What are some of the benefits of converting a website into an app? If you decide to create an app, is hiring an expensive agency still the only option? And what can you expect throughout the development process?
In this article, we’re going to answer all of these questions and much more.
We’re going to show you why the days of creating a high-code app are over. We’ll explain what no-code is – and why to consider no-code if you want to convert a website into an app. Finally, we’ll review why Blaze might be the best option for you.
By the time you finish reading this article, you should understand how to convert a website into an app. We’ll reveal how you can do this the traditional way (high-code). But we will also explain how Blaze makes it easy as a no-code solution.
Let’s get started!
First things first: Why would a business want to turn a website into an app?
When used correctly, a web app can help bring a business to the next level. There’s a misconception that an app is simply a mobile-optimized site. While this is true in some cases, it oversimplifies the benefits of this technology.
In reality, a web app should be specifically designed to help your business run its operations. The best part? It can be done through a web browser on both desktop and mobile devices without need for extra software. Because apps are connected to the internet, your team will benefit from real-time data and updates.
Let’s take a closer look at a few of the benefits:
While there are many benefits, the key benefit comes down to a single word: Customization.
When you convert a website into an app, you have complete control over the final product. Oftentimes, software comes with extra features you don’t need. However, you still need to pay for those unused features. By building your own app, you’re helping your business run better. You’re creating exactly what you need without the bloat. The best part? You can always update it and scale as your business grows.
Simply put, there are two types of apps you can build:
If you're an avid smartphone user, chances are you use native apps every day. In fact, when most people hear the word “apps,” a native app is likely what comes to mind. But what exactly are native apps and how do they differ from other types of apps?
Native apps are applications that are specifically designed to be used on a particular operating system (OS). For Apple devices, these apps are designed to run on iOS. For Androids, they’re made to run using Google’s Android OS.
In other words, these apps are developed using the programming language and tools that are native to the particular operating system. This is where the name “native apps” comes from! Building apps from scratch allows them to fully integrate with the device. Because the app is native, it can take advantage of all the device’s features. This includes the camera, GPS, and sensors, which allows them to offer a wide range of functionality.
Another advantage of native apps is that they can be downloaded and installed directly from app stores, such as the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. This makes it easy for users to discover and download native apps, and also helps to ensure that the apps are secure and of high quality.
Some of the most popular uses for native apps include:
A key benefit of native apps is the ability to send push notifications. This is especially popular among news publishers and ecommerce stores.
So, the next time you're using your favorite app on your smartphone, take a moment to think about whether it's a native app or not. Chances are, it is – and that's why it works so well on your device. Native apps are an essential part of modern smartphones, and their popularity shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Here’s an easy way to tell the difference between native and hybrid apps:
It’s important to note that while you can access a hybrid app through a browser, it’s not “just a website.” Accessing the app through a website is a convenience, but there’s a lot of high-tech behind the scenes. Hybrid apps mix website technology with native app technology to make this convenience possible.
The difference between mobile apps (native apps) and mobile websites can often be determined by whether or not you had to download an app to your device.
The first step to convert a website into an app is to determine what type of app you want: Native or hybrid?
As with anything else in life, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every single business is different. Each business has its unique goals and priorities. To help you determine which option is best for your business, ask the following questions.
Are you looking to boost your business by establishing a large app store presence? If so, then you’ll want to opt for native apps, as these are only accessible by download through the app store.
For example, some businesses rely entirely on app revenue. Think about Uber and Lyft. Both of these apps have to be downloaded onto your phone. The business model is entirely dependent on users booking rides through the app, which then takes a cut of each transaction.
Another example is augmented reality. Pokémon Go, for instance, is reliant on the camera in the smartphone for users to play the game. Therefore, it makes sense that Pokémon Go would be a native mobile app.
On the other hand, if the purpose of your app is to streamline business operations, then you’ll want to opt for a hybrid app instead.
Are you looking for the widest reach possible? If so, then a hybrid app is likely your best choice, as it can be accessed through a browser.
Businesses that want to create an app to boost productivity can easily deploy a hybrid app, regardless of what smartphone their employees have.
On the other hand, an ecommerce store targeting generation Z would benefit from a native app. Their target audience grew up with smart technology and is used to interacting with brands through apps. Modern user expectation is a key factor to consider.
Native apps are more expensive to develop. This is because they need to be developed with each platform (operating system) in mind. Hybrid apps are cheaper because they only need to be developed and deployed once!
As a rough estimate, native apps can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $500,000 to develop.
Hybrid apps can cost as little as $25 per month, per user. Blaze is a no-code app development platform that lets you build internal tools and apps with no code. The most popular option is $125. Organizations that need more can request a custom solution.
Do you want the app to integrate seamlessly with the device it’s used on? If device integration is important, then you’ll want to opt for a native app.
But what about integration with other software? For example, if you’re building a business app, you may want to connect with other tools. This might include tools like DocuSign, Zendesk, Shopify, Strip, Quickbooks, HubSpot, and much more! If you want to bring in external data, then you’ll want to go hybrid.
