It’s time to acknowledge the fact that the times when having just a website for your business was more than enough are left way back in the past. In present days people like having everything on-the-go, meaning their smartphones became the main tool of connection with the world and everything that remains outside this newly established mobile world has no place to be in the modern lives. So if you are still doubting, we have few pretty convincing arguments why it is so important to convert website into app as soon as possible.
There is no need to say that the technology industry is all about the mobile devices and gadgets nowadays. Probably even now you are reading this piece on your smartphone. So when you came up with an issue whether to convert your web page to the mobile app or not what you actually have to ask is what kind of application you want to build.
For instance, do you want to convert a website into iOS app or you want to pick a different platform? Are there big differences between native applications and hybrid ones? Is working on Android application more or less complex than to iOS one and which of them is better? What is the responsive web design? And after all, what is the best way to do for startup?
Well, we will try to clear things up and to define why, in our opinion, it is better to turn your web resource into a native app regardless what platform you choose.
Reasons to go from the web to mobile
- Apps do not necessary need internet connection. That’s one of the biggest advantages of going mobile for representing your business. It’s always available, you should not worry about all the significant information you want your users to have – it always stays with them whenever they are online or not.
- Apps are better because of the devices they require. As we have already mentioned – the convenience that smartphones and tablets provide is the number one reason why every entrepreneur needs to turn website into mobile app. Being always in someone’s pocket might actually be a good thing sometimes.
- Apps becoming more beneficial for business due to the fast growing popularity rates of the mobile devices (smartphones, tablets). Smartphones have simply overtaken the entire world and applications are going the same way. So if you want to reach a wider net of people you definitely need to have an app in addition to your website.
- Apps allow you to build a better connection with your audience. It is not that websites are in any way bad for promoting whatever you need to promote but particularly mobile applications establish a better and stronger cooperation with the users. First of all, in order to get an app, user needs to find it in the Google market or in the Apple store. And it already shows the level of commitment to your product. Secondly, those online stores give an opportunity to rate, leave comments and other forms of feedback so the developers will know what needs to be improved.
We believe we have to put all the cards on the table and to admit that besides the decisions of remaining a proud owner of the website or creating an integrated app there is the third option of developing a responsive web design. A responsive web design is a web page that is capable of responding to different screen sizes depending on the devices is opened.
In general, it is a single site which consists of different elements that are able to react and respond differently on various screen sizes it is being viewed. The user who tries to open the website through the smartphone is redirected to the mobile-friendly version of, basically, the same website.
So by definition, we can see that the idea of the responsive web design kind of doesn’t make much sense these days, does it? What’s the point of creating something half on half? Why adjust your website to the totally different conditions and to sacrifice its design and content?
Especially when you can create an app that is native to mobile devices. That gives the privilege of speed and more appealing design along with other benefits we have mentioned in the list of reasons above.
How to turn a website into a mobile app: Main bullet points
So since we have already cleared things up about the benefits and convenience of having an application comparing to the websites we might move to the fun part of how to convert a website to mobile app. Here we have a few bullet points on how to go from the web to mobile. There are few specific moments we would like to draw your attention to as well as to highlight the crucial turning points. So let’s see what we got there.
Probably the biggest difference between the websites for the laptops, PC and for the smartphones is the screen sizes. The desktop is obviously much wider and gives more opportunities to suit your imagination and to fit all the information you would like to put on the internet.
On the other hand, with the mobile devices, you need to think more carefully about how to place the content on the screen. First of all, it’s all about the sizes, for instance, the images you use should be smaller in order not to break the layout of the app and not too graphically heavy to let the app operate fast enough. Mobile internet is not always the best tool for loading heavy stuff.
Secondly, you will need to trim the content a bit and to concentrate the work of the app only on the essential features of the website. Applications simply don’t give you enough space to include all the information you normally have on the web page. So obviously at this point applications might challenge you a bit in order to keep the most valuable information and to display it smoothly on the screens of smaller sizes so it won’t damage the content.
One more thing, for example, if you want to convert website to Android app you should consider that picking Android might be a little bit of a headache for you due to one major reason. Devices on Android platform have a very big range of screen sizes. There are numerous amount of smartphones and tablets starting from standard sizes and ending up with a great variety of noticeably large tablets. So making a native app for Android might take a little more time than if, let’s say, you’d decide to turn website into iPhone app.
As it was already mentioned above, there are two ways to make your website mobile friendly. It’s either coding your website with the responsive web design or writing an application. As we have said that applications are more appropriate for such a sort of situation we can discuss what are the difficulties we might face with the app design which is inspired by the website. There are two main issues we would like to cover. First, your app has to be recognizable to your website’s users. Second, don’t overload it with the content. In other words, don’t make it too heavy and don’t try to fit everything your website has.
Now, those two issues are connected with each other since the design of the native app will be anyway related to your website. The problem here is not to go beyond the borders in both directions. You may consider first to go minimalistic. Include the minimum amount of the graphic images, keep the color theme you have on the website but don’t try to recreate the entire page in the app. Integration of the app is an option but keeping it as an independent program is a better solution.
One additional detail, make your app’s design all about its main features. This way you’ll manage to keep it simple without any extra efforts and what’s more important, you will send a clear message to the users why they actually need to have your app on their smartphones on the daily basis. Don’t be fooled here, the fact that they were curious enough to download your app doesn’t mean they will keep it if you won’t convince them to stay.
Since it is no longer a website but a mobile application there are some new rules and regulations to be discovered. We are talking here about the special features you couldn’t use in your website but you are welcome to integrate them in the app now. For instance, think whether or not your app needs to have push notifications and what you want them to include. What kind of information your users need to receive in the first place.
Think about authorization. If you allow your users to register on the website you should integrate that database into your app, so they won’t have to go through this twice. Do you want to have a social media integration and whether you need it in the first place? You will definitely have lots of things to discuss with your developers’ team as you start the negotiation process.
Wrapping things up
As we can see from this short guide, converting websites to native applications, in general, is not the hardest job. Although it can be quite tricky for those who are new to the business and have not much experience with developing and supporting their own app. The rules and demands in the industry are changing practically daily and such a speed is really hard to follow.
Fortunately, there are plenty of places where you can discuss your project and get some useful recommendation on the costs and prices for the developers work. Our company can be one of those places for you. So if you are interested in having a custom app and you don’t know where to start or how to do it better, you are always welcome to contact us.