How to develop a WordPress mobile app

May 25, 2022
6
min read
How to develop a WordPress mobile app
Aston Rhodes
by
Aston Rhodes

More and more people use their smartphones and tabs to browse their favorite websites. You will hardly meet many people using their PCs, not for work but for their everyday Internet routine nowadays. Thus, corresponding web design is crucial for any website. 

A word press app is a very good alternative to your website and it will be beneficial for most businesses. You can grow your audience quicker since users prefer spending time in the apps instead of wasting time browsing websites. Unlike web pages, apps give you higher engagement thanks to push notifications. 

Thanks to software development companies, you can use content from WordPress while working on your app. It means that once your website is updated, the same happens to your app. Moreover, you can implement little changes to your website, for instance, publish new posts. The changes will be applied to your app as well.

In other words, converting your WordPress website to app will save you a lot of time and effort. It is a very efficient solution for your business. Let us see how to do it step by step without wasting too much time and money. 

Use an app builder

If you are not proficient at coding and do have not much experience, an app builder would be a wonderful option that will facilitate the process a lot. If you do not want to customize, then an app builder will be perfect for you to build web apps with WordPress. Some of the good builders are Telerik AppBuilder or Reactor. 

Most of such builders provide full WordPress support. They are also great to integrate comments and posts. Using Reactor will allow you to do everything through an app-building interface. That builder adjusts your app to the content on your website easily. To use it, you will need to do the following:

  • Install the Reactor core plugin on the WordPress website
  • Log in to the admin panel and go to the “plugins” to activate it
  • Log in to the app-building dashboard
  • Have a similar interface to your WordPress website 

When working on the Reactor panel, you will feel like working on a simple website with several pages. You can put everything in the menu and put everything together under the apps. 

Build your app with the help of plugins and themes

You will find a really wide range of various WordPress themes and plugins. All of them contribute to customized design. A WordPress plugin app may not work as well as for the websites. Therefore, it is crucial to use different plugins and mimic the websites for mobile apps. Thankfully, there are plenty of them in the modern market. 

A lot of plugins and themes possess a full range of features and, thus, can play the roles of WordPress mobile apps. However, plugins are not always capable of building in such functions as forms in your app using heavy custom codes. It is related to such leading brands like bbPress or BuddyPress among many others. 

Instead, you can use the AppPresser plugin. It will allow you to load your whole website into the app. Thanks to it, you will be able to use any WordPress plugin in the app without duality. AppPresser facilitates your work with WordPress and creates an app without any brilliant WordPress app development skills.

You can consider this plugin a very strong app builder for your WP website. With its help, you will integrate completely. It will allow you to use all the posts, pages, and plugins that already exist on your website. It is also very flexible and allows everyone to update a mobile app automatically each time the website is updated. 

The AppPresser plugin creates a mobile app with basic content or a large app that reflects an eCommerce store. If you need wider functions, it will allow you to input such features as uploading photos with BuddyPress integration, push notifications, and geolocation. 

The best WordPress plugins

If you decide to turn a WordPress website into app using plugins, here are the best options to choose from. The website owners usually choose plugins since they are the most accessible, of course, if they cannot afford a good and reputable app developer. Consider using one of the following WP plugins. 

1. MobiLoud

It allows you to convert a website into a good native mobile app for both Android and iOS devices. It has a configurable interface that will integrate the existing plugins and themes, including WooCommerce. The team also will manage all the processes and provide professional support. 

The plugin is not cheap. Setup and configuration will cost you at least $950 while the price of the maintenance plan starts at $199 per month.

Features:

  • Is suitable specifically for high-traffic WP websites
  • Includes offline support and push notifications
  • Full-time service
  • Publishes your app to the Google Play and Apple stores
  • MobiLoud branding is not visible

2. WPMobile.App

With the help of this plugin, you can convert your WP website into an app for both iOS and Android devices. The plugin is easy to use and has customization features in your WP dashboard. Unlike the previous plugin, this one is quite affordable and provides lifetime licenses. Your Android or iOS apps will cost you €79 while an app compatible with both OS will cost you €149. No recurring fees. 

Features:

  • Free trial period
  • Unlimited support and updates
  • Weglot-integrated that translates your app
  • Offline content and push notifications

3. AppPresser

This plugin is one of a kind because it does not convert an app but connects an app made with its service to your website. It allows you to control the design of your platform thanks to a visual builder. 

To start working with this plugin, you need to create an AppPresser account. The cost varies from $249 to $599 per year. The most expensive plan will allow you to access advanced features. They also provide custom development services. 

Features:

  • Easy-to-use builder
  • Access to contacts, cameras, and other device functionality
  • Live app preview
  • Supports Facebook login, push notifications, and social sharing 

Custom hybrid apps can be also helpful

WP-API and Ionic Framework allow it to create custom hybrid apps easily. They are very simple single-page apps that allow you to extract your WordPress content using a JSON REST API. It really facilitates the usage of the content in your mobile app. However, its features are not limited to that only. You can create posts and approve comments right from the mobile app.

Such custom hybrid apps contain the features of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. They are all collected in the PhoneGap and allow you to access the features of the native devices in combination with an app store compilation. For instance, JSON can be used to browse your posts from where you will pull them into a mobile app. 

Conclusion

If you are going to create your WordPress mobile app without the help of a professional developer, then using one of the above-listed options could be helpful. Do not forget about one crucial step in your WP mobile app creation though — quality assurance. It is an integral part of the process.

Your platform must work flawlessly and contain no errors before your users ever start using it. Keep in mind that there are plenty of screen sizes, formats, configurations, etc. Test usability, compatibility, and functionality. Beta testing, performance, and browser analysis are also waiting for you further. If you cannot do that, you can always entrust it to skilled and experienced developers. 

About the author:

Aston Rhodes is an experienced content creator and marketing expert from JatApp. She has been helping authors improve their blogs for over 5 years and turn this hobby into a business. She enjoys sharing her experiences with a like-minded audience and writes about software development, digital marketing, business, career, and more.

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