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The Ultimate Progressive Web Apps Tutorial For Beginners

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Progressive web apps or PWA have grown over the years. Here’s everything about PWA so you can experience the new web technology yourself.

Vimal Tarsariya

August 2, 2022

Nowadays everything is made possible at our fingertips with the help of smartphones and applications.

Let’s say you want to order food, there is Zomato, Swiggy or Deliveroo. You might want to shop - there are N number of applications; Flipkart and Amazon leading the game.

From banking to education and trading to grocery - there is an app for everything!

However, building and maintaining an app is quite a task and expensive for small businesses. So how do they manage?

It’s simple: Progressive Web Apps (PWA). With the advancements in technology, PWA combines the features of an app with the technology used in web development to build affordable services for all businesses. 

In this article, we’ll touch upon what are PWA and the advantages they offer over regular web apps.

1. What are Progressive Web Apps?

Progressive Web Apps or PWA is a concept relatively new to most people. Supported by Google, this technology focuses to deliver a high level of performance regardless of the device or network condition. 

They are web apps developed using specific technologies and standard patterns in combination with progressive enhancement to give users a perfect experience as the native apps.

PWA came into the picture way back in 2007 when Apple talked about a new way to create web applications that looked and responded exactly like the native apps. 

However, in 2015, Chrome developer Alex Russel and designer Frances Berriman rehashed Apple’s idea and coined this technology as “Progressive Web Apps”.  

It basically introduced better experiences across all devices and contexts having a single codebase.

Early adopters of this technology saw a great opportunity for growth and got rewarded with tremendous success. Here are some facts.

Source 

Characteristics of PWAs

Let’s move ahead with what characteristics these progressive web apps should have and how they are useful for your business. 

A. Responsive 

Fits in perfectly with the user's screen size or orientation and input method irrespective of the device the user uses.

B. Installable

Users engage more with installed apps than visiting official websites, it lets you pin and launch the app from the home screen, start menu, and taskbar.

C. Independent Connectivity 

The app works offline and in low-network conditions keeping the user engaged with your app at any point in time to provide a consistent experience.

D. Discoverable

It is easily discoverable from web search results and supporting app stores that enable you to generate extra traffic to your app.



E. Appearance

The look and feel of the PWA should be exactly like the native app and be built on the application shell model, with minimal page refreshes.

F. Cross Platform

Ensure the PWA works on all browsers/systems and not just selected ones, allowing the user to access them in any portal before they decide to install.

G. Re-Engageable

Through features such as push notifications, progressive web apps encourage the user to reuse the app similar to mobile app users.

H. Safe

As PWA provides an intimate user experience, it is imperative that the app should be hosted on HTTPS to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks.

3. Benefits of PWAs

Witnessing a lot of companies - both public and private, moving to PWA, here are some of the benefits it brings to their businesses.



1. Increase speed and page loading time

2. Improve client retention 

3. Discoverable via a search engine

4. Independent updates

5. Reduce bounce rates

6. Low maintenance cost

So, what do you require to start with a progressive web app development? We’ll see that next!

How To Get Started with PWA Development

PWA development is pretty simple. You just need the below appliances and you are all set.

A. Tools

AngularJS is known as the best technology to develop PWAs. Followed by ReactJS and Polymer.

B. HTTPS

HTTPS adds an extra layer of security to your site to ensure that the user’s data is secure.

C. Application Shell 

It is the first impression that the users see while they interact with your app.

D. Service workers

This is one of the essential technologies behind PWS that help support your app work offline. Service workers can complete tasks even if your PWA is not running.

E. Manifest file

This is a JSON file that states how your PWA should function and appear, determining the name, description, icon, colors, and other features.

F. App Audit

Using the Google Lighthouse tool (an open-source software), you can analyze how fast, accessible, and SEO readiness your PWA is.

5. Some Best Example of PWAs

To help you better understand how a PWA differs from responsive websites, the best way is to look at some good examples.

Here is a list of impressive Progressive Web App examples across several industries.

A. Starbucks

To provide an accessible and user-friendly online ordering experience to each of its customers, Starbucks built a PWA of their ordering system on the web that delivers a similar experience to its existing native app.

Here’s what it looks like:




B. MakeMyTrip

Mobile becoming the most preferred channel for booking among their customers, MakeMyTrip developed a PWA that led to a fast, reliable, and polished mobile-web experience.

They are one of the greatest examples of PWA. Take a look:




C. BMW

Be it with their cars or their website, BMW doesn’t shy away from technologies. And, to level up the user experience, the brand decided to provide quality and engaging content that reflects its values.

Here’s how its PWA leaves their customer with a ‘wow’ experience:



D. Spotify

Compared to the native app, the PWA version of Spotify is considerably faster in its own unique and adaptive UI that alters its background as per the user's headway through the app.

Check out:



Wrapping Up

With PWA getting popular in the industry, they can be a great addition to your toolkit. Progressive web apps can ultimately enhance sales and revenue for your products.

Powered by features such as fast, reliable, and look-alike native apps, they offer a unique user experience keeping them contended.

If more developers take advantage of the PWA features that are easy to implement and provide quick rewards, then users will further prefer consuming these web apps in supported browsers.

Then why not reduce unwanted expenses and increase efficiency?

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Vimal Tarsariya

Project Manager at Vasundhara Infotech, a leading software development company. His great planning and execution qualities led to several successful projects.

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Have a project in mind? Drop a message to Bansi Pipaliya & start the discussion!

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