As you’ll learn in this guide, one reason to convert a website into an app is that the share of people who consume content on mobile over desktop is constantly rising. Soon – if not already – mobile users will be your primary user base. And, if you’re unable to deliver the ideal User Experience (UX) to these people with just a mobile website, you’ll totally fail.
You might think there’s a huge barrier to entry to building mobile apps, but that’s not so today. We’ll show you how anyone – regardless of team size or technical ability – can launch their own mobile apps using a WordPress App Builder. But, is it really worth the effort to convert your WordPress site to mobile apps? As we’ll explain later, it’s easier than you’d think.
And it’s more than worthwhile, assuming you want to maximize your site as a revenue stream. But, what are the key challenges? How can you go from a normal website to a responsive and AMP-ready application in the quickest way possible, and in the most affordable way? Well, don’t worry! For we’re going to answer these questions and more in this article.
We’re going to show you why converting a website to an app is traditionally a difficult process, and why it’s still worth it. We’ll look at the options for getting the job done – and explain why software tools such as MobiLoud might be the route for you. We’ll be showing you step-by-step towards the end how to turn any website into an app with the platform, Canvas.
What It Entails To Turn A Website Into Mobile Apps
With just a URL link, you can easily convert a website into an app, and focus your efforts to offer the best user experience to your mobile-based web traffic. This means, that with or without any software, you can submit your website to App Store or Google Play in less than 24 hrs. Create a native (iOS or Android) app with a 100% approval rate and push notifications.
For beginner webmasters, it’s worth mentioning that app development can at times be a very long, strenuous, difficult, and expensive exercise. Fortunately, with the advance in technology, there’s a list of software tools that can come in handy. Whilst, lifting you/your web business team all the burden to build a web-based app version from scratch. Sounds great, right?
On that note, using software tools is an efficient, cost-effective, and user-friendly way, unlike the from-scratch method. In particular, that’s if you’d want to build high-quality mobile apps from WordPress websites. Unlike building from scratch, these tools help you convert your WordPress site to mobile apps — less work up front and maintenance long-term.
That means your app content will match what’s on your site, and you can keep using the same WordPress plugins, themes, and any other functionality. The process takes just a few weeks and costs a tiny fraction of what it does to hire mobile developers. All you need to do is make a few small decisions as to how your app looks and feels — for example, menus and native tab.
Why Should You Convert A Website Into An App
To continue, we’re also going to be comparing MobiLoud Canvas to all the other methods of going from website to app. As well as laying out our reasoning for why you should choose Canvas to build mobile apps for your site. In the end, we want to give you the full picture though and help you to make an informed decision, so we will strive to be as objective as possible.
Generally, in this (rather long) guide, we’re going to cover all the possible ways to convert a website into an app. First, we are going to talk about why you should convert a website into an app – if you are already convinced, feel free to skip to Part 2 where we get into the meat of turning mobile if you convert a website into an app. So, follow our leads to the end.
It isn’t essential to have a mobile app as well as mobile and desktop sites. But, because of the significant advantages offered by apps, their popularity and use are steadily increasing.
Below are some key advantages:
- Users can use many of the app functions and access data offline
- Apps tend to be faster than websites and with greater personalization possibilities
- Ability to push notifications as well as to offer mobile device-specific functionality
- Likewise, they also make the alerts notification easy through the app rather than through emails
- Better brand presence, particularly given the app’s icon will be omnipresent on the user’s home screen
In addition to that, unlike a normal website, apps are quite very convenient. For one thing, most users do not need to know your site’s address or search through a list of bookmarks. Instead, they just need some sort of one-time installation to access the app directly. All of these advantages lead to a significantly enhanced user experience, and that creates loyalty.
In our case, we’ll consider a few key options to turn your WordPress Website into Mobile Apps from start to finish. But, before that, there’s the need to know the reasons why there’s a need to do so in the first place. So, if you want to turn a website into an app – you’re in the right place. And, in return, you’ll reap so many benefits than you’ve ever imagined.
From an upgraded mobile UX, higher engagement rates, and the business growth that flows from all that. That said, we’re going to give you the most important reasons to turn a website into an app. We’ve seen these benefits show up as common factors with more than 1000 clients that converted a website into an app. So, without much further ado, let’s get started!
