This article was contributed by Ashni Sharma.
Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have emerged as the most popular medium to consume digital content. As these devices are portable and easy to use, people prefer their content to be served on them, more precisely on mobile apps.
With growing competition, the content providers need to switch to the apps so that they are able to reach the maximum number of audience. The tipping point of smartphones and other handheld devices has reached as they now claim more than half the internet traffic.
There has been a lot of emphasis on making responsive websites so that they are able to cater to the mobile users. However, the rising popularity of the mobile apps makes it mandatory for the websites to be available as mobile apps too.
Jumping into the mobile app fray will not do much good. The options need to be weighed and strategies need to be made so that your WordPress website’s venture into the mobile app arena is calculated and strategized for least chance of failure. Let’s look for the best options to have your WP website turned into an app.
Why mobile app when you have a responsive website
The statistics clearly suggest that mobile websites account for a meager 8% of the traffic as compared to 47% of the mobile apps. Moreover, out of total time spent by the users on the mobile phones, 89% is on the apps and just 11% is on the mobile browsers. These figures suggest that mobile app is the way to go for all the services provided on the internet and WordPress websites are no exceptions.
Furthermore, mobile apps are easy to access and trigger than the mobile websites that need a browser to be accessed. With local caching features, the apps can also store some content for you that you can go through even when the internet is not functioning. A user needs to just install an app once and forget it unlike mobile web apps that need to be opened on the browser every time, it has to be accessed. Mobile apps are thus fast and more responsive, thereby enhancing the user experience a few notches higher.
With so many users shifting to mobile phones, you must also take your content on the app. Relying just on the mobile site may be detrimental to your user base. If you wish to engage the 47% of the traffic on the internet, it is the best time to get an app built for your WordPress website.
Benefits that can be reaped exclusively with mobile apps
- Mobile apps reside inside the device and can access internal features, thus enhancing the user experience.
- Local caching of the content offered by the apps enables offline access to some extent.
- Mobile apps can send push notifications to the users, thereby personalizing their experience.
- Another way of utilizing your app is offering in-app purchases of premium content or products.
Creating a mobile app for your WordPress website takes things to a different level and you are able to establish your brand in a more compelling way. Your content will not only become more immersive and outreached but also more accessible and shareable. If we look at the bigger picture, the fight is not between a mobile website and the mobile app. Both can co-exist and serve their own purposes by targeting the intended users.
Which Mobile app platforms to target
A very important question that you need to ask before starting to develop the app is the mobile platforms to target. If we look at the market share of the different mobile operating system, the most popular one is Android followed by iOS, Windows, and Blackberry. Android accounts for 51.7% mobile market; therefore, it is quite natural that you get an Android app developed first.
It is the most resource-friendly operating system where all the tools and techniques come absolutely free. Analytics software can also help you in this regard. If your website shows the traffic coming from iPhones and iPads, you can consider building a mobile app for iOS platform as well. For a new WordPress website, these two platforms are enough for mobile app development.
Some tools to assist you in creating apps for WordPress websites
For those who are new to the world of mobile apps, creating an app for a WordPress website might seem an uphill task. Fortunately, there are certain tools in the market that make the job easier. Just as you use third party themes in the place of hand-coded ones, you can also avail third-party services to create apps. Building an app from scratch requires expert technical assistance and hence, a lot of resources. These app development tools are designed to assist website owners in building apps without much technical know-how. And in case if you are looking for App design and development companies here are the some reputed ones
- Sparx IT Solutions
It is an app development framework especially for WordPress. It lets you use all the features of your WordPress website in the app. You can create apps for iOS and Android. There are three plans that range from $190 to $499. The framework is aimed to be used by the coders.
If you are interested in building native apps that you can publish on App Store and Google Play, Mobiloud is the best option that you have got. Features like offline viewing, ad display, and push notifications are available in the apps created by Mobiloud. Its price starts from $69.
A WordPress website whether it is just a blogging website or incorporates an e-commerce plugin requires a mobile app in order to become accessible to the maximum number of users. The importance of the mobile app for your WordPress website is quite evident now. The tools mentioned here will also assist you in creating mobile apps for the website without any hassle.
Ashni Sharma is a senior mobile app developer with vast experience in app design with AppsChopper as well as marketing of apps across diverse genres and operating systems.