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      Host a Static Site using Linode Object Storage


      Updated by Linode

      Contributed by

      Linode

      Note

      Object Storage is currently in a closed early access Beta, and you may not have access to Object Storage through the Cloud Manager or other tools. To gain access to the Early Access Program (EAP), open up a Customer Support ticket noting that you’d like to be included in the program, or e-mail objbeta@linode.com – beta access is completely free.

      Additionally, because Object Storage is in Beta, there may be breaking changes to how you access and manage Object Storage. This guide will be updated to reflect these changes if and when they occur.

      Why Host a Static Site on Object Storage?

      Static site generators are a popular solution for creating simple, fast, flexible, and attractive websites that are easy to update. You can contribute new pages and content to a static site in two steps:

      1. First, write the content for your site’s new page using Markdown, an easy-to-learn and light-weight markup language.

      2. Then, tell your static site generator to compile your Markdown (along with other relevant assets, like CSS styling, images, and JavaScript) into static HTML files.

      The second compilation step only needs to happen once for each time that you update your content. This is in contrast with a dynamic website framework like WordPress or Drupal, which will reference a relational database and compile your HTML every time a visitor loads your site.

      Benefits of Hosting on Object Storage

      Traditionally, these static HTML files would be served by a web server (like NGINX or Apache) running on a Linode. Using Object Storage to host your static site files means you do not have to worry about maintaining your site’s infrastructure. It is no longer necessary to perform typical server maintenance tasks, like software upgrades, web server configuration, and security upkeep.

      Object Storage provides an HTTP REST gateway to objects, which means a unique URL over HTTP is available for every object. Once your static site is built, making it available publicly over the Internet is as easy uploading files to an Object Storage bucket.

      Object Storage Hosting Workflow

      At a high-level, the required steps to host a static site using Object Storage are:

      1. Install the static site generator of your choice to your local computer.

      2. Create the desired content and build the site (using your static site generator).

      3. Upload the static files to your Object Storage bucket to make the content publicly available over the Internet.

      This guide will use Hugo to demonstrate how to create a static site and host it on Linode Object Storage. However, there are many other static site generators to choose from–Jekyll and Gatsby are popular choices, and the general steps outlined in this guide could be adapted to them. For more information on choosing a static site generator, see the How to Choose a Static Site Generator guide.

      Before You Begin

      1. Read the How to Use Linode Object Storage guide to familiarize yourself with Object Storage on Linode. Specifically, be sure that you have:

        • Created your Object Storage access and secret keys.
        • Installed and configure the s3cmd tool.
      2. Install and configure Git on your local computer.

      Install the Hugo Static Site Generator

      Hugo is written in Go and is known for being extremely fast to compile sites, even very large ones. It is well-supported, well-documented, and has an active community. Some useful Hugo features include shortcodes, which are an easy way to include predefined templates inside of your Markdown, and built-in LiveReload web server, which allows you to preview your site changes locally as you make them.

      1. Install Hugo on your computer:

        macOS:

        Linux/Ubuntu:

        • Determine your Linux kernel’s architecture:

          uname -r
          

          Your output will resemble the following:

            
          4.9.0-8-amd64
          
          
        • Navigate to Hugo’s GitHub releases page and download the appropriate version for your platform. This example command downloads version 0.55, but a newer release may be available:

          wget https://github.com/gohugoio/hugo/releases/download/v0.55.0/hugo_0.55.0_Linux-64bit.deb
          
        • Install the package using dpkg:

          sudo dpkg -i hugo*.deb
          
      2. Verify that Hugo is installed. You should see output indicating your installed Hugo’s version number:

        hugo version
        

      Create a Hugo Site

      In this section, you will use the Hugo CLI (command line interface) to create your Hugo site, initialize a Hugo theme, and add content to your site. Hugo’s CLI provides several useful commands for common tasks needed to build, configure, and interact with your Hugo site.

      1. Create a new Hugo site on your local computer. This command will create a folder named example-site and scaffold Hugo’s directory structure inside it:

        hugo new site example-site
        
      2. Move into your Hugo site’s root directory:

        cd example-site
        

        Note

        All commands in this section of the guide should be issued from your site’s root directory.