1. Mobile Apps Generation
A lot of people are keen on building apps from their site but pull short of full commitment to the project. They just aren’t quite sure what native mobile apps can do for their brand. It’s a reasonable question. Isn’t a responsive mobile site enough? What does converting a website into an app do that your site doesn’t already?
The truth is that a mobile-optimized site in 2021 is just a given. Of course, you should have one. But apps fulfill a different purpose. While a site or web app is optimized for desktop users, picking up organic traffic, and serving new or first-time users – mobile apps are for growing and serving your loyal, core users. Meaning, that mobile apps are the new generation thing.
We’re all aware that smartphones took over the world over the past decade. According to Statista 2020 data, the number of global smartphone users almost doubled over the latter half of the decade, shooting from 1.86 billion in 2015 to 3.6 billion in 2020. The growth hasn’t peered out yet – with global smartphone users set to hit 4.3 billion by 2023.
This growth of smartphone users has driven the staggering growth of the mobile internet in turn. A decade ago the average US adult spent less than an hour on the mobile internet. According to the 2019 Mary Meeker report, by 2018 this had grown to 3.6 hours. Over that same period, desktop usage slowly declined.
Apps rode on the waves of both of these trends. The mobile internet was something of a legacy desktop paradigm that was bolted onto the new world of smartphones. Apps were native to the smartphone era though, and through the growth of device capabilities and mobile usage in general they left the mobile internet behind.
2. Better mobile UX
The share of mobile website users vs desktop is constantly rising. As you can see from the chart below, the amount of people browsing on mobile has shot up in the last 10 years, and since 2017 has been ahead of desktop. That means it’s most likely that your dominant user base is on mobile. You want to cater to these people.
Almost 90% of the time we spend on mobile devices is spent on apps, over web browsers. That’s because apps are designed specifically for mobile, whereas mobile browsers are still, in large part, a ported-over cousin of your desktop site. Follow the data. If you want to reach the ever-growing number of people coming to you on mobile, you want an app.
Markedly, we’ve already seen how apps are a modern user expectation. Why is this? The reason why web applications are so popular is that they provide a much better User Experience (UX) in comparison to a normal website.
3. User Loyalty Retention
Across all mobile devices, around 87% of mobile time is spent on apps, which jumps to 90% when just looking at smartphones. App users are more loyal and come back to your site more often than mobile web visitors. Downloading an app is a sign of loyalty in the first place. And once it’s on the user’s home screen, you’ve got a permanent user’s headspace place.
Compare that to a solely web-based site, where you’re constantly reliant on Google search rankings, social media posts, email, or other channels to get people back to your site. To say that people are accustomed to apps would be an understatement – they are a constant part of many people’s lives. The icons on our home screen cover many of our important activities.
Including our day-to-day tasks and longer-term goals – from fitness, personal finance, and task lists, to social interactions, entertainment, and education. The key common factor is that all these tools and platforms are intended for repeat usage.
4. Web Push Notifications
When it comes to digital and online marketing, Push Notifications are an incredible way to boost engagement and return traffic to your app. They’re much more direct and effective than just about any other communication channel – e.g. email. You can use them in many ways, from alerts for new articles and breaking news, to offers, promotions, and activity notices.
You can do push notifications from a mobile website. But, it’s not reliable and not possible on all devices. To get their true power, on both iOS and Android devices, you need an app. Repeat usage is key. Only having a website is fine if you expect people to just come to your site once or now and again, to check some specific piece of information for example.
What if you’re interested in people coming back again and again? And then, what if you want to start building a real lasting connection with your users? Well, turning your site mobile – that’s if you’ll convert a website into an app – is a great start for you. For one thing, it will help you to achieve all this.
5. App Store Presence
Building your own native mobile app lets you get into the Apple App Store and Google Play. This is big for a couple of reasons. First, it gives you another acquisition channel. People can find you and download your app straight from the app stores. Second, it’s a statement of credibility for your brand. You’re no longer just another random website.
You position yourself as a serious and established brand, with your own iOS and Android app. This is a power you can leverage to sell more products and subscriptions, or just get people to think of your site as an authority in your field.
