The new generation of users needs everything at their fingertips. The slightest glitch, and you could be seeing your bounce rates going off the roof. This essentially comes into play when you have a desktop-oriented website.
However, more than half the world’s population owns a smartphone. So, if you’re not considering mobile advertising, then that could be a serious downside as well. Luckily, most WordPress websites take care of a responsive layout without any additional work.
Nevertheless, some brands and businesses like to go the extra mile in curating the customer journey. They go from relying on website access to developing an app that stays in constant touch with notifications, personalization and offline access.
The catch is that creating an app is not as simple as selecting the right theme. There are multiple factors involved. While many people select a WordPress agency in London to get the technical work done, some take the alternative DIY route.
Here are six tips and ways to help you turn your website into a fully-functioning mobile application.
1. WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins are the most direct option to get started with app development. If you want to convert your WordPress website without the hassles of writing a single line of code, here are your best options.
A premium application builder similar to the page customization in WordPress, AppPresser displays a live preview of your website during the creation process. A selective structure makes the plugin lightweight and manageable at all times. Plus, it can also be easily integrated with WooCommerce, BuddyPress and other additional features.
Specially segregated for news or blogs and e-commerce, MobiLoud is an all-inclusive service that can be either managed individually or run by the agency of your choosing. It is augmented for both Android and iOS, handling app creation, publishing, testing and ongoing distribution. The best part? It auto-updates any content on the app in sync with the WordPress website.
Multiple themes, offline support, push notifications, native social sharing and infinite scroll are marked as the top differentiators for Androapp. Although there is no support for BuddyPress or WooCommerce, it does let you submit the app to the Play Store yourself. Metrics reporting and monetization tools make up for the downsides at cheap pricing.
With both iOS and Android compatibility, WPMobile.App brings the best configuration features to the table. Over and above the standard features, the plugin lets you integrate the app with Weglot, offers unlimited support and provides free app testing. However, there is only one theme to choose from, making it take the backseat when it comes to customization.
2. Third-Party Software
Unlike the plugins, external software allows you to have a complete hands-on approach to code writing, thus helping you create a mobile app as per your vision. An array of options are available to add features that cannot be usually found with the plugins. Let’s look at the contenders.
Bitrise allows you to set up customized workflows that are visually appealing. You can build with ad hoc certificates or upload yours directly to the app stores. With organization plans, an API and a free pricing option, it really is the cream of the crop.
An open-source UI framework, Ionic AppFlow, is a paid cloud service that automatically uploads the app to your preferred store. It works great if you’re developing one or two apps concurrently.
3. App Development Professionals
The third and final choice is to leave everything to the experts. Creating a complete app is a daunting task and can be extensively time-consuming, especially if you’re starting from scratch. With content, web and marketing management, there is already way too much on your plate.
Finding a knowledgeable professional who can turn your app into reality helps you take on the more urgent tasks of brand development. Plus, with someone who has already been down the path, there are fewer chances of running into roadblocks.
4. Consider the Customer Journey
Building a user-oriented app starts with creating an experience map that stands at par with their expectations. By learning about your target audience’s behavioural patterns, you must create a structure that is easy and natural to navigate.
The logic is straightforward. If a user finds the app too difficult or cluttered, they might choose to simply exit it in the blink of an eye. To ensure a high retention rate, consider all your parameters, right from font sizes and colours to layouts and contrasts.
Additionally, navigational elements and drop-down menus with well-labelled buttons give a directional lead to the viewer.
5. Develop The Design
There should be a balance between the design and the content. Both play a crucial role in keeping your customer around for conversions. For instance, instead of using stock images, go for high-quality ones that are captured in your working environment.
Another area to look at is the colour schemes. Each colour represents a certain mood and evokes emotion within the user. Use them carefully to help your audience make the right decisions at the right time.
Also, your app design should complement your website for a coherent view and better brand recall.
6. Test it Aggressively
One of the biggest downfalls for a newly created app is the insane amount of bugs it has to begin with. Once your development process is complete, remember to conduct robust alpha and beta testing before making the application public.
You can either hire a specialized service or reach out to people to try their hand at it. Either way, ask for intensive feedback and try to inculcate all the points available.
Mobile testing tools like TestComplete, Kobiton and Appium can also be put to good use here.
There are multiple causes why you should consider converting your WordPress website into an app today, like smartphone audience capture, accessible content, competitive edge, increased engagement and higher retention.
With the options mentioned above, you can venture into app creation and deployment without any excess hassles. Just consider the pros and cons on the table before selecting the best way out for you.