Top 4 Things To Know About Progressive Web Apps Or PWAs

Technology has made our lives easier and digital solutions have taken it to a new horizon. We can see tons of websites and other digital solutions around us that simplify business-to-customer interactions. However, today users want a faster, easier, and better experience websites cannot deliver perfectly.

This is why PWAs came into being. “PWAs or Progressive Web Apps” are a kind of web app that looks and feel like native apps. A PWA has many features that make it identical to native desktop or mobile apps. Examples of these features include push notifications, app-like interface, installability, etc.

PWAs are becoming popular and organizations are adopting them to extend their business reach. The availability of PWAs has made the dream of installing web apps on desktops and mobiles real.

The attempts that have been made to introduce PWAs are mostly filled with endless jargon and lots of code that intimidate everyone to take the first step. Here we will give a simple explanation about a PWA and will discuss 4 things that you should know before choosing progressive web app development.

1. What is a progressive web app?

It is a term that denotes a new type of web app that includes many app-like features. It means it is a hybrid of regular websites or web pages and a desktop/mobile application. This new progressive web app framework attempts to provide the features of modern web browsers with the advantage of mobile experience.

One can easily install a PWA on his/her desktop as well as mobile devices. With a PWA, a user can simply click on its icon on the home screen and jump straight into the website.

2. Features of a Progressive Web App

A PWA is equipped with multiple features that enhance user experience as well as make users’ lives easier. Here is a complete list of features of progressive web apps.

  • App-like interface

The most attractive feature of a PWA is its app-like interface. In essence, a progressive web app combines the features of a website and a native app. It means that a PWA has the look and feel of a native desktop/mobile app while it is simply a website at the core.

Hence users get mobile experience using PWAs that take the web experience to a whole new level. This is one of the key reasons why businesses choose PWAs over native apps.

  • Responsive and browser compatibility

PWAs are built as per the progressive enhancement principles. Progressive enhancement strategy to create a web app that provides basic functionality and content to everyone regardless of the device or browser they are using. So, customized progressive web app development is compatible with different devices and browsers.

  • Connectivity independence

The next key feature of PWA is connectivity independence which means a progressive web app can work in both low-internet connection and offline. So, users can use the PWA even when there is no internet connection or connectivity is very low.

  • Easy installation

Installing a PWA is a lot easier as users just need to click on a “Add to home screen” to install the app on their devices. It doesn’t require a complicated installation process like native apps.

  • Shareable and discoverable

One major advantage of PWAs is that you can easily share these apps with others with the help of a URL. Also, these web apps are discoverable on search engine results pages just like websites.

  • Safe and fast

One of the important reasons why businesses opt for PWA web development is because they are faster than native apps. Also, these web apps are very safe because they are served through HTTPS.

  • Push notifications

PWAs come with a push notifications feature which is found in native applications running mobile devices. These push notifications can help businesses to keep their app users engaged and motivate them to open the app too often.

  • Self-updates

The best thing about progressive web apps is that they are self-updated. So, unlike native apps, you don’t need to worry about updating your app regularly, the app remains always fresh and up-to-date.

3. Components of progressive web apps

A progressive web app consists of many components that work together to make this web app functional. Here are the key components of PWAs:

  • Manifest file

Progressive web apps use a manifest file which is a JSON file and it is their first component. This file controls the presentation for example an app can be displayed in full-screen without a URL bar with this file. It serves as a centralized place for the app’s metadata.

This file is used to define app features like name, icon size, and shape, location, theme colour, etc.

  • Service worker

The next component of a PWA is a service worker. This component provides many features like push notifications, background synchronizations, and offline work mode that are usually found in native counterparts. It is a JavaScript file that runs separately from the web app.

  • Shell architecture

The creation and maintenance of a progressive web app require the separation of static content from dynamic content. So, application shell architecture which is the base of the app UI is used to develop PWAs. The app shell includes the core elements of the app that are needed to be run without a connection.

  • Transport Layer Security

Progressive web apps leverage the TLS protocol that stands for Transport Layer Security protocol. It is a standard for data exchange between two applications that is quite strong and secure. However, for data integration, you need to serve the website through HTTPS and install an SSL certificate.

4. Pros and cons of PWAs

Every PWA brings some advantages for both users and businesses. But it has downsides too. Below are the pros and cons of choosing a progressive web app for your business.

Pros

  • Boost user engagement

PWAs are more attractive, user-friendly, and engaging than native apps that you can use to boost user engagement on your site. They are lightweight and take little space on devices so people have no major issue installing them on their devices.

  • Quick and easy updates

Progressive web apps don’t require manual updating because they are automatically updated when a new version of a site is available. They are instantly updated.

  • Saving in development costs

This is the best reason for choosing PWA because developing such an app is much economical than developing native apps.

Cons

  • Limited functionality and higher battery usage

Despite some native app-like features, they are still web apps so functionalities are limited. And, these apps require internet connections that drain the battery.

  • No presence on app stores

There is no definite place to install PWAs because they are not available in app stores like the native apps.

Wrapping up!

It is considered that PWAs will start a new era where the definition of apps will change. A progressive web app is simply a link between the web and mobile experience. You can use these PWAs to deliver a better experience to customers and enhance the overall user experience.

You can choose the best web development company to create this kind of web app. The company can help you build a robust and futuristic web app with all the latest PWA development trends that are prevailing in the market.

Author Bio:
Emily White is an experienced web developer working at CSSChopper which is a reputed progressive web app development company. She has been working in the domain for many years and has accomplished numerous projects. She also loves writing apart from her coding career and composes quality blogs and articles in her free time.