A progressive web app (PWA) is an application that delivers app-based interface to users. It uses modern web capacity to meet certain requirements and result in apps that can be accessed via URLs. Such apps are indexed on search engines as well as installed on servers. In layman’s words, PWAs combine the best of websites and apps. According to Alex Ruxwell, the expert who coined the term, “PWAs are just websites that took the right vitamins”.
In order to understand what a progressive web app is capable of, it is important to break down the meaning and functions of PWA. The following features also act as a criterion for something to be categorized as PWA. Therefore, Progressive Web App is a quantum of the following characteristics:
Progressive: a powerful tool that operates well irrespective of browser choice of the user. It is unfazed by differences in types of users as it “enhances” itself after every time a user operates it.
Responsive: Suits the need for any gadget/hardware-whether it is a desktop, a laptop, phone, or tablet, or any other medium that will be launched in future.
Independent in Connectivity: PWA is supposed to be designed in such a way that it can operate offline or on slow speed networks as well. Therefore, it is not dependent on the nature or speed of user’s connectivity to the internet. PWA is the manifestation of the idea that apps should be able to run even without an offline server by caching data for the purpose of visual content.
App Based: Any user can switch to an app-like view or interface on PWA because it offers them an option in the form of “app shell model”. The app shell model enables the design to be split in terms of functionality and content. Thus while the application content will remain the same, it is possible to change or alter the functionalities of the application.
Safety: Every PWA provides a secure server, the green signal which users can see on top of their browser in the form of a green lock. In technical language, PWA has to be served via HTTPS to firewall against snooping or content tampering.
Up-To-Date: Due to cache-storage ability, PWAs are always upgraded timely. .
Re-Engagement: With the help of elements like options to enable push notifications, PWAs can help users be engaged and notified on custom basis.
Shareable: No complicated installation is required for users when they want to operate PWA, all they need to do if they want to share PWA is to share the URL.
Identifiable: PWAs are easily discoverable as worker registrations allow them to be indexed in search engines, and consequently, search worthy on search engines.
Convenient to Keep: Users can just keep their preferred PWA on their home screen and they do not need to access any kind of app store to have access to them.
As the user constructs a relationship with the app after using it time and again, the PWAs have inherent programming to store the cached data, making it possible for the app to load even on slower connections.
Think of PWA as a Ferrero Rocher chocolate-the hazelnut is the content you want to use, the chocolate around the core is your visual aspect of the website like presentation and finally, the outermost wafer and chocolate layer is the JavasScript. The layer outside can vary in terms of its surface or even colour depending on the way the browser uses it.
PWAs support is ever increasing. All different platforms and all major companies are choosing to make PWA versions of their websites. But how exactly does PWA work?
The world wide web is a relatively independent system which is bound to no operating system. Why then do users prefer to use native apps on the web for practically everything? It is due to the seamless and smooth interface of apps and the easily maneuverable experience along with engagement that native apps offer.
Thankfully, it is possible to combine ease of access to the internet and the smooth experience of native apps. For e-commerce websites, your ecommerce website development company uses all relevant approaches of combining these two spheres.
This way, PWA is an app that one can access directly from the web and are easy to run at the same time. These apps that people operate have notifications, are installable and faster than native apps or web apps.
In simple terms, the service worker is the element responsible for giving functionality to an app even when it is closed. It enables the app to be offline-first.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is just the tool that makes HTTP communications secure by using SSL or TLS encryption. The element of HTTPS as mentioned before, makes the PWA function in an absolutely secure manner.
Webapp Manifest is the tool that enables visual elements of the app. It gives information and data about the way an app should look in the home screen, on the web and on other medium. It is used to add themes in terms of colours and gradient, it adds icons for the home screen, and many other visual functions
In other words, Webapp Manifest makes apps look friendlier with themes and icons. It can be installed with the help of a JSON file.
PWA servers deliver push_ notifications to service workers which communicate and update the current state or even display a notification to the user. This function runs independently on the background and thus works when the app is closed too.
