How to Turn a Website into an App: Top 3 Painless Methods

A successful business today means omnipresence on multiple channels, and if you fail to deliver your services or products on at least one of the existing platforms - say goodbye to your profit!

Of course, you might remain on the market, but you will never grow if you don’t strive to reach audiences at the most popular channels. Mobility is everything for generation Y and Z, and that’s precisely the reason to hurry up and turn a website into an app!

Embrace Mobile to Accelerate Your Brand’s Credibility

In the mobile-first era, cross-platform accessibility gives extra value to your brand image, providing your customers with so many options that create a pleasant experience and boost engagement. Mobile opens up new business dimensions and opportunities, making technology work for fulfilling modern consumers’ critical needs.

Users prefer mobile apps to websites because it’s faster, more comfortable, and is always in their hands/pockets. With the help of an app, you can enable your clients to stay tuned into your business either online or offline, whenever they want and wherever they are, having quick access to instant updates, payment tools, libraries, QR codes and photo galleries.

Research and statistics prove mobile apps popularity as well, showing that 85% of users favour apps over websites. Without an application, consumers will likely consider you are outdated and behind trends, and what you need is to be beyond trends! Plus, there are plenty of successful business cases that went mobile after having good results with a website and - Airbnb, Amazon, Zillow. So, are you next for mobile? If yes, we’ll show you three proven ways of how to turn a website into an app.

1. Utilize Cordova for a Quick App Development

Cordova

A Screenshot from official Cordova site

Pros:

Cordova is an open-source framework capable of wrapping your website into a mobile app. While your site is built on HTML or CMS, Cordova provides a webview component, working in a built-in browser environment. Cordova-based applications have access to device’s hardware and support features like push notifications, GPS, microphones and cameras.

In general, it’s a low-cost method that lets you leverage your existing code in short terms. You will develop a decent mobile app with standard functionality, which emulates native apps’ UI elements and is cross-compatible with iOS and Android.

Cons:

UX is not as smooth as it can be on a native app because of click delays and phantom clicks while scrolling, and it doesn’t work offline. Additionally, the complexity of the application may influence its speed and performance. You’ll need to adopt an app to rendering engine and test it on multiple devices to ensure it functions correctly on each of them. And one more thing is to integrate mobile app analytics to distinguish website traffic and app traffic.

2. Progressive Web Apps for Simpler Variants

PWA

One of the images explaining the idea behind Progressive Web Apps on Google Site

Pros:

This Google-developed technology is a newbie and offers many functions of a native app, but has no feel and look of it. Progressive Web Apps is an easy way to turn a website into an app, as all you have to do is to add a home screen icon and a web application manifest.

The progressive app supports push notifications and improves your website’s ranking on search engines, extending the audience reach and improving its overall user experience. A significant advantage of such apps is also a stable performance offline.

Cons:

You won’t get a fully-functional app, and your users won’t get a native experience. It’s not compatible with every Apple devices.

3. Pay Attention to React Native to Make a High-Quality App

Pros:

What we recommend is to use React Native to turn a website into an app. It is a JavaScript library that allows you to develop an application, which is hardly recognizable from apps built on Java or Objective-C. The technology is fast and well-performing, as you convert your source code into a native app code instead of operating on a built-in browser view - you may even reuse code parts if your website is built on React.js.

User experience is similar to the native one, and React Native may be used to craft flexible and efficient user interfaces. It is continuously evolving, and new UI features and components are added regularly. Here’s also a list of apps built on React Native, in which you may see Fortune 500 companies, startups and world-famous brands:

PWA

Cons:

Being a relatively new technology that is still developing, React Native may offer not so many open-source modules and plugins to cover all your needs.

Making Final Decision

Becoming mobile is a trend you can’t ignore. As the list above demonstrates general qualities of tools you may use to turn your website into an app, we still advise you to contact professionals before making your final decision. Feel free to check our blog furtherly for more info on this topic, and don’t hesitate to message us directly if you need consultation on stepping into the mobile app frontier.

31 May 2018
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Olya Bohun / Tech Enthusiast
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