Create your own WordPress-App? These 3 plugins make it possible!

Lukas Gehrer Last updated 10/23/2020
6 Min.
Create WordPress App

Everybody speaks about "mobile first" and the importance of making your WordPress site fit the needs of mobile users. Unfortunately, the implementation often restricts itself to optimization measures on the website itself. An effective channel to reach your potential customers is often forgotten: mobile apps. Lukas Gehrer shows you how to create your own WordPress app without any programming knowledge.

In the last few years I have expanded several of my projects and WordPress websites with an app offering and made exciting experiences that I would like to share with you today. Finding the right Pluginone for converting your site app into a mobile app is a rather tedious task. Much more than the abundance of offers, the many TOP-10 lists bother me. Most of them are totally superficial and you don't know much afterwards as you did before.

My Top 3 App Builders Plugins for WordPress

So, to mark the occasion, I sat down and announced the three best WordPress plugins for your potential app plans. I chose one plugin for each application and size - from small blogs to international corporate sites. I look forward to helping you choose the right plugins to help turn your WordPress site into a mobile app!

First of all: In this article I have focused on app subscription services. Because to invest 50,000 Euros for a custom app from an agency with years of support is neither my goal nor my recommendation. For this reason, subscription services for apps or so-called "WordPress app builders" are very popular. And at least three of them are really recommendable.

Create WordPress app_AppPresser

#1 AppPresser: Super App-Plugin for small blogs and websites

We'll start with AppPresser, probably the best known app builderPlugin. It will also appeal to most of you. AppPresser has made a name for itself among the masses and quite rightly claims a large market share for itself. The tool counts well over 4,000 active installations on WordPress .org. So the developers are doing something right.

Actually, not just anything, but the price-performance ratio. From as little as 19 euros a month (as of January 2019), you can get a AppPresser annual license, which includes the app builder and a year of support and updates. In the smallest plan , however, a maximum of 5,000 devices for push notifications and no other features are supported.

The possibility of placing advertisements, integrating sharing buttons for social media, downloads, camera integration, etc. is only available from the "Agency"plan for just under 50 euros per month. The plan "Agency Plus" offers even more PRO features. These include services such as community and member areas, offline downloads, translations and more.

Basic functions at a low price

Works does AppPresser works very simple and directly in the WordPress interface. You select menus, colors, backgrounds, fonts, etc. and can thus individually create your mobile app. The live preview sweetens the user experience immensely.

However, you have to be honest: There are not particularly many options available here. For example, the basic app design cannot be changed easily. You can imagine it more like a WordPress -Theme , which you can configure. No more, but also no less.

And that brings us to why the headline says "for blogs and websites". The apps look more like web apps and are probably not among the most modern interfaces you can find. So if you want to stand out from the competition individually, you might be better off choosing a different service.

For that, the apps are hard to beat for that price. That's why if you're a blogger or website owner on a budget, you'll be happy with AppPresser you will find the perfect provider. Further budget is then perhaps better invested in the editing of a niche blog.

Create WordPress app_Appful

#2 Appful.io: Perfect App-Plugin for bigger magazines, companies and big WordPress -projects

Then we jump across the target group diagram from one edge to the other. If you don't want to create a mobile app for a niche blog, but for a company, larger projects or a magazine, you need a different service provider. Appful has been positioning itself in the market for years as the perfect solution for businesses. According to own statements on its homepage, organizations like Greenpeace, Vaude, Peta and large web portals like Macnotes.de use the App Builder.

Appful offers not only the pure creation and support of publishing apps. If you're looking to create your own app for internal communication, content marketing purposes or even as a database for employees and customers, you'll find it with appful you will find a good partner with experience in the B2B sector. But also large websites and magazines can benefit from appful's know-how, if the appropriate budget is available.

In addition to the pure WordPress -Plugin, offers appful offers numerous features and services that make it a well-rounded package: Years of support, regular updates for latest features on iOS and Android, modern app designs and most importantly the dashboard login separate appful from many small WordPress app builders.

As appfulcustomer, you can conveniently log in to your account from anywhere and at any time, make adjustments to your app and go live with it. In addition, you can configure the app design, sites and menus as well as access analytics data via your account. It is also possible to create your own app designs and features with the team behind appful with the team behind it.

A professional app has its price

Overall, Appful is an optimal solution for companies and larger projects based on WordPress that want to outsource as much work as possible when developing a modern app. In the end, the app should be available in the App Store and remain modern and future-proof thanks to updates and support. Outsourcing instead of doing it yourself is the keyword here. Basically the opposite of AppPresser.

For these services, however, you have to calculate B2B prices, unlike with AppPresser and co. With appful the price starts at 99 Euro per month. Companies and enterprise customers usually pay more. So you have to be prepared for a few hundred euros. But for a modern app with optional own design this is market price. Compared to app agencies you stand with the appfulsolution you are even much cheaper. So it's a kind of "best of two worlds" in the B2B sector: agency design and subscription prices.

If the budget is there, it's worth appful so. But that is a big "if". I myself have successfully launched several of my online blogs with appful into a mobile app. If I wasn't satisfied, this Plugin wouldn't be in this article.

Create WordPress App_SuperPWA

#3 PWADoes it always have to be a mobile app?

Especially if you only have a small budget available and basically only want to display the content of a static website optimized on mobile devices, a web app can be the right solution. With the free Plugin "Super Progressive Web Apps", which has WordPress .org has over 10,000 active installations and a rating of 5/5 stars, the implementation is child's play.

I find it difficult to "talk some WordPress projects and websites into an app builder for a fee" if all they lack is a nice display for smartphone and tablet.

The PWA tool builds within minutes a mobile adapted version of your WordPress site , which displays the "Add To Home Screen" button to your mobile website visitors. With just one click, your visitor can then place a shortcut with icon on their home screen on iOS and Android.

Of course, this homescreen shortcut does not make your site a "real" mobile app, but this solution is often absolutely sufficient for the beginning. Moreover, PWA is the simplest and cheapest solution. After all, you can always switch to AppPresser or appful later.

Conclusion: Which WordPress plugin is for me?

Well, you can basically already tell this from the text. For most people the answer will probably be "AppPresser". Because with it you usually get a really fancy app that is perfectly sufficient for smaller projects and saves you money.

As a company, magazine or operator of a larger WordPress blog, on the other hand, you should look at appful should take a closer look. Normally, a little more budget is a worthwhile investment here.

If your plans to create your own WordPress app got completely confused after my article, you probably need some more time. In that case, it's a good idea to create a web app with PWA first. So if there's hardly any budget and you're basically still unsure whether your project will ever become big, it's better not to spend the money on a mobile app, but to optimize the mobile version as much as possible!

If you have any feedback, questions or further input on converting WordPress sites into mobile apps, I'd love to hear from you!

At the age of 14, Lukas started his own blog where he reported on Apple news on a daily basis. In the years that followed, he moved on to a handful of tech magazines in Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Today, he writes for Apfelpage.de, among others, speaks the podcasts "Der Apfelplausch" and "HalloWelt"! and works in the management of some media companies in Germany.

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