Choosing the right vendor to help you build your mobile app is complicated. Building one with a traditional app development agency will take months and cost you $50,000-$100,000.
A number of solutions have emerged in recent years to help you to build a mobile apps at a fraction of the cost and time compared to traditional development. Two solutions that cater specifically to digital publishers are MagLoft and MobiLoud.
In this article we'll provide an honest comparison between the two services - helping you to make an informed decision about the best option for you.
Let’s start by taking a look at MagLoft.
What is MagLoft?
Based in Bali and Singapore, MagLoft is a company making life easier for edition based digital publishers. It's an ideal solution for anyone publishing digital, edition-based magazines.Their offering includes different solutions depending on what’s needed, for example:
- A drag and drop editor to create an app for hobbyist publishers enabling them to take existing blog content and publish it as digital editions to iOS and Android apps.
- Traditional print publishers can take their existing content and convert it into app-based digital editions delivered in PDF format.
[caption id="attachment_911" align="aligncenter" width="1078"]
The KROMA app - built with MagLoft[/caption]Let’s dive in to a few of MagLoft's key features and take a look at how it works:
MagLoft Key Features
1) PDF-based Edition Support
MagLoft is for publishers who serve content in weekly or monthly editions, just like a traditional magazine (except through PDFs accessed in an app). If this is your model and you have a PDF-based workflow, MagLoft could be a great fit for you.
2) Drag & Drop Editor
MagLoft’s content editor is responsive, adapts your content automatically to any screen size, and has a range of themes. It also allows you to drag and drop interactive widgets like YouTube, SoundCloud and more onto your InDesign templates.It’s a well designed editor with convenient and intuitive features.[caption id="attachment_912" align="aligncenter" width="1267"]
Entrepreneurial Chef have been successful publishing PDFs designed directly for smartphones[/caption]
3) Wide range of supported edition formats (PDF, EPUB, Adobe).
MagLoft allows you to test the system and get a feel for how your app will look before making any payments.[caption id="attachment_910" align="aligncenter" width="1098"]
The KROMA app shows some possible ways of presenting content to readers[/caption]When you’re ready to add content you can upload it in PDF, EPUB, or ADOBE format - or you can use one of their HTML5 templates. Then, you can make the content interactive using the visual editor.Other options exist too. Kroma Magazine pictured above use a format called HPUB - basically HTML, JS and CSS packaged into a zip file. There's a lot of possibilities here but of course it can require significant web design know-how and resources.The next step is customization. MagLoft lets you add analytics, subscriptions, and push notification functionality. These steps are essential when it comes to growing, retaining and monetizing your readership.[caption id="attachment_913" align="aligncenter" width="1252"]
MagLoft allows you to manage reader subscriptions, as seen here in the Entrepreneurial Chef app[/caption]Higher plans also include in-app pages, which allow you to send personalized messages to your readers through the apps.They have other features too like their articles feature, and they have a WordPress plugin that allows you to sync reader purchases and subscriptions between your site and the app.For a full list of MagLoft's features check here.Finally, when you’re satisfied their team will build the app and make sure it fits the requirements of the App Store and Google Play
MagLoft offer a free 'Indie' plan that gives you a web app for up to 200 readers with some simple features and basic analytics.Their paid plans:Online Publisher $99/mWeb app for up to 1000 readers, whitelabel with more advanced analytics and some limited monetization options.Mobile Publisher $299/mYou'll get web and mobile apps on this plan for up to 2000 readers. You'll also get a lot more features like push notifications, in-app purchases, better analytics and more.Business: starting from $499/mBusiness gives you everything in the previous plans - and a whole lot more. You'll get much more advanced analytics, customization and monetization options - and the ability to integrate RSS feeds, SDKs, and Ecommerce tools.Check the full details about MagLoft's pricing on their website here.
Many of MagLoft’s customers comment on how easy the process of setting up a digital magazine with them was. Nathan March, founder of Follow Magazine, states - “MagLoft has made it so easy to launch my magazine. I knew little about the process before I met Nick and Andina and the team. They were always available and made the whole process super easy”.Bucky Olaley, owner of ReAfrica Magazine had a similar experience and “really appreciated the support provided by MagLoft with the process. guiding us through all the publishing details and willing to answer our many questions.”Shawn Wenner, founder of Entrepreneurial Chef magazine recalls that “I’d never built a website, published online, wrote professionally, worked for a magazine or publishing company, and I stepped into this venture with zero experience”.This didn’t hold him back, as “today, there are close to 5000 subscribers and we are now featuring the most successful chefs and restaurateurs in America.”Building an app from scratch can be prohibitively expensive, fiddly and impractical compared to a solution like MagLoft or MobiLoud.Founder of BestRecipes magazine Andrew Maresco found this out for himself - “We tried developing and maintaining our own app in the beginning and being a small publisher it just wasn’t effective for us. MagLoft made getting our magazine digital incredibly easy and now we are on more platforms.”Some users, like founder of Mocha Kid Magazine Christin Armstrong, love MagLoft’s service but hope that new features will be added in the future. She hopes that “MagLoft can one day be able to link the magazine’s blog or Shopify store to the app”.Overall it looks like MagLoft has a service that’s a strong success for digital magazine publishers. Read the original full reviews and more on the MagLoft website here.But what if you're a digital publisher that serves readers a dynamic and continuously updating stream of content?In that case MobiLoud could be the best service for you. Let’s look at why.
