As the world is getting digital, having a WordPress site is not enough. Brands and organizations have to invest in mobile app development to remain in the market. This might sound helpful from the user engagement point of view. But, can add to the efforts and cost required. Even if you get your mobile application developed at the least cost, you would have to update content on your app and website individually which will affect the time, cost and efforts required for perfection.
How to deal with this situation? From our experience in the market, we found that turning your WordPress site into a mobile app makes perfect sense in this case. By building an app out of your WordPress site, you can easily make changes and update them on both the platforms at the same time. Besides, you can easily evaluate a secure relational database, maintain backward compatibility and take perks of customization by doing so. But, is it easy?
Due to technical constraints, creating a mobile application that looks and functions completely like a website is quite a daunting task. However, there are three proven ways to turn your WordPress site into a mobile application.
So, are you eager to know what these methods are? Curious to know what kind of app development strategy to implement?
Ways to Implement Mobile App with WordPress Site
1. Turn towards App Builders
If you have less-to-no knowledge of coding, you can rely on App Builders for building a mobile application. This method allows you to create a mobile app using drag and drop feature and that also, at the least time and cost. However, it is difficult to customize your app or add plugins in your application via this method.
There are various types of app builders used in 2018, like Zoho Creator, Appy Pie, ShoutEm, Reactor (using AppPresser), and BuildFire to name a few. All these app builders render varying degree of support for WordPress. So, check their features and then decide which one to opt. Feel baffled from the choices available? Contact a reputed mobile app development company now for your ease.
2. Use Plugins
As already said, it’s tough to implement WordPress plugins and other customization into a mobile app based on WordPress site. Most of the plugins available just display the HTML part – they don’t give you an out-of-the-box experience. However, AppPresser is different.
This plugin act as the best tool to load your entire WordPress site into an app and employ almost all the WordPress plugins without any hassle. For example, you can insert a shortcode to a WordPress page that employs device camera while viewing the web page in the application.
It is the best method to integrate numerous plugins to your WordPress-based app, but without much customizations. The only drawbacks of using AppPresser are limited offline functionality and lower speed due to limited device storage. So, if you want your app to run smoothly even when there’s no network, using AppPresser is not the right app development strategy for you!
Likewise, there’s a plugin called BuddyPress that act as a ‘Facebook in the box’ for WordPress. If you are looking forward to integrating social networking features into your website/mobile app, use this plugin.
There are many other integrations like Gravity Forms, WooCommerce and bbPress. Consider their pros and cons, and determine the right option.
3. Hybrid App using Ionic and WP-API
The other method you can opt is hybrid mobile app development with the help of technology like the Ionic Framework and the WP-API. The functionality delivers a high-end, fast mobile application that could act as a native app – accessing the native device features like offline accessibility, GPS integration, custom design, etc. It also provides the facility to build a single page web app that can obtain the content of WordPress site through an API (WP-API).
For those not familiar with the term, WP-API is a JSON REST API for WordPress. It empowers you to make easy-to-use content that can be accessed from external applications including a mobile app. It facilitates two-way communication like creating posts and accepting comments from the mobile application.
So, this mobile app development strategy is the right choice to create an app with higher efficiency, offline accessibility and native transitions. And the best part is that you can create a partially/entirely offline accessible application with this approach along with integrating multiple APIs.
However, it is more effective only in case of pulling content like posts and page – it is difficult to operate in other intense functionalities.
How to Choose the Right Option?
Now, as you are familiar with the three different ways to convert your WordPress website into a mobile application, the next question that arises is – Which method to opt?
Well, all the options have their own pros and cons. Besides, every project has different needs. Your project might not have the same requirements as that of others. This implies you have to choose the right mobile app development approach based on your needs. Still confused? Need an expert’s advice? Feel free to contact us.