How To Create Mobile Applications With WordPress

With the continuous increase in mobile device usage, the need for mobile applications is also growing. In fact, online statistics suggest that app usage dominates mobile web usage with 82 percent.

When it comes to building a site on the WordPress platform, many users (especially novices) aren’t aware of the fact that this platform not only helps in creating a website/blog but can also be used for powering a mobile app.

For instance, if you run a news website in WordPress, you can create a mobile application that presents users with videos, latest news headlines, articles and much more. What’s more? You can even build an app for an e-commerce store with help of WooCommerce.

How To Create Mobile Applications With WordPress 1

You can perform all of the above-discussed functions, since WordPress has evolved from being known as a blogging platform to a full-fledged CMS, and now, it is being considered a great application platform. And thus, WordPress helps you connect with your target audience in a new and more exciting way.

Why You Need a Mobile App Anyways?

Keep in your mind that not all of the WordPress sites are meant to have a mobile app as well. For example, a blogger running a small-size blog doesn’t require a mobile application. However, many people prefer having one (ideally in place of a website) because of the following reasons:

  • Mobile apps help your brand reach to a larger audience in a faster manner.
  • They enable to provide your content to your users even when they’re offline or on the move.
  • Enable you to send push notifications and provide several great mobile device features including camera, geolocation and many more.

Moreover, it has been observed that media time a user spends via apps results in a good engagement rate compared to mobile browsers. If you’ve planned on making an app for your WordPress site, perhaps most of you’ll start searching for an appropriate mobile theme or plugins to achieve your objective. But, wouldn’t it be better if you could fulfill such needs using a single tool. That is where the mobile app development framework, AppPresser comes in handy.

This mobile framework integrates the popular mobile app builder PhoneGap with WordPress with the help of its core plugin and allows building elegant and responsive mobile apps.

How to Build a Mobile App Using AppPresser?

In order to create a mobile app with the help of AppPresser, you need to follow the below-mentioned steps:

Step 1 – Install and Activate the AppPresser Core Plugin

The first thing you need to do for creating a mobile app with WordPress is to download the AppPresser plugin. For this purpose, simply navigate to Plugins → Add New option from your WordPress admin dashboard, and begin looking for the AppPresser plugin (as shown in the below given screen shot).

How To Create Mobile Applications With WordPress 2

Once you’ve found the plugin, just activate it, and you’ll get access to a settings page that helps in configuring your app.

Note: Remember that activating the AppPresser plugin won’t help you change the look and feel of your website. So, your next step requires choosing a suitable theme for your app.

Step 2 – Choose an AppPresser Theme

AppPresser offers a responsive theme – AppAware Theme – ideally a mobile framework that helps make WordPress website work as a native app. This theme is based on mobile app design conventions that make the app look great on all major devices. The theme comes with “WordPress theme customizer”, enabling you to customize your theme as per your needs.

Step 3 – Embedding Features into Your App

Apps are not just meant to allow users to consume content just like a website, and rather also help users access several features of a mobile device. For instance, they help in utilizing features like device camera and more. So, you’ll need to add features to your app. Let’s see an example to understand the process of adding features in your app. The following code will help to add the “In-App Browser” feature – that makes a new browser window appear on top of your app, allowing you to open up an external web page.

<button onclick=”inAppBrowser(); return false;”>In App Browser</button>
<<script>
function inAppBrowser() {
window.open(‘http://apppresser.com’, ‘_blank’);
}
</script>

Note: Make sure to paste the above code in “text” mode into a post/page. 
Apart from the aforementioned example, you can find many other code examples, by accessing the “PhoneGap API documentation”. So, now that you’ve come to know about adding features into your app, let’s discuss how you can test those features.

Step 4 – Testing Your App

It makes sense to test your app features to know how they work. For this, you’ll need Xcode IDE (for iOS apps) or Eclipse IDE (for Android apps). You can test your app without having good knowledge of these systems, however, choose the one you’re most familiar with. Below are a few resources, you can refer to, for testing your app:

Building an App Using PhoneGap

For developing your app with WordPress and AppPresser, you need to make use of PhoneGap Build. It lets you upload your project file in the .zip format without having to write Objective C or Java code. Instead, you will be required to make a few changes to the configuration file (i.e. config.xml), add a few icon images and you’ll be ready with your product.

You can create a mobile application for free, simply by signing up for a PhoneGap Build account. And then, some files will get generated by “PhoneGap Build” that needs to be submitted to the Android and iOS app stores.

Conclusion

AppPresser has become a highly popular development framework, giving users the ability to combine the power of mobile apps with WordPress. Reading this post will help you gain a good understanding of several important aspects of the AppPresser framework and how it can be used.