      3. You will use Git to add a theme to your Hugo site’s directory. Initialize your Hugo site’s directory as a Git repository:

        git init
        
      4. Install the Ananke theme as a submodule of your Hugo site’s Git repository. Git submodules allow one Git repository to be stored as a subdirectory of another Git repository, while still being able to maintain each repository’s version control information separately. The Ananke theme’s repository will be located in the ~/example-site/themes/ananke directory of your Hugo site.

        git submodule add https://github.com/budparr/gohugo-theme-ananke.git themes/ananke
        

        Note

        Hugo has many available themes that can be installed as a submodule of your Hugo site’s directory.
      5. Add the theme to your Hugo site’s configuration file. The configuration file (config.toml) is located at the root of your Hugo site’s directory.

        echo 'theme = "ananke"' >> config.toml
        
      6. Create a new content file for your site. This command will generate a Markdown file with an auto-populated date and title:

        hugo new posts/my-first-post.md
        
      7. You should see a similar output. Note that the file is located in the content/posts/ directory of your Hugo site:

          
        /home/username/example-site/content/posts/my-first-post.md created
        
        
      8. Open the Markdown file in the text editor of your choice to begin modifying its content; you can copy and paste the example snippet into your file, which contains an updated front matter section at the top and some example Markdown body text.

        Set your desired value for title. Then, set the draft state to false and add your content below the --- in Markdown syntax, if desired:

        /home/username/example-site/content/posts/my-first-post.md
         1
         2
         3
         4
         5
         6
         7
         8
         9
        10
        11
        12
        13
        14
        
        ---
        title: "My First Post"
        date: 2019-04-11T11:25:11-04:00
        draft: false
        ---
        
        # Host a Static Site on Linode Object Storage
        
        There are many benefits to using a static site generator. Here is a list of a few of them:
        
        - Run your own website without having to manage a Linode.
        - You don't need to worry about running a web server like Apache or NGINX.
        - Static website performance is typically very fast.
        - Use Git to version control your static website's content.


        About front matter

        Front matter is a collection of metadata about your content, and it is embedded at the top of your file within opening and closing --- delimiters.

        Front matter is a powerful Hugo feature that provides a mechanism for passing data that is attached to a specific piece of content to Hugo’s rendering engine. Hugo accepts front matter in TOML, YAML, and JSON formats. In the example snippet, there is YAML front matter for the title, date, and draft state of the Markdown file. These variables will be referenced and displayed by your Hugo theme.

      9. Once you have added your content, you can preview your changes by building and serving the site using Hugo’s built-in webserver:

        hugo server
        
      10. You will see a similar output:

          
        &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp| EN
        +------------------+----+
          Pages&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp| 11
          Paginator pages&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp|  0
          Non-page files&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp|  0
          Static files&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp|  3
          Processed images&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp|  0
          Aliases&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp|  1
          Sitemaps&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp|  1
          Cleaned&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp|  0
        
        Total in 7 ms
        Watching for changes in /home/username/example-site/{content,data,layouts,static,themes}
        Watching for config changes in /home/username/example-site/config.toml
        Serving pages from memory
        Running in Fast Render Mode. For full rebuilds on change: hugo server --disableFastRender
        Web Server is available at http://localhost:1313/ (bind address 127.0.0.1)
        Press Ctrl+C to stop
        
        
      11. The output will provide a URL to preview your site. Copy and paste the URL into a browser to access the site. In the above example Hugo’s web server URL is http://localhost:1313/.

      12. When you are happy with your site’s content you can build your site:

        hugo -v
        

        Hugo will generate your site’s static HTML files and store them in a public directory that it will create inside your project. The static files that are generated by Hugo are the files that you will upload to your Object Storage bucket to make your site accessible via the Internet.

      13. View the contents of your site’s public directory:

        ls public
        

        Your output should resemble the following example. When you built the site, the Markdown file you created and edited in steps 6 and 7 was used to generate its corresponding static HTML file in the public/posts/my-first-post/index.html directory.

          
          404.html    categories  dist        images      index.html  index.xml   posts       sitemap.xml tags
            
        


        Track your Static Site Files with Git

        It’s not necessary to version control your site files in order to host them on Object Storage, but we still recommended that you do so:

        1. Display the state of your current working directory (root of your Hugo site):

          git status
          
        2. Stage all your files to be committed:

          git add -A
          
        3. Commit all your changes and add a meaningful commit message:

          git commit -m 'Add my first post.'
          

        Once you have used Git to track your local Hugo site files, you can easily push them to a remote Git repository, like GitHub or GitLab. Storing your static site files on a remote Git repository opens up many possibilities for collaboration and automating your static site’s deployment to Linode Object Storage. To learn more about Git, see the Getting Started with Git guide.

