One of the major concerns that businesses have nowadays is that whether they should have an app or a website. This is not just a matter of today or tomorrow. Instead, the discussion has been going on for years. Some businesses favor website while others think apps are a better option.
While both apps and websites have their own set of advantages, they also come with different limitations. For this reason, businesses need something that can bring out the best of both worlds, and that is how progressive web apps were introduced.
What is a progressive web app?
Progressive Web Apps are experiences that combine the best of both the web and the apps. The term was coined by Google engineer Alex Russell time in June 2015, who described progressive web apps as websites that took the right vitamins.
From the technical point of view, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are a collection of technologies, design concepts, and web APIs that work in tandem to provide an app-like experience on the mobile web. They bring features that we seek in native apps while using standard technologies and running in a secure container accessible to anyone on the web. You can even pin them on the home screen of a phone or in the app drawer and have access to an app like properties such as notifications and offline use.
PWAs offer a native-app-like experience which is so identical that you will find it hard to differentiate for a moment that if you are using an app or a progressive web app.
Why are progressive web apps famous?
- Secure, lightweight, and easy to load.
- Packed with modern features like service workers, web app manifest, and app shell.
- Offer a native-app-like experience. You can even add the progressive web app to your home page.
- Capable of working on a slow internet connection. You can also access some of the features offline.
- Highly responsive and compatible with all types of devices and operating systems.
- Easy to share. Share the link and the other person can start using the progressive web app (PWA).
- Apart from this, progressive web apps can be created at a low cost and in much lesser time.
How can a progressive web app help your business grow?
1. Instant service access
The best thing about progressive web apps is that they spare the user from the pain of having to download and install the app before using it. Instead, click on the link and the PWA will be right in front of them.
So simple and time-saving, isn’t it?
2. Easy compatibility
You don’t have to worry if your audience is using a mobile, tablet, desktop, iPhone, or any other device because the progressive web app can work on any platform and support any operating system.
3. Less development time and cost
As progressive web apps are lightweight and contain only the features that we need, they can be developed in lesser time and at a much lower cost. This way, you can save a lot of time and money on the progressive web app development.
4. Accessible to a larger audience
PWAs are available to all people, no matter what device or operating system they are using. Therefore, they attract a broad target audience. So, if we see from the business point of view, a progressive web app can be a great solution.
What do the stats say?
Progressive web apps have already changed the fate of many businesses. Let’s have a look at some interesting facts:
- After building its mobile site as a PWA, the core engagement of Pinterest increased by 60%. Also, their user-generated revenue increased by 44%, and people spent 40% more time on the website.
- Trivago saw 150% more user engagements after its PWA.
- Twitter Lite has seen a 75% increase in Tweets and a 20% decrease in bounce rate.
These stats show how progressive web apps can drive higher ROI and increase conversion rate.
Get setting up…
Here are a few things you need to do:
1. Design the PWA with a progressive mindset
The first step in building a progressive web app is to conceptualize it with a progressive mindset. Doing so is important because the goal of progressive web apps is to help users complete their tasks faster while offering an impeccable experience. This is possible only if you know what users want and a progressive mindset can help you in figuring that out.
2. Choose the right technology
No matter how brilliantly you have conceptualized the progressive web app idea, everything will fall apart if you don’t choose the right technology for developing it. React, Polymer, Knockout, Lighthouse, AMP, IONIC – all these technologies have a specific purpose in progressive web app development. You just need to find out how they fit in development and choose the tools that help you in the best way possible.
3. Keep the progressive web app minimalistic
We don’t have to complicate the progressive web app with a plethora of features. Instead, we just need functions that solve the purpose of users and eliminate the elements that they don’t need. This will ensure that we offer a clear and memorable experience to users through our progressive web app and they love it.
4. Keep only the important features offline
The idea behind a progressive web app is to make sure a user can access some features even if there is no internet connection. However, this doesn’t mean we can make the entire PWA available to the user offline. Instead, we must figure out which features they use often and make that part available offline so that users can access it whenever they need.
5. Use Push Notifications
Push notifications have their own advantage. They can engage users and keep them coming back. However, if we use them too often, users might get annoyed. So, we use them at the right time and send a push notification to the user only when it is important.