WordPress is, by far, the most popular content management system (CMS) in use today and owns almost 60% of the CMS market with Joomla running a distant second at less than 7%. Additionally 30% of all websites are currently running on WordPress. So what this means is that a LOT of content in A LOT of websites is hosted on WordPress and its associated databases.
If you are one such user with an existing WordPress site with weeks, months, or even years worth of content and user base, the potential to re-purpose said content within a native, cross-platform, mobile app is intriguing to say the least.
Insert a graphic here showing WordPress being integrated into a native app.
Now don’t get me wrong, using WordPress for a young business when you are bootstrapping your venture is a great idea but you also need to have a plan to move away when you have outgrown WordPress. Just how going full custom is a bad idea for a new business, it’s just as bad for a big business to stick to it for far too long.
Our latest client had a thriving user base on WordPress and was hesitant to go through a full custom transition for two reasons, 1. The wait time for building such a solution, and 2. Disruption for his loyal customers.
So after much discussion we came up with a phased transition plan.
First phase: Let’s Build an App
In his phase we designed RESTful APIs to authenticate and bring the required data in to a custom database which was used to determine the functionality of the new apps. Out of the box, WordPress includes RESTful API endpoints for WordPress data types, providing developers with the ability to interact with stored content in new and exciting ways. The trick is to design a system that can understand, interpret, and transfer JSONs. These two databases would be synced at regular intervals to maintain functionality at various time points.
Second phase: Bring on the enhancement
Here new features were added to the app, taking full advantage of the benefits of going native. The data would continue to be synced so there is no interruption of service and allows us to fully test the new features.
Third phase: Leaving WordPress behind
One brand new day, users would wake up to a notification to change their login information thus completing the transition away from WordPress and replace it with a custom clone website and associated database.
Today we looked at how we created a seamless transition plan to work with existing WordPress content with the WordPress REST API to power a truly native apps, re-purposing year’s worth of content and provide a new, engaging, user experience for existing users.
If you are in a similar boat like our current client, are thinking about this transition, or have already made up your mind and need some help in transition away, or have successfully completed this journey already, we would love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out or leave a comment below!