The surge in adoption of smartphones and internet usage in India has put mobile phone users on the radar of businesses. This has led some business owners to ask how to turn their websites into mobile apps for easier use by all these mobile phone users. This post will list the best WordPress plug-ins to do just that.
You might be surprised to know that nearly 80 per cent internet is consumed through mobiles.
Mobile internet users in India have already crossed 450 million mark; to give some perspective that’s way more than the total population of U.S.
Turn your site into mobile app with one of these plug-ins
It’s much easier for your customers to use a mobile app than to open their browser and find your website that way. Use one of these plug-ins to create your app now.
Before we list our favourite plug-ins for this task, let’s explore why every Indian business needs to do this.
Why you need a mobile app for your business
If you have a responsive (i.e. mobile-friendly) WordPress website, you might wonder if you still need a mobile app. The quick answer here is “Yes.” Let’s dig deeper to understand why.
India’s mobile app market outpaced the U.S. in 2016, ranking No. 1 in Google Play downloads. Obviously, an increasing number of people are consuming content through mobile apps.
It’s true that mobile users can quickly browse your responsive WordPress site on their mobile devices. There are a number of free or premium (paid) WordPress themes that can help you achieve a website that automatically resizes to fit the user’s device.
In comparison to responsive websites, mobile apps give a better user experience through:
- Better user interface (UI) — in other words, it’s easier for people to use.
- Improved customer interactions.
- Timely notifications to users who always have their smartphones with them.
Moreover, your users can easily launch your app from their mobile home screen rather than opening the browser and typing the URL or search query.
Why use a plug-in for converting your site?
The first advantage of using a plug-in to convert your website into a mobile app is that it will save cost and time.
Hiring developers for converting your site into an app can cost you a lot of money and time.
Depending on the requirements and complexity of the app, developers can ask upwards of 5,000$ and two to three months’ time for final delivery of your Android and iOS app.
Given the popularity of WordPress and its stable framework, we are lucky to have some WordPress mobile-friendly plug-ins which can convert your site into an app. These plug-ins can transform your website into highly interactive apps in a matter of minutes and at a fraction of cost mentioned above.
Few tech skills required
Some of the app-builder plug-ins are designed for the non-coders and require minimal technical expertise.
You need not learn two or three computer languages to convert your WordPress site into a mobile app.
Instead, you can make use of the solutions below, all of which can help you to transform your website into an app automatically.
Best WordPress plug-ins
Let’s have a closer look at the five best WordPress plug-ins and their features for converting your website into a mobile app. All the plug-ins here are paid ones — but most of them allow you to preview your app before you pay.
AppPresser allows you to easily build a custom app for your WordPress website. The latest version includes a visual app builder that makes customisation really simple.
AppPresser enables you to integrate everything from WordPress into your app, including:
- Login functionality.
- Custom plug-ins (membership, WooCommerce, etc.).
- Secure payments.
- Media and more.
It also allows you to add the feature of push notifications, which is quite a big deal for mobile apps. But, it’s not a simple drag and drop plug-in; it requires some technical knowledge as well.
MobiLoud is a ‘done-for-you’ paid plug-in, though it allows you to get a free preview within minutes before you pay.
With MobiLoud’s help, you can easily convert your WordPress site into a mobile app that MobiLoud publishes to the App Store and Google Play for you. It enables you to build a mobile app with your existing theme and plug-ins.
MobiLoud also offers:
- Push notifications with links to your content, offers and new activities etc.
- Offline support.
- A native tab menu.
- More native functionality.
MobiLoud has separate, dedicated solutions for BuddyPress and WooCommerce websites as well.
Androapp is another such plug-in to convert your WordPress website into a mobile app without any programming knowledge. It is loaded with features like:
- Push notifications.
- Ad placements.
- Social share.
- Dynamic settings.
- Infinite scroll.
- Swipe left-right navigation
- Multiple fonts.
- Splash screen and many more.
Unlike the above two plug-ins, Androapp does not support WooCommerce and BuddyPress
With the Wiziapp interface, creating your app is child’s play. Once you’re satisfied with the look and feel and want to publish it, you need to create an account and choose from the personal, pro and enterprise plans.
Like MobiLoud, Wiziapp allows you to create your app for free before paying.
Wiziapp gets fully integrated with WordPress and allows you to send push notifications and use their pre-built mobile themes (you can use your own also), along with many other features.
WPMobile.App is another such plug-in to publish your Android or iOS app. Like MobiLoud and Wiziapp, APApp.Ninja also allows you to download the plug-in for free and preview your app before making any payments. The distinct features of the plug-in include offline content, Google analytics, social shares, automatic app update and push notifications.
Next big what
If you’re an active developer, you must be aware of the new buzzword: WordPress REST API.
WordPress REST API has been in development for some years and is now fully integrated into WordPress. The REST API enables the WordPress platform to interact with external web applications and exchange data regardless of what languages an external program uses.
This innovative development could lead to a rise in the number of plug-ins or solutions to convert your site into a mobile app.
Making your website user-friendly for mobile users is no longer a choice but the need of the hour. With a mobile app, you are not only communicating with your audience effectively but can also get more traffic to your website through push notifications and social sharing.
As Mark Zuckerberg says:
“In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
I hope with the tools mentioned above you have a fair idea of how to launch your mobile app quickly and cost-effectively.