Convert your Website into an App

Updated on 27. July 2020 by Jan Bunk


Image of Mountains with the text 'Get your own App' in the foreground.

Nowadays mobile devices are more common than ever. There’s 3.5 billion already and the number is growing by 300 million every year as they’re becoming more affordable.

As a business owner you can use this development to your advantage. Every business should absolutely have a website anyways, so optimizing that for mobile devices is the first step. However as of 2019, only 10% of time on smartphones is spent browsing the internet. The remaining 90% are spent in apps. This has been an ongoing trend. In 2017 browsers still got 13% of the mobile usage time, but since then it has steadily been decreasing in favor of mobile apps.

But that’s not the only reason why you should consider getting your own app for your website. Let’s see what other advantages led 83% of B2B content marketers to say mobile apps are important for their marketing.

The Benefits of having a mobile App

Improved Brand Awareness

Everyone that has your app installed will regularly see it's icon on their phone. Just this quick glance can make them more likely to recall your brand when they think about a service you offer. Good brand awareness can bring in many returning customers but also increases the likelihood of your existing customers sharing your brand with other people who might need your service.

Apps offer better Performance and Instant Access to your Site

Users can quickly reach your website at any time, they just need to take out their phone and click your app icon. We've created a graph to illustrate how much of a difference this makes:

Graph showing that reaching a website over its app takes only 2.5 seconds, compared to around 12 seconds for the browser.
Comparison of the time it takes to reach a website over an app vs in the browser. Source: Google; 1, 2

Data suggests that on average both the browser and your app would take around 2 seconds to start. So the main difference comes from the time it takes people to find the target website and load it completely. With an app the page load time is negligible, as the data (site layout, images, etc.) is already stored locally and just needs to be displayed. This results in a significantly quicker time to access the website via the app. Such a difference of over 9 seconds can have a huge impact on a website's conversion and bounce rate, as Google has found in a study:

Impact of website load time on bounce rate
A website's bounce rate significantly increases with a higher pageload time. Source: Google

As already mentioned above, an app will store parts of the website locally on the device. This speeds up the initial page load when starting the app, but also all subsequent ones which eases navigation. But don't just take my word for it, instead trust expert Cathy Boyle, who sums up the points above nicely:

“An app provides a direct access point from the home screen of a mobile device, and a native app experience is typically slicker and faster than a comparable web experience.“

Offline Access

Nobody can look at your website while they have no internet connection. With an app you can change that, users can see all important content that has been cached on the device, even while they don't have wi-fi or mobile data.

Push Notifications

With an app you can send everyone that has your app installed notifications, like when receiving a text message. These notifications are perfect for letting your users know about specials and promotions they can find on your website and in the app. It's like a mini newsletter!

An Android push notification saying that the user has a discount available.
An example of a push notification used to let users know about a discount.

Regularly Returning Users

When your users have your app installed, they are more inclined to regularly browse it, even if they're not looking for anything specific. You can get quite a few extra conversions just from this recurring traffic.


Why you (probably) don't have an App yet

I'll go out on a limb and say you don't have an app already if you're reading this article. Like you, many businesses would love to have their own app, but don't want to pay developers a huge amount of money. Especially for smaller businesses lashing out thousands of dollars for an app is not an option.

That's where I'd like to introduce you to a different approach. You already have a website, so why code an app from the ground up when you can leverage that? You can do so by converting your website into an app. As long as you choose the right converter, you still get most of the above mentioned advantages of an app. We've done a comparison of the best website to app converter services that will hopefully help you decide.


Features of our Apps

Let’s take a detailed look at all the features our apps have to offer. That way you can get a feel for how our apps cover all the possible advantages of having an app.

Offline Availability

All apps created by our website to app converter can show many parts of your website even while the user doesn’t have an internet connection available. Of course this is limited by the fact that they can’t actually reach the live version of your website without an internet connection, so for example they couldn’t send you a message via your contact form.

Always Up To Date

However, if the user has an internet connection, the app will automatically stay up to date with your website. This means that if you add a new page or change anything on an existing one, those changes will immediately show up in the app as well.

