Last Updated on June 13, 2022

In 2015 Google, and swiftly 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 guide on progressive web applications will depict what is a progressive app? Why progressive web apps? and the innumerable benefits of progressive web applications.

mobile device website traffic worldwide
Percentage of mobile device website traffic worldwide from 1st quarter 2015 to 4th quarter 2021 – Statista

What Is A Progressive Web Application?

A progressive web app (PWA) 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. The rapid advancement in browser technology, availability of push APIs, and cache have enabled web developers to install website applications on the home screen and provide regular notifications of the 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.

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

According to Statista, the total number of smartphone users worldwide is predicted to reach 3.8 billion in 2021. This is more than half of the world’s population!

PWA Statistics You Should Be Aware Of

  • PWAs have a conversion rate that is 36% greater than native apps.
  • Progressive web apps have a 50% better client engagement rate.
  • Companies that migrate to PWAs see a 10-fold reduction in page loading times.
    The following are some of the firms that have reduced page load times by moving to progressive web apps:
    1. Wego – a trip booking service, reduced the time it took for a page to load from 12 seconds to less than 3 seconds, and in some cases even less than 1 second.
    2. Twitter Lite — this PWA is interactive in less than 5 seconds over 3G on most electronic devices, with typical load times that are 30 percent quicker.
    3. Forbes – the homepage of this progressive web app loaded entirely in only 0.8 seconds;
    4. ZEE5 – the streaming platform gained 3x quicker loading speeds and 50% less buffering time after releasing a PWA to increase its reach.
    5. Treebo– Has succeeded in reducing the average time spent interacting with the app to 1.5 seconds.
  • PWAs are 3-4 times less expensive than native mobile apps.
  • Maintaining progressive web apps is 33% less expensive.
  • Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) can be up to 90% smaller than native mobile apps.
  • A PWA’s average bounce rate is only 42.86 percent.

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Key Characteristics Of Progressive Web Applications

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

1. PWA Provides App-Like Experience

PWAs offer a 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

A progressive web application is a website with an application-like experience in the original sense. Therefore, it should be easily discoverable on the search engine result page, and 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.

Three App Pillars Of PWA

1. Web Is Capable

Today’s web is quite capable on its own. WebRTC, geolocation, and push notifications, for example, might be utilized to build hyper-local video chat software. You may install that software and virtualize the talks using WebGL and WebVR. Developers may now use WebAssembly to access other ecosystems, such as C, C++, and Rust, and bring decades of labor and capabilities to the web.

2. Reliable Progressive Web App

A reliable Progressive Web App feels speedy and dependable regardless of the network, and responsible applications must be accessible regardless of network connection. Users expect apps to run even if their network connection is weak or unpredictable or when they are not connected to the internet. Even if initiating a request to your server is onerous, customers want the most current material they have interacted with, such as media tracks, tickets, and itineraries, to be available and usable. When a request isn’t feasible, they like to be notified rather than failing or crashing silently.

3. Installed Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps that have been installed operate in their window rather than in a browser tab. When a Progressive Web App transitions from a tab to a standalone app window, it alters how users see and interact with it.

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 more 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.

Also Read : How To Implement PWA For Magento eCommerce Store

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 a 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 URLs 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 a PWA and use it. With 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 a few remarkable brand names that are taking advantage of progressive web apps like no one else.

  • Forbes
  • Financial Times
  • Flipkart
  • Voot
  • Alibaba
  • Fandango
  • Jumia Travel
  • Ola
  • Twitter
  • Virgin America
  • The Washington Post

Also Read : How to Install PWA in Magento 2.3

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 with 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 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 what 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 the 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 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 applications 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 are easy to install and use. They consume minimal disk space and are 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 works smoothly and swiftly on all screen sizes.

