How to Convert Your Website Into Mobile App?

Just a decade ago, a website was ’sine qua non’ for your business. In 2018, if you don’t have a mobile app, be content with a modest growth of your business, even if you have a great website! That’s how significant mobile phones have become.

Mobile visitors to websites constituted 57% of total visitors in 2016, however, with just one year, i.e., 2017, it changed to 63%. During the same time-frame, the time spent on the site using mobile devices grew from 40% to 49%. Read more about these statistics in “Mobile vs desktop usage in 2018: mobile takes the lead”.

However, that‘s only one part of the statistics! Let‘s talk about browser visits and app usage now. Browser and app visits are now almost equal for 30 most popular mobile assets. Read about this statistics in “Mobile app versus mobile website statistics”. You can now grasp more clearly that having an app for your website is important.

You don‘t need to reinvent the wheel. Your existing investments on your website are safe. I will explain how to convert your website into a mobile app, in this article. If you are reading this article, you probably don‘t need to know why you should turn your website into an app, nevertheless, I will briefly cite some reasons.

Contents

Why convert a website into an app?
Approach #1: Convert a website into a mobile app using Appy Pie converter
Approach #2: Turn a website into an app using the AppsEazy converter
Approach #3: Convert a website into a mobile app using the iBuildApp converter
Approach #4: Convert a website into an app using the GoNative platform
Approach #5: Convert a website to an android app using the ’Website 2 APK‘ builder
Approach #6: How to turn a website into an app using the Zeroqode platform
Approach #7: Turning a website into an app by custom coding

Why convert a website into an app?

There are multiple reasons to turn your website into an app, as follows:

  • A mobile app offers better personalization. It allows users to set up their preferences at the start.
  • Sending push notifications as well as in-app notifications are easier with a mobile app.
  • Mobile device features like GPS, contact list, etc. can be used better with an app.
  • Apps typically offer limited functionalities offline, which is an advantage.
  • Mobile navigation designs can be very attractive hence, this is another advantage of a mobile app.
  • Mobile users spend 90% of their mobile-time on apps. You can tap into this advantage with a mobile app.
  • Provided it‘s well designed, an app would work faster than a website on mobile.

Read more about these reasons in this Quora Q&A thread. Let‘s analyze a few approaches to turn a website into an app.

Approach #1: Convert a website into a mobile app using Appy Pie converter

Appy Pie provides a website-to-app converter. If you don‘t have access to a development team and want to quickly convert your website into a mobile app, this could be a good option for you. You will be able to launch your mobile app quickly.

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You can access the website-to-app converter here. You can convert a website to an Android app, besides, you can convert it into an iPhone app too. You can take advantage of an increased reach, furthermore, you can use push notifications. There are other features, for e.g., integration with payment gateways. You can monetize your app, additionally, social media integration, and customization are possible.

Sign-up for an Appy Pie account here. There are easy and intuitive steps to convert the website into an app. You need to enter the URL of the website you want to convert. Provide a name for the app. Go through the build process and publish it in the app stores. For publishing the app, check out the Google Play app “Launch checklist”, and the Apple “App Store Review Guidelines”.

Check the Appy Pie pricing page for their detailed pricing plans. Higher-priced plans allow you to convert your website to both Android and iOS apps. Appy Pie includes cloud hosting. You don‘t need to hire developers in this approach. However, only their Platinum plan allows you to include your own branding.

Approach #2: Turn a website into an app using the AppsEazy converter

For start-ups without a skilled mobile app development team, this is another option to easily convert a website into an app. No coding is required because AppsEazy has a website-to-app converter. Both Android and iOS conversions are supported.

AppsEazy is a suite of app-building software. The website-to-app converter is an easy-to-use, intuitive software. You can use your own branding. There is no charge for converting websites to an app, however, you need to pay for publishing in ’Google Play’ and ’Apple App Store’. Check their “Help & Support” page for easy instructions.

You will need to buy a ’Mobile Backend as a Service‘ account from providers like Google Firebase, Kinvey, or AWS Mobile. Check our comparison guide “How to choose the best mobile backend as a service (MBaaS)?” for more details.

Approach #3: Convert a website into a mobile app using the iBuildApp converter

This is yet another option for entrepreneurs without a skilled mobile app development team. The company iBuildApp offers a website-to-mobile-app converter. Access the converter here.

In a series of step-by-step instructions, you can convert your existing website into an Android or iOS app. It‘s a drag-and-drop app converter that requires no coding skill. You can choose a layout for your app besides, you can add widgets like location, ’contact us‘, video, audio, pictures, social media integration, etc. Installing these widgets in your app is just a matter of a few mouse clicks.

You can use your own branding. You can also choose from several designs for mobile navigation they offer. iBuildApp pricing plans include cloud hosting hence, you don‘t need to get a separate MBaaS account for your mobile app. Visit their pricing page to get more details. To publish your app in ’Google Play‘ or ’Apple App Store‘, check the guidelines I had mentioned earlier.

Approach #4: Convert a website into an app using the GoNative platform

While GoNative provides a platform to convert a website into a mobile app, in this approach you need to separately procure an MBaaS account. You still don‘t need to hire mobile app developers hence, you can save the development effort.

The platform supports both Android and iOS, besides the conversion is an automated process. You can add several native mobile features like toggle push notifications. You can also download the entire source code for any future use.

