Creating an app from a website is the perfect way to engage your website visitors on their mobile devices. This way, you can improve mobile traffic and enable your users to spend more time on your app pages.
You do not need to be a programming wizard to build an app that your audience will love.
With the right DIY app builder tools at your disposal, you can easily make your own app in a code-free environment. The outcome will be better than you imagined.
In this post, we have laid out a plan for you to create an app from scratch, that too without any technical know-how. Let’s get started.
Do your research
Building an app begins with a progressive research.
From putting down your business objectives and selecting the mobile platform, to understanding 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 of existing, similar mobile apps.
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, comprehend the following:
a. What can you do to make your app better?
b. How 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 much. You are offering original content to a 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.
You can identify your target audience in many ways. The most popular methods 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 for:
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 these 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 dependent on several things.
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, make some decisions that will help you reduce the timescale of building an app.
Here are the main factors that affect mobile app development’s timeline:
1. Mobile platform
Some platforms are easier and quicker to use to create an app from scratch than their counterparts.
Hybrid platform, for example, is often used by many corporations if they want to build an as quickly as possible.
2. Level of functionality
If you are adding multiple layers of functionalities in your app, then of course, it is going to take longer to develop it. 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 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 to ensure the 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.
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 right development 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.
Instead of Windows, most businesses 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.
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, move on to choosing the design. 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 helps 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, it is simply known as ‘wireframe.’
Think of all the different elements and features that your mobile app will have. This way, you can make the wire-frame as comprehensive as possible.
Creating a wireframe is easy for many prototyping tools and apps. 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. Now, the app will be a replica of your visuals.
Sometimes, a few elements of the app may change during the development phase to ensure perfect functionality. Therefore, having a wireframe ready will help to see your thoughts and ideas for your app.
Do not forget to plan out your storyboard when you create 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 to have a clear picture of what you will need to create. Moreover, this will help in displaying parts of the design that you may have missed 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 development. Take notes on how your app’s UX/UI can 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.
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 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 accurately build your user stories. Instead of focusing on how your users will perform, 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 complete creating 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.
Develop your app
If you have made it this far, you are now ready to start building your app.
While there are several options to get your app built, AppMySite WooCommerce and WordPress mobile app builder can create an app in a few easy steps.
It’s time to move on and conceive issues that you may face during the development phase:
a. What is your budget?
b. When is your deadline for app development?
c. What type of app do you need?
While in your research phase, you may have come across two two fundamental approaches to build your app – 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 freelance app developers.
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 on.
b. App development freelancers
Freelance developers can be found on various platforms, like upwork.com, peopleperhour.com, and LinkedIn.
For Android app development, you can look for developer/s with experience in Java/Android SDK/Kotlin. In the case of iOS app development, you will need someone with 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, and more.
Most online app creators will not require you to have coding or technical knowledge to get started. AppMySite is a great tool to turn your website into an app without coding. You can 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. The app you create will be a reflection of your website. Simply it build your app and publish it.
If you don’t want to be involved in publishing your app, you can subscribe for an add-one service which will take care of the process end-to-end.
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 is made extremely simple and something you can start immediately.
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
Once you have developed your new mobile app and tested it over and over again, it’s time you prep for launching it.
Here are a few things you should consider while launching your new app for a smooth process:
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 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 app icon, 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, 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 helps in showcasing 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.
Suggested Read: How to design the App Store Screenshots of your mobile 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 a brief introduction of how you can make your own app for your business, without any programming language knowledge or skills.
You must have found that there are many options 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.