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How To Make Your Own App + 5 Tips For Using Appmakr

This week, I learned how to build mobile apps.  So of course, I had to make one for this little blog right here!

 

Welcome To The Zoo App on Google Play

Pretty neat, right?  I did it all on Appmakr.com for a total of just $12/year.  I got myself a Google Developer License for $25 (one time fee!), and published it to the Play Store.   That makes a grand total of $37 to design and publish my own app!  But guess what, with that one time payment for the Developer License, I’m able to publish as many apps to the Play Store as I like!

You can see my app here: Welcome To The Zoo App for Android.

If  I want to publish it to the App Store for iPhones, iPads, etc, I can do that as well.  It’s $108/year because the App Store charges more to publish apps.  Realistically though, Android seems to be dominating the market right now, so I’ll stick with it for the time being.

So … how did I do it?  Appmakr has a drag and drop interface and it’s super easy to use.  Most of the apps in their own app store look pretty sad, but don’t let appearances fool you.  Because it’s so easy to use, you can customize your app to make it look much more professional.  It won’t look like you’ve spent thousands developing it … but it’ll look pretty amazing for your $12!

Most of the functions in Appmakr will link to content you already have online: your Facebook page, Youtube channel, Twitter feed, live streaming link, blog rss, etc.  Screenshot_2015-06-24-18-19-00_galaxys4_black_portrait[1]This is the perfect way to gather everything into one place for your fans and followers to have one-touch access to!

Here are a few things I’ve learned while creating the Welcome To The Zoo app, and another one I did for my day job at Pinewoods Chapel.

Tip #1 – Upload your own images for everything!  Don’t use their stock icons or backgrounds, or you’ll risk looking super cheesy.  Design your icons in a program like Picmonkey.com.  Make sure you use a square canvas, but the actual size isn’t too important.  Appmakr will resize it 128 pixels square anyway.  Design a splash screen (loading screen) and home screen at least 1024 x 768, and make icons for each of the functions you’d like.

AppCapturePurpleFlowers

Tip #2 – You can change the size and placement of the icon buttons.   The icon size is changed on a sliding scale and they all resize together.  But if you want icons of varying size, use a transparent canvas in Picmonkey, and just make your icon smaller in it.

Tip #3 – Appmakr allows you to add html pages to your app.  I haven’t used this yet, but I could see it being perfect for FAQ pages, videos, or unique content to your app.

Tip #4 – Don’t check “Open in new window” when you’re adding links for each of the icon buttons.  If you do, the app will open the user’s browser, and they’ll be taken away from your app.  If you don’t check it, the link will open within the app, and there will still be a “Home” button and “Back” button visible so that users can quickly get back to your homescreen.  From what I understand, you’ll still get the pageviews though, for those of us who are counting!

Screenshot_2015-06-24-17-47-05_galaxys4_black_portrait[1]

Tip #5 – Appmakr doesn’t provide push notifications (those little notes in your notification bar on your phone), but they do have in-app messaging.  When users open the app, a pop-up says “You have a new message.  Open it?” and users can choose to read it or dismiss it.  This message is easily changed from Appmakr, although you have to go through the design interface to do it.  Still, it’s better than nothing!  This is a great way to let users know about new content, a contest you’re running, or whatever else you’d like them to know!

In the near future, I plan on doing a video tutorial so that you’ll be able to see the process.  It’s actually a lot of fun, and really quick!

And hey, why not take the Welcome To The Zoo app for a test drive!  I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

Google-Play-Icon*I was not compensated in any way for this review.  I just really like Appmakr!*

Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!

33 Comments

  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    That is wicked cool! I want a Masshole Mommy app now, but what I really want is someone to do it for me 😉

  2. Alli

    Your app is so amazing and professional looking! I’m so impressed! I once had a plugin that created a mobile app for me and it was so cool, then it just went away and left me all alone. I hate that it’s so much more expensive to make an iPhone app since that’s what I have. If I ever do make one, I need to hire you to do it for me. 🙂
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    • Megan Elford

      I tried a few plugins too, but they wither didn’t work or broke my site :-(. This option is so much safer!

  3. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    That is so cool! I had no idea you could make your own app. That’s awesome!

