Convert your website to an app using WordPress plugin

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Website conversion to an app

In today’s digital world, smartphones dominate today’s internet purchasing and browsing scene. The use of mobile phones and tablets has increased drastically in the past decade. In 2020, the number of active smartphones has surpassed 6 billion devices according to an analysis made by Mobiloud. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you convert your website to an application for wider customer reach. How will this benefit you? In this article, I will uncover 6 reasons why you need to convert your website to an app. Moreover, I will take you through the process of conversion.

Why do you need to convert your website to app?

There are several ways of converting your website that this article will cover. However, before you learn how to convert your website, you must first acknowledge the need for a conversion to a mobile app. Besides converting the content to a mobile-friendly platform, it has many other merits.

Where a website is global, an app is local
  1. Smartphones are the present and future of technology. Almost everything you do on a phone is app related.
  2. An app puts your website in front of potential and current users. It helps expand your audience and make the usage of your app part of their daily experience.
  3. An app makes it easy for your audience to enjoy your content. It makes it easier to access the contents of your website without any hassles.
  4. Having a mobile app sets you apart. Simply, it elevates your brand.
  5. Apps increase audience engagement and retention.
On desktops, users tend to browse websites. On mobiles, however, apps are much more dominant in terms of usage.

7. Apps get you closer to your audience. By personalizing the user’s experience, they are already closer to you than before.

Now that you know the reasons behind a website conversion, allow me to tell you how to transform your WordPress website to app using a WordPress app plugin such as Appful, but before, allow me to guide you through the importance of the website conversion strategy.
Related: 8 reasons why the WordPress platform is great for small businesses

WordPress mobile app: a smart strategy

The use of mobile phones to access the internet has prevailed over desktops since 2016 and continues to grow. It is important to catch up with the technological advancement and trendiness of mobile phones. As for developing a mobile app for your business, you have several options. For instance, you could create one from scratch, which is expensive and time consuming, especially as you’ll need a developer to build it. Or you could transform your website to an app if you have the right form. By having a GoDaddy WordPress website, you already have an advantage in developing your application.

Some other advantages are:

  • Building the app quicker
  • The ability to repost/reuse old content
  • Drive traffic to your main website

Most importantly, using your WordPress site as the basis for your mobile app means you don’t need a developer or a lot of technical knowledge. You can simply utilize the already existing tool and get the job done!

Selecting an app builder

Plenty of builders exist to help you convert your website into a mobile app. However, you must know what your needs are as some of these builders might provide too much or too little.

If your needs are very basic, try the one-click solution. This will get the job done, but won’t provide you with a lot of flexibility when it comes to features and customization. Preferably, choose something that is more professional.

An example would be that of WordPress plugin Appful.

This tool is designed specifically for businesses. It integrates smoothly with WordPress where it enables creating customized mobile apps that focus on your users’ needs. Plus, it offers many useful features, such as caching to improve performance and an offline reading mode.
Related: Must-have Mobile Features for your business app 

How to convert your website to an app

Let’s get down to business. The process of converting your website to a mobile app based on your WordPress content looks like. To answer that question, let’s walk through the process of setting up Appful together.

Step 1: Sign up for a free trial account

If you want to try Appful out, you can do so by signing up for a free trial account. Simply enter in your information and click Create Account.

Appful signup form

Step 2: Connect to your site using a WordPress plugin

Once that’s done, you’ll be taken right away to your new dashboard:

new app connectivity to websites
There are a number of options here but, for now, you’ll want to select Add next to WordPress Blog. This will prompt you to download the associated plugin.
Install the plugin on your site, and you’re ready to move on.

Related: The best WordPress plugins of 2020

Step 3: Create your mobile app

When the plugin is installed, it will automatically connect to the account you just created. Then, return to your Appful dashboard and select the Info tab:

Appful information sheet

Here, you can enter some basic information about your app, such as its name and description. You can also upload imagery, and even include keywords you’d like to target.

Step 4: Choose an app design and color

Next up, the Design tab where you can select a theme and primary color for your app:

website to app design templates

You can also customize your own template if you want.

Step 5: Add pages to your app and customize it

Then, under Pages, you can include all the content you want your app to display. Selecting the pencil icon next to a page will enable you to modify its basic details:

app pages templates

In the right-hand sidebar, you’ll also find a number of elements you can add to your app. You can do so by dragging them over the main content. You can also rearrange your pages using the same drag-and-drop functionality or select the X icon to delete them.
If you’re a developer or your business has an IT staff member, you can even include custom HTML and CSS, in order to more fully personalize your mobile app. You can find these options under Pages > Advertising and Pages > CSS.

Step 6: Preview your mobile app

Finally, the Test section allows you to try out your mobile app before officially creating it:

website to app test page
All you have to do is download the appful Preview App either from Apple’s App Store or from Google’s Play Store to your mobile device, and you can perform all the tests you need to make sure your app is perfect. Of course, you can also come back to your dashboard and make changes.

Step 7: Submit your mobile app or request a custom proposal

Once your app is set up just right, select Submit My App under the Test tab. This will publish it to the Apple App Store (iOS) and the Google Play Store (Android). Alternatively, you can request a proposal for a tailor-made mobile app converted from your WordPress website that reflects your company’s specific needs from Appful directly.
All that is left now is letting your customers know about your new WordPress mobile app!

Customer engagement

While having a company website is incredibly important, it’s far from being one of the only sufficient means to engage your target audience. Given the magnitude of the smartphone’s usage, we strongly recommend converting your website to an app — creating it is the perfect way to get their attention.
All the previously mentioned steps take less than an hour to complete. Create, customize and launch your app; your customer awaits it!

Image by: GoDaddy

Selina Bieber
Based in Istanbul, Selina is part of the GoDaddy EMEA team managing the Turkey and MENA regions to help grow the GoDaddy brand and business. With a background in marketing communications, Selina is passionate about small businesses, the entrepreneurial eco-system and leveraging digital technologies to get ahead of the game. Prior to joining GoDaddy, Selina led the PR activities of Facebook, VeriSign and Euler Hermes in Turkey, and was based in Amsterdam to head up regional media relations across Europe for a natural gas project. Selina is a self-professed foodie and travel addict.