While using a spreadsheet to plan out your next vacation is harmless, there are downsides to using them for business purposes.
Excel spreadsheets, to use a very popular example, are pushed far beyond their intended capabilities and end up convoluted, confusing, and full of errors as they grow more complex. If you've worked collaboratively within a spreadsheet, you know how quickly it can degrade.
The good news is, there's an easier way to manage your spreadsheet data that's secure, modern, and doesn't require an advanced IT department.
Whether you're working on a personal project or managing volumes of information, converting a spreadsheet to a web app is a simple process that makes data entry more reliable and enjoyable for everyone.
Why Convert a Spreadsheet Into a Web App?
A simple spreadsheet is a good starting point to manage minor data. But if you're using Excel or Google Sheets to manage your entire business, you will invariably face challenges.
Some significant benefits of converting spreadsheets to web apps include:
Spreadsheets can grow fast, become impossible to work with, and even end up corrupt. One wrong entry or formula and your entire spreadsheet is useless. Or worse, you may not even know there's an error and continue to operate your business with incorrect information.
With a web application, you can control who has access to data and avoid accidental errors from a careless keystroke.
Turning your spreadsheet (or spreadsheets!) into an interactive web app can transform a boring Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet into a fully customized solution that is easy to use and navigate. Ditch the endless rows and columns in spreadsheets and create a more user-friendly experience for you and your employees.
Better Accessibility and Collaboration
Because web apps are online and always accessible, you and your employees can view the information you need from any device when you need it — all that's required is an internet connection. And data is always synced, so you'll never have to worry if you're viewing the most recent version.
Yes, you can password-protect a spreadsheet, but software like Microsoft Excel lacks two-step authentication features and encrypted files can be copied — especially when a file and password are shared by email.
An app-building platform like Glide offers greater security than an Excel file or Google Sheet as you can manage unauthorized access to data using a list of pre-approved email addresses or assigning user roles.
More Integration Options
If your business uses several pieces of software, a web app will offer more flexibility when it comes to integration. Daily CSV downloads are a pain and an inefficient use of time. A web app can be as simple or complex as your business needs, thanks to advanced functions with workflow automation and the ability to integrate with third-party software.
Ability to Scale
While spreadsheets are an excellent place to store data, they were not designed as a data management system. Relying on spreadsheets to operate your business's critical data could hinder business growth. A web app has greater functionality, speeds up processes by reducing manual input, and can scale with your business.
If you're tired of emailing that Excel spreadsheet around, crossing your fingers you're using the correct version, or feeling exasperated when you can't access the data when you need it, converting your data to a web app will help.
How to Convert Spreadsheets to Web Apps
If you've concluded that converting your spreadsheets to web apps is a good idea, here are some options you can explore to build your app.
Use Glide to Convert Spreadsheets Into Web Apps, No Code Needed
Thankfully, today there’s an option to build a web app that’s affordable and doesn’t require you to take time out of your busy life to learn programming languages.
A no-code app builder ensures anyone can benefit from using apps in their business without breaking the bank or learning complex code. All it takes is a little creativity and a willingness to try.
With a no-code app builder, you can convert any spreadsheet into a fully functional web app with an integrated online database. All with zero programming skills. Innovative no-code app development platforms like Glide have leveled the playing field in tech for everyone.
Follow these steps and start building your web page now!
Step 1: Import Your Spreadsheet
All you need to get started building with Glide is a spreadsheet with some existing data and a free Glide account!
Once you're signed up, click "New Project," select the “Glide Page” opton, and plug in your data source. You can quickly connect an Excel file or Google Sheet by logging into your Microsoft or Google account. Or, import an Airtable base using your Airtable API key.
The app builder will read organized data more readily, but if you don't have an organized spreadsheet, don't fret. You can check out our step-by-step guide on how to organize your spreadsheet for easy upload. And if you're starting from scratch with no database, you can enter information directly into Glide's Data Editor while simultaneously building your app.
Step 2: Create The Design for Your Web App
Designing a web app in Glide is the fun part. You can build your web app from scratch using Glide's drag-and-drop front-end builder or choose from a collection of templates and add your personal design touches.
It's easy to switch back and forth between Data Editor view, Layout view, and Settings view, so you can see the front-end design on various screen sizes as you add data and customize the app.
Keep your app on-brand and add your company logo, brand colors and fonts, accent colors, and more.
The best part about using Glide to create your web app is that you can add more functionality as needed and easily integrate with third-party apps using Zapier.
Step 3: Publish Your New Web App
Now that you've converted your spreadsheets into a fully functional web app, it's time to publish it! The good news is your app will be hosted on Glide's servers with a subdomain on all free plans. If you're after a custom domain, upgrading to a paid plan is easy.
You can choose to keep your app private or share it with your team with a URL link, QR code, or copy and paste the link into an email or text.
Hire a Web App Developer
Hiring a developer to build a web app to spec is another option, and a good way to ensure your app meets all of your needs. As long as you're clear on your requirements, you could end up with software custom-built around your processes rather than trying to fit your business into a pre-built app.
The downside is a custom app could set you back upwards of $150,000. And that doesn't include fees to update code, make design adjustments, or emergency IT support when it crashes.
Depending on the app's complexity, it could take anywhere from two to nine months to build. Plus, a month or so to get staff trained on the new piece of tech.
A custom-built web app could work if you're not in a hurry and have the cash flow.
Learn to Code And Build A Web App Yourself
Chances are, you're too busy running a business to put in this kind of effort. But, if you have an employee you can spare and pay to learn some basic coding language, you could offer to pay for a course and their time to build a web app to suit.This option could be more economical than hiring a developer.
Things to Consider Before Converting Spreadsheets Into Web Applications
Since there are several ways to build your web application from hiring a developer to using a no-code app builder, here are some additional considerations before jumping in.
Pricing varies considerably between a custom app or a no-code app builder like Glide. While your options are limitless if you've got an open-ended budget and no C-suite to convince, building your web app with Glide is affordable and will never cost you additional money to maintain your app.
Who Will Have Access
When building a web app, it’s important to consider the end user. Is it for a small group of employees? A public-facing app? How many people will access your web app, and how comfortable are they with new tech? Do you have an in-house developer to configure your web app, train your less tech-savvy workers, and immediately fix any errors that arise?
You don’t have to worry about these things with a no-code app builder like Glide. Web apps built within Glide are easy to navigate, and you can control who has access to the app and even specific data within the app itself.
Some custom-built apps can take months to years to build. If you don't want to wait that long, thankfully, there are quick options like Glide — a web app you can build in a day!
Build Your Web Application With Glide
Are you ready to turn your outdated spreadsheets into web apps? Take advantage of Glide today and design a web app that will turn your boring — and potentially corrupt — spreadsheet into a fully-functional online database in just hours.
Keep money in your business, skip the time it takes to learn how to code, and build a beautiful app for your business — it’s easier than you think. If you’re feeling a little nervous to take the plunge, visit our extensive tutorial library. Even if you’ve never heard of no-code apps, you’ll be up and running in a day.
Time to build your new app.
Sign up for your free Glide account now!