Consider this: more than half of all worldwide online traffic and digital media consumption now takes place from a mobile device, be it a smartphone, tablet or even a watch. That means billions and billions of people surf the Internet, manage social media, do their banking and more without ever sitting down at a desktop computer or even lifting up a laptop.
Indeed, it’s this statistic that has created such a boom in the “responsive design” movement, where a website is built around the mobile-first philosophy that dictates that a website should appear and render perfectly no matter the device on which it’s being viewed. And that trend goes beyond simple appearance: users should be able to navigate through a site, makes purchases, leave comments and more as seamlessly as if they were sitting behind a monitor at a desk.
Hence, WordPress site owners who are truly serious about the success of their site need to be thinking about taking an important step: converting their pages into a mobile app that their visitors can view from anywhere. Of course, there are some big obstacles for taking this course of action, and one of the biggest is price: custom app development costs are pretty steep, and likely out of the range of most site owners.
But have no fear. Now, WordPressers can take their site to a mobile app version via some great plugins. Here are four of the best, and industry experts predict that many more are likely to come in the next year. Of course they won’t have all the bells and whistles of a custom-designed app and they cost a little bit of money, but they’re nevertheless a great place to start your mobile app venture.
- For those who have little to no coding experience, Reactor is a great solution. In a few minutes you can turn your WordPress content into a beautiful mobile app that displays posts, pages, products and social media connections. It even supports most plugins that you may have added to your site, allows you to send push notifications, customize colors, display a photo gallery and more.
- iOS and Android friendly, MobiLoud works from a “native” platform, meaning it’s easier to get your WordPress site app into the Google or Apple stores. With offline content access and advertisement creation it’s a great choice for e-commerce sites, and it handles WordPress-specific features such as managing user accounts, creating custom post type and enabling and managing a comment section easily.
- For those looking for a really easy route to a mobile app, Mobapper is worth checking out. All you do is install the WordPress plugin on your site and you’re off and running. You can choose from different design templates, and the program syncs both the app and your home site perfectly. It’s nicely affordable, and there are only three steps in the whole process, meaning your site will be mobile in a matter of minutes.
- Lastly, IdeaPress—a pay-only solution—is great for those who don’t do coding. Also a plugin, once installed the app syncs up beautifully and gets your site into different online stores quickly. It also includes the ability to customize colors, layouts and fonts and even manipulate how the app itself functions for your site, which is fantastic for those site owners who thrive on making their pages wholly unique.