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Turn Your Website Into an App for Android and iPhone

Best Places to Turn Your Website Into an App for Android and iPhone


If you’re wondering how to turn your website into an app for Android and iPhone devices, you’re not alone.

Yes, customers have gone mobile and any small business without an on-the-go presence is missing out on business opportunities.

Not convinced? Here’s some food for thought: back in the mid-1990s, many business owners thought they didn’t need a website. However, having an effective website is considered to be a key factor in a small business’ success today.

Will the same be true for mobile apps? Count on it.

To help you stake out your own spot in the mobile frontier, we’ve collected some of the best places to turn your website into an app for Android and iPhone. Our list includes some for any website and some specifically for WordPress websites.

The list below contains solutions that enable you to create a mobile app that’s integrated with your website. These solutions also offer oodles of on-the-go functionality from menus to reservations, shopping, and scheduling to even offering coupons.

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Responsive Web Design vs. Mobile Apps

It’s important to note that we’re not talking about responsive web design here.

Responsive web design is an approach wherein your website is coded and designed to “respond” by rearranging and re-sizing itself depending on the type of device on which it’s being viewed. Responsive design makes your website look and operate better (think “user-friendly”) on mobile devices.

A mobile app on the other hand, is a software application that you download from either Google Play (Android devices) or the App Store (iOS devices). Apps are fully functioning entities that exist separately from, but can be integrated with, your website.

So, why create a mobile app if your website is already responsive? An app is “native” to the device on which it’s designed to run so it loads and operates faster than a responsive website on the same device.

Additionally, an app doesn’t need an Internet connection to work, which means your mobile app can always be opened and used. This is handy when a customer is not connected and wants a critical piece of business info like your phone number.

Best Places to Turn Your Website Into an App for Android and iPhone

BuildFire

BuildFire is a richly featured, drag-and-drop solution for building a mobile app. The solution includes design functionality as well as options to add your brand images and select your brand colors. The image below shows the features you can currently add to an app using BuildFire.

The “loyalty” feature stands out here as it enables you to create your own in-app point-based loyalty program.

Turn Your Website Into an App

As with many of the solutions on this list, you can add your blog to an app using its RSS feed. Here’s an example of how this works within BuildFire. Most of the other solutions work similarly:

Turn Your Website Into an App

Como

Como ups the app functionality ante by adding features such as reservations, scheduling, user reviews and more (see image below). Of course, blog and other feed content can be included as well. This is a robust solution and one that should suit a variety of small business.

Turn Your Website Into an App

DWNLD

DWNLD is a newcomer on the scene. But that doesn’t mean it’s at a loss for functionality. Available only for iOS apps currently, this robust solution (look at the features and templates below) is worth keeping an eye on.

Turn Your Website Into an App

SwebApps

SwebApps offers a couple of interesting features that we haven’t see elsewhere. The first, shown below, is the ability to really organize information within your mobile app with lists. This is a really useful feature if you want to provide a useful resource for customers, even if they’re offline.

The second feature is the calculator, which can be used for both tips (nice for a restaurant’s app) and for mortgages (great for, of course, real estate agents).

Turn Your Website Into an App

Onbile

If you like well designed templates, head over to Onbile where you’ll find plenty along with some useful basic app functionality.

Turn Your Website Into an App

AppMakr

Another solid entry, AppMakr offers one feature we haven’t seen yet: in-app messaging functionality (a.k.a. notifications). An in-app message is a great way to catch a customer’s attention with say, a special offer.

Appy Pie

The last solution before we move on to solutions specifically for WordPress sites is Appy Pie. This is a gold mine, not just for building a website app, but for do-it-yourself app creation overall. Just take a look at this overview of available features:

Turn Your Website Into an App

Best Places to Turn Your WordPress Website Into an App for Android and iPhone

Mobiloud and IdeaPress

Both Mobiloud and IdeaPress enable you to easily create a mobile app that is kept up to date via a WordPress plugin. This keeps your app up-to-date whenever you update your site without having to go through any approval process from Apple or Google.

Both solutions are pretty slick though Mobiloud seems to be a more mature solution. Here’s a screenshot from their site:

Turn Your Website Into an App

Bottom Line

Whether you provide products or services, mobile is quickly becoming a channel your small business cannot ignore. As the list above demonstrates, there’s no shortage of places to turn your website into an app for Android and iPhone. Most of the solutions listed allow you to try them out for free so take them for a spin to see just how easy it is to step into the mobile app frontier.

Mobile Apps Photo via Shutterstock

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Matt Mansfield


Matt Mansfield Matt Mansfield is the Tech Editor and SEO Specialist at Small Business Trends where he is responsible for directing and writing many of the site’s product reviews, technology how-to’s, and lists of small business resources as well as increasing the reach of our content.

21 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    Thank you for this. I think that this is an essential part of any small business. This is especially important if you’re holding an e-commerce website. It gives your visitors a chance to buy from you right from your mobile phone.

  2. We already provide this service . The only thing you do is to give you website to us and it will be created as an app .
    Thanks
    Leaderapps.org

  3. But I don’t think that these ready tools can make that beautiful apps required. You might not get enough freedom to make customization. Instead you can make the native apps directly from your website content and logic. I’d like you to read this post on more details on web to app idea. Here’s the link – http://bit.ly/1P65cdD

  4. Yes Prashant, I do believe the same. Web tools can convert the website into apps, but that tools work only on some ready mobile app format.

    Every platform has a different approach to reach the target audience and accordingly requires development. Readymade tools can’t provide that customization.

    I would prefer to hire a mobile app development company and ask their recommendation and case-studies.

  5. Maybe it is only me, but my need is a bit different. I already have a complete, responsive web application (a webpage) which can be used by mobile users and offers all functionalities I need.

    I just want to give users an easier access: instead of firing up a web Browser, then following a bookmark / or otherwise reaching my URL e.g. by searches (boring!), I would like them to just execute an “app” which just opens a separate web browser instance at the predefined URL, possibly hiding the address bar etc (maybe redirecting any *external* link to a proper web browser — but, otherwise, I could just do without any external link).

    Almost like a web bookmark link in android, but looking more like an app: installable, coming with it’s own icon, and hiding all the web-browser functionalities which I don’t need (address bar, bookmarks, etc).

    Is it easy / possible do to this? are there tools?

  6. Awesome .. need to make one of it from my website..

  7. I hope you can add our service on this list! We “Joren” (https://joren.io) is a service born in Japan.
    We are in beta now and collecting pre-registration. Check us out 🙂

  8. Thanks, going to try it with my gaming site, hopefully people will be able to play the games on a mobile.

  9. The resources mentioned above are really good for the guy, who want to convert his website into a mobile app. mobile apps are better than a website. no doubt about it. But there are multiple factors are also affected when you’re going to convert your website into a mobile app. It’s not like that all are going to develop an app, so you also go for the same. Develop an app only if your business really needs it.

  10. I really need to to put my mobile ready site in the app market? what do you suggest I do when my site is already mobile ready.?

  11. Good article.
    I hope you can add our service https://www.appstrand.com/ to your list.

    Thank you

  12. Your article has been very helpful to me! I am considering an online business, and I will need to create a mobile app if I go through with my plan. I gained a great deal of perspective and information from the article.

  13. Unless you have created a game, everything is connected to the web so a web page access is all you need. 90% of the app should be web access with a few simple things like phone numbers and address in the app itself. An app is a camouflaged bookmark. We used to call them web apps,way back 5 years ago.

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