So, we’re assuming you’ve already got a successful WordPress website, which you’ve obviously put in a lot of work to build and grow. Now, you want to build iOS and Android mobile apps for your site. You’ve got a few options to do this, ranging in cost, difficulty, and complexity. As aforementioned, we’ll consider a few key options to convert a website into a mobile app.
The Main Options To Convert A Website Into An App
The fastest and most affordable way to build a mobile app is to convert your existing site into native mobile apps. With a mobile app builder software tool such as MobiLoud Canvas, you can convert any type of site into native mobile apps. All your site features work out of the box. You can get a free demo to learn how it works and see if it’s a good fit for your site.
In most cases, to convert a website into an app that targets Android users, you’ll just need to follow a few simple steps. For instance, you can copy-paste your website URL (link), add social media tabs (Facebook, Blog, YouTube, Twitter), name your app, and choose or upload the icon. Use the keywords in the name and description, tell about your features, and much more.
You can even localize your app in your home language. Preview your website app to see how it works before building an apk file. Not forgetting, when you press “GET CONTENT” the app builder software will automatically grab information from your site. So that it can suggest typical templates from your site content. Press “Next” to skip content detection.
Building Apps From Scratch
First, you can build an entire app from scratch. This requires proficiency in a mobile programming language or access to mobile developers. The advantage of this is it lets you completely customize every corner of your mobile app. But the cons far outweigh the pros. For one, building a native app from scratch takes a massive amount of time and money.
Double that if you want to build mobile apps for both iOS and Android. A project like this will set you back 6+ months and tens of thousands of dollars. That’s if nothing goes wrong, and you’re able to find the right developers to stick with your project through to the end. Let’s say you’re ok with that. It means that you’re going to end up with multiple platforms.
And, as such, you’ll need to manage and update each one separately. Therefore, building a mobile app project natively is really only something you want to consider if you’re starting out with a new app from the beginning. With that in mind, the next thing to consider is to build a WordPress mobile app. Whereby, you’ll want to go in another direction altogether.
Building Apps Using No-Code
Well, speaking of Native Apps, these are the ones most people want. You can download them from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. A native app will also allow you to send those handy little push messages that hardly anybody knows how to deactivate. While you can create your own PWA app for around $10-20 per month, creating a native app is not easy.
Neither is it gonna be wallet-friendly. Specifically, most providers will require you to fork out around $40-60 per month to have it listed in the Android ecosystems. And it’s often twice as much as that for the Apple Store listing. What we discovered here is an exciting market in its early stages. We expect a lot more to come in the future. For now, utilize these app builders.
If you don’t have the expertise to develop an app on staff, you can use a no-code app builder, which lets you build mobile or web apps without coding. So, if you don’t want to spend tens of thousands on mobile app developers, you could use one of these tools to build your app. However, you still have the problem of having two separate web platforms.
This means, that if you change something on your site, you have to change it on your mobile app too. It’s a lot of work keeping each platform in sync. And while no-code tools cut down the technical barrier for entry to create an app, it still takes a lot of time and effort to piece together a functional and professional mobile app.
Custom WordPress App Plugins
According to an article by Perficient (“Mobile vs. Desktop Usage in 2020”), statistics show that mobile devices now dominate how we do things online. In particular, with an increase in mobile traffic of almost 60% between 2019 and 2020 in the U.S. alone. Therefore, a mobile presence is essential nowadays. But, having just a mobile version of a website is no longer enough.
Truth be told — most people are increasingly using mobile apps version over traditional website versions. So, now’s the time to seriously think about using WordPress to app plugins — to create a corresponding Android and/or iOS app for your website. Some key features that you can get from native app plugins are ecommerce, user logins, article posting, etc….
It is surprisingly straightforward to create an app from a WordPress site. And, out there, there are just so many best WordPress to-app plugins currently available that allow you to do just that. Furthermore, we have checked that all are fully up-to-date and compatible with WordPress 5.7.2, so you shouldn’t encounter any issues with compatibility.
Have you taken the plunge and built an app from your WordPress website? If so, how did you go about it? Did you use a plugin, and if so, which one? And if you currently do not have an app, do you now plan on creating one? Do you think you will try any of the plugins we have suggested above? As ever, we would love to hear from you in our comments section.
