Progressive Web Apps (2020) - A Complete Guide
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By: Sagar Sharma

All You Need to Know About Progressive Web Apps - A Complete Guide

Recently, progressive web apps (PWAs) seem to be a fast-growing app model and adaptive as well. It enables developers to ensure faster delivery of apps and offline experiences to their users explicitly.

No wonder we could see most website owners switch over to progressive web apps models for quick output. Being more flexible with developing apps with splendid and necessary features for iOS and Mac OS devices, PWAs seem to have a great turn out.

Well, many might think about why progressive web apps, here are those benefits one can achieve through progressive web apps.

Benefits/advantages of Progressive Web Apps:

The following benefits can explain to you clearly why progressive web apps are the talk of the town:

  • You do not require multiple codebases for your app if using a progressive web app model. It helps you maintain everything under one single roof at a cheaper price than that of if you opt for a full suite of mobile apps.
  • You get easy access to user retention features such as offline usage, push notifications, and background syncing, which sometimes may not be available even with native apps in the traditional web.
  • You do not require any license to host an app built using progressive web apps, in an app store. Moreover, you can easily deploy a PWA based app as to how you deploy updates.
  • Compared to traditional web and native apps, progressive web apps offer extraordinary faster load speeds.
  • It gives an excellent user experience rather than just downloading a native app for usage, anymore.
  • Also, transforming your existing website to progressive web apps can happen within a blink of an eye by making very few changes.

How to get your website on a Home screen?

If your website appears on the home screen of your users, it exceptionally increases user retention and engagement. Progressive web apps make it possible within no time. Here is the procedure you should follow to get your website on the home screen of your users.

#1: Configuring the manifest

Your website should be able to show the browser about the progressive web app, and it is possible with presenting a JSON file. This file should include information about how the app should respond, how it defines specific criteria, and what images or icons should be used to make it available. This will help in creating the best app-like experience for your users and meanwhile, you can craft your progressive web app in such a manner.

PWAs leave the choice to you to decide which icon and title to be used when your website appears on the home screen, along with setting the background color and other privileges while launching the app. You can even change or apply a color to the navigation bar of the website to match with the theme color.

#2: Setting up a service worker

A service worker is the backbone of a progressive web app that runs as a script individually from the web page in the background. Also, to make your app work offline effectively it should be used to cache assets and files and the experienced professional service workers capable of doing it easily.

Meanwhile, you can send or receive messages for supporting push notifications or background syncing.

#3: Developing a custom install experience

This is the crucial part that gets success for you. You would have already introduced manifest and service workers to enable your PWA’s working functionality.

Now, your app requires a small trigger that can motivate the users to install it. If the user is technically savvy, they can install the application by themselves. But for those who do not know how to go with it, you can provide simple instructions to install the application.

Remember that the installation prompt can happen either before or after the user creates an account. So set the code accordingly so that you do not lose users.

#4: Analysing performance

After completing the aforementioned procedure, finally, comes here the testing part. Enable automated testing using Google Lighthouse, which has its own PWA tester.

This procedure is simple to access and perform as well. If you are using the Chrome browser then go to the Developer Tools where you can find the Audits tab. Under that audit tabs select the Progressive web app option and click the generate report.

Best progressive web apps [Complete List]

Till now, we saw the benefits of having an app using progressive web apps.

In the following section, we will see the list of progressive web apps and the best progressive web apps you can rely upon to create one such. You might be aware of many of the apps provided in the following list, as most of them are very popular as well.

#1 AliExpress:

Most of you know about AliExpress, the giant e-commerce web, and mobile app; so I believe that an introduction is required here. Ali Express is a PWA model that has been implemented to improve its visitors’ engagement retention rates and conversion rates as well. Apart from faster page loads and smoother animations similar to what you can see on native apps, it contains push notifications, offline working mode, and add to home screen options.

#2 Flipkart Lite:

Flipkart Lite belongs to Flipkart who is again a giant e-commerce retailer in India. To provide native app experience for users while handling the app, Flipkart Lite prefers open APIs that use web browsers. When compared to a native app, the Flipkart Lite’s PWA uses data 3 times less than that of, considering the network as the least option.

#3 Wego:

It is a travel company that builds Progressive web apps with the aid of AMP. Service workers of Wego play an important role in this app providing faster page loading within seconds.

Similar to Wego, we have one more travel app called Trivago, which, with the help of building a progressive web app, has created a seamless interaction among users without any hassle.

Likewise, you have many PWAs such as Washington Post, Forbes, Flipboard, Twitter Lite, OLX, Telegram, etc. Considering these apps as an example you can decide your destiny app to be a progressive web app.

Conclusion:

Hoping you got a clear idea of what and how progressive web apps can create and change your view of looking at your business. If you require help in getting instant but simple coding to get your progressive web app on the home screen of your user, we are here to support you.

Also, we have a skilled team that can transform your existing website to a PWA model in no time and capable of creating a new one quickly. We are available 24/7 to assist you and provide solutions to your problems technically.

You can reach us through our toll-free number or drop an email for any clarifications.

Frequently Answered questions on PWA

1. Is progressive web applications just like a native app?

Many people get confused that a progressive web app is a native app, but it is not a fact. A progressive web app carries a native app appearance but functions and codes are different.

2. Why build progressive web apps?

In general, a progressive web app is a combination of web pages and an app. For example, as we have mentioned previously that AliExpress does not have a dedicated native app, but when you open it in your mobile, it appears like a native app giving you a good user interface design and experience similar to the web app.

People’s way of looking at mobile phones and using them has changed, since the day when the Internet came into usage. A progressive web app is an output of web technologies specifically to provide users a native app-like experience.

There could be many start-ups struggling to invest in developing a native app. PWA could be one of the best solutions giving support to such companies reaching their target audience through developing PWAs.

3. Do progressive web apps work on any platform like native apps?

Progressive web apps are not like native apps and do not require specific platforms for functioning. If you have a website previously, with little tweaks, you can transform your website to a progressive web app , so they work on any device and any platform.

4. Which is best to invest in-PWA or native apps?

This is a good question but again it depends on your industry or business needs. If you have an existing business or you are a start-up and looking forward to a gradual expansion, then instead of investing in creating a native app, you can go for a PWA model.

But you have to make sure that the web version of your PWA is at least popular among users. A native app can cost you more when compared to that of a progressive web app but definitely a wise choice if you think that your business and customers need it badly.

Maybe, you can convert your website into a PWA model, and later when the situation demands, you can develop a native app.



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