Having a responsive website is one of the most important things a website owner should aim for to be able to relay all of their information through all devices.
Sometimes, a responsive website alone is not good enough for visitors, and a mobile application is needed. There are a number of WordPress plugins that you can use to turn your WordPress website into a mobile application. We are going to discuss a number of these plugins in this article.
For websites such as newspapers and blogs, this plugin is a great option. The plugin takes the news feed of your website then makes a friendly layout suitable for a mobile device. The website looks similar to how the responsive site would look like, but comes added with some functionalities making it better for apps. Such functionalities include:
- Push notifications
- Custom colors and theme matching your site
- Ability to save content offline
- Support for deep linking
- Inline adverts
- Support for image zooming
Also called Reactor, this application requires quite a number of customizations for one to make their website look like a mobile application. It’s branded as one of the easiest ways for one to create a mobile application, but you’ll find that you need some development knowledge to use it. It is however one of the best plugins available. Its features include:
- Design navigation of tabs or pull out menus
- Push notifications
- Create custom pages from anywhere on their site
- Extensive compatibility allowing integration with other applications such as google maps, facebook, social sharing and camera connectivity
Blappsta is compatible with most mobile operating systems. The first two plugins we have talked about are compatible with only Android and iOS devices, but this is compatible with Android, iOS and Windows devices. Some of the features to look out for in this plugin include:
- Push notifications when there is a new post
- Google indexing
- Sharing functionality for email and social media platforms including Google+, Facebook and Twitter
- Customize the mobile application design and the navigation
- Flexibility in organizing content in the mobile application
This plugin has not been in the market for long, meaning that it is relatively new and has not been used a lot. However, I like it because it gives one a preview to see how the website will look like as a mobile application before you publish it.
MobiLoud has been listed as one of the free plugins for download by wordpress, but it is not a free plugin as such. I would categorize it as a mobile application service where the MobiLoud team builds a mobile application for you from your website. Their service can be grouped into two:
- Converting news sites and blogs into mobile applications
- Switching websites with high traffic
The MobiLoud team takes care of the following:
- Providing application maintenance and updates
- Customizing the design with your favicon and logos
- Push notifications are enabled
- They offer assistance in monetizing the application and analytics setup
- Come up with a functional mobile application. They support android and iOS devices
This is a premium plugin that will convert your WordPress site to a mobile application within a relatively short time. This is a plugin that would best fit a blogger and a small company or organisation to get themselves started in getting a mobile application. This is because the plugin does not allow one to effectively control how the mobile application would look like or to customize the contents of the mobile application.
This plugin only takes the wordpress website and converts it to make a layout for a mobile application. This does not allow for several add ons associated with mobile applications apart from monetization and push notifications.
This is one of the applications that will change your website into a full mobile application. It is very easy to set up and although the mobile application is considered a native application, it might not work exactly the same way a mobile application works. One of the advantages with this plugin, which is very good for non developers is that it comes with video tutorials showing you how to get the mobile application from your website. It comes with very good customization features allowing the user the ability to get a mobile application that looks just the way they would want it to. Some of the features include:
- It has a splash screen for a startup
- Allows social sharing with integration with most social media platforms
- It allows one to get reviews from Google Play
- It has a wide customization on navigation and display of the mobile application
Using this method to get a mobile application from your website can be considered as a speedy and low cost solution to get started with mobile applications.
The benefits to using one these plugins cannot be ignored. This will definitely improve your website, increase traffic and generate more interactions with your customers.