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Blog / We Do /  WordPress Websites and Hybrid Apps as a Quick Low-cost Solutions for Your Business

October 20, 2016 - Tetyana

WordPress Websites and Hybrid Apps as a Quick Low-cost Solutions for Your Business

In attempt to transfer business into the web dimension any entrepreneur tries to find the best solutions which will help their enterprise prosper. Websites have become a must, a sort of brand identity for everyone. It is just something that your customers expect from you, and nobody wants to fail to meet their customers’ expectations as this would undoubtedly mean failure of the whole business. Another effective solution for businesses are mobile applications. While being a handy extension of the website they can also bring you closer to the clients as most people today spend time online on their smartphones or tablets rather than desktops which is much more convenient working with apps.

web design and web development

Making use of innovative approaches and technologies Mobilunity helps businesses get high quality yet budget-friendly websites and applications. In the case with the Bulldogs project we did exactly the same. This project challenged us to create a sports mobile app and website for American football team located in Ukraine. Given that the targeted audience of the website was rather limited and it was aimed at the Bulldogs team and American football promotion, fields which do not get proper financial support in our country, the objective was to create informative, entertaining and low-cost app and website. The decision was to purchase a WordPress theme for website and get it customized by our front-end developer. As for the application, the obvious choice was mobile hybrid development – unlike native development for Android/iOS, the process of hybrid app development is less time-consuming and requires fewer resources both financial and human. One eventually gets an app which is compatible with multiple operating systems.

Why we created the site using WordPress

When building websites Mobilunity often uses WordPress – a popular publishing platform and an open source website creation tool which means that it enables one both to build websites and manage the content they display. The benefit is that the developer who knows HTML, CSS and JavaScript can do perfectly well working on this platform, as there are thousands of website templates and themes that lay open the ready-made code to be modified as one wishes, and plugins that vastly expand the abilities of the website. For the Bulldogs project an easy customizable WordPress theme Sporting Club & Center was purchased and altered by our front-end developer. This made the process of the Bulldogs web design and web development much easier, faster and cheaper, as the developer didn’t have to build everything from scratch but to work with already existing code.

create a site using wordpress

Why we built a hybrid app

Hybrid application development proved to be a good alternative to native Android and iOS due to many reasons. First, hybrid is cross-platform which means that less time and fewer specialists are needed to build an app that can function on various platforms at once, consequently, going hybrid is cheaper. In addition to that, this one and only universal code is much easier to maintain and update. The development of hybrid application was the best technical and business solution knowing the fact that American football is not highly financed in Ukraine due to its low popularity. So having one application that works on both most popular mobile operating platforms (Android and iOS) will help to attract more audience and will boost the prosperity of American football.

Challenges with the website development

The major challenge with the WordPress site development was localization. To translate the website into English we started with qTranslate X WordPress plugin. Though, it turned out to be ineffective afterwards, as the plugin underwent some updates and was no longer compatible with the WordPress theme of the website. Instead, we switched to the WPML WordPress plugin to ensure steady translation and content maintenance.

Challenges with the hybrid application development

The well-known drawback of hybrid apps unlike native ones is that they have no access to most of the capabilities of the device. There are a few ways to eliminate this problem. The first one is to use numerous Cordova Plugins. Apache Cordova is one of the best hybrid mobile app frameworks which is the number one technology when it comes to development of hybrid applications and can spare plenty of time and effort. Thus, we used Camera plugin so that users easily take pictures and selfies to decorate them with the Bulldogs icons. In addition to that, Splashscreen plugin was implemented to save time and resources. Besides, there was a problem with social network integration as VK plugin for social sharing was not provided. This was easily tackled as we used the Cordova plugin which enables the user to share content via native sharing widget of the device.

One more way to enable interaction of a hybrid application with native features and other apps on the mobile device is to make use of relevant APIs available on the Internet or develop necessary APIs from scratch. Here Node.js  – an open-source, cross-platform JavaScript runtime environment was really handy for our developers. This platform allows to easily build fast and scalable network applications and APIs. In the Bulldogs project it was vital to synchronize the app with the website, for the content and any of its modifications was planned to be automatically loaded into the application from the website. So Node.js together with its API framework ActionHero were also used by Mobilunity developers to build REST API which gives the ability to perform requests, like GET, PUT, POST, or DELETE, and receive responses via HTTP protocol. That is to say, it allows one to request and get data from else systems’ databases.
hybrid application development

Moreover, to accelerate the application development and to configure builds of the app, Android Studio was used – Android’s official integrated development environment which smoothes the process of app creation a lot.

As far as small business is considered, development of functionally simple websites and convenient user-friendly mobile apps is needed and, given that the budget and time are limited, the best option is to create site using WordPress with its customizable themes and templates and opt for hybrid application development.

If you want to promote your business and get more clients – build a website and a mobile app with Mobilunity!

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