      Upload your Static Site to Linode Object Storage

      Before proceeding with this section ensure that you have already created your Object Storage access and secret keys and have installed the s3cmd tool.

      1. Create a new Object Storage bucket; prepend s3:// to the beginning of the bucket’s name:

        s3cmd mb s3://my-bucket
        

        Note

        Buckets names must be unique within the Object Storage cluster. You might find the bucket name my-bucket is already in use by another Linode customer, in which case you will need to choose a new bucket name.

      2. Initialize your Object Storage bucket as a website. You must tell your bucket which files to serve as the index page and the error page for your static site. This is done with the --ws-index and --ws-error options:

        s3cmd ws-create --ws-index=index.html --ws-error=404.html s3://my-bucket
        

        In our Hugo example, the site’s index file is index.html and the error file is 404.html. Whenever a user visits your static site’s URL, the Object Storage service will serve the index.html page. If a site visitor tries to access an invalid path, they will be presented with the 404.html page.

      3. The command will return the following message:

          
            Bucket 's3://my-bucket/': website configuration created.
              
        
      4. Display information about your Object Storage’s website configuration to obtain your site’s URL:

        s3cmd ws-info s3://my-bucket
        
      5. You should see a similar output. Be sure to take note of your Object Storage bucket’s URL:

          
              Bucket s3://my-bucket/: Website configuration
        Website endpoint: http://website-us-east-1.linodeobjects.com/
        Index document:   index.html
        Error document:   404.html
            
        

        Note

        The Linode Object Storage early access Beta provides SSL enabled by default. This means you can access your Object Storage bucket using https, as well.

      6. Use s3cmd’s sync command to upload the contents of your static site’s public directory to your Object Storage bucket. This step will make your site available publicly on the Internet. Ensure you are in your site’s root directory on your computer (e.g. /home/username/example-site):

        s3cmd --no-mime-magic --acl-public --delete-removed --delete-after sync public/ s3://my-bucket
        
        Option                          Description
        no-mime-magic Tells Object Storage not to use file signatures when guessing the object’s MIME-type.
        acl-public Sets the access level control of the objects to public.
        delete-removed Deletes any destination objects with no corresponding source file.
        delete-after Deletes destination files that are no longer found at the source after all files are uploaded to the bucket.
      7. Use a browser to navigate to your Object Storage bucket’s URL to view your Hugo site:

        Hugo Index Page

        Note

        It may take a minute or two after your s3cmd sync completes for the page to appear at your bucket’s website URL.

      8. If needed, you can continue to update your static site locally and upload any changes using s3cmd’s sync command from step 3 of this section.

      (Optional) Next Steps

      After uploading your static site to Linode Object Storage, you may want to use a custom domain for your site. To do this, you can add a CNAME entry to your domain’s DNS records that aliases it to your Object Storage bucket’s website URL. To learn about managing DNS records on Linode, see the DNS Manager and DNS Records: An Introduction guides.

      As noted before, it’s possible to trigger automatic deployments to the Object Storage service when you push new content updates to GitHub or GitLab. This is done by leveraging a CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery) tool like Travis CI. Essentially, you would build your Hugo site within the Travis environment and then run the s3cmd sync command from it to your bucket.

      More Information

      You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

      Find answers, ask questions, and help others.

      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.



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      Should I Switch Web Hosts? How to Know When It’s Time to Migrate Your Site


      When it comes to starting a website, web hosting is one of the most crucial yet most confusing aspects to tackle. With dozens of providers on the market, it can be hard to cut through the noise and figure out which one offers the best plan for you.

      Fortunately, several signs will make it clear when it’s time to move to a new host. While they’re not so pleasant to deal with in the moment, these issues may lead you to a better service provider that can help you boost your site’s success.

      In this post, we’ll discuss these signs and how to spot them on your website. Then we’ll explain how to migrate your site to a new web hosting platform. Let’s get started!

      Have a website? We’ll move it for you!

      Migrating to a new web hosting provider can be a pain. We’ll move your existing site within 48 hours without any interruption in service. Included FREE with any DreamPress plan.

      How to Know When It’s Time to Migrate (6 Tell-Tale Signs)

      It’s possible you’ve been experiencing problems with your website for a while now without really knowing why. In some cases, it may be that your web hosting provider isn’t a good fit for your website. These six signs will let you know it’s time to switch web hosts.

