One of the questions I get asked frequently is, “Can I turn my website into an app?” and yes of course you can. If you are on WordPress it’s a simple matter, how simple?
Mobile App plugin – WordApp | Convert your blog or WordPress site in to a Mobile App for iPhone & Android Native app & Mobile site in one. Now WooCommerce & BuddyPress Compatible
Mobile App – WordApp is a WordPress mobile plugin that converts your blog/website in to a mobile app & mobile website. Built by a community of mobile app geeks we are really proud to offer the very first mobile app plugin for wordpress.
Simply install the our mobile app plugin and choose one of our amazing templates your site will be instantly converted in to a mobile app. The mobile app templates are full customizable or you can even use your own. ~Excerpted from here.
There are other options of course
MobiLoud makes it easy to convert any WordPress site into a native mobile app for iOS and Android phones and tablets, published to App Store and Google Play for you.
From news sites to complex WordPress websites, MobiLoud has a solution to make building mobile apps easy and affordable:
- MobiLoud News: with a customizable native mobile app interface, our News product makes publishing mobile apps easy for everyone from professional bloggers to large news organisations.
- MobiLoud Canvas: with our new Canvas product (request a free demo), you can turn your existing responsive or mobile website into native mobile apps, adding Push Notifications, Offline support, a native tab menu and more. Build a mobile app with your existing theme and plugins, including BuddyPress and WooCommerce
Install the plugin to try your own app!
Or even AppPresser
AppPresser is an app builder that specializes in integrating WordPress. It includes several WordPress plugins and a theme that perform special functions like integration with your favorite custom plugins.
AppPresser is the “best way” to create an app that pairs with your WordPress site. AppPresser and your WordPress site go together like wine and steak, copy and paste, Batman and Robin.
So not only are there ways to use these apps to turn a site into an app, some companies even use these apps to turn your website into an app.
What about heavily customized WordPress using API like REST?
Try and if it doesn’t work, try another way. It sounds awful but it’s true. Many methods of making apps are easily sent off the rails but these quick and easy methods above can save you a fortune in developer costs so try them first. Worst case scenario you are out a small fraction of what it would cost to hire the wrong developer to try from scratch and have the same issues.
Would you personally do this for your website?
If I thought it would get me the kind of ROI I wanted, you bet. Truthfully I keep the site fairly free of restrictions like sponsors etc. Partly this is because they aren’t banging down my door, and partly because I don’t plan to change my format from free to say what I please, to “you certainly cannot say that or you’ll piss off ____.” So an app wouldn’t get me anything useful, more traffic on an un-monetized site isn’t necessarily a blessing.
Will a mobile app get me more visitors?
It depends on your demographic. If you get tons of visitors, it might increase it. But if most of your readers don’t come back for more, there may not be much point. A lot of businesses think their business is so popular that an app is a natural next step, often they discover later that it’s just another responsibility and sometimes a very costly one. If your site has a strong community that communicates, it’s a great idea. If your website is about something that doesn’t really scream, “I need to hop on that forum today, those updates were awesome!” Then it’s a waste of money and time.