How to Create a Mobile Website App with WordPress
With the world now largely digital, more and more of our time is spent on our phones or tablets. According to Google, about 66.2% of the entire US population now uses mobile phones or tablets as their primary internet device, up from 33.8% a couple years ago.
If your product or service is available digitally, it needs to be accessible from all devices. And if it’s a B2C (business to consumer) product, you’ll want to make sure that customers can easily find what they want and navigate your website effectively on their mobile phones.
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) in use today, boasting 24.9 million downloads as of June 2018. Its popularity stems from the fact that it’s free and open source, meaning that it can be modified and shared with others. What’s more, because it’s built on the open source PHP software, anyone can contribute to the development of WordPress.
With that in mind, let’s have a look at how you can use WordPress to create a mobile website app.
WordPress For Mobile Websites
WordPress has traditionally been used for creating websites, but it can also be used to make apps. That’s right, you don’t necessarily need to have a web server to use WordPress. In fact, as mentioned above, you don’t even need to have a computer to use WordPress. All you need is a mobile device and an internet connection.
If you decide to go that way, the first thing you’ll want to do is download and install WordPress on your mobile device. You can use Google’s official CMS app, Google Store, or the WordPress App Store to get the app.
Once that’s done, you can start working on the design of your app. WordPress comes with a handful of pre-designed templates to get you started making apps, but if you’re feeling creative, you can go ahead and customize one yourself. The great thing about these templates is that they’re all responsive, which means they’ll automatically adjust their layout based on the device they’re being used on. So whether you’re using a tablet or mobile phone, your website will look the same.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll be working with the WordPress app store, which is the easiest way to get WordPress, since it already has the app installed. But feel free to follow along and use any of the methods mentioned above.
The Pros and Cons of WordPress
Before we talk about the advantages of using WordPress to build your mobile website app, let’s discuss the cons. The first one is that you need to make sure you have a WordPress platform that’s not too old and is up to date with the latest patches and security fixes. You also don’t want to use the self-hosted version of WordPress, as it has some major drawbacks. The last thing you want is to install WordPress on a server just to have it crash due to a software malfunction.
The second con of using WordPress for making apps is that you need to make sure the device you’re using has enough storage. The reason behind this is that WordPress can be quite large, and putting it on a device with very little storage can cause a lot of frustration for the user. Even on a device with 128GB of storage, WordPress can still use a lot of space. And because it’s such a popular CMS, you can bet there are many people out there with the same problem.
Now, let’s move on to the advantages of using WordPress for making apps. The first and most obvious advantage is that you don’t need to write any code to make your app. All you need to do is build a design for the app using your favorite web design tool or software, and then you can deploy it using WordPress’s built-in tools or the app store.
Another advantage of using WordPress is that it already comes with a lot of functionality built in. For example, if you’re using the app store to deploy your app, you won’t have to worry about configuring a web server or figuring out hosting as everything regarding the app will be taken care of for you.
WordPress also provides powerful features that can be accessed through its dashboard, such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and analytics tools. Those who are less technological might find the WordPress dashboard a little overwhelming, but everything is still there and it’s very easy to use. There are also a number of add-ons available for the dashboard, which can make it even more user-friendly. For example, Instapaper’s mobile website app was built using WordPress.
As you can see, despite its many flaws, WordPress has a lot to offer. If you’re looking for a CMS that can be used to easily create a mobile website app, you should consider using it. We’d also recommend going the extra mile and using the WordPress app store, as it makes the entire process easier.