Unleash the WordPress power to create apps

WordPress which was considered a mere CMS tool a few years back is all set to shun its image and prove its versatility. New advancements can be used for creating Android mobile phone apps and iOS apps using WordPress, and you thought that you had seen everything WordPress had to offer to you. The evolution of WordPress has been steady and fast in the past few years enabling it to evolve into an app development tool which not only makes the process simpler but is also cost effective. With the help of plugins, web hosting, MySQL and WordPress a mobile app can be created ease.

Unleash-the-WordPress-power-to-create-apps

The years of hard work and effort that has gone into creating and upgrading WordPress is the reason that developing apps with it shall be easy. Now let us look at the various steps and procedures which are required to build an app with WordPress.

Start to build the back-end part: Creating the Database.

The basic step of starting with a new app project starts with data handling. The basic process involves storing and retrieving of data. Here in comes the power of WordPress, a platform already there to provide you support for the purpose. The system of posts and pages can be used for different content types. eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce for example can be used in WordPress to create a basic architecture of an eCommerce app.

WordPress uses custom post types to integrate with plugins necessary for your project. WordPress uses plugins like Pods, Easy Content Types and Toolset to enhance its database capabilities. Basically these plugins and frame works take care of almost all front-end features. All you have to do is to choose the best framework to suit your need.

Start to build the back-end part II: Creating the Content.

The most flexibility offered by WordPress is its admin section. This admin section allows easy customization with tools like DP-Dashboard. WordPress also offers another unique opportunity for app development by generating front-end forms which update the Database. Some of these forms are Ninja, Gravity and Caldera.

Creating the API

An API or Application Protocol Interface allows your app to communicate with other websites. In other words it acts as a bridge for inter communication. Therefore its relevance increases for your app a lot. An API becomes essential in order to tap into the existing user base of other sites.

The front end

The major disadvantage that WordPress offers while designing the front end part is that it a CMS tool which has been designed predominantly for blogs and not apps. The themes WordPress offers are more apt and compatible for blogs and not apps. To address to these shortcomings a lot of themes and frameworks are available which can be used for creating a mobile app. These frameworks use JavaScript libraries for themes like Backbone, Angular and node.

UI frameworks

UI frameworks like Bootstrap can be essential tools which are time saving. These frameworks provide readymade CSS codes combined with JavaScript plugins to provide all UI tools you may be requiring for your mobile app. A word of caution is necessary here for app developers that although these frameworks are time saving and provide a lot of assistance but since they are open source, your app might end up looking too generic. It would be difficult to differentiate your app from the crowd. So it is essential that a designer should pick and choose his framework which is unique as well as time saving.

Launching and Hosting the app

An app needs to be hosted before it becomes online. There are a number of options available for hosting an app. A hosting service should be chosen which can provide scalability, SSH access and easy deployment and support features. The choices of hosting are plenty in the form of managed WordPress hosts like Page.ly and WP Engine, or a cloud hosting service Digital Ocean, Rockspace or Amazon Web Services. All shall depend on the skill level and personal choices.

In conclusion WordPress has opened doors of opportunity for app developers to create app with a lot of ease and with minimal coding required. This path breaking tool provides an ideal platform and support like providing Databases, hosting and a host of other services which otherwise would be difficult to achieve. The job of an app developer however is to choose the right mix of tools and plugins and to get his combinations right to achieve a good looking and perfectly working mobile app.

This post is written by Macy Jones. Macy Jones started learning WordPress while working as an App Developer in Melbourne, which ended up as her first & foremost passion. She is now a public speaker on WordPress app development techniques. You can learn more by connecting with her on Facebook or following her on Twitter.