Any update to your site will flow into the mobile app. Deep links and several other native features are supported. You can use your branding content, furthermore, the platform has enterprise-level ’service level agreements‘ (SLAs).

This platform also allows you to download their iOS and Android code. If you have a development team then they can use it and get your app deployed in relatively quick time. This option is added to the conversion option. Check their Android and iOS code here, and here, respectively.

The company also provides with excellent documentation. It includes guidelines about styling, navigation, push notifications, deep linking, and much more. Access their documentation here.

Read How We Helped a Marketing Company to Build a Back-Office Custom Ads Dashboard

GoNative has a basic product pricing, besides, they have their add-on modules. They charge separately for those. Visit their pricing page for more details.

Approach #5: convert a website to an android app using the ’Website 2 APK‘ builder

Another option where you don‘t need a development team, ’Website 2 APK‘ offers a converter for Android only. You can get the following features:

  1. The app will be automatically synchronized with your website content.
  2. You can include your own branding.
  3. The app can have push notification.
  4. You can monetize your app with AdMob.
  5. Your own digital keystore for your apps removes dependence on the provider.
  6. You will build a ’Google Play‘ compatible app, without a need to code.
  7. A good suite of tools allows you to customize your app easily.

You need to follow the publishing guidelines for ’Google Play‘ I had earlier mentioned besides, you need to get an MBaaS account. Check their FAQ section for common questions about website-to-app conversion. Check out their pricing here.

Approach #6: How to turn a website into an app using the Zeroqode platform

You can convert your website to an iOS app, or turn it into an Android app using the Zeroqode platform. No coding is needed hence, you don’t need a development team. You don’t need to get a separate MBaaS account since the platform includes cloud hosting.

Like most other app converter options, the Zeroqode converter is also easy-to-use. You need to follow their instructions and download the source code. Then you need to edit configuration files to set up all you need.

You can avail many popular native add-on features like push notification, AdMob monetizing options, etc. Scroll down the Zeroqode converter webpage, and you can find the price for their webview app converter pricing. You can also locate the instructions for converting your website to either iOS or Android, on the same web page. Check their FAQ section for important tips.

The Zeroqode product uses the technology developed by Bubble. Zeroqode and Bubble are different companies. If you convert your website to an app using their platform, you need to buy a paid plan from Bubble to get the typical MBaaS services like cloud hosting, analytics, disk space, bandwidth, etc. Check the pricing page of Bubble for more details.

Approach #7: Turning a website into an app by custom coding

This approach requires custom development hence, you need to hire a development team. I recommend that you use an MBaaS provider so that you can save the backend development and management effort. Check our MBaaS comparison guide for more details.

When you built your website, you had likely used ’application programming interfaces’ (APIs) for several functions, for e.g., social media integration, payment gateway integration, etc. You should be able to use the same APIs in the new mobile app because MBaaS providers make it easy for you to consume APIs. To make development a bit easier, consider using platform specific ’integrated development environments’ (IDEs). For e.g., you can use Android Studio for the Android app development.

You need to onboard a team with business analysis, UI/UX designers, Android developers, iOS developers, testers, and a project manager. Mobile menu design is important to attract and retain customers hence, the UI designers should know about mobile navigation menu examples. You need to onboard a competent PM. Check our guide “Project management: 10 best practices”.

Project management approach

A mobile app is for engaging your customers hence, it‘s a ’System of Engagement‘ (SoE). SoEs undergo frequent changes. ’Agile‘ project management methodology is highly suited for these hence, I recommend this methodology. Check our guide “How to build an Agile development team?” for more details.

There are several popular techniques within the larger body of ’Agile’, however, ’Scrum’ is a matured technique. In this technique, you build a ’product backlog’ with the required features. The project team is a cross-functional one, i.e., developers, testers, designers etc. work together in a closely-knit team. The team estimates effort for features, whereas the ’Scrum master’, i.e., the PM, in this case, plans the iterations. Iterations are called ’Sprints’, whereas this process is called the ’Sprint planning’.

During the project execution, the ’Scrum master‘ holds a ’Daily stand-up meeting‘ to get project status and resolve issues. The ’Sprint‘ ends with the features completed and approved by project stakeholders in a ’Sprint review meeting‘. There is a lessons-learned exercise after the ’Sprint‘, which is called a ’Sprint retrospective meeting‘. Learn more about it in our guide “How to build a Scrum development team?”.

The project team should use modern tools for effective project execution, tracking, and control. For e.g., consider Selenium for test management, and Jenkins for automated deployment management. Also, invest in good project management and collaboration tools like JIRA or Wrike. Check our guide “The 10 best agile project management tools in 2018” for more examples.

The cost of converting a website into a mobile app by custom coding

All MBaaS providers and API providers typically show their price clearly on their websites. You can also easily find the price for Wrike or similar PM tools. However, the complexity of your website and the required features in the app will determine the development effort.

Furthermore, your geography and the demand-supply equations in your local labor market will determine your manpower cost. Some skills may be constrained hence, you might need more time to hire. The local labor market might treat some skills as premium, therefore, the hourly rate will be higher. This approach being a full-fledged development project, you might need to get professional help. Check our guide “How to find the best software development company?” to know what capabilities a development partner should have.

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Aran Davies

Blockchain Expert | Developer | Writer | Photographer
Aran Davies

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