The global coronavirus outbreak had an unquestionable impact across hundreds of sectors – and the health & fitness industry wasn’t an exception. The quarantine-imposed regulations made millions of people switch their routine from exercising at the gym or outdoors to exercising indoors, from the comfort and safety of their own home. This global tendency shift created a new opportunity for many businesses and fitness trainers to create a workout app that makes it easier for people to keep in shape at home.
At a first glance, it all sounds great. Except that there is one small problem – developing an app from scratch can be a very expensive project, ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 for a regular app, and up to $500,000 for a very complex app with advanced features. This project could become even more expensive if you want to build a native mobile app for both the Galaxy App Store and the Apple App Store, which requires separate costs for development and maintenance.
And we are not even talking about the budget that you will have to set aside for regular updates, maintenance, and other features that you may want to add at some point.
Luckily, there is a cheaper and better way to create a workout app and take advantage of the awesome opportunity that is showing up for many businesses or personal trainers: progressive web apps. Today, we will talk about the benefits of having a PWA for your health & fitness business, and we will see the 3 easy steps that you can take in order to create a workout app without depending on app stores.
What are Progressive Web Apps?
Progressive Web Apps are essentially websites that have the look and feel of a native mobile app, and the technology that they are built upon allows them to combine the best of both worlds. They are fast, light, responsive, secure, and can work offline – even if the user has an unstable Internet connection. Additionally, PWAs use progressive enhancement principles to ensure that the app will deliver the basic content and functionality to every user regardless of their browser, bandwidth, or connectivity.
Another benefit that sets progressive web apps apart from native mobile apps, and allows you to create a workout app that users can access at all time and engage with, is that they don’t require a digital distribution system.
In other words, you will not have to publish them in any app store, and your audience will not have to download a heavy app to occupy all the space on their electronic device. Which is one of the many reasons why people tend to uninstall apps after using them for a couple of months.
Your audience will be able to access your workout app from anywhere, at any time, with just a simple URL or a QR code. And, because progressive web apps can also work in offline mode, they will be able to do their workout
How to create a Workout app for your business
With all the benefits that Progressive web apps offer for businesses, it is no surprise that they have been consistently increasing in popularity over the last few years. But there is one more benefit that we didn’t mention previously, and that makes them perfect for everyone who wants to create a workout app in the matter of minutes and for just a fraction of the cost. And that is, how easy they are to make if you have the right tools.
But of course, before we dive into the tools, let’s see the whole process of building a progressive web app from the beginning:
Step 1. Make your decision
The first step to creating a progressive web app for your workouts and exercise plans is to actually make your decision. Depending on your context, you might have to discuss it with your team, bringing together the most important key decision makers and IT staff. If you already have a native mobile app and a standard website, a PWA might eventually replace both at some point.
On another hand, you could also be a personal trainer or a professional fitness coach. Having an app is a great way to share the workouts with your audience, and build a community around your personal brand. In this case, the chances are that the decision to create a workout app will depend entirely on you (unless you have a team you are working with).
In both cases, making this decision will revolve around answering key questions such as:
- What is my target audience? Who will be using my progressive web app, and what are they like? Knowing your audience and their behavior online will be essential for creating an app that keeps them engaged in the long run.
- What are my goals with this app? Do I want to monetize it directly and earn money with it, or simply support my current activities? Again, having a clear goal in mind is very important for building an app that is beneficial both for you and your audience.
- How am I going to market my app? The good news about PWAs is that you can centralize all your PWA Marketing strategies and efforts into a single URL, since they are perfectly capable of working on all platforms, browsers, and electronic devices.
- What is my budget for creating an app? Depending on your budget for app development, you will have different options and alternatives available on the table. If you don’t have thousands of dollars to invest in a native mobile app, a PWA is usually the perfect alternative.
At this step of the app development process, you will have to define the key aspects that will shape your app. The features, the content, the images – everything will revolve around your goals, target audience, budget, and Marketing strategy, among other possible questions that may arise in the making.
After all, it won’t make sense to add features that your audience won’t use, or content that is not aligned with your business goals.
Step 2. Get the right tools
Whether you are a small business or a professional fitness coach, the next step to create a workout app is to get the right tools to work with.
As we already discussed, native app development can be really expensive to invest in, and it might not fit within the budget of many companies. In these cases, the best alternative is creating your app with a powerful Drag & Drop app builder such as Beezer.
Drag & Drop builders allow you to make your app from scratch without any coding, by just – you guessed it – dragging the features that you want to add to your app, and dropping them onto it to get them instantly. With a tool like this, you will be able to create a workout app single-handedly, without any coding experience or relying on an IT team.