  4. Christy Maurer

    That is so cool! I don’t have a smart phone yet…i know, I know, I will get one eventually 🙂 I love how simple it looks. This reminds me of Penny on The Big Bang Theory making an app for buying shoes lol.
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  5. Lynsey Jones

    This is really cool. I can only imagine the types of apps that a person could make with this at their disposal.
    Go check out Lynsey Jones’s latest post! How To Use Trello For Your Direct Sales Business – And Life!My Profile

  6. MryJhnsn (@mryjhnsn)

    The app you made for work looks fantastic! I really want to make an app now, but for what… hmmmm at least I know how easy it is.
    Go check out MryJhnsn (@mryjhnsn)’s latest post! Secret Santa Local Goodie Gift Swap for X-mas in July! #BBSantainJulyMy Profile

  7. Tiffany

    I will pass this along to my friend. She was just talking about developing an app!
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  8. Chubskulit Rose

    That is so awesome! I didn’t know that it is that easy but I probably won’t succeed on this just because I am not a techy person lol. That’s so nice.
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  9. Liz Mays

    This sounds like it’s really easy to use. It would be fun to customize my own app with drag and drop functions!
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  10. Chantal

    I had no idea that you could create your own app, technology is so amazing! You did a beautiful job on your app!

  11. Carly Brydon

    It is so cool that you got to make your own app! I can’t wait to check out Appmakr and make an app for my own blog!

  12. Uplifting Families

    I need to push my app more. I had someone create it for me. It’s awesome looking.
    Go check out Uplifting Families’s latest post! 6 Things Teenagers Need to Know Before They Start Their First JobMy Profile

  13. Ourfamilyworld

    These are awesome tips. How cool is it that you can make your own app. My son would love this.
    Go check out Ourfamilyworld’s latest post! Grilled Portobello Mushroom Stuffed with Goat Cheese & Mango Chutney #PataksBBQMy Profile

  14. Jeanine

    I am REALLY wanting to do this. I was discussing it with a designer friend of mine about a month ago and I’m currently working on some ideas, an app is in the works!

  15. ricci

    This is such a great tool to have!! Thanks for the info!! I need to go make an app for my blog now…LOL!! Great idea!!
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  16. lisa @bitesforbabies

    My husband makes apps and had tried to explain it to me before! It’s so complex..these are great tips and seem easy to follow!
    Go check out lisa @bitesforbabies’s latest post! Tuna Avocado Melt TostadasMy Profile

  17. Michellette "MimiCuteLips" Green

    Really creative and cool. I honestly thought it was much harder and more expensive to create an app.
    Go check out Michellette “MimiCuteLips” Green’s latest post! Soy Garlic Chicken Stir FryMy Profile

  18. Shaney Vijendranath

    My husband has been wanting to do this like forever! Thanks for the info, this is really going to assist him.
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  19. Margarita Ibbott

    That is so cool. I would love to have my own app but I’m not sure what to help people with. I do IIke that it is easy and straightforward. Good for you for making your own app .
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  20. Krystal

    I never knew how easy it was! I might have to try this with my other website.
    Go check out Krystal’s latest post! What I Buy at Sam’s Club: Sam’s Club Shopping ListMy Profile

  21. Lynndee

    Wow! That is indeed pretty neat. I didn’t know you can make your own app. I thought you need to hire people to do it for you. Awesome!
    Go check out Lynndee’s latest post! Father’s Day at P.F. Chang’s, an Asian Delight!My Profile

  22. Rosey

    I didn’t know you could change the size and placement of apps. That is a good one to know.

  23. Erin

    This is perfect and exactly what I’ve been looking for! Thanks so much for sharing the information! I’m going to play with app making tonight!
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  24. Maria

    I have an idea for an app but need to get moving on it. This post makes it look easy, will have to bookmark.
    Go check out Maria’s latest post! 5 Rules for a Healthy SummerMy Profile

  25. Jennifer Medeiros

    As a blogger, I know the importance of going mobile. I love that the AppMakr is affordable as it is.

  26. Nile

    Apps are nice if they are necessary. If you already have a mobile responsive site, providing an app icon for your website is probably the least that people need to do.
    Go check out Nile’s latest post! Watch Out For Site Speed With Those Video Ads!My Profile

    • Megan Elford

      Agreed. That was my intent while I was researching it, and I believe it’s easy enough to do on iPhone. But it’s not as easy for Android. This app links into my mobile site and displays it when people tap on a post title, so it basically does the same thing :-).

  27. becka

    That is so cool. I once made an app a while ago but it was kinda ugly. Your’s is AWESOME looking and a great way for people to stay updated!
    Go check out becka’s latest post! Where Has The Spark Gone? New BeginningsMy Profile

  28. Kiwi

    Oh how cute and innovative! Someone pitched to me to make my own app and wanted to charge $300 so this is a drastic price difference!
    Go check out Kiwi’s latest post! Core Workouts + Cocktails at Exhale Avalon feat. Cynthia BaileyMy Profile

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