Definitive Guide to Progressive Web Apps

Sri Durga


Progressive web apps were first introduced by Google in 2015. Owing to its advanced features, ease of development, and great user experience, it has turned into the next big thing for everyone.

The concept of Progressive web apps (PWAs) is simple to understand. It’s a website built using web technologies, but you will feel like using an app. And, thanks to the advent of technology that helps to make it easier by combining the best of web and mobile apps.

Also, users can install web apps to their home screen, receive push notifications, and even work offline which is possible by the development of browser, service workers accessibility, the advancement of cache, and push APIs. This is the best part of this modern technology that you cannot ignore in the coming future.

PWA is developed using web technologies including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and is operated through the web. You can access PWAs on both desktop and mobile devices by using a standards-compliant browser.

The past & future of Progressive Web Apps:

Earlier, the apps were accessible for mobile devices. However, they were slower and had fewer features. The introduction of PWA changes many things that come with various features and it enables you to get an amazing user experience. Even PWAs make the most out of a much bigger web ecosystem, plugins, and community with ease of deploying and maintaining a website as compared to native apps.

Apart from that, PWAs make it easier for the developers to make their web apps load faster than ever and make it more productive. As compared to mobile apps, you can feel that a website can be built in less time. Most importantly, an API does not need to be maintained with backward-compatibility and the web app is easy to install, use, and maintain.

Moreover, PWAs are based on modern technology that uses current web standards. It enables you to get an app-like experience. They have many features, including offline mode, superior performance, background processing, and so on.

As it is a type of website, they don’t need separate bundling or distribution. Nobody needs to install these web apps through digital distribution systems like Apple App Store or Google Play. However, the paucity of better visibility of PWAs in those stores can be seen as a disadvantage. Hence, the major app stores do feature PWAs and enable them to be available in app stores.

Talking about the PWAs, it is supported by the Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, and Microsoft Edge browsers. 

Components of PWAs

There are a few major components of PWAs that you need to know-

HTTPS- it offers a protected transport layer that encrypts traffic.

Service workers- They (scripts) are like middlemen between the web browser and the network. And the PWA planning depends on pre-caching the shell by using Service Workers.

Manifest file- It describes how users can see PWA on their devices. This file helps to make PWAs installable and appear to the end-user.

Characteristics of PWAs

Progressive web apps hold different characteristics that make them more adaptable. 

Progressive- PWAs work on every device and grow its productivity. It offers great features to users, irrespective of browser choice.

Discoverable- As PWA is a web application; it is discoverable by search engines, identifiable as an “application” by manifest.json, and service worker registration. It is the plus point over native applications.

Cross-browser compatibility- It works across all current browsers, including Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari.

Safe- PWAs is a web application and provides a friendlier user experience. Furthermore, it uses HTTPS to avert snooping or any kind of unethical attacks thus ensuring content hasn’t been tampered with.

Responsive- PWA’s UI adapts to the device screen size and can be responsive to desktop, mobile, tablet, or forms yet to emerge.

App-like- Although, PWAs is a website or webpage, it offers an app-like feeling to the users as it is made to feature  app-style interactions and navigation.

Faster- Once the initial loading has been completed, it doesn’t load the same content and page elements each time.

Linkable- It is yet another characteristic of PWAs. It should have a URL to indicate its state that enables users to share the app’s URL. PWAs can easily be shared via a URL and do not need intricate installation.

Re-engaging- The PWAs have the potential to use push notifications that helps to keep engaging with the users and re-discover your app once installed.

Connectivity-independent- PWAs can work well offline too owing to the involvement of Service workers.

Installable- You can install PWA on the home screen of your devices. It also offers home screen icons without the use of an App Store.

Fresh- Users can experience a fresh and up-to-date feeling owing to the procedure of service worker update and the content once online.

Key Pros of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

As compared to native mobile apps, PWAs have countless pros for developers and users as well. All you need is to find the best yet reliable developing team that can help you in the development of PWA.

Pros of the PWA: 

Flexible functionalities- The plus point of PWAs is they can be effectively and successively run on all native platforms. The highly responsive PWAs offer a great experience to users despite the screen size of their devices.

Need Less Disk Space- It doesn’t consume a lot of space on users’ devices because they are hosted on the webserver.

No regular update- PWAs don’t require regular updates in a full-fledged manner. Even, users don’t need to update it on their own and visit the app store. PWAs update themselves independently.

SEO Benefits- All the SEO tactics and strategies can be implemented to enhance PWAs presence.

Access with URL- With access to the URL address, you can visit PWAs as they are stored on an internet server of their respective website.

The reason behind the growth of PWA’s in this digital era

Well, the answer is simple and easily understandable. According to some surveys, most people use smartphones in their daily life because of the portability option. And, many of them are using mobile phones to make an online purchase. Hence, it was the responsibility of many brands and eCommerce businesses to offer amazing facilities on mobile devices. The development of PWA with speed, local caching, and app-like features makes it clear that it had to meet mobile users.

The future of PWAs

To experience PWAs, you don’t need to spend extra bucks in developing hybrid applications individually. It offers great user retention rate and conversion rate. Furthermore, it is easy to install and loads faster.

Divami is a leading firm that has years of experience in the development of PWA technology. We have an expert designing and developing team that can meet your needs. 

Thanks for the submission.