PWAs can be worked on with some extra standards for a better output. All the competent ecommerce website design services use them. Here are some of the tools:
a) Lighthouse and PWA Checklist
Lighthouse is a tool for checking quality of web pages as it takes audits of performances, practices, accessibility and more criteria for PWA. It checks if your app meets the benchmarks and ranks how good of a PWA it is.
PWA Checklist is by Google and it lays down all suggestions to fill the gaps in your web app. It gives general guidelines to adhere to and some improvement techniques to fix issues.
Storage is a crucial aspect for PWA and as per experts, one must use the Cache API for URL resources for storage. In case of any other data, IndexedDB should be used. These systems store all data from the browser and works as a high-performance API.
Caching API in your PWA can let you stock up responses that are keyed by request. This way, the content can be loaded directly from cache in the eventuality of a poor connection. Only necessary data is loaded.
PWAs offer a clean method to engage the users of the app, and encourage them to use the application your company puts up. Owners of PWA have access to a bigger user group that increases the size of audience. PWAs are the way to go about web services for all kinds of MNCs as well as Small. Medium and micro businesses.
It is also a noted fact that most search engines display PWA first on results page as they offer sophisticated surfing experience.
PWAs provide advanced platform features, and are highly dynamic. Therefore, it is always recommended to upgrade your website or optimize it into a PWA so that you can enjoy the benefits of having an edge over your competitors in the market.
In a nutshell, the 3 reasons you absolutely need PWAs are:
The Reach: PWA allows websites to have more mobile web audience as it combines the best features of web and apps.
Acquisition: when businesses make PWA for their company, the user acquisition cost will be multiple times cheaper than that of building native apps. This simply means-more user, lesser cost.
Conversion: PWA are powerful when it comes to increasing mobile conversion rate.
There are many ecommerce website design service providers that cater to the specific need of turning your company’s website into PWA. They can help you with mobile conversion rate optimization (strategies to increase the percentage of people that opt for your website). Here are the two best services available for PWA
Magento holds a considerable portion of the market share for ecommerce mediums. In the new version Magento 2, it also brings quick performance in terms of all elements including flexibility to design PWAs
The team curated a PWA version, called the Magento Progressive Web Applications (PWA) Studio.
The Magento PWA Studio offers a set of tools that help build online stores with an app-like experience. Some exciting features of the Magento PWA Studio are:
1) Options to personalize content and add any preference
2) Management of all channels through one code base and one app.
3) Easy user experience that allows the owner to operate commerce innovatively with a CMS theming option.
4) Additional settings for extension resellers
5) Developer tools for quick prototyping, debugging, and meaningful feedback without affecting the overall productivity.
Magento 2 experts understand that ecommerce owners need to have control over data and a good PWA website. It allows clients to have all control over data, and still enables them to explore many functions and services, making it a good experience to sell their products or services online.
WooCommerce lets you have full control over your data and has supported format for mobile or other portable devices as well. It is also extremely user-friendly, which means anyone can set up and run an ecommerce website without having to learn the knowledge of coding!
The latest in their domain has been a PWA plugin. .
PWACommerce is the purpose-linked PWA plugin for wordpress users working on WooCommerce setup. The PWACommerce plugin helps users turn their WooCommerce shop into a progressive web app. The benefits of the plugin are:
1. Responsive UI: the web app created using the plugin adapts to whichever device the user is using.
2. Interface: the interface for users is much better with smooth animations, scrolling and navigations.
3. Users can customize their mobile web app’s appearance as per their store identity.
4. Users also have access to multiple app themes.
Take help from Woocommerce Development Company to design a wordpress site with a PWA plugin and enjoy its many benefits.
Progressive Web Apps are the future of software technology for the web. It is tailor made for mobile web and it is the tool you need for your ecommerce to earn profits by attracting customers. PWAs are reachable, and they enable conversion rates, and lessen your product costs. Moreover, PWA may be in their infancy, but they are crucial for the upcoming business website boom
Any more questions on PWA? Contact us now and our Magento 2 migration service team would be happy to assist