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The No-Nonsense Guide to Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps – this term was coined in 2015 by Google, and swiftly it became one of the most buzzing among developers and in the digital realm.

For digital aficionados, it is quite easy to understand what progressive web apps are and their implications. However, for laymen, progressive web apps are some things that can drive miraculous results when utilized properly.

This no-nonsense guide on progressive web applications will depict what is a progressive app? Why progressive web app? and the innumerable benefits of progressive web applications.

What is a Progressive Web Application?

A progressive web app is the amalgamation of the technologies of web and mobile apps that act as a website but render you the feeling of running an application. With the rapid advancement in the browser technology, availability of push APIs, and cache have enabled web developers to install website application on the home screen and provide regular notifications of website’s latest updates in the offline mode.

But what is the need of putting your website like application on the home screen of PCs or smartphones? The answer is clear as real, to exterminate the unwanted need of opening a browser or installing applications. According to recent data collated by a leading consulting agency, on an average, an application loses 25-30% of its users between the duration of users first open the app and users start to use the application. However, that’s not the case with progressive web apps.


Progressive Web Apps

You don’t have to go through the dull process of visiting play store, finding the application, installing the application, and then start using it. From the website, you can install the PWA on a single click and you can use the app right away even in the offline mode. Progressive web apps have the attribute of push notifications which give them a better retention rate compared to their counterparts with no push notification option.

Key Characteristics of Progressive Web Applications

There are numerous characteristics of progressive web apps. We are going to state the top-notch ones here.

1. PWA Provides App-Like Experience

PWAs offer full-screen experience and look like a native application. Moreover, progressive web apps have minimal page refreshes.

2. Linkable

One of the principal characteristics of the progressive web app is its linkability. Users can easily share or bookmark the app’s URL whenever they want, and the app can retain or reload its state at the same time.

3. Discoverable

In the original sense, a progressive web application is a website with an application like experience. Therefore, it should be easily discoverable in the search engine result page. It is one of the biggest advantages of progressive web apps over native applications.

4. Responsiveness

A fully-fledged progressive web application must be able to fit all screens sizes and provide a great user experience.

5. Progressive

Hereby progressive we mean PWAs should be able to harness all attributes of the platform, must function on any device seamlessly, and augment progressively.

6. Easy to Install

You can effortlessly install progressive web apps on any device and make the content ready to read in no time.

7. Safe

A progressive web app should be hosted over HTTPS to prevent external threats hampering the website’s performance. The job of a progressive web application is to provide an alluring and intimate user experience.

The Difference Between PWA & AMP

Though there are monumental differences between progressive web apps and accelerated mobile pages, the primary purpose of both technologies is to serve users' content pieces in a faster, secure, and engaging way. While progressive web apps harness browsers’ functionalities, AMP is a stripped-down version of a web page comprising HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

  • PWA is a website page that provides the app-like experience while AMP or accelerated mobile pages is the most basic version of a web page without code clutter.

  • PWA functions swiftly in comparison to AMP pages.

  • PWA harness the push notification attribute that augments users’ retention rate but AMP lacks this attribute.

  • PWA provides the entire information on a web page as the way it is. While AMP exterminates a lot of scripts from the web page to amplify the speed and conversion rate simultaneously.

  • Progressive web apps have the knack to access content even in the offline mode. But that’s not the case with AMP.

  • When compared to AMP, PWA consumes a very low network to open up. But AMP pages rank higher than normal webpages.


Numerous Benefits of Progressive Web Apps Over Mobile Apps

Unquestionably, the benefits of progressive web apps are innumerable and surpass mobile apps by leaps and bounds.

1. Functionalities of Native Apps

PWAs can effortlessly and uninterruptedly run on all native platforms without depending heavily on browsers. As PWAs are highly responsive in nature, they provide top of the line user-experience to users regardless of screen size.

2. They Consume Less Disk Space Than Traditional Apps

You have to download mobile applications to use them. However, PWAs don’t gobble a lot of space on users’ devices as they are hosted on the webserver of the respective website. In addition to that, unlike traditional applications, PWA’s don’t require regular updates.

3. Users Don’t Have to Update PWAs on Their Own

Traditional applications need regular updates to be utilized in a full-fledged manner. Progressive web apps update themselves independently. There is no need for users to visit the app store to install or upgrade the applications.

4. Users Can Share PWA by Sending a URL

Like normal websites or applications URL, users can also share PWAs URL and share them with fellow users. This can help in spreading brand awareness expeditiously.

5. SEO Benefits

You can also implement all the SEO tactics and strategies to boost the online presence of progressive web apps and garner more traffic, sales, and conversions.

6. Access PWAs with URL Instead of Downloading Them

Users don’t have to visit the app store or similar platforms to download and a PWA and use it. With the access to the URL address, users can easily visit PWAs as they are websites stored on an Internet server.

Organizations Using Progressive Web Apps

It would be impossible for us to state the name of all organizations harnessing the benefits of PWA. We would like to state few remarkable brand names who are taking the advantage of progressive web apps like no one else.

  • 1. Forbes

  • 2. Financial Times

  • 3. Flipkart

  • 4. Voot

  • 5. Alibaba

  • 6. Fandango

  • 7. Jumia Travel

  • 8. Ola

  • 9. Twitter

  • 10. Virgin America

  • 11. The Washington Post

How to Develop Your Own Progressive Web App?

As we all know that PWAs are basically websites with app-like experience, you need similar website development tools and frameworks to carve your own progressive web apps.

1. Angular JS

Angular JS is a widely popular Javascript framework used to build highly functional applications with to the T user-interface. Angular JS provides you the right atmosphere to develop state-of-the-art web solutions that resonate with PWAs.

2. Webpack

It is one of the most sought-after module bundlers. The primary function of Webpack is to bundle all the Javascripts in one place and make it possible for developers to create an astonishing front-end for a website without the prior knowledge of advanced coding.

With the help of Webpack, you can create as many websites as you want with the PWA characteristics.

3. PWA. Rocks

PWA.rocks is one of the best resources prevailing on the web that illustrates how to create a PWA, how it works, and how the PWA will look like once it is developed.

4. Power Builder

A tool for the noobs. It is one fine instrument that you can use on already created web solutions to construct a full-fledged PWA out of it. You can add title, description, and app icon in PWA after producing it. Moreover, you will also get the option to change the orientation, terminology, and color of PWA as per your preference.

Why You Should Use PWA? The Future of Progressive Web Apps?

There is no denying over the fact that Progressive web apps have an upper hand over traditional mobile applications. You can provide users app-like experience on any device without spending a fortune in developing native or hybrid applications separately.

Presumably, PWAs have a better user retention rate and also the conversion rate than mobile applications because they load faster and easy to install and use. They consume minimal disk space and also created to work seamlessly in offline environments. With each passing day, a profound number of organizations are opting for PWA technology as it is cost-effective, simple to use, and work smoothly and swiftly on all screen sizes.

From the above-mentioned advantages and statements, it is crystal-clear that the future of progressive web app is glittering and they are going to dominate the Internet for a long time.


Also Read : How to Install PWA in Magento 2.3

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About Author
Author Name: Amit Samsukha
Certified Magento 2 Consultant
Author Bio:

I am a certified Magento developer and Magento 2 consultant with a decade of experience in the e-commerce development segment. My expertise can make your business objectives overcome any obstacle you are dealing with the Magento ecommerce platform!

About Emizentech:

An acclaimed IT solution provider and a leading Magento 2 development company with its expertise lies in delivering top of the line e-commerce solutions, Salesforce commerce cloud services, mobile app development and many more verticals.

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