Support for all Website Types

We can convert any website into an app, no matter what framework it’s built on (or even if it’s not a pre-made framework). Examples of these are Content Management Systems like WordPress (did you know that about a third of the world’s websites use WordPress?), Joomla, Wix or Squarespace — and we support all of them! This ties right into the next point:

Wide Compatibility

Just like we want to be compatible with any type of website, we make sure our apps run on any decently modern Android and Apple iOS device. Which makes sense, as you probably agree that an app that doesn’t run on most devices isn’t too useful. Based on data available to developers we can accurately estimate that our apps run on over 97% of devices. This is comparable to some of the most popular apps, like Instagram. To achieve this compatibility with new devices and operating system (Android, iOS) updates, we continually need to work on all apps we maintain, which is the reason why we use a subscription payment plan. Another aspect that also requires regular maintenance is:

Security and Stability

Even with the most care and very thorough testing procedures, no software is completely free from potential performance or stability issues. So by continually working on the app we can quickly discover such opportunities for improvement and take advantage of them. Additionally, we dedicate a lot of our resources to making sure the security of all of our apps is on point. This also includes using industry-standard encryption when the app loads your website to display it to the user.

Native Design

All of our apps come with the native app design. This means that they follow the design guidelines for apps that have emerged over the years. These standards are also enforced by Apple and Google, so it’s a lot more difficult to get into the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store if you don’t follow them. Luckily we take care of that for you, so you don’t need to change anything about your website’s layout. In particular, we add the following design elements, shown with screenshots from our example app:

The Native Android Material Design Appbar
An appbar featuring the current page's title, a drawer menu and a back button.
The drawer menu of the webtoapp example app with our main navigation links and our logo at the top
The sidebar drawer ("burger") menu with your website's main navigation links and your logo at the top.
The app icon of our example app with the WebToApp Logo
A custom app icon with your own logo and app name.
The splashscreen of our example app with the WebToApp Logo
A splashscreen with your logo that is shown while the app is starting.

Perfect Branding

As you can see in the above images, the apps are always tailor-made to include your branding. Obviously most of the content of the app is your website, so you have your desired design in that part too. In our comparison with other websites that offer a website to app conversion we found that some of them put their own ads or banners in their customer's apps. We think that ruins the app experience, so we don't do any of that. However, if your site displays ads, those will be shown of course.

Short Development Time

We take advantage of the fact that you already have a working mobile-friendly website, so we don’t need to code your app from the ground up. Therefore we can get your app ready in just a few days. I consider that an amazing turn around time compared to multiple months, which is not unusual when developing a completely new app.


Add-ons

Aside from the above features that are always included, we also offer optional features that can make your app more potent.

Push Notifications

With this add-on you can send as many push notifications as you’d like. Everyone that has your app installed will receive them. As we've talked about above, these notifications are perfect for letting your users know about specials and promotions they can find on your website (and therefore in the app).

Read more about use cases and benefits of push notifications in apps

An Android push notification saying that the user has a discount available. The notification also has an image of the discount attached.
A push notification with an attached image.

Review Reminders

If you want your app to be discovered on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, you need to get as many positive reviews from your users as possible. I've also written an article about how and why to get better reviews with review reminders.

With this add-on you can expect a significant increase in the amount of reviews you get, as most users just don’t think about rating an app if they’re not reminded. These review reminders are only shown to frequent users of your app, as these are the most likely to give you positive feedback. Of course you don’t want to bother them by constantly nagging them about leaving a review, so they can just tap a button to hide the dialog forever. You can see an example of such a pop-up below.

An Android popup message asking the user to please leave a review. The user is presented with the 3 buttons rate, remind me later and never.
An example review reminder popup on Android.

Sounds good? Awesome! All we need from you is:

  • the URL of your website,
  • the name you want to give your app,
  • it’s app icon, which is probably your logo.

You can submit the details here and we will get to work right away.

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Author Jan Bunk

Written by
Jan Bunk

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.