A quick guide to the Progressive Web App

The Progressive Web App is a JavaScript application that is a regular web page but looks and acts like a native application.

A quick guide to the Progressive Web App

Progressive Web App

PWA, which stands for Progressive Web App, is a web application written in JavaScript that runs like a regular web page but looks and acts like a native mobile or desktop application. The term PWA began to gain popularity in 2015 with the development of technologies that enable the creation of dynamic web applications.

Internet browsers (e.g. Chrome or FireFox) save such a page in the phone's memory. Such an operation not only extends the functionalities of our application but also speeds it up. In addition, the user can create an icon for the application on his phone. Access is therefore much easier as there is no need to enter the address in the web browser each time.

The Progressive Web App will work on all current browsers and mobile devices.

Advantages of the PWA

  • Accessibility - the user has the application available under the icon, thus does not have to think about the website address
  • Responsiveness - PWA applications work on every size of the device
  • Offline operation - thanks to built-in so-called Service Workers, PWA applications can run partially or entirely without an internet connection
  • User-friendly design - the app works like a normal native app, the user can't see any difference
  • Easier update - the app looks like a native app, but it is still a website. We don't have to wait with updates until Apple or Google accept them and until the user updates the app
  • Features - PWA applications can benefit from many of the device's built-in functions such as geolocation and notifications
  • Development - PWA application is just a single code for many devices, we don't have to create separate programs for iOS and different ones for Android
  • Security - HTTPS protocol protects the data we send
  • SEO - PWA applications are not only normally indexed in web search engines, but also google promotes such sites

It is important to remember that PWAs are not just dedicated applications. It is also a technology thanks to which we can gain a lot when it comes to our business. More and more online shops build mobile versions of their shops using this technology, which brings real benefits.

PWA Applications

On the AliExpress mobile site, after switching to PWA, conversion to new users increased by 104% and conversion on the Safari browser increased by 84%. It is also worth mentioning that the number of web pages visited per session doubled and the average time spent on a page increased by 74% in all browsers.

Trivago, one of the largest travel sites points out that as many as half a million people have added the app icon to their smartphone home screen. Such users are much more involved, conversion in this case increased by up to 97%!

Uber, intending to make it possible for users with slower internet to use their app, applied PWA technology to the mobile version of the site. The packed website weighed less than 50k and could be loaded in under 3 seconds on a 2G network!

Many more such examples could be given. If you are curious about how the PWA has positively affected other companies, we recommend you take a look at the PWA Stats page. You'll find lots of interesting tidbits there.

Obviously, there are no perfect technologies. We must also bear in mind the downsides of PWAs:

  • compared to native apps, PWA apps still cannot use all the built-in features of mobile devices (e.g. Bluetooth or NFC)
  • the PWA application does not have access to user data on the phone
  • the Safari browser does not support Push notifications

Examples of PWA websites

  • m.aliexpress.com
  • instagram.com
  • maps.google.com
  • m.olx.pl
  • m.onet.pl
  • trivago.com
  • mobile.twitter.com
  • m.uber.com

As you can see for yourself, dear Reader, the biggest Internet companies, both in Poland and in the world, use this technology.

It seems harder to find a better recommendation, doesn't it? :)

Michał Molenda

Author:

Michał Molenda

I'm working for over 13 years as a web applications programmer. I'm a Code Apps software house owner. Privately husband, father of 2, and digital nomad for almost 14 years.

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Michał Molenda

Michał Molenda

I'm working for over 13 years as a web applications programmer. I'm a Code Apps software house owner. Privately husband, father of 2, and digital nomad for almost 14 years.

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