Inspiration strikes anytime, anywhere. One more thing is that; for webmasters, WordPress mobile apps put the power of publishing in your hands. Whilst, making it easy to create and consume content. Write, edit, and publish posts to your site, check stats, and get inspired by great posts in the Reader. And of course, they’re open source, just like WordPress.
Website-To-App Converter Tools
As for this one, it’s the most convenient and user-friendly to consider since even beginner webmasters can easily find their way through it. One great feature of a good website-to-app converter software is the ability to convert your website into an app — may it be for Android or iOS — without needing to have any side hustle or coding skills.
For all other sites, most website-to-app converter tools offer flexible solutions for any use case. Simply, because they can easily encase your site within native mobile elements. Whilst, allowing you to turn your normal WordPress site into a mobile app version, fast and cost-efficiently. There are even tools for news sites, digital magazines, and other online publishers too.
Bearing in mind, news lets anyone create a news app, just like you’d see from a brand like The New York Times or The Guardian. Before I forget, a Progressive Web App (PWA) is like a mobile-friendly version of a website. You can open it through your web browser on desktops, Smartphones, and Tablet devices. They are designed to give you most of the features.
What’s more, Mobile App Builders are a fine solution for prototypes. Prototypes are only useful if you want to have an idea of how your mobile app will end up looking. You can tinker with them and decide what to add or delete.
Anyone can build an app to suit their needs. Whether you are starting a small business, getting feedback from customers, or creating a company portal, most Mobile App Builders have all the features you need to reach your goals. These apps have a very easy-to-use interface. And also, they are packed with many interesting features users will be able to take advantage of.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to pick your best-fit tool in order to convert a website into an app — for either iOS or Android mobile users, or even both — without coding, all for free! Create an app for your website with online software. Get quick access to your website and add exciting features. Customize the design, edit the menu and navigation, and other app properties.
With some of the above mobile app builders, you’ll be able to make a comprehensive web application — with multiple features and fast access to the website. The apk features include: social media tabs, push notifications, monetization, and any URL support. By doing so, you’ll give your users instant access to your very own website and favorite web pages.
Basically, mobile websites are versions of your desktop website optimized for use on smaller screens and touch input methods of mobile devices such as tablets or phones. They are accessed through a web browser, just as they would be on a desktop device, and require a live internet connection. On the other hand, mobile apps can give you access to the same data.
As well as content that is available on the corresponding website. But where they excel is that they can offer additional functionality even when not connected to the internet. A good example is Google Maps, where the website is entirely dependent on an internet connection. While the mobile app allows you to download maps to view offline, save favorites, etc.
If you solve some specific ongoing problem or need, and you won’t repeat usage, there will be a certain portion of your target user base that would love you to build apps. They will expect them. Converting a website into an app allows you to meet this expectation. If you build an app separately, you’ve got to consider the ongoing cost of keeping developers on hand.
More so, whenever it comes to frequent/regular/daily content updates as well as your overall website MySQL database maintenance. And, we all know, this is not something that comes cheaply — it’s another way that an App Builder comes in handy. In order to help you save a massive amount of time and energy in the long run. Whilst, the results are also outstanding.
Other More Related Resources:
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- How To Disable WordPress Plugins Using Dashboard Or cPanel
- WordPress | The No #1 CMS To Create A Free Blogging Website
- How To Use FTP To Upload WordPress Files In A Few Simple Steps
- Full Site Editing (FSE) | WordPress Webmasters Release Notes
Having a free plan is great because users will get to experience and try the product before they buy it. The customization options are really what make some of these apps a close call. In the end, giving various content design webmasters a unique app-building experience. That’s it! Everything to know about how to convert a website into an app with or without any tools.
Finally, what’s your take on this guide, so far, in regard to your next web app design or conversion project? Do you think that there is something else that you’d like us to include? Well, you are welcome to share your additional thoughts, suggestions, opinions, or even contribution questions (for FAQ Answers) in our comments section. What’s more, would you want?
Having said that, you can book a demo call with one of our partner teams today. See how easy it really is to build and launch your own WordPress mobile app in a few clicks. It’s worth mentioning that; WordPress mobile apps support WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress.org sites running WordPress 4.0 or higher (learn more). Until the next one, thanks for your time!