Do you have a site built on Weebly, or are you considering using Weebly to power your blog, company website or online store? And are you also wondering how you’ll be able to best cater to site visitors on mobile devices?
If so, read on. We’re going to show you the best way to turn your Weebly site into mobile apps for iOS and Android. We’ll also explain why you should want to build mobile apps for your website, in case you’re not convinced this is necessary.
If you’re thinking you’d never have the budget or expertise to create a mobile app, you might be surprised at how accessible this option is.
Read on for more!
Why People Build Websites with Weebly
First Site Guide’s data puts Weebly as the 6th largest content management system (CMS) by market share, powering a little over 1 million sites worldwide, making up 1.63% of the total number of sites online.
This is significantly lower than the leader, WordPress, which boasts over 40% market share and more than 30 million live websites. But Weebly’s user base is still nothing to scoff at.
Weebly’s a valuable platform because of how accessible it is. It’s a good fit for first-time site builders or business owners, who don’t have much (if any) experience building websites.
Like fellow website builders Wix and Squarespace, Weebly offers a range of ready-made templates, themes, widgets and a drag-and-drop editor to let anyone create a website, whether or not they have any technical ability.
Weebly is particularly popular for eCommerce, which makes sense, as not many online store owners also have an IT background, or a team of experienced web developers on staff.
For that reason, if you’re running a site on Weebly, you probably don’t have the in-house resources to build your own mobile apps. Weebly doesn’t offer this feature either. You can optimize your site for mobile browsers, but for the reasons we’re about to discuss, it will never live up to what you can do with mobile apps.
Why You Should Convert Your Site to Mobile Apps
So you’ve built your site with Weebly, it’s running great, you’re getting a lot of traffic and sales. Why complicate things by branching out into mobile apps?
There’s a strong chance that you’re leaving money on the table if all you have is a mobile-optimized website. Let’s take a look at why this is.
Mobile has overtaken desktop in market share
It used to be that you built websites for desktop first, and catering to mobile users was a nice little extra.
That’s all changed now. More people today access the internet on mobile devices, versus desktop. Where ten years ago, desktop held nearly 90% market share, mobile now leads with 59%, versus 38%.
If you build your business around desktop first, mobile second, you’re likely catering to the minority. You’re telling nearly two thirds of your audience that they’re not your priority. That’s a big mistake to make.
Apps provide a superior user experience
So how does that relate to apps? You can build a browser site that’s mobile-first, right?
The issue is that the mobile browser offers a sub-standard user experience, even if your site is specifically designed for mobile users.
Apps are just better. They’re faster, easier to use, easier to navigate, and have fewer small annoyances than using a mobile browser.
That’s the reason 90% of time spent accessing the internet on mobile devices is spent on apps, compared to mobile browsers.
You don’t have annoying browser tabs getting in the way. The speed, we mentioned – apps generally load faster, because the files are already downloaded to your device, rather than being accessed from some far-off server.
You may even be able to access content on apps offline, which is impossible with a mobile website.
By offering a better user experience for people who come to your site on mobile, you’re going to incentivize longer sessions, more activity, and more return visits – all metrics that are likely to add to your bottom line.
Push notifications for increased activity
Another big plus of mobile apps is full access to push notifications.
Think about how you get people to come back to your site now. Retargeting ads, email, social media are probably the big three. Yet none of these channels are as flexible, personal, and have engagement that matches push notifications.
Push notifications are a hard line straight to your target customer. You can send order updates, promotions, new content, or just about anything you need to get people back into your app.
You can do some things with push notifications on mobile websites. But it’s not as effective. You can’t use push notifications on iOS devices, for example.
You can only access the full power of push notifications with mobile apps.
Get into the app stores
Launching your own mobile apps also lets you get into the Google Play and Apple App Stores.
This, for one thing, gives you another passive acquisition channel. People can find you by searching on the app stores, which may not become your main source of new users, but it can provide a nice boost.
Best of all, if someone finds and downloads your app from the app store, they’re more likely to be a valuable customer than someone who stumbles across your site in a Google search, since they now have your app icon on their home screen.
Aside from the app stores’ power as an acquisition channel, they also give your brand increased credibility. People take you more seriously when they see you have apps available on the Apple App Store and Google Play. This will result in a great long-term swell for your brand’s image.
How to Turn Your Weebly Site into Mobile Apps
So you want to launch Android and iOS mobile apps for your Weebly site. But how? Doesn’t it take a ton of time, money and technical knowledge to build an app?
It can. But as we’ll get to, launching your own mobile apps may be more accessible than you’d think.
