Updated on 26. July 2020 by Jan Bunk
Turn your website into an app now!
If you’ve done a quick Google search for “convert website into app” you’ve probably found a ton of different websites that offer to turn your own website into a mobile application. This makes it very difficult to find the best website to app converter. Therefore, I decided to create this comparison, so you can get an overview and make an informed decision.
Unfortunately I couldn’t try out every single website to app converter, so we will just take a look at the most popular ones. This will include Gonative, webtoapp.design, Convertify, WordpressToApp, WebToApplication, Web2Apk and Appypie.
A WebView is an app component used by app developers. It’s like a browser, it simply shows a website. This is used in every website to app conversion service, so I will reference this frequently below. It’s a very useful component for app developers, as it does most of the website to app conversion already.
But it has one big problem: If your app does nothing but display your website in a WebView, it will NOT get accepted into the Apple App Store and only rarely into the Google Play Store. This is clearly detailed in the App Store guidelines:
“Your app should include features, content, and UI that elevate it beyond a repackaged website. If your app is not particularly useful, unique, or “app-like,” it doesn’t belong on the App Store. If your App doesn’t provide some sort of lasting entertainment value, it may not be accepted.“Section 4.2 App Store Guidelines
This is no reason to be angry at Google or Apple either, such an app that only shows a website provides no additional value, you can just visit the website in the browser. So to get accepted into the App Stores the app needs to include components aside from the WebView. Such components should use native design.
Simply put, if an iOS app (or a part/component of it) uses native design, it follows Apples design guidelines for apps. The same goes for Android and the Google Material design guidelines. This is a requirement to get into these App Stores. The reasoning behind this is that all apps become a lot more beautiful and easier to use when everyone uses the same design that has been developed by experts.
Enough explanations for now, so without further ado, let’s get right into the comparison of website to app converters!
In its most basic version, Gonative is very easy to use. You just enter your URL, app name and e-mail and your app will be ready in just a few minutes. The problem with this is that it’s just a WebView, nothing else. So like explained above, such an app will most likely get rejected when you try to publish it in the App Store. Ironically, Gonative already charges $790 for this service, even though you could argue it’s not worth much if you can’t publish your app.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Gonative offers more features. You can customize a lot with their apps, which also includes adding some native design components. However, a lot of these options are very complex to use and require knowledge of programming and scripting languages. Therefore, I can’t recommend this customization to layman users.
The easier solution is using their “Full-Service App Configuration”, where they take care of everything for you and customize the app for your website. With this, your app will include some native components, which should be enough to get accepted into the App Stores. Unfortunately, if you significantly change your website’s structure, the native components will be out of place and won’t fit your website anymore. This basically means your app will break if you rework your website. Also, your app will have design issues like having 2 headers, one from the app and one from your website:
The main problem here lies in the price though. This service comes at an additional cost of $4000, so including the base price of $790 you will be close to $5000. If you’d like to also have push notifications in your app, you need to pay an additional $200.
In conclusion, I can’t recommend Gonative. To get a decent product, you will have to pay around $5000 which is way too expensive for the offered service.
All apps we create come with plenty of native design components such as an app bar, a drawer menu with navigation items, a splash screen and more. Unlike with Gonative, these components are dynamically generated using artificial intelligence, so even if you completely change up your website, your app will still work, including the native design components. You also won’t encounter design issues like having 2 app bars like I showed you above. All of this significantly increases the chances of getting approved by the App Stores. At the time of writing, every app by webtoapp.design has been successfully published in the Google Play Store and not a single one has been removed afterwards.
Additionally, all of this comes at a very fair price point with no up-front cost. Depending on which additional features (like push notifications) you want, you can get an app from as little as $29 per month. For an app for both Android and iOS you will pay just $39 per month. Interestingly, webtoapp.design is the only service in this comparison that uses a subscription payment. It’s an advantage for you though, as it means you will get continued support for whenever new devices with new Android and iOS versions are released. Similarly, whenever we add other improvements, you will get those for free. One of such improvements was the addition of offline support, which means your app will display your website even if your user doesn’t have an internet connection. No other service on this list has this feature with similar capabilities.
The risk of trying our website to app converter is also minimal, as there’s a 14-day full refund guarantee in case you’re not happy with our service.
