5 Plugins to Turn WordPress into a Mobile App
There’s been a lot of talk recently in the wild world of WordPress, and with good reason. That reason is an app called AppPresser. It’s great for people are trying to get their WordPress content via mobile device, but it’s very much geared toward developers and not the average user.
Today we’re going to talk about 5 plugins to turn your WordPress into an app. We know it can be a huge frustration and a large amount of money to get a mobile app set up. AppPresser has added a variety of different services and plugins that makes the process of making a mobile app much more streamlined and easier.
Today we’ll be taking a look at 5 plugins specifically that will work together to help you create your mobile app for any Droid or iOS platform. The 5 plugins to turn your WordPress into an app are IdeaPress, UppSite, Mobiloud, Wiziapp, and Joemobi. We tried all 5 of these plugins to turn your WordPress into an app for a spin, and here are our results. Remember, these are our personal experiences, and may not necessarily be true for everyone.
IdeaPress is priced very reasonably, especially when you consider how much you can actually do with it. You’ll need to install another app alongside it what will provide a JSON API, but again, it’s very easy to use.
You can customize your app’s format and choosing up to 10 different pages and categories to include. The app itself is very well-designed and user friendly, adding a very visually appealing slide-out menu and a functional search bar.
However, the app doesn’t seem to recognize any special formatting that you’ve made to your layout, which is obviously a bit of a bummer. Text comes out as a large wall with no breaks for paragraphs. We’re not sure if this is something that is just restricted to the preview that you can edit later, but with the app running at about $70, you would hope that it would include all of the essential tools you need, and from what we’ve seen the app do, we’re fairly confident all of those tools will be included. You can have a mobile app up in as little as about 5 minutes. Definitely one of our top 5 plugins to turn your WordPress into an app.
This is one of the newer apps, but it was a clear front-runner for position number 1 in our top 5 plugins to turn your WordPress into an app. As soon as you launch the plugin, a progress bar appears and your app is completely finished a matter of minutes later, depending on how large the site is. As it’s generating, you can actually see an HTML app that you can show to other mobile users. If you sign up for the Pro plan, it’ll give you the additional option of creating optional apps for both Droid and iOS.
There’s enough options as far as configuration goes to entirely cover the screen at some points. There are no hidden fees or anything as there are with some of the larger plugins.
At only about $200, this is one of the more affordable and easy to use options. The only downside we’ve been able to find is that it’s not multi-site compatible, which isn’t ideal if you’re wanting to work on multiple sites.
If you’re comfortable with using the WordPress Admin interface, UppSite might be the plugin for you since its multiple configuration options are all available from there. That said, we found 3 very big downsides to this app.
Firstly, and we realize it only applies to the preview, there were huge images of iPhones all over the preview. It’s very hard to get an idea if a certain plugin is right for you or not if you’ve got iPhones popping up all over your screen.
Secondly, there’s no way to try or preview the app without signing up, and subsequently entering payment information, for a 7-day trial. While you can end the trial early and not pay anything, this seems like an issue you shouldn’t have to deal with.
Thirdly, the plugin is no longer supported. What we mean by that is that as of 2014, the app is no longer being worked on and developed, so you shouldn’t expect any updates or patches to be released any time soon.
These 3 reasons are the only thing holding this plugin back, and we feel that for the money you pay, you receive a whole lot of product.
This app, again, is very user friendly and pleasing to the eyes, but it’s a bit limited as far as the preview went. From the moment you start the plugin up, it’ll go ahead and build your app for you, allowing you to configure and customize it further once it’s there.
Everything from adding and removing items from the menu and customizing the home page. However, there is no HTML version of the plugin, which is a bit of a downside, and compared to some of the other plugins the customization options are fairly limited.
The biggest downside to this plugin is the overall cost. It’s nearly $1,000 per year of use, and is one of the most expensive options out there, but it’s a small price to pay considering all that it does.
We were a little hesitant to include this one in our top 5 plugins to turn your WordPress into an app. It hasn’t been in development since 2013, and no future upgrades have been planned for this plugin.
Another downside is the fact that there’s no preview before it starts to build your app, so you don’t know what it’s going to look like until it’s completely finished. We left our app “building” for around 5 hours before giving up. It’s kind of strange that during this whole time, the “purchase now” button was completely accessible but it hadn’t actually done anything.
UppSite seems to be the most configurable option, but only on its premium plan. UppSite and Wiziapp also have the added benefit of an HTML site that you can preview before building your app. especially considering the cost, not having a preview at all seems very counter-productive.
To wrap up our top 5 plugins to turn your WordPress into an app, our overall winner is Wiziapp. The HTML preview and customizability paired with its lower price range make it the best choice for us. It depends on your personal taste though, download the previews for yourself and give them a try today.