WordPress evolved into a foundation for mobile apps, and in the past few years, we have seen countless WordPress sites to evolve as mobile apps. With every new upgrade, WordPress has evolved as the more suitable platform to upgrade to mobile apps. A plethora of useful plugins and third party extensions is continuing to make WordPress richer and more apt for transferring the experience to the mobile interface. Most important of all, building a WordPress app is still now the most inexpensive option as far as turning the web experience to native mobile experience is concerned.

Over these years we have also seen a lot of WordPress app builders and converters to creep in. They continued to elevate the standard of mobile WordPress development besides saving time and investment for the developers. While these app frameworks are great to deliver the web experience seamlessly to the mobile app, experts versed in latest development technologies and patterns still seem invaluable in a WordPress mobile app development project.

Do you want to know about building a WordPress app starting from the scratch? Well, let us explain a few main aspects in this respect.

Database and Content Management Architecture

With WordPress, you do not need to think about building a content management system from the scratch. It is already there, and all you need is to work with the database and architecture.

WordPress content architecture is straightforward and scalable to include any new categories and post types. Custom post types further allow integrating various plugins required by your app development project in hand.

The challenge lies mainly in respect of integrating the database with another app. The structure of WordPress database is not designed to incorporate a lot of custom fields. Naturally, it is often difficult to integrate the database with other apps that are supposed to use the same database. Precisely this is the reason why there are too many plugins and app developers who focus on adding an entirely separate database table for their service. This approach may help them in boosting the app performance and flexibility, but the problem remains the same when integrating the tables of data with the WordPress plugins. Some WordPress development framework plugins like Easy Content Types, Custom Field Suite, Pods, Advanced Custom Fields, and Toolset can come to your rescue.

These frameworks, besides making the database management easier, also share concerns over interfaces and many other front-end problems. Obviously, each of these frameworks has their respective strengths and weaknesses. If you can find the right one for your need, it can save hours of efforts for your development.

Considering the App API

Why should you create an app API? Well, it is for the express reason of allowing other services integrate with your app. It just offers you an opportunity to integrate your workflow with a popular product already existing. Thus your app can tap into the potential of a service. But there are few considerations when generating API for your app.

First of all, generating your app API involves no difficulty at all. There are several handy options for doing these. JSON API from Jetpack and WP-API are two great options. Both being JSON RESTful in character offers extreme ease of use and seamless integration with other APIs using the same standard.

Both the APIs mentioned above are a lot similar in functions. JetPack’s API is there for a long time starting from the WordPress version 1.0. WP-API, on the other hand, is regarded as stable. WP-API is also well known for robust backwards-compatibility. The only major difference between these two APIs is that the first one is hosted on the WordPress servers, while it is on the client server that WP-API runs.

As for the pros and cons of both the APIs let us explain a few things. Through JetPack API you can offload some of the app processing ensuring better performance and savings on server costs. On the other hand, WP-API offers more flexibility with the option of adding custom This includes the ability to use additional plugins. So, while both the tools have their respective pros and cons, it entirely depends on your project.

Considerations about front end

The robust back-end content management system and wide and extensive diversity of plugins gave WordPress its versatility, scalability, and ease of use it is known for. Starting as a content platform with server side processing through PHP, it evolved over the years to use client-side or browser-executed JavaScript. This is bound to happen as most mobile apps these days prefer client side servers to ensure fast paced loading time.

When it comes to loading time, any mobile apps needs to pass the test and ensure loading the contents in not more than two to three seconds of time. As the attention span of the mobile audience is terribly low, the typical blog-like interface no longer works here. This is why most WordPress apps these days use JavaScript as an active element throughout.

A variety of WordPress app converter tools came to the rescue of WordPress websites looking forward to making a robust native mobile presence. But many of these frameworks and tools can only be handled by expert WordPress developers well versed in latest web development standards and emerging technologies. As a powerful blogging platform WordPress can be unmatched in flexibility, features and scalability but to ensure an app interface that looks and feels like a native mobile app, it requires the expertise of experienced WordPress developers.

Conclusion

WordPress being the world’s most popular and most versatile blogging and content platform powering millions of websites remained adaptive to the mobile interface and usability from the very beginning. This is precisely why turning a WordPress website into a user optimized app involves no bigger challenge.

Author

Juned Ghanchi is the co-Founder and VP of Marketing of indianappdevelopers.com, an Android app development company. Where he oversees brand management, email marketing and lead generation strategy which helping company to drive more traffic and revenue.

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