Creating a free Windows 8 metro app for your WordPress blog using IdeaPress

We have already seen that how you could make a windows phone app for your website using Microsoft’s app studio. Now let us try converting a wordpress blog to windows 8 metro app. There are plenty of templates available in app studio that let you create universal apps (for both windows phone and windows 8) but the website template doesn’t let you create a desktop app. So lets use another service which is more or less free if you follow this tutorial. Here’s a link to their website.

http://www.ideapress.me/

They have a special section for Windows 8 app at http://win8.ideapress.me/. They have made the source code open to all and have put it up on github. One way is to download the zip file of the project and run it in visual studio to tweak things. This is more suitable for experienced developers.

 

However, this blog post targets those who have just started with Windows development and want to see their wordpress website on a Windows 8 app without not much real coding. Follow these steps and at the end of it you will be ready with a published (or atleast submitted for certification) app.

Step 1. Visit ideapress and create a new Windows 8 app

Go the link given below and click on Get Started to create a new project.

http://win8.ideapress.me/

 

Step 2. Install IdeaPress JSON API before going ahead with your project

Visit your wordpress site’s admin panel and add a new plugin to it. Search for ideapress json api and install it to your website

 

 

Then go to Settings>> IdeaPress JSON API Settings and check whether both the listed controllers are active. By default IP_RESPOND is inactive. You need to activate both of them to make things work.

 

 

Step 3. Jump back to IdeaPress and enter the site URL

It asks you for the Site URL in the first step. Enter the URL and move to the next step. It will then check whether the IdeaPress JSON API is installed on your website. If it isn’t installed or is inactive then you won’t be able to move to the next step.

 

 

Step 4. Enter the app details in General Info tab

The wizard asks you for app name, description, category and default language in the General Info tab. Fill in all the details and move to the next step.

 

 

Step 5. Choose what content to display in the app

This tab lists all the pages and post categories from your blog. Choose what you wish to display and what to omit.

 

 

Step 6. Configure the theme for your app

This is by far the longest step in the whole wizard. Choose the layout, theme and colors. Upload the logos, splash screen and live tile images. Move to next step when you are done customizing the look and feel of your app. The preview shows you exactly how your app looks.

 

 

Step 7. Generate the app package in the last step of the wizard

Each Windows 8 app requires a privacy policy link. Create a privacy policy page on your website and provide its link here. If you wish IdeaPress to publish the app for you then they would charge a fee of 199$. Otherwise you could generate a publish package or a visual studio solution for free. A publish package contains the APPX file that needs to be submitted to the store and the visual studio solution contains the whole project file which you could edit and publish at your own ease. So if you choose to publish the app manually then IdeaPress doesn’t charge you anything for it.

 

 

Step 8. Submit the app to the store.

Go to windows 8 dev center and submit the app for certification. Here’s a blog post explaining how you could submit an app to Windows 8 dev center.

http://www.windowsapptutorials.com/windows-8/general-windows-8/submitting-a-windows-store-app-for-certification/

That’s all you need to create a free Windows 8 metro app for your WordPress blog using IdeaPress. IdeaPress is a great way to convert your apps to Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 apps.

Vivek Maskara

I am pursuing BTech in Software Engineering from Delhi Technological University. I develop apps, create websites and blog about my app experiences.

Read more:
How to create your first Windows Phone app
How to change the App name and Tile name of your Windows phone app
Data binding in Windows Phone app – One way binding
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