Progressive Web Apps: the Best of Both Worlds

By December 20, 2017Uncategorized
man touching his phone in front of his laptop

In the past couple of years, there has been a massive progression in mobile and web capabilities. Developers know the ins and outs of all of these applications and programs but for the layman, it can get really confusing.

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are user experiences which combine the best of the internet and the best of applications. The user progressively builds a relationship with the app over time and, in return, the app becomes more and more powerful. It will load, no matter your network connection, send you relevant push notifications, and will load a high-quality, full-screen experience on any platform.

Reliable Service

When the PWA is launched from the user’s home screen, service workers allow it to load instantly, regardless of your network state. A service worker (written in JavaScript) is kind of a client-side proxy which puts the user in control of the cache and the responses to resource requests. Since it pre-caches resources, the dependency upon networks is eliminated, creating an instant and reliable experience.

Quick Load Times

About 60% of users abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load — BAD FOR BUSINESS! PWAs are designed to eliminate laggy scrolling or slow-responding interfaces.

Engagement

PWAs are installable from the first visit to the website, and from then on, they live on the user’s home screen — no app store involved. These apps offer immersive, full-screen experiences that can even re-engage user’s with push notifications. By controlling how the app appears and how it’s launched through the Web App Manifest, users can specify home screen icons (the page loaded when launched) and whether or not to show Google Chrome.

Quick Stats

  • Progressive: Works for every user, regardless of browser choice;
  • Responsive: Fits any platform — desktop, mobile, tablet, and what’s to come;
  • Connectivity independent: Service workers help it work offline or on low-quality networks;
  • Feels like an app: The app shell model separates the application functionality from application content;
  • Safe: Served via HTTPS to prevent snooping and to ensure content hasn’t been tampered with;
  • Discoverable on Search: Identifiable as an “application” thanks to W3C manifest and service worker registration scope;
  • Re-engageable: Makes re-engagement easy through features such as push notifications;
  • Installable: Allows users to add apps they find most useful to their home screen without going through an app store;
  • Linkable: Easily share the application via URL.

Why Do You Need a Progressive Web App?

Your business can grow a great following without having to build an external app for an app store. Users like to be able to customize their experiences and this allows them the right choices.

On the Home Screen

When a user goes to your company’s website and all of the PWA criteria are met, Chrome will prompt users to add the PWA to their home screen. If the user has seen what they like, they usually add it. Once it’s added, you need to hold audience engagement, otherwise, the user will forget about it or delete it.

Increase Engagement

PWA push notifications can help your business increase engagement by potentially an unlimited amount. Users are more likely to spend longer on your site and recommend it to others.

Improve Conversions

Delivering high-quality user experiences increase site conversions. Happier customers while using the initial interface turn into more leads, sales, and sign-ups. According to Google, AliExpress improved their conversions by 104% across all browsers and 82% on iOS by using a PWA.

PWA vs AMP

You may have read our previous blogs about AMP sites, so, what’s the difference? They’re both fast so why should one be better than the other? The big sell for PWAs is that it will increase user engagement by some amount. However, they also allow offline use and are more reliable. For a little more in-depth overview, look over the table below, created by Techmagnate:

difference between AMP and PWA

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