      1. You’re Experiencing More Downtime Than Usual

      Any time your website is unavailable to users, it’s considered ‘down.’ Even if your site is only unavailable for seconds at a time, it could cause serious problems. For starters, downtime makes your website appear unreliable and low-quality to both users and search engines.

      If your site is experiencing frequent outages, your users will come to find they can’t rely on it to be available when needed. The Google algorithm will account for this, and your search engine rankings will fall as well, hurting your site’s visibility.

      Plus, if your site generates revenue, you’ll be missing out on income every time your site has an outage. If your site is down often or for long periods of time, you could be losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars. When you’re running an online store, uptime truly affects your bottom line.

      Web hosting is one of the most common causes of website downtime, as there are many ways in which your server can impact your site’s availability, including:

      • The quality and reliability of your hosting equipment
      • The type of server your website is on, as shared servers tend to become overloaded more quickly than other types of servers.
      • Your host’s security features, since malicious attacks can lead to downtime.

      So, if you keep finding your website is down, there’s a fair chance your host may have something to do with it. Moving to a more reliable server is the best thing for your site in a situation like this.

      2. Your Website’s Loading Speed Is Slow

      Site speed is also key to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), users’ opinions of your site, and your conversion rate. It’s wise to test your site’s speed every once in a while using tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom to make sure your loading times are staying low and to fix any performance issues.

      Pingdom’s results screen.

      While a crowded server can certainly slow your loading times, your server’s location also plays a role in how fast your site delivers information to visitors. Servers located far away from end users aren’t able to serve them content as quickly.

      An easy way to determine if this is the case for your website is to use Pingdom to test your site speed from a variety of locations. If your site loads quickly from some places yet takes a long time to load in others, you’ll know server location is causing speed issues for users in those regions.

      If your host only has servers in one location and doesn’t offer a Content Delivery Network (CDN), it’s almost guaranteed that some portion of your users will experience less-than-ideal site speed. It may be worth looking into hosts with more or different locations, or ones offering a CDN.

      3. Customer Service Isn’t Helpful

      A solid relationship with your web host is priceless. For starters, there are going to be times when server-related errors occur on your site. In these instances, you’ll need to be able to get ahold of your host quickly to resolve the issue and get your site back up. Plus, you may sometimes have questions about billing or other account details.

      However, the best hosts also offer support in other areas of website management. For example, many hosts provide troubleshooting guidance for different types of errors on your website or support for platforms such as WordPress.

      If your host is difficult to get in touch with, provides inadequate solutions, or doesn’t offer support in areas directly related to your hosting account, consider switching to a new provider. While you may be able to get by without quality customer support, at some point, you’ll have to reach someone for help with a server-related problem, so you’ll want a reliable team at your back.

      4. You Need More Space Than Your Current Provider Can Offer

      Most websites start small and grow over time. Your current host may have been a great fit when you were first launching your site, but if your traffic levels have increased significantly, this may no longer be the case.

      As your site accumulates more recurring users, you’ll need a server that can handle more traffic as well as more and larger website files. Moving from shared hosting to a dedicated server can help, but switching hosts can often provide a greater benefit.

      Some providers specialize in shared or Virtual Private Network (VPN) hosting and may not offer dedicated servers. As such, if your site continues to grow, you’ll need a dedicated web hosting service at some point — so a switch may be inevitable.

      Other hosts may have dedicated servers available, but still not offer as much storage as you need. Ultimately, you’ll want to compare plans between companies to see which one offers the most space for the best price.

      5. It’s Getting Too Expensive to Stay With Your Current Host

      Web hosting is a recurring expense. It’s also sometimes the largest expense associated with running a website, especially for WordPress users working with a free Content Management System (CMS) and mainly free plugins and themes.

      It’s true that you often get what you pay for with hosting. However, there are also times when an expensive plan isn’t necessary. If your site is still small and not using the amount of server space you’re paying for, or if your current hosting plan comes with several features you never touch, you’re probably paying too much.

      There’s no sense in breaking the bank to host your website when there are plenty of affordable options available. For example, we offer high-quality managed WordPress hosting plans for as low as $16.95 per month.

      If you’re shelling out more money for web hosting than what your website brings in, you might want to consider downsizing or switching hosts to stay within your budget. Plus, it never hurts to pocket a little extra cash each month.

      6. Server Security Is Sub-Par

      As we mentioned earlier in this post, hosts are responsible for securing their servers. Not every provider is as diligent as they should be when it comes to security, and hackers will sometimes exploit weaknesses in your server to gain access to your site.

