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Progressive Web Apps: The Future

PWA involves a set of technologies which runs at the client side so irrespective of your backend language/framework you use, you can create a PWA.

 

Two things to keep in mind:

  • Your website should be HTTPS enabled.
  • Your website should be responsive.

PWAs are gaining their share in the web world, and giving us an alternative for native mobile applications.

In 2018 they are on top of popularity, as per Google Trends:

There are several reasons why PWAs may be considered the future of the web.

PWAs are fast, light and safe

It’s a well-known fact that half of the users abandon a website if it loads over 2 seconds.

PWA technology eliminates this problem, loading a website within 1 second. Service Workers take care of that, caching all the required data. So fast loading increases user satisfaction significantly.

As PWAs are smaller in size than Native Mobile Apps, they are lighter and use less device memory and data. So with a PWA user experience is very similar to native mobile.

Since PWA is the web technology anyway, it works with HTTPS, providing the security to all the data and preventing from ungranted access.

Work even offline

Well, again, Service Workers pre-cache all the data and allow users browsing the pages even when there’s no Internet connection at all. Along with that, if Service Workers didn’t finish caching, the website won’t show users a downasaur. Instead, they will see a customized offline message.

Reduce development time and cost

When building a web+native application, most likely you will have to hire 3 teams for each solution: for the web-based solution, for Android, and for IOS. Additionally, the functionality across the platforms should match.

All this will not be cheap and will take a considerable amount of time.

If you go with PWA which is a web app, you will need only one team, which will create one solution. Of course, this will mean reduced time and cost expenses if compared to creating a mobile app.

Increase conversion rates

As you might already know, many famous companies and e-commerce platforms have already shifted to PWAs. Among them are such as Flipkart, OLX, Alibaba, Pinterest, Forbes, The Washington Post, and many more. For them, PWA has become an excellent tool to boost conversion rates and increase their sales. Why?

For starters, when added, PWA appears on a users’ home screen and stays there, which attracts more of their attention, consequently increasing the number of visits.

Furthermore, push notifications bring the native mobile experience. Being a perfect engagement tool, they remind a user that a solution exists and keep them aware of the recent news.

Easy to install and update

To add a PWA on the home screen, users will only have to open a progressive website in a browser on their mobile devices. When they do, they will see the ‘Add to the home screen’ prompt. And that’s it.

As the other option, users may open their browser menu and install a PWA from there.

Both these options are a completely different path from a multi-level installation of a native mobile app, where users have to find an app in App Store amidst 2 million of others, download and install it.

Speaking of updating a PWA, developers don’t need to roll out updates according to new versions of OSs. As PWA belongs to the web in any case, it always contains the latest version.

Don’t rely on any app store

PWA technology totally eliminates the requirement to submit the app via Google Play Market or Apple App Store. No need to face the bureaucracy of App Stores. As it’s already said, users just have to allow “Add to home screen”.

In this, it’s still a webpage. It’s clickable, shareable, Google-indexed. Chances to find a PWA are higher.

I cannot definitely say whether PWAs are the future or not. But we can’t deny that this technology drastically changes the web concept, leaving behind downasaurs, slow-loading pages, and giving us the ease of use of web apps.

 

Additional Reading: https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2018/12/pwa-native-mobile-apps/

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