Smartphones have become the preferred choice for most people when it comes to web browsing. According to Statista, mobile devices account for more than half of all website visits. For your WordPress website, this figure may be higher or lower. However, to be relevant online, you must cater to both desktop and mobile customers.
One of the first steps you should take to make your website accessible to mobile users is to adopt a responsive WordPress theme so that the layout of your web page will adjust to the size of the viewing window. However, if you want to cater to the mobile using audience then you must take one step further and create a mobile application. Many mobile users prefer having a mobile application as opposed to viewing a website on their mobile browser.
Building a mobile application can be quite daunting, especially for small businesses. It demands knowledge of both frontend and backend programming and hiring an external development team will set you back tens of thousands of dollars and months of work. Although, if you have a WordPress site then there’s nothing you need to worry about. There are a few paid plugins that can help you turn your website into a mobile app for a fraction of the cost of hiring a developer. We've listed the four finest plugin alternatives for getting your web brand neatly packaged in a useful mobile app.
But before we go there, let’s address the question that must be popping into your head- what’s the need for a mobile app when you already have a functioning WordPress site.
Need for Mobile Apps
Although mobile sites and apps show up on the same device, there are some additional benefits that only a mobile app can provide. Such as-
- Convenience: A mobile app is more convenient as it eliminates a lot of stages in the process of interacting with your company. Instead of opening their mobile browser and typing in your URL, users simply have to press an icon to access your business.
- Speed: Because mobile apps save a lot of data locally, they load content faster than websites.
- Superior User Interface: Although a good WordPress theme will adapt your mobile site to any common screen size, a mobile application gives you more control over onscreen features, resulting in a better user experience.
Now that we’ve established how a mobile app is superior to a mobile site, let’s discuss the plugins that can help convert your WordPress site to a mobile application.
Combine numerous WordPress components to build your very own mobile application. AppPresser is a premium WordPress app builder that allows you to create your mobile application. It has a visual customizer that functions similarly to WordPress's page builder, so if you’re comfortable using WordPress then you’ll likely not face any trouble with AppPresser either. AppPresser offers the most customization, plugin integrations, and support of any platform.
- Create your app for testing on your device and submission to the app store.
- You can see a live app preview the entire time you're building your app, so you know exactly how it'll look.
- With AppPresser push notifications are more flexible and easier to set up, and they're now included at no extra charge.
- It allows the users to register and login into the app.
- You can include the social sharing feature that allows users to share content with social networks or emails by clicking just one icon.
- Allow users to choose their preferred language by translating your app.
- AppPresser gives a 14-day free trial to all its users.
- The Standard plan costs $59/month- billed annually + $199(waived for annual subscriptions). It includes 1 iOS & Android app, a notification limit to 10,000 devices, and unlimited app downloads.
- The Professional plan costs $79/month- billed annually. It includes 1 iOS & Android app, a notification limit to 10,000 devices, and unlimited app downloads.
- The Advanced plan costs $129/month- billed annually. It includes 2 iOS & Android apps, a notification limit to 1M devices, and unlimited app downloads.
Mobiloud is a platform and service that allows you to turn your website into native mobile apps for a fraction of the cost, with the help of a professional team that handles everything from submission to maintenance. With Mobiloud you give the team your WordPress site, and they design and maintain your app which makes it more of a conversion service than a plugin. Developing native apps the traditional way can cost you thousands of dollars and may take 6-12 months; however, with Mobiloud you can get your app in less than 2 weeks, for a fraction of the cost.
- One of the biggest selling points of Mobiloud is its all-inclusive plans. Mobiloud services handle your app right from creation to even after it’s launched, as long as you stay subscribed. After any modifications to your WordPress site and after iOS/Android updates, Mobiloud automatically updates the content of your app.
- It helps you boost your engagement with push notifications. Your app offers a direct channel to your most valuable customers via push alerts.
- It gives you everything you need to make money with your app, whether it's through advertising, subscriptions, or e-commerce. Your most loyal users, those who are most likely to subscribe, donate, or engage with your offerings, are self-selected by apps.
- This hands-off approach necessitates no prior programming experience or understanding of how to develop web pages. However, if you want to involve your programming team then it allows you to make customization in the source code.
- The startup plan costs $200/month. It includes a native app for iOS and Android, unlimited push notifications, up to 1,000 active users, and more.
- The Growth plan costs $300/month. It includes everything in the startup plan, up to 10,000 active users, no Mobiloud branding, and more.
- The Corporate plan costs $500/month. It includes everything in the growth plan, unlimited active users, a dedicated account manager, and more.
If you want to convert your WordPress site into a mobile app on a low budget then WPMobile.App (formerly WPApp.Ninja) is the perfect choice for you. It includes many of the customizable capabilities found in other tools for a one-time fee – no further monthly, yearly, or hidden fees. WPMobile.App is well-integrated with the WordPress dashboard, allowing you to configure your app, adjust its appearance, and track its performance all from the plugin window in your WordPress admin account. Although you’re responsible for the testing phase but WPMobile.App includes a demo app to help you see your build-in action pre-launch.
WPMobile.App is the cheapest option out of all its competition available in the market but that comes with its own set of limitations such as it offers fewer customization options than others, and there’s only one app theme to choose from.
- Fully customizable app theme which includes 24 customizable colors, 20 widgets, CSS, and JS.
- Provides 3 menus to place your items i.e. floating menu “FAB”, side menu “hamburger”, and navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.
- Offers unlimited push notifications.
- Manually translate your app by creating content in each language, or use Weglot to automate translation in minutes.
- Provides 10 key indicators to analyze the traffic on your app in real-time.
- It costs €79 for Android, €79 for iOS, and €149 for both Android & iOS. All three include a lifetime license (for 1 website), one-time payment, unlimited downloads, push notifications, and updates.
Androapp is one of the easiest and cheapest tools to convert a WordPress site to a mobile application. You can even consider using its free version if you’re comfortable with Androapp showing its ads on your application.
Androapp is one of the cheapest options out of all 4 but that comes with its own set of limitations such as it doesn’t make iOS apps, and other powerful WordPress integrations, such as WooCommerce, are not compatible with its Android apps. However, if you’re comfortable with all the limitations of Androapp then you’ll also find some redeeming qualities like monetizing tools and more.
- Allows sending automatic push notifications.
- Monetize your app with 4 different ad spots i.e. top, bottom, list view, and interstitial banner ads.
- Get integrated social sharing buttons for Facebook, Whatsapp, and more.
- Provides dynamic settings for image rendering, control menu, share text, preview text, ads placement, and more.
- Provides Android native ListView for infinite scrolling on home, category, and tags pages.
- Use Androapp completely free for the first month.
- Costs $66/year after the first month.
These days, it seems like every company has a mobile app, and for good reason. Mobile apps are convenient, faster, and easy to use. And with the aforementioned plugins converting your WordPress site into a mobile app is now easier than ever. Choose the option that best suits your need and with your app, get your WordPress site off the desktop and into your consumers' pockets.