Progressive Web Apps (PWAs): A Comprehensive Guide

Having a web presence is vital for the growth and sustenance of any business nowadays. While a lot of people use websites to buy services and products, the number of app users is on the rise. Typically, most brands use both websites and apps to sell their services and products. However, in the last few years, the trend of using Progressive web apps has caught up. Many mid to large-sized businesses have been using PWAs, and small-time players are also catching up. For functional Progressive web app development, it is necessary to hire the apt agency, though.

The basics of PWA

Before deciding to get a PWA developed for your brand, it is important that you know what it is all about! A PWA is a hybrid web application that blends the functionalities of a website with the convenience of mobile apps. It offers a similar user experience as that of a smartphone app. It is made using JavaScript frameworks.

The history of PWA

While many people think Google is the inventor of PWA, the truth is a little different. 

The idea of developing PWA was unveiled first by Steve Jobs when he introduced the iconic iPhone’s first version. That took place way back in 2007. Steve Jobs spoke about the possibility of developers making apps based on technology used to make regular websites. However, Apple launched the App Store in 2008, and its popularity ensured the PWA concept was held back from materializing. 

The salient features of a PWA

A PWA has certain unique features that make it different from native mobile apps.

  • It is adaptive to diverse platforms and devices, and so businesses are using PWAs to reach out to a large range of users. 
  • A PWA is installed much like a native app on the web access device.
  • A PWA can be used without an active internet connection which makes it more convenient to use than native apps.
  • It has features like push notifications and full-screen mode- much like native mobile apps. 

How is it different from a native app?

While a PWA does have certain resemblances with a native app, it has some marked differences as well. For example, you have to download and install it from the brand website. It does not exist in any dedicated app store. This is a benefit and a drawback too. It is easier to install, but most people are habituated to using app stores for app download. Unlike regular apps, PWAs get updated in the background, and users need not perform a manual update. 

When businesses can gain from using PWAs

While PWAs can be useful for almost all types of businesses, it is more suited in certain usage scenarios. These are:

  • If a section of your target customers lives in areas that still suffer from spotty internet connectivity, using a PWA can benefit your business, for sure. The customers can use the app even when the net is slow, or they are offline temporarily, without facing hiccups.
  • PWAs are more suited for apps that deal with a lot of text and data. The users can then use the PWA offline and read the stored data and revert later. 
  • PWAs load faster than native mobile apps. This can be helpful when a section of your target buyers use entry-level devices with slower hardware. Loading typical apps in those devices take a long time, and the experience is not good. 

With time, the number of PWA users is only growing. The user experience is great, and that is why a majority of web users are getting accustomed to using PWAs. PWAs are supported by most web browsers nowadays. Google supports PWA development too and offers extensive documentation. The usage of PWA began in 2015, and the trend has grown with each passing year. 

The inherent benefits of using PWAs

Businesses of all types and sizes can gain by switching to PWA, as long as they hire the right Progressive web development agency. The inherent advantages of using a PWA over a regular app are:

  • It is financially less taxing to set up a PWA website compared to a typical app. The cost of PWA development and maintenance is lower.
  • When you need to develop an app for your brand fast, choosing PWA over a native app makes sense.However, they will have to wait much longer to get native apps developed for iOS and Android.
  • For a majority of small business owners, monetary resources can be a hurdle for investing in native app development. They find spending in PWA development easier. 
  • A majority of internet users are quite impatient, and they dislike apps and websites that take a long time to render or load. If a native app is taking several seconds to load fully, they are likely to flock to other similar apps. On the contrary, a PWA that loads within a couple of seconds will make them satisfied. So, businesses that use PWAs are more likely to retain customers and attract prospective ones. 
  • PWAs can be used to send push notifications to users. This ensures an effective and not so disruptive way to inform your customers about updates and upcoming deals etc. 
  • Businesses, including some of the technology behemoths and MNCs, have reported a drastic surge in conversion rate after switching to PWAs. This can be a good reason to hire a Progressive web app development company India. PWAs typically consume less space on user devices compared to native apps. This can be beneficial for users who lack much free space on their devices. 

Hiring the right PWA development agency

The advantages of using a PWA for businesses are simply too big to ignore. In fact, its benefits for the end-users are also significant. However, to ensure you get a PWA developed in the apt way, hire progressive web app developers India. Before hiring such an agency, checking its expertise, portfolio, client base, and reviews will be necessary. You will also have to check the service terms of the agency offering PWA development services. 

Posted by Ajay

Ajay is a dynamic author with over 15 years of experience in software development and management. With his vast knowledge and expertise, Ajay offers a unique perspective on industry trends, practical advice, and captivating talks. Dive into Ajay's blog to enhance your skills and stay ahead in the digital world.