How to convert your website into a mobile app using a WordPress plugin

Reach more customers

Why would you want a mobile app for your WordPress website? Well, it probably won’t surprise you that more people are using mobile devices than ever before. In fact, your customers likely spend the majority of their online browsing time on their phones, tablets and other mobile devices.

This means optimizing your website content for those devices is vital.

 

While there are many ways to do this, one of the most effective techniques is making your own mobile app. This provides content in a format that mobile users will appreciate and can easily consume. What’s more, you don’t even have to build your mobile app from scratch.

In this post, we’re going to discuss why and how to transform your existing WordPress website using a WordPress mobile app plugin. Let’s get down to business!

Related: How to create a strong mobile strategy for your business 

Why creating a WordPress mobile app is a smart strategy

When it comes to developing a mobile app for your company, you have a number of options. For instance, you could create one entirely from scratch. However, this is time-intensive and can be expensive — particularly if you don’t have an in-house developer.

If you already have a company WordPress site full of content, a better solution is to transform that content into a mobile app.

This provides a number of advantages, such as:

  • You get to repurpose old content in a new way, getting twice the use out of it.
  • The app can be used to drive traffic back to your main website.
  • Building the app will be much quicker, meaning that you can launch it sooner.

Best of all, using your WordPress site as the basis for your mobile app means you don’t need a developer or a lot of technical knowledge. Instead, you can get a dedicated tool that will do most of the work for you.

Related: What the mobile technology explosion means for small business websites 

Choosing a WordPress mobile app builder

Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions that can help you turn your WordPress content into a mobile app. However, not all of these tools are created equal.

If your needs are very basic, you can opt for a simple one-click solution. This will get the job done, but won’t provide you with a lot of flexibility when it comes to features and customization.

A better option is to look for a professional mobile app builder.

 

For a perfect example, you can check out appful, a WordPress mobile app plugin:

WordPress Mobile App Appful

This tool is designed with businesses in mind, and integrates smoothly with WordPress. It enables you to create a customized mobile app that focuses on your users’ needs. Plus, it offers a suite of other useful features, such as caching to improve performance and an offline reading mode.

Related: Must-have features for your business app 

How to convert WordPress into a mobile app using appful

At this point, you might be wondering what building a mobile app based on your WordPress content looks like. To answer that question, let’s walk through the process of setting up appful.

Step 1: Sign up for a free trial account

If you want to try appful out, you can do so by signing up for a free trial account:

WordPress Mobile App Free Trial

Simply enter in your information, and click Create Account.

Step 2: Connect to your site using a WordPress plugin

Once that’s done, you’ll be taken right away to your new dashboard:

WordPress Mobile App New

There are a number of options here, but for now you’ll want to select Add next to WordPress Blog. This will prompt you to download the associated plugin:

WordPress Mobile App Plugin

Install the plugin on your site, and you’re ready to move on.

Related: The right way to add plugins to WordPress 

Step 3: Create your mobile app

When the plugin is installed, it will automatically connect to the account you just created (as long as you’re logged into it on your computer). Then, return to your appful dashboard and select the Info tab:

WordPress Mobile App Info

Here, you can enter some basic information about your app, such as its name and description. You can also upload imagery, and even include keywords you’d like to target.

Step 4: Choose an app design and color

Next up, the Design tab lets you select a theme and primary color for your app:

WordPress Mobile App Design

If you want to build your mobile app using an entirely custom design, you can simply get in touch with the appful team.

Step 5: Add pages to your app and customize it

Then, under Pages, you can include all the content you want your app to display. Selecting the pencil icon next to a page will enable you to modify its basic details:

WordPress Mobile App Pages

In the right-hand sidebar, you’ll also find a number of elements you can add to your app. Simply drag them over to the main content area to place them. You can also rearrange your pages using the same drag-and-drop functionality, or select the X icon to delete them.

If you’re a developer or have one on staff, you can even include custom HTML and CSS, in order to more fully personalize your mobile app. You’ll find these options under Pages > Advertising and Pages > CSS.

Step 6: Preview your mobile app

Finally, the Test section lets you try out your mobile app and see what it looks like in action:

WordPress Mobile App Test

All you have to do is download the appful Preview App to your mobile device, and you can perform as much testing as you’d like. Of course, you can also come back to your dashboard and make changes.

Step 7: Submit your mobile app or request a custom proposal

Once your app is set up just right, select Submit My App under the Test tab. This will publish it to the Apple App Store (iOS) and the Google Play Store (Android). Alternatively, you can request a proposal for a tailor-made mobile app converted from your WordPress website that reflects your company’s specific needs.

All that’s left now is to let your customers know about your new WordPress mobile app!

Related: How to revamp your business’s mobile experience to better engage your customers 

Increase customer engagement with a WordPress mobile app

While having a company website is important, it’s far from the only way you can engage your target audience. Given how many people are using mobile apps on a daily basis, creating your own is the perfect way to get their attention.

Fortunately, this is a simple matter if you use your WordPress website as the basis for your new app. Using a WordPress mobile app plugin like appful, you can build and publish a mobile app in under an hour. What’s more, you can customize its look and content in a way that caters to your customers’ needs.

Related: Google’s mobile-first index — How you can prepare your website