The debate between apps and websites is slowly coming to an end. The numbers now show a clear preference for mobile apps over websites.
Take ecommerce as an example. Over 85% of shoppers prefer buying products on mobile apps over mobile websites. Ecommerce is a pivotal segment and such a huge shift towards mobile apps underlines the overarching trend.
Is the same happening in the world of blogging?
It is difficult to argue against the trend. Do you really think readers will continue to use browsers to exclusively read your blog?
As app usage grows, blogs must also prepare for a dip in web traffic. The best way to overcome the challenge posed by mobile apps is by creating one of your own.
The challenge of app development
Let’s assume you want to start a mobile app for your WordPress blog.
Broadly speaking, the challenges you will face can be boiled down to three crucial points:
- Coding: Most bloggers do not know how to code. This is the reason they use simple CMS options like WordPress to start a blog. Most bloggers cannot just launch an app just like they start a blog. They have to first hire an agency or a team of developers to start their own app.
- Cost: Hiring a development company or a team of developers is a very expensive prospect. App buildingis generally very expensive because it takes a lot of technical expertise to build an app with coding.
- Time: Even making a simple app for a blog can take over three to four months. There are too many technicalities involved in app development to expedite the process. For an average blogger, waiting for three to four months for a mobile app is not feasible.
The arrival of codeless app making tools
Codeless app-making tools essentially allow you to make your own app without any kind of coding.
Making apps without coding may sound strange at first. After all, we instinctively expect app development to be an extraneous code-based process.
App-making tools have developed a lot in recent times. You can now make a native mobile app using your WordPress blog for both Android and iOS platforms. Tools like AppMySite have gained prominence for helping WordPress users start their own app.
Most crucially, using a codeless free app builder solves the three main challenges of app development. The following points explain the same:
- No coding: You can make an app with app makers without coding.
- Affordable: Using app makers cost a small fraction of the investment needed to hire a development agency to make an app.
- Expedited timeline: You can literally create an app in minutes if you need to. Otherwise, you can craft a well-designed app in a matter of days.
Making an app for your WordPress blog with an app builder – A guide
It is time to finally start making an app for your blog. In the following sections, you will learn how to make an app for your WordPress blog.
This article will involve the use of AppMySite to explain codeless app development. AppMySite is a an app maker that allows you to build a WordPress app for your blog.
You can additionally watch this video tutorial to get a much better idea of making a mobile app.
Step #1- Design your mobile app
We will start the process with app design. You will arrive on the dashboard after creating an account on AppMySite.
Go to the Appearance section in the menu to the left of the screen. You will find the different elements available for customization platform. The following points explain each element:
- Start with the app icon. Choose from different appearance options to design an icon. You can alternatively upload your own icon design and create a personalized app logo.
- Design a launch screen with options to add a background image and personalized text or logo. You can use solid colors for the background, upload your own design, or pick artwork from the premium image library.
- Personalize your login & signup screens with options to design background, add a logo, and update the color scheme of the user fields & buttons.
- Select a color theme for your app. You can choose the header color, header text, and text color.
- Custom design the entire home screen with options to set section colors, manage categories, rename headers, design banners, show CMS pages, and update the arrangement of different sections.
You can checkout every element you design on the preview screen to the right. This will help you make accurate design decisions at every turn.
Step two –Establish blog-app connection
The next step is the most important part of the process. By connecting your blog to your mobile app, you can import your blog’s resources to your mobile app.
In other words, you can display your blog posts, categories, and menus in your mobile app.
The process of connecting your blog and app is very easy. The steps explain the process-
- Go to your WordPress backend. Download the AppMySite plugin on the backend of your WordPress blog. The plugin is available for free.
- Activate the plugin and head back to AppMySite.
- Select Install Plugin in the Connectivity section and select Verify to validate the connection between your website and app.
- You’ll be directed to the App Preview when your website and app are connected. Head to Troubleshooting if your blog and app do not connect.
Your blog content will automatically start syncing with your app as soon as the connection is complete.
Any change you make on your blog will be reflected instantly on your app as well. From publishing a new post to changing a category name, every change will appear on your app automatically.
Step three – Preview your app
App Preview allows you to test the app you have built on both mobile emulators for Android as well as iOS devices.
The following steps explain how you can preview your app on the platform:
- Head to the App Preview to start the process.
- There are two mobile emulators here – one for Android and the other for iOS.
- Select the device you wish to preview your app in. You can choose from a whole range of devices covering Android as well as iOS options.
- Click on the emulator screen to start previewing your mobile app.
- You can take a screenshot at any stage in case you spot an error. Additionally, you can use the restart button if you do not wish to navigate back to the first screen manually.
You can also use the AppMySite mobile app if you wish to preview your app on a real smartphone device.
Step four: Download app and proceed to app submission
In the final step, you can download your mobile app from the platform.
To download an app, you first need to create a mobile app build.
Initiate Android build generation and download the AAB or APK build once the process is complete. You can then proceed to submitting it to Google Play. You should follow the guidelines prescribed by Google Play to make sure your app is approved for publication.
You first have to submit important certificates and info to create ani OS build. These certificates include the iPhone provisioning profile, distribution certificate, team ID, and more.
Once you submit the certificates and info needed, your iOS build generation will initiate. Download the IPA file once your build is generated. You can then submit your iOS app to the App Store.
App development is always seen as a tedious and cumbersome process.
App makers make the process much easier by removing coding from the equation. This guide provides an in-depth guide on making a mobile app using a WordPress blog.
You can now create your own niche mobile audience by launching an app. This way, you don’t have to worry about rising mobile app usage numbers.