Creating an app from a website is the perfect way to start engaging your website visitors on their mobile devices. It helps in improving mobile traffic and enables your users to spend more time on your app pages.
Today, you do not need to be a programming wizard to build an app that your audience will loves.
With the availability of a DIY app builder tool, like AppMySite, you can easily make your own app in a code-free environment. And, the outcome will exactly be the same what you hoped for.
In this post, we have laid out a plan for you to create an app from scratch, that too with no programming experience. Here it goes –
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Building an app begins with progressive research.
From putting down your business objectives and selecting the mobile platform, to understand the market and app monetization options.
Ask yourself a few questions before going ahead with the design and development of your mobile app:
Who is the competition?
Understand the market for existing, similar mobile apps, before you start building an app.
Do not get demotivated if somebody has already created an app on the similar line of your thoughts. Remember, there are many apps out there, doing similar things.
However, if you build an app with advanced features and functionalities, it will stand out from the crowd of other apps.
If existing apps are successful, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
a. What can you do to make your app better?
b. Where are your competitors letting their customers down?
c. What can you offer to the market that is unique?
Conversely, if you are building an app that is an extension of your existing service you operate, competition does not matter as much. You are offering original content to your specific audience who already knows and trusts your brand.
Who is your target audience?
Knowing your target audience is key to success in mobile app marketing. Well, it is not that easy as it seems.
With the following points, you can identify your target audience in many ways. The most popular of them are:
a. Focus groups
c. Market research data
d. Audience personalities
Creating your audience persona is highly recommended. With this marketing strategy, you can build different profiles of people who are likely to be interested in your app:
a. their profession
b. their age
c. their gender
d. their interests and preferences
You can make your target audiences’ personas as broad as you want. The more detailed you make it, the clearer you know your target audience. It could save you time in the future.
After building people personas, you can start using focus groups, surveys, and market research data to analyze your target audience.
Besides the above-mentioned methods, you can also start your research process using social media. Tap into different Facebook groups and Twitter feeds, LinkedIn search filters to find out your audience personas there, who you can then reach out to.
What is your budget?
Building an app requires a budget. However, this budget is depending on several things. Moreover, it is likely to change considerably throughout your app’s life cycle.
Understand how your app budget can be changed in many ways:
a. Mobile platform (Native, Hybrid or Web)
b. In-house or third-party app development
c. Levels of functionality within the app
d. Marketing and monetization methods
You need to consider each of these parameters before you set your budget.
What is your deadline?
Similar to other business projects, there always has to be doable goals and deadlines for building an app, as well.
If you have a strict deadline to put up with, make some decisions that will help you reduce the timescale of building an app.
Here are the main factors that affect mobile app development timeline:
1. Mobile platform
Some platforms are easier and quicker to use to create an app from scratch than their counterparts.
The Hybrid platform, for example, is often used by many corporations if they want the app available for their users as quickly as possible.
For this reason, you need to find a mobile platform that suits your app.
2. Level of functionality
If you are adding as multiple layers of functionalities in your app, then of course, it is going to take longer to develop an app at such level. Therefore, to build the app on time, you can choose to add some functionalities later or adjust your timelines accordingly.
Identify how many developers you can afford to build an app. Usually, the more developers you will have, the quicker it will develop. However, this can increase the app-building cost quickly and significantly.
4. Third-party integrations
If you connect your app with other services, implementing a third party’s APIs correctly surely takes time. Moreover, if third parties are updating their APIs, you may need to take time out to figure your app connection with them to make sure that functionality stays the same.
5. Publishing to the App Stores
You will have no control over publishing your app in the App Stores. Be it Google Play Store or Apple App Store. It possibly take a longer time to approve your app for release.
However, there is no surprise that your app can also be rejected. It simply means you need to improve your app and resubmit it on the desired platform (s).
If your app gets rejected either by the Google Play Store or iOS App Store, it will be a devastating setback to your app development deadline. The best way to avoid delays is to build the app compliance with each app store guidelines.
What mobile platform will you use?
If you are building an iOS app, Android app, or Windows app, you need to choose the mobile platform – Hybrid, Web or Native.
You need to decide the mobile platform in the early stage of your research, as it plays a significant part in your budget, timescale, and the functionalities you will have in your app.
Instead of Windows, it is common to create apps for Android and iOS. Both platforms collectively own over 99% of the mobile app market share. However, there is no connection between mobile app platforms. It means – if you are creating an app for Android, it will not run on iOS, and vice versa. You will need to develop different apps for each platform.