Let’s look at a few ways you could go to build mobile app versions of your Weebly site.
Option One: Rebuild Natively
Your first option is to rebuild your site as a native mobile app. While this gives you the most flexibility for how your app looks and feels, it’s probably not the best choice, for a few reasons.
App developers are not cheap. This is a very specialized field, and building a fully functional native mobile app is a big project.
Not only that, but you’re probably going to need at least two developers, or teams of developers. One to build your iOS version, one to build it for Android.
The cost of this project, altogether, can easily add up to over $50,000.
One of the reasons it costs so much to have an app developed is how long it takes. You’re paying for your developers’ time, and to build and launch an app from scratch takes months.
It’s not a stretch to say it will take 6 months before your app is ready for testing, and that’s if nothing goes wrong during the build.
So unless you want to launch a half-baked app, you’ll be waiting a long time before you can launch.
Even more importantly (yes, more than the project costing you $50,000 and 6 months of development time), you’re going to be left with two separate platforms to maintain.
That means a lot of work to keep everything consistent across your web and mobile app platforms. That’s because you’re forced to rebuild your platform from scratch, instead of converting what you already have to something that works across different platforms.
You’re also going to need to keep developers handy to make updates or fixes to your Android and iOS apps, which you should consider in the cost equation.
Adding it all up, it’s just not worth it to build a native app from the ground up.
Option Two: Rebuild with an App Builder
You can save some of the time and money investment by using a no-code app builder. These platforms, which are exploding in popularity today, allow anyone to build an app, with no coding required.
That certainly lowers the barrier of entry, and means you don’t necessarily need to hire expensive iOS/Android developers to work on your project.
But the last point we talked about in the previous section is still valid. It’s going to be a pain to keep both your mobile app and browser platforms in sync. If you’re running an online store, that might mean you constantly need to update stock levels or catalog details on two separate platforms.
One mistake can mean a lot of unhappy customers.
And while there’s a lower barrier of entry to building apps with no code tools, it still does take some time and design skills to build an app you’re happy with. Even then, there’s a limit to what these tools let you do – you may find yourself never able to get it quite right.
Option Three: MobiLoud Canvas
The superior option to convert your Weebly site to mobile apps is to use MobiLoud Canvas.
With Canvas, you’re not rebuilding your site from scratch. You’re not left with two separate platforms to maintain. You’ll actually convert your existing site into mobile app versions, to run on Android and iOS devices.
That means you only have one platform to manage – update your site on Weebly, and your apps will update at the same time.
It also means a lot less cost and time to launch. The build just involves encasing your site in the “wrapper” of a mobile app, and adding a few native mobile elements. The finished product can be ready in as little as two weeks.
Best of all, MobiLoud handles the whole build, even as far as getting your apps published on the app stores. You only need to let us know what you want your apps to look like, test them out, and we’ll do the rest.
We’re also going to be here to handle any maintenance, fixes or updates you might need down the line.
Step by Step: Building Mobile Apps with Canvas
MobiLoud Canvas is simply the best option for converting any site or web app, built on Weebly or any other platform, into mobile apps. It’s cheaper, faster, and more convenient for you long-term.
The process is much simpler than you might imagine. You don’t need any technical knowledge, and you don’t need a huge budget and VC funding.
Here’s how it works:
- Set up a demo call with our team to discuss your project. We’ll talk about the project, your needs, and whether Canvas is right for you.
- Sign up for Canvas. No long-term contracts, a predictable monthly fee, and significantly lower investment than hiring mobile app developers.
- Configure your apps, with details such as menus, color scheme, notification settings, and any other mobile-specific elements you need.
- Wait while our team builds your mobile apps.
- Test your apps, and let us know any final changes you want to make.
- We submit your apps to the Google Play and Apple App Stores, guaranteeing approval.
That’s it. MobiLoud Canvas makes mobile app development accessible to anyone. Even small businesses and solopreneurs can afford to create their own Android and iOS apps, and reach a whole new audience of users.
Launching mobile apps for your business could be the best decision you’ve ever made.
Mobile apps let you offer a superior experience to mobile users, who are likely to make up the majority of your traffic. You can use push notifications to increase sessions and total activity, and being in the app stores is a great boost for your brand’s image.
If you think you don’t have the resources to convert your Weebly site into mobile apps, think again. You’ll be surprised how easy and accessible MobiLoud Canvas makes it. With the simple process outlined above, you can go live with your own mobile apps, without any major investment or technical know-how.
Get in touch today to start the ball rolling on your project.