As we transition to a new era of computing where people are getting their information via mobile phones, you are starting to see just about every high profile website or blog making their own iPhone app.  But what about the average WordPress user who doesn’t have the time and/or budget to make their own custom iPhone application?

Not long ago I covered a free WordPress plugin called WPTouch which creates a mobile-friendly version of your WordPress blog to display for mobile web browsers.  The unfortunate truth, however, is that outside of clicking on a link from Twitter on their phones, most iPhone, Android, or mobile users in general do not use the mobile web to view a webpage.  In order to maximize convenience for your readers you really need a custom iPhone application.  This is where an app I recently discovered, Wiziapp, comes to the rescue.

What is WiziApp?  Wiziapp is a WordPress plugin that automatically turns your WordPress blog into a native iPhone app in real time, giving easy access to the following within the application: Posts, pages, comments, categories, tags, links, images, videos, and audio files. And if that wasn’t enough, Wiziapp even offers a push notification service to notify iOS users when your website has new content available!

Here is a complete list of the features provided by the Wiziapp team:

  • Create and personalize your iPhone application from your WordPress dashboard using the plugin’s wizard.
  • Deliver all of your blog content directly to your App in real time.
  • Notify your readers about new posts via push notification service.
  • Your readers can easily read and post new comments directly from your App.
  • Your App will display your images and galleries in native iPhone style.
  • All the media you have posted will be collected to video or audio libraries.
  • Your readers can easily search your blog directly from your App.
  • Playing video and audio using Wiziapp’s advanced players.
  • Enable your readers to navigate between posts by categories, tags or author name.
  • Integrate with your login system.
  • Your readers can easily share your posts and images via Facebook, Twitter, Email or SMS.
  • Monetize your App by displaying ads using your own AdMob account.
  • Your readers can easily save your posts to their ‘favorites’ list.
  • We publish your App to the iTunes App Store and save you time & money dealing with an Apple developer account.
  • See daily stats of your App visits and downloads.
  • Stay up to date with all iOS and WordPress new features.
  • Check out the Wiziapp tour here.

So, it sounds awesome, but is it difficult to setup?  How does it work?  I put the plugin to the test to find out just how easy it is to use.  Here are the steps I followed, which allowed me to build an app within 10-15 minutes:

  1. Download the WiziApp plugin from the official WordPress Plugin Directory here.
  2. Upload and activate the WiziApp plugin.
  3. Access the “Create Your App” menu in your WordPress dashboard and name your application.
  4. Design your splash screen using the plugin’s generator or upload your own custom splash design.
  5. Customize your app’s appearance.
  6. Build your App menu (tab bar).
  7. Determine if you want to enable your readers to share your content via Facebook, Twitter, Email, or SMS.
  8. Configure push notification options.
  9. Enter your AdMob ID if you want to monetize your application.

Once configuration is complete, the next step is to sign up for your Wiziapp account to get your new application into the iTunes App Store.  As of the writing of this review, it looks like there are three plans available, each of which is a little different to cover the varying needs of all types of websites.

  • Personal Blog:  $199.00 setup and $19.90 a month
  • Professional Blog:  $299.00 setup and $29.90 a month
  • Enterprise Blog:  $499.00 setup and $49.90 a month

What makes this plugin/process better than just building your own custom application?  Even if you have the ability to build your own application for iOS, there is still the matter of getting it approved through Apple’s walled garden and into the iTunes App Store.  Of course, this is probably my favorite part about this WordPress plugin.  Wiziapp will actually use their own Apple developer account to publish your application, meaning you won’t need to sign up as a Apple developer (which has a $99.00 yearly fee) and deal with Apple’s approval board, which in my personal experience has been an absolute nightmare.  Wiziapp has an established setup which should make the approval process fairly easy.

Overall, I have to say that the entire process of building your application was surprisingly easy and looks really good.  If you run a WordPress blog and would like to build a custom application for your website, there is no cost to simulate your own application for FREE with the Wiziapp WordPress plugin and then you can decide if you want to have your application published in iTunes.

Note: This review was sponsored by the team at Wiziapp.

Kyle Eslick is WordPress enthusiast who took his passion for WordPress to the next level in 2007 by launching WPHacks.com as a place to share hacks, tutorials, etc. Connect with Kyle on Twitter or Google+!

  • Sarah

    Looks nice. Think i’ll download plugin and see how an app would look for my blog. Might be worth the cost!

    • Jim

      Quite misleading. First it looks free and then you have to pay.

      That’s not how it works.

      Jim

  • Marcus Sheen

    Seems like it should be complicated but really wasn’t to bad to setup.

    Now trying to determine if my website is big enough to justify the monthly cost.

  • http://www.imod.co.za Chris M

    Very interesting, must try this one out!

  • http://blog.iws.com.ve curdaneta

    Looks great but is a solution too expensive IMHO

  • http://www.selfhelpdaily.com Joi

    Holy moly, just what I’ve been looking for but daring not to even hope for. There’s absolutely no question about it, this is more than worth the cost. Having an app for your visitors to use is huge. I work online all day and visit countless websites. However, on my ipod touch, I seldom (maybe never) use the browser to bring up a website. However, I use apps all day and night.

    And they have push notifications to alert the user to new content? Seriously?! Wow.

    Whoever came up with this is a mad genius. Thanks for the write up!

  • Pingback: WiziApp Wordpress Plugin | | The Street Outreach Project CICThe Street Outreach Project CIC

  • http://www.hillarybost.com Hillary Bost

    That is really cool, I can’t wait to try it out for myself. Your last post helped me get my blog mobile ready now this is the next step. Does this cost any money?

  • Alexandra

    And I use http://snappii.com to make iPhone apps. I am not a developer, and this web service is the best solutions to make apps easily and quickly.

    • Roman

      looks like you are just working there. I also tried this service but couldn’t upload my app.

  • http://www.consumer-rankings.com/ Darren

    sounds great, but given the price, it probably only makes sense for high traffic blogs.

  • Mike

    Thanks Kyle. This is very cool. I’ll try to my own.

  • Haitham

    If it created an app for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry then I would justify the costs… but it is way too expensive for just an iPhone Native App, which I can simulate via a web app interface and HTML5 integration with $zero additional cost.

  • http://www.kreativtheme.com Kreativ Theme

    I like the concept and I need something like this, but it’ kinda expensive for me … I mean intro + monthly fee ….

    The One time fee should have been enough for creating you own app IMO.

  • Nick Woudwyk

    im going to try this out thanks for the info great post

  • http://www.hillarybost.com Hillary Bost

    Great tutorial thanks for the tips

  • soniya

    great tutorial thanks

  • http://www.weltderschnaeppchen.de Markus

    is there any service who ios, android and windows mobil?

  • http://www.kompulsa.com Nicholas -

    Sleazy. They trick people into thinking it is free so they will install it. That is low.

  • michaelclarke

    WiziApps makes very ugly apps and they are taking per month fee that makes it too expensive. there should be a one time fee

  • michaelclarke

    May be you should try http://softtastic.com/convert-wordpress-site-to-ios-app.html by softtastic.com