      This can be detrimental to your website for multiple reasons, including:

      • The loss of parts or all of your site due to a malicious attack that destroys key files and data.
      • Compromised user data, including sensitive information such as private records and credit card details.
      • Decreased credibility, as users will see your site as less reliable if it’s hacked.

      Investing in secure hosting is a smart move. Even if you have to pay a little extra or go through the trouble of migrating to a new host, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble down the line.

      Some security features you may want to keep an eye out for are Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates, malware scanning, and server firewalls. Of course, no matter how secure your server is, you should always follow security best practices for your site itself, too.

      How to Migrate Your Website to a New Hosting Provider

      If you’ve considered the signs mentioned above and determined you should switch hosting providers, you’ll need to migrate your website. This requires you to copy all your website’s files and move them to your new hosting account.

      Typically, the migration process is pretty involved. You’ll have to contact your current host, back up your site files, then use Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and a client such as FileZilla to connect to your new server and upload your files. You’ll also want to consider transferring your domain since there are benefits to keeping your domain registration and web hosting under one roof.

      As you might imagine, there are a lot of things that could go wrong during this process. For example, corrupted backups are always a possibility, and using SFTP still poses a risk to your site’s files as you could mistakenly delete some or all of them (we recommend users always have a recent backup of their site on hand).

      These things considered, it’s helpful if you can get an expert on board to migrate your site for you. Fortunately, if you’re a WordPress user and have decided to switch to DreamHost, our managed WordPress hosting plans include free website migration services.

      DreamHost’s WordPress migration services.

      We’ll handle moving your site at no extra cost. If you’d prefer one of our shared hosting plans or have a website built without using WordPress, never fear. You can still take advantage of our migration service for just $99.

      Our migration experts will get your site moved to your new hosting account within 48 hours of your request. You’ll also avoid downtime altogether, so you don’t have to worry about negatively impacting your users’ experience while you move your site and get acquainted with the DreamHost control panel.

      Looking for a New Hosting Provider?

      We make moving easy. Our hassle-free, high-performance WordPress hosting includes a FREE professional migration service ($99 savings)!

      Switching Web Hosts

      Hosting can be one of the most confusing aspects of owning a website. With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know if your web hosting provider is the best one available for your needs.

      If you’ve noticed these issues on your website and have decided it’s time for a change, consider checking out our DreamPress hosting plans. Our managed WordPress hosting service will provide you with the speed, support, and security your WordPress site needs. Plus, you’ll be able to use our site migration services for free.



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      3 Solutions for Converting Your WordPress Site into a Mobile App


      Nowadays, a lot of people interact with the web mostly by using mobile devices. That means it’s more important than ever to provide a quality mobile experience. Otherwise, you risk alienating a large part of your potential user base.

      There are many ways you can improve the overall experience for your mobile users. For example, you can design a responsive website so that it looks (and works) perfectly on smaller devices. You can also go a step further and convert it into a fully-working app.

      In this article, we’ll talk about why converting your website into a WordPress mobile app can be an excellent idea for some site owners. Then we’ll discuss several tools and techniques that will enable you to do so, and discuss how to pick the right one for your needs. Let’s talk apps!

      Why Your WordPress Company Site May Need a Mobile App

      When it comes to user experience, responsive design is king. We’ve previously covered why you should create a mobile-friendly site (and how to do it), but you can also create a mobile app version of your site. Let’s go over some of the reasons you might want to use this approach:

      • Apps provide a more native experience for mobile devices.
      • You can use notifications to stay in touch with your user base.
      • If you use subscriptions, they can be managed via mobile payment systems.

      That said, an app is not a replacement for a mobile-friendly website, and vice-versa. Ideally, you’ll have both, which will enable you to maximize your potential audience. After all, some people don’t want to install any additional apps on their phones, whereas others vastly prefer the experience an app provides over that of a mobile website.

      It’s important to understand, however, that creating a mobile app isn’t particularly easy. Depending on what features you want to include, you may need a background in development, or you’ll have to hire someone to help you get the project off the ground. That process, as you might imagine, can get expensive.

      The good news is that if you’re using WordPress, you get access to multiple tools you can use to create a mobile app version of your website. There is a range of options that vary in price and ease of use, so you can pick the approach that’s best suited to your needs.

      3 Solutions for Converting Your Company WordPress Site into a Mobile App

      While there are many ways to create WordPress mobile apps, the following methods are three of the most common and accessible choices. Let’s look at each, in turn, to help you decide which ones you should consider. We’ll start with the simplest solution.

