Apps are everywhere. There’s an app for this, an app for that, and app for everything. As a webmaster, you might consider them to be unimportant — after all, how are they going to help you? You’re building and maintaining a web presence, not an app presence.
Simply, there are many apps that will let you keep on top of what’s going on whilst on the move, and a few that will help you out even when you’ve stopped moving.
Apps for tracking
There are apps for checking the reports in your analytics, measuring your metrics, and discovering everything you need to know about access to your website. For example, the Google Analytics app, WebAnalytics, and more. But what you might not realize is that some other apps can give you important information regarding visitor stats too.
If your website was developed on Squarespace, there’s the Squarespace Analytics app for that, giving you an overview of all the metrics for your hosted site, including a sales overview. This can be incredibly important if you generate revenue by selling products from your site — at the very least, it will help you to prepare for what may be waiting upon your return to the office!
If you have a list of contacts that you email regularly with updates and offers, the Mailchimp app will give you information on your mailing list deliveries, opens, and responses. You can also send new campaigns out from the app, so if the last one didn’t do so well, you’ll know immediately that something needs to change.
The WordPress app will give you visitor metrics for all your WordPress sites, in addition to an abundance of other features — but more on that in a moment.
All of these apps are just the tip of the iceberg!
Even Facebook has an app to give you statistics on the visitors to your Facebook page — imaginatively called Facebook Pages. At first glance, it appears to be a simple interface for updating your created Facebook page(s), but a little digging will show you in-depth information on how people use your page. A summary of this information is available in the standard Facebook app, but if you really want to get the full picture the Pages app is a necessity.
Apps for updating
Some of the apps previously mentioned are multipurpose apps, including FB Pages and WordPress, meaning not only can you view your metrics, you can also update your page or site.
Squarespace on the other hand offer a range of apps to perform different tasks, so updating your site is left to the Squarespace Blog app. Weebly, Wix, and other build-your-own-site platforms have apps to enable updates too.
And don’t forget, each social platform has its own app — Twitter, Instagram, and many others have dedicated apps for just simply updating your status. Meanwhile, apps like Hootsuite allow you to manage multiple social platforms from a single interface.
Apps for editing
If you’re not working with a hosted platform like Squarespace or Weebly, and instead are writing code by hand, there are still options available for you. Aside from the usual expected text editors, apps like Dropbox allow you to access your files and documents and have rudimentary editing capabilities built in. Similarly, OneDrive and Google Drive allow on-the-go editing of files, but your mileage may vary on their usefulness if you are more suited to a full development environment.
Web based editors, such as CodeAnywhere, also have apps available which are much more suited to editing source code. CodeAnywhere features connection manager that allows connections to multiple different services, including Dropbox, Google Drive, FTP servers and more. To maintain more than a single connection, a subscription is required. This kind of app can be limited by smaller screen sizes, but if you quickly need to perform an edit whilst nowhere near a computer, they can be life savers.
Apps for communication
As a webmaster or developer, you may need to keep in touch with clients, potentially in different countries. While calling on a standard phone line might be an option, it probably won’t be cheap. And sometimes, a short text message gets the job done just as well, without the need for a full email.
To this end, communications apps like Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and others, come into their own. They work over internet protocols, so as long as you have an internet connection you can get in touch with other people. There are no calling costs on Skype-to-Skype/WhatsApp-to-WhatsApp/etc calls or messages other than the cost of your internet connection, and all of these apps support text, photos, voice calling and video calling.
Some (for example Skype) will allow you to call landlines or have people call you via a landline number, but this is usually at a price. However, if your business needs a landline number and you aren’t always near a landline but you do have an internet connection, this may be the way to go.
Other systems that use IP (internet protocol) telephony are available, and can be used with switchboards and hardwired phones — all of which can be controlled and administrated via an app.
Apps for relaxing
Finally, after all this time spent keeping on top of your website, metrics, visitors, and clients, and updating everything you can find, you might decide it’s time for a bit of downtime.
While you might be tempted to reach for a game to play, maybe an app like Candy Crush Sage or Clash Royale, there are better ways to truly relax.
Apps like Headspace and Calm offer guided meditation, gently guiding you through the process of relaxing and calming down. Calm plays soft music or nature sounds with pictures of lakes, trees, and grass blowing in the wind, all designed to relax you and help you unwind.
After a long hard day there’s nothing better than putting your feet up and just simply chilling out. There’s an app for everything!