Have you ever considered improving your users’ experience by turning your website into an app? It could be an excellent opportunity to grow your business.
Have you decided to turn your WordPress site into an app? Congratulations, great idea! Installing apps on your smartphone is now everyone’s habit and if your intention is this, you will gain in terms of traffic and you will be able to interact with your users in the way that they like most.
In this guide I will help you to understand if your site has all the features to be transformed into an app and I will show you how this big step is possible thanks to WordPress.
What is an app?
First of all, let’s clarify what an app is. Everyone knows what it is, but I would like to highlight the features that an app must have to help you transform your site and your business.
First of all, an app is very different from a website. It is in fact a software that can be installed on smartphones and will allow users to access your services and content directly from it.
A very simple example is that of an online shop: if you have an eCommerce, turn it into an app to allow users to browse your catalog and buy products quickly and easily.
Even your blog can be transformed into an app. It will become a much more pleasant way to browse your content, easily find interesting articles and receive notifications on news or special events.
Can I transform any website into an app?
If theoretically any site can be transformed into an app, in practice it is not quite so. Ask yourself if developing an app can help you interact better with your users and create added value to your business, think carefully and answer sincerely!
Carefully evaluate both the advantages that you will be able to obtain, and the costs to be borne, in economic terms but also in terms of time.
In fact, keep in mind that this is a commitment: in addition to creating the app, you will still need to keep it up to date and make sure it works properly on the new devices.
At this point, maybe you realize that your site doesn’t need an app at all, and that you would get the same results simply by improving mobile optimization and adding features that involve visitors more.
How to transform your WordPress site into an app
If you decide to contact a developer or agency to create your app, keep in mind that this is a totally different work than the creation of a website, so be sure to contact only specialized technicians in this area.
This option, however, is quite expensive, although for sure you will get an excellent result.
If your budget is limited, but you still don’t want to compromise on quality, you can always create your own app thanks to the excellent tools that I will present to you.
The best tool to turn your website into an app is the AppPresser service.
AppPresser allows you to create apps for iOS and Android through a simple integration with WordPress. This means that you will only need to use the contents of your site, without having any competence in developing applications.
In summary, if you were able to create your WordPress site, then you are surely able to create an app with AppPresser. In fact, creating an app works very similarly to building your pages on WordPress.
Even the customizations are very simple and are managed by a live preview that allows you to always see the result of your work in real time.
“So I have to learn to use a new sort of page builder?”
No! Everything is managed by a control panel practically identical to the WordPress Dashboard, including the Customize Panel.
Once you have created your account on AppPresser, you can use various features that will best connect your WordPress content with your app. If, for example, you use WooCommerce, create an app for the online shop by importing your products directly.
If, on the other hand, you sell courses through membership, you can add users’ logins and the ability to purchase or renew their subscriptions.
To turn a website into an app, I believe AppPresser is definitely the most complete and versatile tool on the market.
You can choose between three subscription plans: Basic at $ 249 / year, Business at $ 499 / year and Business Plus at $ 599 / year (renewals after the first year are discounted by 35%).
The Basic plan does not include many features, such as the plugin for WooCommerce, BuddyPress or Membership, which are all included in the Business plans.
Test and submit your new app
In order to make your app available on stores, you will need to make sure that it meets certain quality standards and above all that it works properly. Using the preview in the browser is actually very reliable, but I recommend testing it on various devices.
You then have the option to install the app on your phone: you will need to create a PhoneGap Build account and, to perform tests on iOS devices, also on the Apple Developer Program.
In this way, you will immediately see how your website looks like turned into an app!
This step is perhaps a bit complicated, but the service support team is exceptional and will help you complete all the steps correctly.
Once you are sure that your app is ready, you can send it to the stores for evaluation. Also in this case it is a somewhat complex procedure. If you have difficulties despite the extensive documentation provided by AppPresser, contact support to request that they take care of everything themselves.
Super Progressive Web Apps
“Wow what a nice tool, but I can’t spend that much! Will I have to give up? ”
No! There is also a free solution for those who want to turn their WordPress site into an app!
It is a very simple plugin called Super Progressive Web Apps. Download it and install it like any other plugin from your Wall.
Once activated, immediately configure the data of your app, a bit like you did with your website at the time of its creation.
Add the name, description, icons, choose the background color and set the start page. You can even choose whether the orientation of your app will be vertical or horizontal, or adapt to the location of the device.
What this plugin does in practice is to allow your users to install your website on their smartphone by clicking on the Add to home button found in the browser menu.
This will allow your users to browse your site much faster than browsing and always have your content at hand. Furthermore, the pages already visited will be saved for offline reading in the app.
This plugin does not allow you to personalize your pages and is decidedly less complete than AppPresser, but it can still be useful: first of all, you will be able to realize what features your app should have.
Thanks also to the UTM Monitoring add-on, which you will find in Super WPA> Add-ons , it is possible to track visits coming from your app, thanks to the insertion of a specific string in all the URLs of the pages.
Thanks to these tools, turning your WordPress site into an app is no longer an impossible idea! However, remember to consider carefully whether this is what your business needs to achieve the goals you have set.
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