Builders like these are not only great for creating and launching an app in less than a day (native development can take many months), but they are also really affordable. For example, prices for Beezer start from just £11.99 per month.
And the best part is, because your progressive web app won’t need an app store to be distributed, you can literally create it and have it up and running in the same exact day. With native mobile apps, apart from the time and money it takes for the development itself, you will also have to ensure that you comply with the requirements of each specific app store. And wait for them to approve your app before your audience can actually start using it.
Step 3. Create a Workout app with the right content and features
Now that you have a:
- A good understanding of your target audience;
- A clear goal for your app;
- And the right tools to build it;
The next step is to get down to work, and start building your progressive web app right away! To give you a more practical example, today we will show you how to create an app with Beezer – step by step. This way, you will be able to build your mobile presence without having to invest in native mobile app development – while reaping all the benefits of progressive web apps.
Create a free account
First, you will need to create an account – don’t worry, it is completely free to do so, and you have a 30-day free trial to explore the platform as much as you want before making a decision. All you need to do is hop to beezer.com and sign up with your name and email address.
Select a template
The next step is to select a template to use as a base for your progressive web app. You have a variety of templates to choose from, but because our goal in this article is to create a workout app, we can directly select the Health & Fitness template:
Give your app a name
Now that you have your template, the next step is to give your app a name. By default, your app will end in .beezer.com, but you can later switch to a custom domain – we just added this feature, so we invite you to check it out.
Think of a name that is short, clear, and represents your brand the right way. Writing down a name that is way too long or difficult will make it harder for your audience to remember the URL and visit your app directly later. You want to use a URL that is memorable and will not hurt your engagement rates.
Select the desired features
The next step to undertake if you want to create a workout app is to select the features and characteristics that you want it to have. Beezer offers a variety of different features to select from, including:
- Workout timers – with this feature, you can set workout sets, intervals, and cycles, designing a custom workout timer for your clients. You can also include pre-recorded commands like “warm up”, “start”, “rest” to give clear and precise instructions to guide them through. You can also use this feature in the background while using other apps, and even when your phone screen is locked.
- Workout history – this is a component that you can add to your workout timer, making it possible for your app users to record their workout routine, and access their history at any time they want.
- Appointment scheduling – if you are a personal trainer or a professional fitness coach, you probably want to schedule appointments with your clients to make sure that they are following your workout correctly. Our integration with Appointed provides you with an easy-to-use scheduling and online booking tool that makes it possible to do just that – whether we are talking about virtual or face to face meetings.
- Form & vote building – do you want to get feedback from your clients on the quality and efficiency of your workouts? You can easily add the form and vote building features to get more information on the preferences of your users, or simply capture general data to improve your app.
- Member login – you can also add an additional layer of security to your Beezer app by incorporating Member login. This way, you can control who can access your mobile app, and which pages they can see. This feature is especially helpful for trainers whose app offers exclusive content to paying members.
Additionally, if you want to create a workout app that is easily monetizable, you also have additional features at your disposal, such as our ecommerce integration with Shopify and Woocommerce. This way, you can also sell your health & fitness related products while providing workouts and other forms of content to your audience.
And last but not least, having the option to send push notifications among the offered features is a great way to keep your audience engaged with your content. You can use push notifications to send workout reminders, discounts on your products and services, the latest news regarding your brand, or simply a motivational message to get them going with their workout.
The opportunities for making use of push notifications are endless – and it is a great way to reach your audience at the right place, in the right time, with the right message. Directly on their electronic device!
Creating an app for your health & fitness business doesn’t have to be difficult – nor expensive. As technology is evolving to provide better and more efficient alternatives to native mobile app development, it is no surprise that progressive web apps are on the rise, and this is happening for a reason.
From the multiple benefits and features they provide to companies, to their affordability, progressive enhancement technology and high performance, it has become very easy to create a workout app in just a few steps. In fact, you can develop it and get it up and running in just a single day, which is something that simply cannot happen with native mobile app development.
Because progressive web apps allow you to bypass app stores, you can create a workout app and establish your mobile presence quickly and easily without the need to wait for app store approval. Additionally, your users will be happy to avoid all the hassle of having to download an app and constantly delete other sources of content in order to find space for it. There are no needs for annoying updates too, as updates for progressive web apps happen in the background without any impact on user experience.
If you are still not convinced about progressive web app development as the right tool to create a workout app, we invite you to try our platform for free. You only need your name and email address to create an account, and you have up to 30 days to decide whether PWAs are for you. But we are sure you won’t get disappointed!
What are you waiting for? Start your 30-day free trial today!