Did you know around half of the world population uses smartphones? Mobile users can play a crucial role in business success. So, this guide is for the users who are exploring how to turn a website into an app and we’ll help them understand why it’s important today.
Besides, if people are given a choice to select between a website or mobile app, they would undoubtedly go for a mobile app. A simple reason for that is- a robust user experience (UX). Actually, it is one of many reasons for them choosing a mobile app over the website. They love the offline working capability of mobile apps which is not possible on the website.
Predicting the future, leading companies like Dropbox, Airbnb, Google Docs, Ali express, Flipkart, and more converted their mobile website to PWA (progressive web app) or native mobile app to increase their customers. (We will see what PWA and native apps are in the article) Turns out, these companies witnessed a 70% to 100% rise in their users after turning their website into an app. They have also witnessed a hike in business revenue.
Reasons To Turn Your Website Into An App
Whether you are newly launching a startup from the latest web app ideas or own an established business, you should turn your business website into an app to get more users. Before you go deeper into the article, let’s have a quick look at some interesting statistics to understand why turn any website into a mobile app.
Statistics: (Source: Comscore)
There are several reasons you should turn your website to the app. Here are a few of them.
What Are You Missing By Not Having a Mobile app?
Now, It’s great you have a website for your business. But what about mobile users? Do you think you can provide them an optimal performance with a mobile website? Would you be able to send them push notifications if you launch a new product for your eCommerce store? What if some of your users reside in a location where internet connectivity problems occur on a frequent basis? Would they be able to use your mobile website with such a poor internet connection?
The answer is no!
By not converting your website into an app, you are missing a major chunk of potential users.
Of course, these responsive mobile websites can be built at a lesser cost but you are compromising on the following things.
Why You Should Turn a Website into an App?
No doubt, most websites are mobile-friendly today, However, you can still step up to turn a mobile website into Android app or iOS apps to gain competitive advantage.
Mobile apps are designed and developed to give the best user experience to users with any type of mobile or tablet device. Unlike mobile websites, mobile applications can not be accessed by the browser. To use mobile applications, you have to download it from OS-specific stores(i.e) Playstore, App store, etc.
However, that is not true for the progressive web app (PWA). It can be used through the browsers and works more like a mobile app than a website. We will go in-depth about it later in this article.
Now, what is that which makes these mobile apps so popular among users? Why should you convert a website to an app? Let’s see all the advantages of the mobile application over the website.
Advantages of Mobile Apps Over Website
One of the top reasons you should turn a website into an app is users today have a shorter attention span. And with the website, your users have to wait for more time to get their wanted page. They have to start a browser and enter a URL for a particular result. Browsers, then get the result from the server. This ultimately makes them wait for a longer time.
In some scenarios, due to the low speed of internet connection, users abandon the process halfway. This might cost you big time. If you have a mobile app for the same or you turn the website into an app, these users may get converted to potential buyers. Since data is stored on the mobile app itself, users don’t have to wait. Even, they can use the mobile app offline.
Customers love to spend time on mobile applications because they are served what they want. Mobile apps can provide users according to their behavior, their habits, and their engagement.
Customers get a recommendation based on their collected data. They will get content they like and related to them. So they spend more time on the application.
Mobile applications are capable of rendering data based on the users’ geography and location which is not possible on the website.
Users prefer a direct channel from which they could extract any information they need. If you convert the website into an app, you can increase your brand identity by providing multiple features that users love to use.
You can add chat options, push notification, in-app payments, and many features that are not present on the website. If you build a great app with the best look and seamless user experience, there is no doubt that more and more users will download your app.
As mentioned above, users prefer to spend more time on mobile applications than websites. It forces them to understand your product or service better. And better understanding drives them to purchase something from your app. This means a good conversion rate and business on your side.
Apart from this, through mobile app people do in-app purchases to upgrade their features or get access to new functionality if you have provision for it. This adds extra income to your business. There are also other ways to monetize your mobile apps.
Mobile apps are built by keeping in mind the in-built features of many mobile devices. So users can utilize the app more effectively on their respective phones.
Instagram and Pinterest-like apps heavily depend on the smartphone’s Camera. On-demand delivery apps rely on the GPS device installed in the mobile app to deliver the delivery to the precise location.
In simple terms, to give users top-class experience, you can build a mobile app in such a way that You can utilize devices’ native functions like microphone, camera, GPS, Sensors, and more.
It is not like that once you build a mobile app, you have to stick with only those features only. As your business grows, you can always add new features for a better user experience. Even bug solving is also easy in mobile applications.
There are many popular apps that have started with only MVP (Minimum viable Product) features. And then gradually scale their app as their user base grew. Uber, Facebook, Airbnb, Buffer, and Instacart are one of them.