Suggested Read: Progressive web app or a native app – what to create?
How Will You Monetize Your App?
While there are many ways that you can increase your business revenue, building mobile apps are a good way to create another revenue stream for your business.
The majority of businesses use one of the following four methods to monetize their apps – paid downloads, in-app advertising, in-app purchasing, and affiliate marketing.
You can also define your monetization strategy to achieve success. Most companies also go for creating free apps with a pivotal goal of increasing brand awareness among their users.
In the same line of thought, you must consider building your mobile app with AppMySite free app maker for greater ROI on a native mobile application.
DESIGN YOUR APP
Once you have gone through a regressive research for your app development, you need to have it designed in a way you want. For this reason, you need to clarify your app ideas to your chosen online app maker.
Here are some points that you should consider for designing an app:
1. Rough Sketch
The first step to build an app is to put down all your thoughts and ideas on paper.
A rough sketch of your app design enables you to lay down the foundation of the app’s main features and the usual look and feel of your app user interface.
You do not need to worry if you are not an artist. It is merely an exercise that helps you and your team understand the progress of app-building.
While your app design is likely to change over time, it is recommended not to attach to your first sketches, no matter how good they are.
Create a ‘wireframe’ for your mobile app from scratch with specific functionality to your service.
When your rough sketch ideas come together into a clearer, and more detailed picture of your app, simply known as ‘wireframe.’
Think of all the different elements and features that your mobile app will have in it. This way, you can make the wire-frame as comprehensive as possible.
Creating a wireframe is easy for many prototyping tools and apps out there. POP, Balsamiq, and HotGloo are a few of the popular wire-framing tools.
When you are done with wire-framing, you can approach mobile app builders to build your app based on your designs.
A user interface (UI) designer, for example, can improve your existing design, add some uniqueness to it, and finally design a real and detailed user interface for your users. Now, the app becomes a replica of your visuals of the app’s design.
However, sometimes, a few elements of the app may change during the app development to ensure its functionality. Therefore, having a wireframe ready helps you and your chosen app builder to see your thoughts and ideas for your app.
Do not forget to plan out your storyboard when you have created your wireframes.
A storyboard is designed to visually display how each screen within your app will flow from one to the next. Also, it helps in making the developer understand how your users will navigate through your app.
For instance, storyboarding is useful for onboarding app screens. With these screens, users can navigate from the splash screen to sign-up screen to home screen, and more.
Plan a comprehensive storyboard that helps your app developer (s) to have a clear picture of what they will need to create. Moreover, this helps in displaying any parts of the design that you may miss or did not initially consider.
To create a storyboard, you can use the same tools that have been used in making wireframes.
It is strongly recommended to test the prototype of your app during the development. Take notes on how your app’s UX/UI could be improved. It is better to discover any issues with your app design in the early stage rather than after your app has already been created.
SPECIFY YOUR APP DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS
Once your mobile app’s design is complete, the next step is to jot down your requirements for the app developer before they build it.
A perfect way to specify your app development requirements is to describe it in the simplest way. It helps you solve the development issues with your mobile app.
Following are the two most used app development requirements:
1. Create user stories
Creating a set of ‘user stories,’ especially for agile development, is preferable.
Similar to creating audience personas, for making user stories, you need to take your users’ perspectives and describe their actions what they will be able to perform in your app.
You can also use the personas you have created in the research stage. It will help you accurately build your user stories. Instead of focusing on how your users will perform it, you should try to give priority to each task of the user.
Describe the issue, not the solution.
The classic marketing approach is to consider the role, the goal, and the benefit, your users will get from your app.
2. Required documents
When you have completed creating your user stories, put everything together in a more detailed document.
If you need a reference for creating user stories and templates for required documents, you can find them online with a quick search. Many guides are out there that can be a useful starting point for you.
Remember that your app is unique, so you should not follow the exact templates, as they may have been created with a different app in mind.
If you have made it this far, you are now ready to start building your app.
DEVELOP YOUR APP
While there are several options to get your app built, AppMySite WooCommerce and WordPress mobile app builder helps you create an app with a few easy steps.
Now, it is time to ask a few questions again as like you have asked yourself during the research stage:
a. What is your budget?
b. When is your deadline for app development?
c. What type of app do you need?
When it comes to answering these questions, your approach may change while searching for app builders to build your mobile app.
Do not fret! You can split it up into two fundamental approaches – custom app development, and DIY app-builders.
