How to Easily Convert WordPress Sites into Mobile AppsBy Charles Costa
Whether you are an advanced or novice WordPress user, for many companies and organizations, having an mobile app for your website can be a huge asset for improving overall reach. Unfortunately mobile development typically is a labor intensive field which can cost thousands for even the simplest projects. Fortunately thanks to WordPress’ extensibility, there are mobile development companies which can create an app from your WordPress site by using an API provided by a standard plugin.
If you’re looking for a seamless way to create an app with ease, AppPresser is one of the fastest solutions on the market which allows you to get your site running on HTML5, iOS, and Android in under 30 minutes by using Phonegap. Unlike many other platforms which limit you to simply creating a front-end for your mobile site, AppPresser allows you to access the WordPress management panel and plugins from within your application.
Unlike many conversion services on the market, AppPresser breaks their pricing down into bundles based on user needs. Whether you’re looking for a simple site, a mobile eCommerce site, an app for social networking (using BuddyPress) or something more complex, AppPresser offers solutions to fit virtually any need.
AppPresser has no monthly fees, however you have to host your application yourself. Although hosting the app can be a burden for some, the benefit of this is that you maintain ownership of your code. Pricing for AppPress starts at $199.00 and covers up to five apps while the agency bundle includes 25 apps at $499.00. An annual renewal fee is required however, if you need to keep your application code updated.
Mobiloud is a service which allows you to create Android and iOS applications with ease, complete with native code built to standards. As with many other solutions mentioned in this article, customizing your app can be done within WordPress.
Mobiloud is slightly expensive starting at $149/month however if desired, you can purchase a lifetime license starting at $699.00 for either an Android or iOS app, or $1,299 for both. In the lifetime license however, white-labling your app is $399.00 and support for membership sites (protected content) costs $299.00. Depending on your needs these costs can add up, however compared to custom development, the cost is still fairly low.
If you’re looking for a somewhat free solution to test the waters for your site, Wiziapp is a service offering both free and paid plans. Using the service is as simple as adding a plugin to WordPress and then using the provided prompts to customize the look and feel of your mobile application. To enhance your application, you can also easily insert ad banners and enable push notifications.
After deciding on the look and feel of your mobile application, you can create a HTML5 app for free, with native Android and iOS apps costing $149/year and $299/year respectively. By using the free plan, you can create a mobile site for potential customers to visit, however if you already have a responsive website design, this feature likely won’t matter to you.
In addition to the app development services, Wiziapp also offers a collection of mobile friendly WordPress themes for $69/year. For web design/development agencies this might be a worthwhile expense, however if you’re just looking to build a single site and want a uniform look on mobile and desktop devices, you’re probably better off choosing a responsive theme from another vendor.
Although the previously mentioned solutions can be used to roll out a mobile app with ease, one of the biggest limitations is that they simply port your existing layout to a mobile environment. This is why before using any of these services, you should ensure that you know how to choose a great WordPress design.
Putting that limitation aside, considering that many custom application development projects can cost $5,000 upwards on the low end, and upwards of $20,000 per platform as the average, the solutions mentioned in this article provide a welcome middle ground for the customer who has simple needs.
Also keep in mind that while some services will provide submission to the app store on your behalf, the Google Play and Apple App Store fees are not included. At the time of writing, Google charges $25 while Apple charges $99/year.