What is MobiLoud?
MobiLoud is a service that takes your existing WordPress news site or established blog and converts it into custom mobile apps for iOS and Android.[caption id="attachment_1027" align="aligncenter" width="1112"]
Custom mobile apps for digital publishers[/caption]We're a Done-For-You service. Our experienced team will handle everything from developing your app to publishing your app on the App Stores, to providing ongoing maintenance and updates.The process begins with an initial consultation to determine your exact needs. Then we’ll get to work.When you’re happy with your app we’ll handle the process of publishing the app to Google Play and the iOS App Store for you.
MobiLoud's Key Features
1) Done For You
With MobiLoud, you won't need to lift a finger when it comes to creating your app. We'll talk your requirements through, build it, and provide you with test versions that you can provide feedback on.Then, we publish it to the App Stores for you, as well as providing ongoing maintenance, support, and app updates.Your app will be built and published within weeks, and at a fraction of the cost of a traditional app development agency.
2) Fully Custom App
Your app can be built exactly how you want it to be.You can sell subscriptions or an ad-free experience with in-app purchases, let users subscribe to certain categories of content then send engaging push notifications, add your existing website comments section, or integrate it with your favourite ad platforms like Admob and Mopub.[caption id="attachment_1029" align="aligncenter" width="1600"]
Send engaging push notifications on iOS and Android[/caption]
3) WordPress Integration
Thanks to our integration with the world's most popular CMS, WordPress, all of your existing content will be available in your app.Whenever you publish new content, it will be automatically updated. You or your team won't need to spend any extra time publishing on mobile.[caption id="attachment_1046" align="aligncenter" width="1440"]
Your app will update in real time with your website[/caption]It's a tried and tested solution that has worked for hundreds of our clients.
The End Result
You’ll have a fully custom mobile app that you - and your readers - will love. You can start using mobile push notifications to engage with your readers - alerting them whenever you publish something new or want to send a message out. Many publishers we work customers have been thrilled with the increased traffic, engagement, and reader retention they’ve seen due to their app. MobiLoud is the ideal solution if:
- You're a digital publisher with an existing readership and a high-traffic WordPress site
- You want to focus on creating and sharing content and don’t want to worry about the specialized app development process
- You want a powerful native app with features on par with top publishers like Buzzfeed and NYT built at a fraction of the time and cost you’d spend with an agency - and without you needing to touch a single line of code
MobiLoud Customer Reviews
In this section we reference customer reviews publicly available on Capterra, and on both the MobiLoud and MagLoft websites.Whereas MagLoft is targeted at those publishing digital magazine editions - our customers are WordPress based digital publishers that want all the benefits of a dynamic native app that mirrors and integrates flawlessly with their existing content flow. Matt R, writing on Capterra, was happy that “The integration with my Wordpress site was pretty seamless and the MobiLoud team did a great job helping me set it up.”Another verified reviewer confirmed that MobiLoud provided a “Fast and easy way to convert my wordpress installation into an app without a single line of code. Perfect for people like me who can't write a single line of code and need to solve this kind of issue very fast”.Linda, a management consultant and MobiLoud customer, appreciated the ease of the process when compared to other options: “creating a mobile app with our website at the core was painless, quick and highly effective. The support and assistance was consistently knowledgeable and responsive”.Another verified reviewer was pleased at how “amazing customer service and technical engineering took our wordpress site and created very easy to use and technically accurate iOS and Android Apps”.The reviewer continues to say that MobiLoud “fulfilled exactly what they promised they would do. They stand behind any challenges and quickly get the issues solved. I was especially impressed how MobiLoud navigated the challenging Apple iOS gauntlet of publishing the iOS App”.Please read these, and more MobiLoud reviews on Capterra, and on our website.
At MobiLoud we have a tiered pricing structure.Different price plans include different features for higher traffic news apps such as:
- Monetization through subscriptions and in-app ads
- Integration with third party SDKs for advertising and analytics
- CDN and caching
- Support for higher or even limitless traffic
- Priority support for launch, promotion and monetization
There’s no risk with our 60 day money back guarantee. Price includes all development, configuration, publishing and ongoing maintenance. For more detailed information about MobiLoud pricing click here.
MagLoft vs MobiLoud - Summary
Both solutions are great solutions for digital publishers to deliver a high quality mobile reading experience for their audience. Both give you a mobile app, customized to your liking.
Which is best for you?
As we’ve seen in this article, MagLoft is a fantastic solution if you want an app for edition based digital magazine. You can conveniently publish your content in the form of PDF "digital editions” - much like a traditional print or online magazine does, but within an app. If your model is edition-based publishing - MagLoft could be a great option for you. On the other hand, MobiLoud is the ideal solution for single source digital publishing through WordPress. Everything is handled for you by our experienced team - from development, to publishing, to ongoing maintenance and support. You can manage all your content and interact with your readers easily from one place in your existing WordPress admin panel. You can use your existing plugins, make use of native features like social sharing, manage in-app subscriptions and in-apppurchases, and monetize your content through our integration with major ad networks. All in all, we offer a full mobile publishing solution digital publishers-, at a fraction of the cost you'd usually spend with a traditional app development agency or building an app in-house.Schedule a demo with one of our app experts today and let’s build something great together.