What are Progressive Web Apps (PWA)?

By Nagaraju
10 Sep '20  ·  302 views

If you are looking to understand what is a Progressive Web App (PWA) and why you need to have it then this post is for you. With increasing demand for native apps it is important to know how PWAs can help you.

It is estimated that there are 2.8 Million apps in Play store and around 3k new apps are being added to Play store daily. Having an app for a business is very important for a better interaction with customers and to improve customer loyalty. With such importance for an app, it is required to understand PWA before going for a new app for your business.

What is PWA (Progressive Web App)?

What is PWA?

A progressive web app (PWA) is nothing but a web application, but you can install with on click and use like native app.

Are you confused? Yes you read correct, PWA's can open in the browser and it can install to your home screen and from there you can use it as a native app.

It will be run on a user mobile/computer browser without the URL, it supports offline features like Native mobile apps and push notifications etc.

Why/When we need PWA?

Assuming that you are planning to digitize your client business who is having grocery shops across the city or country.

You have two options :

  • Responsive web site.
  • Native Mobile application.

But now we also have another option which is PWA (Progressive Web App).

PWA logo

  • Do you need a better performance?
  • Less storage usage?
  • Don't want to update all the time with the new version?
  • Works like a mobile app?
  • You want your website to work offline with minimum features?

These all above features are available in PWA and that is the exact use case to build a PWA.

Here is the table which defines what

Why to wait? Lets dive deep into the advantages of PWA.

Research says is PWA's are :

  • 68% increase of mobile traffic
  • 15-fold improvement of load and installation speed
  • 25-times reduced use of device storage
  • 52% average conversion increase
  • 78% average session increase
  • 137% engagement increase
  • 86% lower bounce rate when compared to that of mobile websites
  • 67% increase in page views.
FeaturePWAResponsive Web siteNative App
Works OfflineYesNoYes
Push NotificationsYesNoYes
Supports all screen size/devicesYesYesNo
Install to home screenYesNoYes
SEO SupportYesYesNo
Cross platformYesYesNo
Need to download?NoNoYes

Advantages of PWA

  1. Low Development Cost: As it is a build we don't need app experts to build it is as simple as a web site can be built with developers and no need to worry about cross platforms like Native mobile apps.
  2. Always Up-to-date: As it is running in the browser we don't explicitly update it and will refresh the content when the internet is connected.
  3. Searchable: As it supports SEO optimization features if we followed best practiced for SEO indexing then your PWA will be always top on the google search.
  4. Works in Offline: PWA will work offline with the help of service workers and whenever the internet is available it will sync the data to the server.
  5. Push Notifications: Notifications will be coming to your mobile using browser capabilities even if the app is closed.
  6. Cross -Platform: We don't have to build apps for different platforms like Android & IOS. We can utilize the PWA on any platform.
  7. No issues with distribution systems: As it is a web application internally so we don't have to depend on Playstore or Appstore like native mobile apps.
  8. Enhanced Security: As it is HTTPS enabled web application which minimizes the risk related security.

How to set up a PWA?

Creating your first PWA is very easy and does not require any new technology. All you need to have is the knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Chrome DevTools.

About the author

Nagaraju Gaddam
Front End Developer


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