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

1. What is a progressive web app structure?

Progressive Web Apps bring together many of the benefits of native apps and the Web. PWAs progress from pages in browser tabs to immersive applications by upgrading standard HTML and JavaScript to create a first-class native-like experience for the user. To learn more about “PWA structure

2. What is the structural overview of progressive web apps?

A progressive web app (PWA) is a collection of mobile web application development strategies that involve creating apps that feel and look like native ones. Progressive web apps, which employ a web stack (JS, HTML, and CSS), combine the extensive functionality and pleasant user experience of native apps. To learn more about “structural overview

3. What are the building blocks of responsive design?

The phrase “responsive design” is widely used to describe this technique. Responsive design is far more dependable, stable, and future-proof than maintaining numerous versions of your code for various browsers and systems. To learn more about “responsive design

4. How to make PWA work offline

To do so, either turn off our computer and restart the web app or, if you’re using Chrome, do the following:
1. Launch Chrome Dev Tools.
2. Navigate to the Application tab.
3. Navigate to the section for Service Workers.
4. Uncheck the Offline box.
5. Reload the page without logging out of Chrome Dev Tools. To learn more about “PWAs work offline

5. How to make PWA installable

The following items must be present for the website to be installable:
1. A web manifest with all of the required data filled up
2. A secure (HTTPS) domain will be used to deliver the website.
3. An icon that will represent the app on the device.
4. To enable the app to operate offline, a service worker was registered. To learn more about “PWA installable

6. How to enable “add to home screen” In PWA

1. Installable requirements.
2. Starting.
3. Produce a manifest file.
4. Make a link from the HTML to the manifest.
5. Configure the installation flow. Make a service employee. Register your service personnel.
6. It’s time to put it to the test! To learn more about “enable add to home screen

7. How to make PWAs “re-engageable.”

The ability to cache an app’s contents so that it may be used offline is a fantastic feature, and it’s much better if the user can install the web app on their home screen. However, rather than depending solely on user activities, we can do more by leveraging push messages and alerts to re-engage and offer new information as it becomes available automatically. To learn more about “PWAs re-engageable

8. How to enable progressive loading

There are several techniques for optimizing loading speeds, and this example looks at one of them. You may attempt to make your apps more bulletproof by having them operate without JavaScript — either by showing the picture with the final URL already set or encircling img> tags with a> elements directing to the target images user can click and access them when desired. To learn more about “ progressive loading

9. How to build “mobile-first” PWAs

Mobile phones often have less memory, computing power, and bandwidth than other devices, and they also have a smaller possible viewport size. As a result, in addition to separating information into various views and simplifying the interface and content on each view of your mobile application as much as possible, it is also a good idea to avoid using visual effects like shadows, animations, and gradients. You should at least explore it as an option, especially if your application has poor or choppy performance when operating on mobile. To learn more about “build mobile-first

10. What is client-side storage IN PWA?

Client-side storage comprises JavaScript APIs that allow you to store data on the client (i.e., the user’s machine) and then retrieve it when needed. This may be used for a variety of purposes, including:

1. Customizing Site Preferences
2. Previous site activity that has persisted
3. Saving data and assets locally so that a site may be downloaded faster or used without a network connection
4. Documents created by web applications are saved locally for offline usage. To learn more about “client-side storage

11. What is IndexedDB IN PW

IndexedDB is a low-level API enabling client-side storage of large volumes of structured data, such as files and blobs. This API uses indexes to allow for high-performance searches of this data. While DOM Storage is effective for storing tiny quantities of data, it is less effective for storing huge volumes of structured data. IndexedDB has a solution. To learn more about ” IndexedDB

12. What is Web Storage API IN PWA

The Web Storage API provides tools for browsers to store key/value pairs much more straightforwardly than cookies do. To learn more about ” Web Storage API

13. What is the notifications API

The Alerts API allows a web page or app to deliver notifications that are shown outside of the page at the system level; this enables web apps to transmit information to users even while the program is idle or in the background.
System notifications often relate to the operating system’s primary notification mechanism: consider how a normal desktop system or mobile device distributes notifications.
Of course, the system notification system will differ depending on the platform and browser, but this is OK since the Notifications API is designed to be broad enough to work with most system notification systems. To learn more about ” notifications API

14. What is the push API in PWA

The Push API and Notifications API are two distinct APIs, yet they complement one other when providing engaging functionality in your app. Push is used to transport fresh material from the server to the app without requiring any client-side activity, and the app’s service worker manages it. To learn more about “push API

Author

I am an eCommerce consultant, a member of the Forbes technology council with a decade of experience in the ecommerce development segment. My expertise can make your business overcome any obstacles while you are dealing with the Magento ecommerce platform!