert your website to, you might have a question like, how to turn a website into an app?
To make things clear, here we will walk you through different ways to turn website into app.
4 Ways to Turn a Website into an App
Here are the four ways to turn a website into an app.
1. Code it Yourself
If you are a developer and know how to code, then you can code it yourself.
However, if you want to develop a complex app, then you may need a team. Further, it depends on your skills and app requirements.
- By coding it yourself, you save a lot of your money because you handle the entire app development process. You don’t have to give money to anyone.
- You are already familiar with your website, and that’s why you can benefit from these things while starting an app project.
- You are entirely handling the project, and hence you can make changes anytime during and after the app completion.
- If you are not familiar with frameworks, you need to learn many new things.
- You would not be able to focus on other projects running in your business.
- If you don’t closely track the things working in converting your website to an app, you might feel like revising them again & again.
2. Hire a Freelancer
If you have a low budget and want to develop a small app, you can go with a Freelancer.
But if you want to develop a complex app, you need a team. A freelancer can’t handle the entire project effectively.
Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of hiring a freelancer.
- You can save money by hiring a freelancer as you don’t have to provide them various compensations, etc.
- You can hire specialized talent from leading platforms like Upwork, freelancer, etc., for your project needs.
- For hiring a freelancer, you need to invest a sufficient amount of time in research.
- You need to verify all the skills, portfolio, and references given by the freelancer before hiring them. It will cost a lot of your time.
- A freelancer might leave your work in the middle if they get a big project.
- You can’t be sure about the quality of the work of a freelancer.
- You need to constantly get in touch with the freelancer to ensure that they are working on time.
- There is no guarantee about the quality of their work.
3. Hire an App Development Company
If you want to develop a feature-rich and reliable app, then you can hire an app development company.
Businesses of different sizes and industries outsource their work to an app development company because it is more reliable & secure than a freelancer.
Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of hiring an app development company.
- A company has years of experience in a particular field, and hence they can deliver the best quality work.
- They follow the best UI UX practices for building any mobile app.
- They understand your business inside-out to create an app.
- App development companies are familiar with the latest tools and technologies working in the market.
- You have complete control over the project.
- They have accountability and transparency of the entire work done during the app development process.
- Your internal team can focus on other essential tasks of your business.
- You get continuous support from the app development company.
- The cost of developing an app from a company is higher compared to a freelancer. However, it is worth it.
If you want to develop a successful app, then you can go with an app development company.
4. Use an App Builder
If you want to convert an entry-level website into an app, then you can go with an app builder. However, you can’t create any small, medium, or high-scale app using a builder. For the same, you require an app development agency.
An app builder is a platform that allows anyone to create apps without having a coding experience. They provide a drag and drop feature through which you can build an app effectively.
Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of app builders.
- You don’t need any programming skills to develop a mobile app.
- It is highly affordable for small businesses and startups.
- Develop and launch your mobile app quickly.
- It consists of ready-made architecture.
- You can update your app anytime.
- You have limited features and functionalities.
- The app built using an app builder has a template design.
- It is hard to scale a mobile app built using an app builder.
- There is no way you can edit the structure and the code.
- In most cases, apps built using a builder are tied to a platform, and you can’t transfer them.
- You can’t customize the app by adding any third-party services or tools.
- It has less security, which increases the chances of the data leak.
- There is a low possibility of an app getting accepted in the leading app stores.
After looking at the different ways to convert a website into an app, we will look at the most suitable method to convert any website into a mobile app.
Best Practice to Turn a Website into an App
The best practice to convert a website into a mobile app is to create an MVP app. It is a functional prototype that consists of only the core features of the app. Further, it is updated as per the requirements of the users.
By following this strategy, you can 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 app.
Various leading companies worldwide adopted the MVP strategy for app development. Some big companies like Airbnb, Instagram, Uber, and many more. They have been created MVP and then updated regularly to become successful.
Apart from that, it provides various benefits. Here we mention some of them.
- It helps you to analyze the performance of the app.
- You can check the demand for your app in the market.
- It is the quickest way to obtain reviews from your target audience.
- It increases your chances of getting an investment from the market.
- You can test your mobile app idea without investing a lot of money.
- It helps you to examine various security issues and resolve them effectively.
- You can define an effective monetization strategy for your app and analyze whether users are willing to pay for it.
Here we conclude 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.
Still, there’s one alternative in which you can go for a mobile website rather than the mobile app. You can check out the detailed comparison of mobile website vs app and take decisions accordingly.
However, if you are looking for a cost-effective option for custom app development, you can go with a hybrid app. At Guru TechnoLabs, we provide all kinds of mobile porting services that help your business move forward.