To sum it up, here at webtoapp.design we provide you a high quality app that will get accepted into the App Stores. It doesn’t even require you to perform any complex manual setup, it’s all handled by me and my team.
Obviously I say that our service is the best, everything else would be dumb right? But I’ll be completely honest with you, I’m just presenting facts, I’m not even exaggerating. I know it sounds like bragging and I hate it (“Self praise stinks” as we say here in Germany). But it’s the reason I founded webtoapp.design. All the alternatives lack important features in my opinion, so I hope to provide a better service. If you let me know about a thing that we do worse than a competitor, I will gladly add it to this article.
Convertify delivers very basic apps. They solely consist of a WebView, no native components at all. This leads to lots of reports of apps not being accepted into the App Stores. That in itself would make me stay away from this service, but also they don’t provide any refunds (even though that’s illegal when offering your services in the European Union). So if you look around on the internet you will find plenty of negative reviews of their service, such as these:
Their ProductHunt launch received absolutely awful reviews too, mostly because of plagiarism and a bad product. It currently has a 0.8 out of 5 rating, which I’ve never seen before to be honest. Here are some highlights:
Don’t even get me started on the other “minor” illegal stuff they do, like breaking fair competition laws with the fake popups “website.com from country bought an app 5 minutes ago”. From looking at their website source code it’s obvious that it’s just as fake as their positive reviews. This doesn’t impact you as a buyer, but further shows their sketchiness, just like they don’t have an imprint, even though they’d legally have to have one because they’re serving customers in the European Union.
To put it all in a nutshell, I can only advise you to stay away from Convertify. It sounds like I’m bashing them but I promise I’m not intentionally trying to. I just don’t want even more people get scammed by them. Like a friend of mine would say:
“There’s no 10 foot pole long enough to touch that”A friend
This will be a short one, as these sites offer the EXACT same service as Convertify. It’s run by the same people and they deliver the same product. The design is very similar and the site structure is actually identical. Additionally, they all link to each other, which isn’t proof on its own, but all of this in conjunction with the fact that their apps look identical too, the connection is obvious.
So please, don’t buy from these sites either unless you are sure you can get a refund through your credit card company, because these sellers won’t give you one voluntarily.
AppyPie is not specialized on turning websites into apps, they normally offer an app builder, where you can create your app from simple, predefined building blocks. I can’t speak a lot about that, as I’m only specialized on creating websites from apps. But after trying their website into app feature I’m sort of disappointed. The performance of the app was mediocre, it didn’t run smoothly even though I tried it on a very powerful Android device. You’re limited to one of 6 color themes (I picked gray), yet not even these are in a polished state, as you can see from this screenshot:
For some reason the (AppyPie branded) splash screen comes with a red navigation bar, which makes no sense at all. Sure, this is just a small issue, but it’s the first thing your users will see when they download your app. And it’s definitely not the last design problem in the app.
Here’s how the actual app looks once it has loaded:
It shows you an “About Us” page, of which you can customize the information of course. But as you can see from the tabs at the bottom, it adds a lot of stuff you don’t actually want if you just want to create an app for your website. You’d only want the second tab, which actually shows your website (I entered google.com as an example):
All in all, you will probably have a bunch of duplicate content in your app and you didn’t really turn your website into an app with AppyPie. You will need to do a significant amount of extra work, because that content won't synchronize with changes you make to your website. Apart from that, I personally don’t find the design (e.g. the icon style) particularly appealing, but to each their own. I can definitely assure you though that it doesn’t follow the design guidelines from Google or Apple. It’s up to you to decide whether this quality of app is good enough for you and your users. However, I find that our apps offered at webtoapp.design look better and are cheaper than AppyPie, depending on the plan you pick.
So, if you read this article completely, you will see that all of the other website to app converters have some sort of issues which I tried to fix with webtoapp.design. Of course, I didn’t want to make it an exclusive service that only big companies can afford, so I tried to keep the price to a low monthly charge.
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Hi, I'm Jan. I have previously developed multiple apps for clients and my own projects, which have been downloaded thousands of times in the app stores. However, I decided I'd rather help out people with smaller budgets. That's why I created webtoapp.design, an affordable way to get an app if you already have a website.