We know how COVID-19 has almost shuttered or stopped most of the physical and small businesses. In this situation, people would prefer a mobile app for doing tasks like grocery shopping, food ordering or even consulting a doctor.
In this adverse situation, mobile apps come as handy for customers to have what they want in just a few taps. Websites can be also useful but not as much as mobile apps. Through a video call, a patient can easily take primary diagnosis and advice on his or her health. Since social distancing has become a responsibility for every person in this pandemic, people prefer grocery apps for ordering groceries and vegetables rather than going physically to the store.
How to Convert a Website into an App?
Now that you may have decided to convert a website to an app or build the app from scratch, you should know the ways you can do that. There are three ways you can build your mobile app and migrate from website to app.
1. PWA (Progressive Web App)
As the name suggests, progressive web apps are web applications that behave like native mobile applications rather than web applications.
Users don’t necessarily have to download your app from the play store. If you build a PWA for your business, users can save your app to their device’s home screen. Only the first time while they are searching your app on the browser they are asked to save your app on their home screen. Once they allow it to display it on their device, they can directly access it from there. Hence, no need for opening a browser and no need to enter URLs.
Are you still wondering “how to turn my website into an app?” Let’s understand this through an example;
Have you used Twitter in the Web browser? Try it! Open Twitter in the web browser and log into your Twitter account. What you are using now is PWA on Twitter. It will be run on low data consumption, low connection, faster, and engaging user experience. Unlike mobile websites, you will be able to get real-time notifications and offline notifications of twitter feed and messages. Note that you are using a web application but it totally gives you a mobile-like feel.
Some of the popular examples of apps that found a hike in users after converting a website into PWA are Ali express, Twitter LITE, Facebook LITE, Flipkart, and more.
Aliexpress, a popular eCommerce app witnessed a huge jump of 104% in the conversion rate of new users after having progressive web app.
Progressive Web App: Pros, Cons & Examples
2. Hybrid App
This new approach in app development has also become quite popular among companies to build their mobile app.
Hybrid apps have common characteristics of web applications and native mobile applications. As it is installed and works similar to native apps but the inner structure is of web apps.
If you have your website built in React.js, then it is easy to turn your website into an app with React Native hybrid framework. There are many hybrid mobile app frameworks through which you can develop your hybrid mobile app. Flutter, React Native and Ionic are the most popular hybrid frameworks today.
Hybrid App: Pros, Cons & Examples
3. Native Apps
Native apps are high performing mobile apps and give users an exceptional user experience. We have already mentioned above in the section about the advantages of mobile apps over websites. These apps are coded separated for each platform. The programming languages differ, the developers differ, and technologies also differ for developing it.
iOS apps are generally created in Swift or Objective-C programming language and if you want to turn a website into an iPhone app, then these tech stacks will help you do so. While Android apps are coded in Java or Kotlin programming language.
Businesses who don’t want to compromise on the user interface, user experience, speed, and security usually prefer to go with native app development. If you want to turn your website into a native app, then probably it might cost you more. It would be advisable to build an app from scratch.
It is not necessary you create your app on both platforms simultaneously. As per your user persona, you can either go with android or iOS first and then create apps for both the platforms. Also, if initially, you have a low budget you can build MVP(Minimum viable product) to have only essential features in the app.
If you hire a development company to convert a website into a mobile app, make sure your developers keep in mind your user behavior and apply best practices that lead to optimal performance for your app.
Native Apps: Pros, Cons & Examples
Why You Shouldn’t Go for Online Website Converters
You would find multiple articles titled with “turn a website into mobile app free”. The question is how reliable these online converters are.
Usually, these services put a website into a web view wrapper. Your website opens in a browser and looks like a mobile app but the UX looks so unwanting.
These converters also use other methods which is ready made plug-ins. These plugins are developed for engines like WordPress and WooCommerce. First, they build an API and then provide templates to convert your website into an app.
The problem with this method is that you can not add new features due to the fixed template.
So, we suggest you to either go with the above mentioned three methods while migrating from website to app.
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Conversion of a website to a mobile app should be your first step if you are planning to get more users and elevate your business.
It is possible that you may not have enough budget to build an app from the start. However, converting a website to an app with these methods would be a suitable and economically viable option for you.
All in all, if you think you can not spend too much at this stage, you can go for PWA. A hybrid app is also an affordable way to build an app for your business. And finally, if you don’t want to compromise on user experience and functionalities, native apps are best for you.
We at Excellent Webworld provide all kinds of porting services that aid business owners to have more users for their business. So, without wasting time and losing profit opportunities, turn a website into an app with our mobile app porting and migration service.