SquareSpace for mobile apps

Michael Hayes

I’m a huge fan of SquareSpace. Out of the many services for enabling people to make websites it’s one of the best. The experience is easy and intuitive, it has great looking templates allowing people to create great looking websites and most importantly it’s affordable.

But if you wanted to make a mobile app what are your choices?

Doing it yourself

You can of course develop an app yourself. Actually it’s never been easier; iOS and Android dominate the mobile industry and both platforms have great guides and learning resources freely available. However developing an app for Android or iOS requires some knowledge of Java or ObjectiveC/Swift. Plus each platform has nuances and conventions you’ll need to understand. That’s either a skill your business will need to develop or recruit in.

Plus there’s a lead time, one of the biggest benefits of a service like SquareSpace is you can quickly create a gorgeous website. It’s a huge time saving.

If you want your app on both platforms you’ll need at least some knowledge of both — even if you use a framework like Xamarin or React Native.

Outsourcing development

If you can’t do it yourself then outsourcing is a solution. Outsourcing the development of a mobile app is what Add Jam have traditionally offered as a service but we’ll admit that doesn’t come cheap. A reasonable day rate for an iOS developer in the UK is £400 per day plus. Then for all but the most simple app to be made you would be looking at at least several weeks of work (if not months) and your costs will be in the thousands.

And this has the same problem as doing it yourself — if you want to hit both iOS and Android your costs will be higher.

Using a service

There are services for making apps like AppInstitute but for me they don’t strike that sweet spot of easy of use, great design and affordability that SquareSpace have managed for making website creation more accessible.

That’s why Add Jam have developed Pocket Leap.

With Pocket Leap you select a ‘theme’ such as our event app theme pictured below. This creates an app bundle on iOS and Android automatically for you with the right layout and a simple content management system (CMS) where you can input and manage your app content. The CMS is designed to be useable — our mission is to allow people to make an app without talking to a developer. The CMS is uncluttered and has simple navigation. We’ve purposefully developed it in a way where we take care of the complexity.

Although easy to use, through the CMS the app can be styled (colour palette, icons) and theme options (such as map pin style, tab names etc) can be customised. Our users hit publish and the app is on its way to the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store. Simple. Painless. And with Pocket Leap we make sure your app stays fresh and usable automatically. When Apple and Google release new versions of iOS and Android we make sure the app is ready for day one of the new operating system.

All this on Pocket Leap costs from as little as £150 per month.

Unlike existing services like AppInstitute mobile apps created with Pocket Leap are fully Native app on iOS and Android. With this I mean it’s not a compromise – we don’t just put a wrapper around a website. Your app has all the benefits of a mobile app like working offline, push notifications, mapping and a look and feel you can only get with a Native app.

We’re confident Pocket Leap with this unique blend of ease of use and powerful features businesses will be empowered to really deliver a quality mobile experience to their customers. It will empower businesses to have their brand present on customers devices, allow businesses to engage through a simple push notification and all the while Pocket Leap will be collecting useful data and providing useful insights through our built in analytics.

If you’d like to learn more about Pocket Leap drop me an email at [email protected]