Native apps are what are known in the industry as “high-code.” In other words, they require a high amount of coding. You’re going to need to hire a professional app developer or an agency to be able to build a native app.
Want to make updates in the future?
You’ll have to re-hire the team or find someone else who knows how to code.
However, if you’d prefer to have total control, then hybrid apps allow you to do so. Thanks to low-code and no-code solutions like Blaze, you can build business apps without writing a single line of code. Essentially, you connect all the data sources you want. Then you begin dragging and dropping features into place to create your own dashboard.
In other words, you don’t necessarily have to hire an agency to convert your web app into an app. You can do it yourself if you want!
Again, there isn’t a right or wrong answer. It comes down to your organization’s needs, priorities, and vision for the app. By answering the above questions, you’ll be better able to answer the question of whether to go native or hybrid.
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of native vs. hybrid apps, it’s time to look at how to actually convert a website into an app! Since there are multiple options, we’ll review the pros and cons of each. We will also explain why Blaze is considered the best option for businesses regardless of size.
Let’s dive in!
You can convert the app yourself using native/hybrid options if your organization has the resources to do so. Many enterprise companies have full-fledged IT teams with development capabilities.
The complexity of the app, customization needed, and number of platforms it needs to work on can all affect the time it takes to code an app. Simple apps with just a few features may take a few weeks to code. More complex apps could take several months or even longer.
When it comes to developing an app, one of the biggest decisions you'll face is whether to hire an agency. Like all the other options, this has its own set of pros and cons.
If you want a team to build the app from start to finish, working with an agency is your best bet. However, this premium service comes at a very high cost.
There are many pros and cons to working with freelancers. Generally speaking, a freelancer is a great option when you want a developer with a specific skill set. They are much more affordable than development agencies, but there are some risks involved.
In short, freelancers can be a great option when you want a somewhat similar quality to an agency, but at a lower cost. However, you'll need to vet each candidate to find the best fit for your project.
Even if you don’t know how to create a web app, you can learn to use Blaze in as little as a few minutes. We’ve found that small businesses and mid-market companies get plenty out of our Basic and Growth plans. We also offer custom solutions for advanced enterprise needs.
The best part of using Blaze is that there are no technical skills required! Non-technical entrepreneurs and small business owners can create a web app without needing to hire a developer or an expensive agency.
You can connect external data from sources without having to write a single line of code. Some of the most popular integrations include:
It’s important to note that any web app built on Blaze is a mobile-optimized site. In other words, it’s more of a hybrid app than a native app. Your team will be able to access it via browser on any desktop or global smartphone.
Need a full mobile app deployment for your large enterprise needs? We can build and deploy a mobile app as part of our custom enterprise solutions. Again, we’ll handle all the coding so you don’t have to worry about any of the tech specs!
Converting a website into an app with Blaze couldn’t be easier! It only takes a few minutes to create a web app when you use Blaze. Here’s how to get started!
When we say “free demo,” we mean it. You don’t need to input your credit card. There’s no pressure or expectation for you to close.
During this free consultation, we’ll show you how easy it is to create an app using our no-code platform. It might sound too good to be true, which is why we’re relying on the idea that “seeing is believing.” Once you see how easy it is, then you’ll understand why no-code is booming in popularity.
We’ll also discuss your web app needs as well as your goal and vision. This way, we can show you the features that are most relevant for you. If your needs are more advanced, we can talk about our custom solutions for enterprise clients.
After the call, it’s up to you to determine whether to use Blaze to build your web app.
When you decide to use Blaze, you’ll be given access to your own back-end portal. This is where the magic happens. We’ve built the platform to be as intuitive and easy to use as possible. Familiarize yourself with the platform – and as always, you can reach out to us if you have any questions!
Blaze has dozens of pre-built integrations. You can easily connect to your external tools such as Quickbooks and Zendesk to sync them all to your web app. This way, you can access all the information you need from a central place! This will save you time, reduce errors, and boost your productivity.
To create your dashboard, all you have to do is drag and drop elements into place. You can create any forms you need and organize them in the way that is best for your workflow. Again, you don’t need to code. Simply drag and drop! If you can imagine it, you can build it.
Now, it’s time to begin inviting members of your team to the web app. We understand that work communities can be large. This is why we allow you to set user permission levels between Admin, Manager, and Author.
This is just one of the many security features we have to help you secure your app as thoroughly as possible.
Upload your logo. Change your color palate. Take advantage of custom branding and themes!
Just as UX can be the most important brand differentiator, branding your app can make a big impact. When you create an external facing app, this will greatly enhance the mobile experience. For internal teams, it helps keep branding and the user experience consistent.
Creating a web app with Blaze is that simple thanks to no-code technology. The legacy desktop paradigm has changed. More and more people are using smartphones and tablets to access web based apps.
You don’t have to worry about coding or developing a native app. Web apps made through Blaze are designed to adapt to every platform. From mobile UX to mobile UI to desktop performance, we prioritize ease of use to help your organization be as productive as possible!
Want to learn more? Schedule your free demo today!