Custom app development
If you want to build a mobile app with a unique functionality, you should go for custom development. However, this option can be lengthy and harsh on the wallet.
Even if you want to build a custom app, you can either collaborate with a design studio or hire app development freelancers.
a. App design studios
App designing studios are the best choice to get your app developed in a more efficient way. However, you can expect to pay a top-end price too.
For instance, if you are going to build a native WooCommerce or WordPress mobile app, you can roughly multiply the cost for every platform you want to publish your app.
b. App development freelancers
Freelance developers can be found on various platforms, like Upwork.com, peopleperhour.com, and LinkedIn.
However, for Android app development, you need to look for the one who has experience in Java/Android SDK. Similarly, with the case of iOS app development, you need to look for one who has experience in iOS SDK, Objective C, Cocoa for iPhone/iPad.
With freelancers, if you are paying much less than they are expecting, you may not see high-quality results.
You get what you pay for, thereby, consider going for the mid-high range freelancers if your budget allows.
DIY mobile app builders
With DIY mobile app builders, you can build a mobile app with relatively common requirements. These app builders are faster and more cost-effective solution to build a mobile app instead of creating an app using custom app development.
DIY app builders have been around for a while, and are an economical alternative to build an app.
If you are running a small business, you can get app functionalities like coupons, product catalogs, or more.
Most online app creators will not require you to have coding or technical knowledge to get started. Even if you want to turn your website into an app without coding, check out AppMySite. This app builder helps you make your own app in a code-free environment.
Website to mobile app conversion solutions
If you have a website that has more functionality than DIY app builders allow you to incorporate into your mobile app, you can convert your WordPress website into a mobile app with AppMySite. This app will be a reflection of your website. All you need to have it built, published and maintained.
This app builder also handles the app publishing process for you, saving time and effort on your part.
TEST YOUR APP
It is always a good idea to test your mobile app repeatedly during designing and development.
With A/B testing, you will know the glitches in the app that you can communicate to the app builder. It saves you time, effort, and money in the long run.
If you are building an Android app, you can install your app file on any device (computer or mobile) and test it in a live environment. This way, testing becomes extremely simple and something you can start immediately.
On the contrary, for the iOS app, the case is different. You will need to download a particular platform, such as Invision or TestFlight to test your app.
PREP UP FOR APP LAUNCH
You have developed your new mobile app and tested it again, and again for bugs. Now, your mobile app is ready to launch.
Here are a few things you should consider while launching your new app that goes as smoothly as possible:
Check app store guidelines
Each App Store has different submission rules and regulations. Be it Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Make sure you read Google and Apple’s app submission guidelines to avoid any rejection and delays.
While there are many different reasons why an app could be rejected, we have compiled a list of the main reasons that can help you navigate the iOS App Store regulations, as it is not the case with the Android app.
Suggested read: Your mobile apps are getting rejected by the app stores
Write an overwhelming App Store Description
If your potential users like the buzzing of your app, they are likely to open up the app page. However, the question is – Will they tap the ‘Download’ button? Yes, they will if you have written an apt app store description.
Your App Store description is one of your first chances to convince your users that this is the app they were looking for.
Creating the most exceptional App Store Description is a vital part of App Store Optimization (ASO). Make sure you include the most relevant keywords in it to drive more traffic and downloads.
To write a compelling, informative, and relevant app description, ensure you include keywords at least five times for maximum visibility on the App Store.
Make the most of your media
Like app description, screenshots, and previews, videos also help you sell your app in the App Store. Make them count.
Using high-quality screenshots and related videos help you show off what your app can do. Moreover, it also enables you to sell your app to a potential user on the grounds of in-app experience.
Do not design your screenshots, just like images — these have to be the actual screenshots of your app.
You can also integrate description into the screenshot’s images and videos to capture your target audience’s attention.
Conquer the world of mobile apps
This post was all about a brief introduction of how you can make your own app for your business, without any previous programming language knowledge or skills.
You must have found that there are many options out there to cut-down time and cost, specifically, if you are building an app via a DIY mobile app builder.
Remember, you need to do your research, set up a deadline, and budget parameters to get started. Moreover, for building a high-quality app, you need to know your audience and research your marketplace thoroughly as well before finding an online app maker.
The more you plan, the higher-quality results you are likely to have.
Now you know how to convert your WooCommerce website to a native mobile app. Therefore, the next step is to understand how to market your mobile app amongst a pool of users.
As for now, grab this opportunity and contact AppMySite to build a premium mobile app for your online store.