I’m sure you already know a few of the things a good business website should do: it should clearly explain the product or service you’re selling. Offer examples of past work. And of course, provide an easy way for people to get in touch.

But your website can do so much more than that. Advances in programming mean we can create custom web applications that not only accomplish your business goals, but also add value for visitors so that they keep coming back.

Web applications are essentially software that’s rendered to users through Internet browsers, instead of having to be installed on a user’s computer. Advanced web apps you’ve probably used before include things like fantasy football interfaces, video viewer sites like Netflix, or any kind of webmail.

The possibilities for web apps are endless. The type of app that might be useful for you really depends on your business and your customers’ needs. For example, if your customers frequently need help troubleshooting your product, you could add a chat feature to speak with them in real time. If you’re a contractor, you could create a form for generating project estimates. If you run a restaurant, you could create an interactive calendar with upcoming events and specials. If you work in financial services, you could dream up an innovative budgeting tool.

The Atomic team builds all of our websites and web apps using a “LAMP” technology stack (that’s Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP for the uninitiated). And we can design apps to be responsive along with the rest of a website, rendering them usable and beautiful on any screen size.

We even built a web app for ourselves—a custom application for creating site maps. We initially created the app for our internal use as a way to help our designers easily organize information for new sites and communicate our vision to clients. The idea took off, and the software has become its own business, generating revenue and helping firms everywhere design sites more efficiently.

I’m not saying your site’s apps need to go viral. And apps shouldn’t compete with the main purpose of your site. But there’s huge potential in creating something that simplifies peoples’ lives. Give some thought to your own business. Chances are, there’s some common process that could use improving. There may already be an app to address it. And if there’s not, why not create one? High-quality apps can lead to increased site traffic—and could even mean a new revenue stream.

Atomic can help you figure out what web software might work for your business. Your customers are sure to app-rove.

Want a site that makes visitors “ooh” and “aah”? Enlist Atomic Interactive for web design magic.

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