How to convert your website into a mobile app using a WordPress plugin
Simple ways to convert your WordPress site into a mobile app with a plugin
Owing to rapid digitalization, the world is concentrated on the palm of our hands. So, you might want to leverage that by developing a mobile app for your visitors/subscribers. With a mobile app, you can send out device notifications to alert your users of new content or products, and they can easily share your stories right from their phones or tablets.
Now, there are multiple ways to launch apps powered directly from your WordPress site without having to develop them from the ground up. Let us learn how to turn your WordPress site into a mobile app with the AppPresser plugin. We will also provide you the details of some other plugins.
Turn your WordPress website into a responsive mobile app with AppPresser plugin:
When you install the AppPresser plugin, it is only visible in your mobile app rather than changing the look and feel of your desktop or mobile site. In other words, if you land on your website through the normal internet browser on your device, you won’t notice any indication of AppPresser’s existence.
AppPresser apps don’t work offline. So, your app users need to have an active Internet connection (cellular or WiFi) to reach new content.
Build Your App
Before you buy the AppPresser bundle, it is best that you register for and review the free AppPresser Developer Handbook. Once you’ve bought either the standard or agency bundle, you can begin developing your app.
Install the AppPresser Plugin
Install the AppPresser plugin from your WordPress Dashboard from the plugin directory.
Image 1: Installing WordPress plugin
This plugin effortlessly aligns your WordPress site with the app features and extensions that AppPresser provides via PhoneGap.
Install the AppSwiper Plugin and AppPresser Theme
AppPresser recommends you to use its theme for the app site (this doesn’t hurt your existing desktop or mobile HTML site). Its theme is developed to be used by touch-enabled devices, while ideal WordPress themes are not.
Sign in to your AppPresser.com account. Click the My Account section, then go to View Details and Downloads to obtain your license keys and theme download. You can also get other plugin downloads on this page.
Image 2: Downloading themes
Take note of your license keys and download your AppTheme, AppSwiper plugin and any additional ones you wish to use.
From your WordPress Dashboard, include the theme zip file that you downloaded. At this point, make sure that you don’t activate it.
Image 3: adding themes
Upload the Swiper plugin from the plugin section that you downloaded and then activate it.
Image 4: Uploading and activating the plugin
Click on the AppPresser Menu from the WordPress Dashboard. Switch on “Load AppPresser for Admins Only.” This will allow you to have a preview of your app as the admin. It will not impact your site’s normal function. To look at your normal website, check out the site in incognito mode (not logged in to WordPress Dashboard). Put in your license key as well and then save the settings.
Image 5: Previewing the app as an admin
This is what the preview of the app homepage looks like:
Image 6: Preview of the app homepage
At this point, it is definitely functional but fails to provide an out-of-the-box experience. The next stage is to develop an attractive custom home page for the app.
Build Your App Home Page
It will also be beneficial to develop a distinct home page for your app. This home page is only visible when people are using the app. It will not change the desktop or mobile HTML website.
Use the WordPress dashboard to form a new home page for your app. It assists in turning off discussions on this page, as comments are not optimized for touch-enabled apps.
Image 7: Building app homepage
The AppSwiper plugin enables you to develop new custom post types known as Sliders. You can develop a couple of these that connect to content which you want to be highlighted in the app. Select a featured image for each slide to be visible as the background.
Image 8: Including the sliders
From the WordPress Dashboard, go back to the AppPresser Settings page. Type the name of the new home page and then select it.
Image 9: Homepage slider
Now, click refresh on your website to check the new home page with the slider in action.
Image 10: New homepage
Your new app homepage is now taking shape. AppPresser provides vast options to customize the look, feel and behavior of your site.
With the AppPresser’s PhoneGap integration, There is an immense scope for you to build a sophisticated app from your WordPress site. Experts recommend reviewing the example apps, documentation, extensions, and video guides of AppPresser to fuel your imagination. AppPresser’s steadily expanding the potential of WordPress as an application platform. Make the most of it and take your business to new heights.
3 WordPress plugins to convert your website into a mobile app
Let’s face it, building an app from scratch is costly. So, if you can’t afford the resources of building an app, it’s best to take the DIY approach with a WordPress plugin. They won’t give you the same functionality or quality as those expensive custom-made mobile apps. But you’ll still have a new and mobile-only channel for your consumers.
On that note, here are a few plugins other than AppPresser that you can use to convert your site into a mobile app.
For content-driven sites like blogs and newspapers, this plugin might be worth considering. Ideally, it takes your news feed and turns it into a mobile app-friendly layout. While it looks quite similar to how your responsive site would come across on mobile devices, there are additional functionalities. This makes it more appropriate for apps, including:
- In-line ads
- Deep linking support (which is vital if you want different pages of your app to show up in search)
- Save content offline
- Push notifications
- Image zooming
- Customization of themes and colors to suit your site
Now even though there are multiple references to this resource that allows users to create an iOS app, the functionality is currently in beta stage. So, if you are going to opt for the plugin, do so with the aim to launch strictly for Android.
This is one of the resources that will transform your website into a full mobile application. In fact, many web developers and experts from assignment help companies vouch for it. One of the perks of this plugin, which is beneficial for non-developers is that it comes with video tutorials demonstrating you how to get the mobile application from your site. It also presents great customization features. It allows the user to have a mobile application that comes off just the way they would want it to. Some of the features of this resource are:
- It presents a splash screen for a startup
- Enables social sharing with proper integration with most social media platforms
- It lets one receive reviews from Google Play
- It presents wide customization on navigation and display of the mobile application
Blappsta supports most mobile operating systems. This is compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows devices. Some of the distinct features to look out for in this plugin are as follows.
- Google indexing system
- Push notifications whenever there is a new post
- Sharing functionality for email and social media channels including Facebook, Google+ and Twitter
- Customizations for the mobile application design and navigation
- Flexibility in organizing the content in the mobile application
This plugin has been in the market only for a while now, meaning that it is relatively new and hasn’t been utilized a lot. However, this resource allows you a preview to notice how the website will look like a mobile application before you publish it.
Going this route is a speedy and inexpensive solution to turn a WordPress site into a mobile app. However, you must also remember that it will require just as much attention as a website. You are not only asking your consumers to connect with you on a new platform, but also taking up space on their smart devices. So, you need to make sure that it’s worth their time.