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Progressive Web Apps (PWAs): All You Need to Know

By Unni MohanMarch 2, 2021, 3 p.m. Application development company
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Opt for Progressive Web Apps to get reliable, responsive, & engaging experiences. PWAs provide user-friendly installation flow with the latest technologies & best practices.

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The advantage of opting for Progressive Web Apps or PWAs is that they combine the latest technologies with recognized best practices and create reliable,
responsive, and engaging experiences. PWAs provide an experience that closely resembles a user-friendly opt-in installation flow.

The key benefits offered by PWAs are:


 A PWA launches and provides users with meaningful content irrespective of network conditions even though the offline functionality depends to a great extent on the application. While some applications are capable of the required offline, some others display meaningful data and remind users that they are not online. However, the application neither breaks nor becomes unresponsive in either situation.


PWAs with a responsive design adapt to a variety of screen sizes as well as orientations to ensure a great user experience. This means the app will continue to stay relevant even when new devices are introduced in the future.


Native applications are more engaging when compared with web applications. The home screen icon makes logging in easy and sending push notifications to alert users about important information. Today’s PWAs provide the same benefits that are offered by web apps.


By default, PWAs are secure. This is because the technologies that power PWAs require that they be served over HTTPS for them to function. PWAs, websites that enhance built-in features, can significantly improve revenues by enhancing website security and enabling businesses to reach across
to more customers.

Why Should You Opt for Progressive Web Apps

If you have an e-commerce website or you advertise a lot, then it is a good idea to opt for a PWA so that you can offer a better online as well as offline
experience to your customers. Moreover, your website will be responsive, fast loading, and secure. As PWAs provide higher functionality, performance, and
quicker accessibility, you will enjoy an increase in the number of conversions. 

If users cannot access a Wi-Fi connection or want to restrict their Internet datausage, they can make use of the cache memory to view content. PWAs also enable users to install the application directly from the browser if they want yoursite to reside on their desktop. They need not go to the app store for the same. Unlike apps, PWAs remain up to date always and users are not required to install updates.

READ ALSO: Is Progressive Web App (PWA) the Future of Multi-Platform Development

In addition to providing native app-like experiences to users, PWAs track their geolocations and forward push notifications. This helps you to keep your
customers not only engaged but also interested in what you have to offer to them. Further, if your goal is to provide the same shopping experience to your customers who use a variety of devices with different screen sizes, then a PWA is the best option.  

Companies that have opted for PWAs have experienced significant improvements not only in revenues but also in user engagement and conversion rates. A study carried out by Pinterest on their PWA’s performance revealed that user- generated advertisements rose by 44 percent while ad click-throughs increased by 50 percent when compared with their mobile app. 

If you are able to provide an enriching experience to the visitors to your website, then you will be able to retain your existing customers and also reach across to more prospective customers. Further, it is a challenging task to get people to download and install your apps. Even if they install the app, you have to have a clear strategy in place to engage them. PWAs help you overcome this challenge as they are easily discoverable and eliminate the need to download an app.

How to Build A Progressive Web App

Mobile devices now account for more than 50 percent of web traffic. Further, web applications enable users to do more things in the browser than rival native
apps. However, the quality of devices and devices varies from one place to another. The solution to this problem is the Progressive Web Application.

PWAs use enhancements for loading the most important content first and then add functional and presentational extras so that all users are able to enjoy the
same core experience. This means that PWAs are the option if you are looking to reach a wide range of audiences.

Though PWAs offer several functionalities and benefits to the web, it is not necessary to rewrite the entire application. Apps can be transformed to a PWA just by adding a couple of extra layers.

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However, it is a good idea to keep the performance aspect in mind right from the beginning and ensure that your web hosting service is good and you are partnering with a reputed technology company for building your website. The steps involved in building a progressive web application are

Serve your Site over HTTPS

It is important to serve your site over HTTPS and SSL incorporates an additional layer of security and helps your users feel secure when using your site. In the case of Progressive Web Applications, HTTPS is required for employing service workers and enabling home screen installations. An SSL certificate can be purchased from the domain registrar for a small cost. Then it has to be configured through the hosting service.

Create an App Shell

The first thing your users is your app shell. This is because it loads first. For this to happen, it should exist within in the index HTML document along with inline CSS. This is to ensure that your app provides content quickly and then progressively enhances it as more data come in. 

Registration of a Service Worker

The registration of a service worker is essential to tap into the entire features offered by a PWA such as push notifications, installing prompts, and caching.
Fortunately, setting up a service worker is quite easy.

Add Push Notifications

After registering a service worker, enable the users in receiving push notifications through the web Push API. You can do this by tapping into
self.registration.pushManager from inside the service worker file. Further, the app relies a lot on the backend setup for sending push notifications.

Include a Web Application Manifest

To ensure that your app is installable, it is important that you include a web application manifest in the root directory of the application. This can be
considered as a description of the application, something similar to the description you submit to App Stores. It must include icons, a name, a splash
screen, and a description. 

Configuration of the Install Prompt

Whenever a user visits a Progressive Web Application with a manifest and a service worker, Chrome automatically prompts them to install the same to their
home screen. The conditions to be satisfied to make this happen are:

  • The user must have visited your site twice
  • There should be a time gap of five minutes between the visits 

The idea behind incorporating these conditions is to make sure that the user clearly demonstrates interest in your app. If the user shows interest, then ask
the user to install it on their device. The difference between a PWA and a native app is that the latter asks the user to invest up-front. In certain cases, however, you might ask users to install the app only after they take a specific action.

Analysis of the app & performance

Performance is crucial for PWAs. It has to load fast irrespective of the network condition. Offline capability and caching are very helpful, but your application
must work fast even if users do not have a browser that supports the service worker technology. PWAs provide the best experience for all users, regardless of
device or network conditions. It is, therefore, a good idea to use Google’s RAIL system, a user-centric performance model, which provides the guidelines for
assessing your PWA’s performance.

Auditing your App

According to Google, a Progressive Web Application is the next big thing on the web. Therefore, the company has provided developers with a useful tool that
guides PWA development. Lighthouse, which forms part of the Chrome DevTools, can be accessed from the 'Audits' tab is a tool that can be used for the purpose. Lighthouse runs your application under varied conditions and measures its response as well as success according to the guidelines. The PWA is then assigned a score out of 100. The auditing tool is also capable of scoring your app as regards the web best practices.

READ ALSO: Progressive Web Apps: Why Your Business Needs It?

Final Thoughts
Progressive web apps are capable of bringing the native app feel to traditional web applications. They also enhance the performance of your web apps and
match them with that of mobile apps, increasing their usability and providing a great user experience.

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SayOne Technologies, committed to delivering top-class technology solutions, believes in empowering their clients and help them to easily adapt to the ever-
changing business environment. This enables businesses to quickly achieve their goals. SayOne has a team of developers who have the experience and the
expertise in developing high-quality progressive web applications that enable you to take your business to a higher level of success. The tech company has
proven expertise in handling emerging technologies and has helped businesses operating in different industry verticals improve their ROIs by delivering reliable, scalable, and secure solutions.

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