How to turn any website into a standalone desktop application

Web applications are really useful. Everything from word processing to image editing can now be done using a browser, without the need to install any separate application on your desktop computer. But in some use cases, many web applications and websites would have been even more useful if they were separate standalone desktop apps. This is where site-specific browsers come in.

Site-specific browsers are miniature software browsers that are designed to access only one website. There are many advantages to using such applications. For one, a separate application would offer a distraction-free environment for you to work or consume content on a particular website. Further, you can also log in to the same site with multiple logins on different instances of such site-specific browsers.

In this how-to guide, we will show you how to create such site-specific browsers using one service called WebCatalog. WebCatalog also offers a list of pre-created and optimized for you to use but also allows you to create new custom applications based on links. Of course, this is just one of the services that do this and you can make your choice from an entire selection.

How to turn a website or web application into a standalone desktop application

Download and install the WebCatalog application from its website
Open the application
By default, the application should open to the “Catalog” pane

Click on “Create Custom App”
You will be greeted by a dialogue box
Enter the link, the name you would like to give the app and add the image that you would like to use as a logo for the app you are going to create.

WebCatalog will automatically create the application and add a desktop shortcut

You can later create more shortcuts to the app using the WebCatalog interface

Do note that WebCatalog’s free version only allows the creation of up to 10 applications. Also, it only allows two accounts per application created. If you want more functionality, you will have to go for the paid version. Also, don’t forget that you can also choose other services, like SetApp for Macs.

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