How to Convert a Joomla Site to a Mobile App (Joomla Mobile App Builder)

In this article, we’re going to show you the best way to create a mobile app from a Joomla website.

Joomla is a flexible tool that allows you to do a lot of different things with your website or web app. But Joomla does not give you the ability to build and publish true mobile apps.

There's a strong likelihood that half of your site visitors, give or take, access you on mobile, and a significant portion of these users would gladly download and use your app if you had one.

Read and and learn how you can launch your own app (without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars), with our tech-enabled service, MobiLoud.

Joomla and Mobile Apps

Joomla is a free, open-source CMS (content management system), powering millions of websites. Joomla is currently one of the top 5 CMS by market share, with a market size similar to Shopify, Squarespace and Wix.

Like any website builder, it lets you create sites that are mobile-friendly, and responsive to work well on different screen sizes.

Mobile optimization is par for the course today. If your site isn't mobile-friendly yet, you should fix this now.

If it is, you might be looking for a way to offer an even better user experience on mobile, and leverage the benefits of mobile apps not just for UX, but for retention, engagement and your brand's image too.

Joomla is for websites only. To build apps, you'll need to code them separately from your site, use a Joomla extension, or use a third-party tool or service (like MobiLoud).

Let's quickly look at each of these three options, and discuss which one is the best way to turn your Joomla site into a mobile app.

3 Ways to Turn Your Joomla Website Into a Mobile App

1. Build a Custom Native App

Your first option is to rebuild everything from scratch as a mobile app.

If you really need full control over every corner of your app, then this is the best way to do it. But 99% of the time, rebuilding from scratch simply isn’t worth it.


Time and money for a start. Building a native mobile app from scratch isn’t cheap. Projects run well into the tens of thousands of dollars. It’s a long journey too, taking months to complete, and requiring constant back-and-forth with developers.

We should say as well that this price and time frame is if all goes well. There’s still the chance that the developer or agency you work with produces something you’re not happy with, and the project drags on.

Don’t forget you’ll also need to build separate apps in separate languages for Android and iOS, which adds to the bill, and the complexity.

At the end of it all, you’ll have two separate platforms to maintain. When you update content on your website, you need to go ahead and update it on the app as well. It’ll be a nightmare to maintain, and a nightmare for your users as well, if they want to access your site on mobile sometimes and desktop others.

“If we had unlimited time and money, we would probably go for a custom native app, but that is half a million to a million a year to maintain.”

- David Cost, Rainbow Shops

2. Use a Joomla Extension

Another option is to find an extension in the Joomla App Directory to turn your site into a mobile app.

Tools like AppsConda are built for turning Joomla sites into apps, while others allow you to turn your site into a Progressive Web App (PWA).

These tools are a lot cheaper than hiring developers to code custom native apps, but they're also a lot more limited.

You're not going to be able to build an app that properly replicates your website's experience. It will be a shell of what your website can does - not a good incentive for customers to download and use your app over the website.

And if you go the PWA route, you don't get the full benefits of a mobile app, such as push notifications and being able to get in the app stores.

If the option is to build an app that is just a shadow of your website, you're better off just focusing on your website alone and forgetting the app.

3. Use a Hybrid App Service Like MobiLoud

The best way to turn your Joomla website into an app is with MobiLoud's tech-enabled hybrid app service.

We actually turn your website into an app. There's no rebuilding, no spending months building a UI that looks like your website, or rebuilding features that actually work on your website.

We build a hybrid app for your site. For all intents and purposes it is a native app, which users can download, which you can publish to the app stores. But you only manage one codebase for your website, iOS app and Android app.

The app has all the same functionality as your website, the same design, and is synchronized with your website, updating automatically whenever your site updates.

To the end user, it will look like a professional, custom, native app. But for you, it's an investment of just a few hundred dollars and less than a month's development time.

A few examples of apps built with MobiLoud

Want to see your mobile app in action? Get a free preview of your website, converted to an app, here.

How to Create a Mobile App from a Joomla Website with MobiLoud

You’re going to be surprised just how easy it is to convert your Joomla site to mobile apps with MobiLoud.

It's easy because we do nearly everything for you.

All the technical work to create iOS and Android apps from your site is done by our team.

And there's minimal functionality to build, since we're just reusing what you've already built, and what already works, from your website.

Here’s a look at how it works:

  1. Start with a free consultation call. One of our app experts will discuss your project and your needs, explain the process and help you be sure that MobiLoud is the right choice.
  2. Sign up for MobiLoud. You won’t need to commit to any long-term contracts, and you can get a full refund within 60 days if you’re not satisfied for any reason.
  3. Let our team handle the whole process of building your apps, from all the backend coding to subtle design tweaks on the front end.
  4. In a few days, you’ll be able to test your apps. Check that everything works like you want it to.
  5. Once you give the go-ahead, we handle the submission and publishing process on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

That’s it - massively cheaper and faster than paying a developer or agency.

Why Choose MobiLoud?

MobiLoud lets you go live with your mobile apps in weeks, not months, without a huge investment, and without giving you two separate platforms to manage.

The final point is key - it means you add little to no overhead as a result of building apps, with no additional work or cost to maintain your apps.

Building custom apps means you now have two or three times as many platforms to manage, and each time you make a change to your website, you need to duplicate that change in two different places.

You'll also need mobile developers on staff to make these changes, which adds a huge ongoing expense to worry about.

With MobiLoud, there's none of that. You just manage your website, as you currently do.

MobiLoud is not just a platform or a tool. We work with you the whole way, to ensure the app meets your expectations.

We build, test, submit and publish your apps. And it doesn’t stop there - we also handle updates and maintenance going forward. There’s no need to keep an expensive mobile developer on staff, or risk things going wrong when you update your site.

Men’s fashion brand John Varvatos (app pictured above) used MobiLoud to build their mobile app, and the team raved about the white glove treatment they got from MobiLoud.

“The team at MobiLoud held my hand to ensure our app was done properly from the beginning to the day we released it. Everything from App Notifications, Analytics and Registering with Apple/Google, they were there along the way.”

- Nick Barbarise, Director of IT

You can get the same by using MobiLoud for your Joomla mobile app.

The Final Product - Your Joomla Mobile App

When the process is done, you’ll end up with a Joomla mobile app perfectly synced to your browser-based site.

When you make changes to your site, they’ll be reflected right away on your app as well. You’ll be able to provide the best user experience no matter how someone accesses your site. You’ll also gain access to the powerful engagement and retention potential of mobile apps, with an icon on your users’ home screens and an app store presence.

And you can do all this for a fraction of the time and money of building custom native mobile apps from scratch.

Contact our team today to discuss your project and how MobiLoud can work for you.

Want to get a preview of your Joomla app? Click here to view an interactive demo of your website as an app in just 30 seconds.

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