      1. Use a WordPress Plugin to Generate Your App

      As a WordPress user, you’re probably familiar with using plugins to implement cool features and functionality to your website. However, what you may not know is that you can use plugins to create a fully-working WordPress mobile app.

      There are a few tools that can accomplish this, but let’s focus on one of the most popular: AppPresser.

      AppPresser plugin.

      First, it’s important to note that the AppPresser plugin by itself doesn’t enable you to generate a mobile app. You’ll also need to sign up for a paid AppPresser account, which will be linked to your WordPress website through the plugin.

      Once you have both pieces in place, you can customize your mobile app from within the AppPresser platform and generate installable files for both Android and iOS when you’re done.

      AppPresser app creation and customization process.

      The app creation process is simple – you get to use a builder that feels just like the WordPress Customizer. However, as you might imagine, there are limitations to using a tool like this. Since you’re not building an app from scratch, you get a small set of features to play with. If you’re looking to create an app with very specific functionality, using a plugin probably isn’t the right approach for you.

      Ultimately, using a plugin to generate a mobile app for your WordPress site makes the most sense for projects that don’t require a lot of advanced functionality. For example, AppPresser would be a great choice for blog and news apps. It also handles e-commerce reasonably well, which makes it a useful option for those running a store on a WooCommerce website.

      The AppPresser plugin itself is free, but as we mentioned, you’ll need to sign up for an account on the platform. A basic AppPresser account, which supports one app (for both iOS and Android) will cost you $228 per year.

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      2. Opt for a Solution Designed for Companies and Professional Projects

      Of course, if you’re working on a company site, your needs are different than those who are creating mobile apps for blogs or online stores. Choosing a tool explicitly designed with companies in mind can help you create an app with features that are well-suited to your needs.

      Consider Appful, for example.

      Appful content app.

      This solution can convert your website and social media posts into a powerful content app for connecting with customers and employees. Features such as white labeling, full-service maintenance, and scalability make it highly suitable for growing companies. In fact, it powers apps for several well-known organizations, including Greenpeace, PETA, and even the United Nations.

      Appful works similarly to AppPresser, in that you’ll connect to the platform using a dedicated WordPress plugin. Then, you get access to a set of tools you can use to design a mobile app version of your site and customize its functionality. Only in this case, you’ll receive an assortment of useful templates that enable you to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) faster.

      Preview of the mobile app version of a website.

      On top of that, Appful also includes several other handy features, including support for offline reading, integration with Google Analytics and Apple watches, and more. Plus, the developers can also help you design a more customized app if you need specialized features, which makes this a solid middle ground between using a plugin and working with an agency (which we’ll talk about next).

      Overall, this approach offers a more user-friendly experience than most other tools. Creating a WordPress mobile app using Appful is a mostly painless process, and the service will even take care of publishing your app to the Android and iOS stores for you. Plus, you don’t need to pay to use the service until that point, which means there’s no pressure. Prices vary depending on the scope of your app and are available by request.

      3. Work With an Agency to Develop Your WordPress App

      Naturally, a third option is to hire someone to get the job done for you. When it comes to WordPress mobile apps, you’ll find no shortage of freelancers and agencies willing to take on the project — no matter the scope. This can save you a lot of time.

      Of course, hiring professional and talented developers is seldom cheap. Developing even a simple app can easily cost you thousands of dollars. The upside is that you’re not limited by what an app builder can do. If you work with an agency that knows what it’s doing, it should be able to advise you on what’s possible and what isn’t, and help you bring your vision to life.

      Considering the costs associated with this approach, we can only recommend it if you have a very large budget, and you need an app version of your WordPress website that includes functionality you can’t add using DIY tools. For simpler projects, hiring an entire agency or even a couple of freelancers might not be particularly cost-effective. If you do decide to hire out, there are plenty of places to find WordPress developers and agencies.

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      Make your site stand out with a professional design from our partners at RipeConcepts. Packages start at $299.

      Mobility Matters

      A lot of your website’s visitors will be using mobile devices. To provide them with the best possible experience, you can create a streamlined, app-based version of your WordPress website. Depending on what tool you use, you should be able to include all the same functionality your website offers, while creating an experience that feels much more native to mobile browsers.

      Do you have any questions about how to get your WordPress mobile application off the ground? Join the DreamHost Community and let us know!



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