Are you tired of slow loading times and poor user experience when using mobile apps? If so, there's a game-changing technology that you might want to check out - Progressive Web Applications (PWAs). PWAs are taking the custom software development industry by storm and have already delivered impressive results for companies like Pinterest.
When Pinterest decided to rebuild its mobile site as a PWA, it witnessed a substantial 60% increase in core engagements and a whopping 44% increase in user-generated ad revenue. This success story is just one example of the potential of PWAs.
In this article, we will delve into the world of PWAs and explore their features, benefits, and development process. So, if you're looking to enhance your mobile app experience, stay tuned to learn all about PWAs.
What Are Progressive Web Applications?
A Progressive Web Application (PWA) is a web application that uses modern web technologies to provide a native app-like experience. PWAs are designed to work on any device, regardless of its platform or operating system. They are highly responsive, fast, and have a sleek user interface that mimics a traditional app.
Benefits & Features of PWAs
You must be wondering, “Why should I care about Progressive Web Applications?” Well, here’s why:
Fast loading speed
PWAs are designed to load quickly, even on slow or unreliable network connections. This is achieved through caching and preloading, which ensure that the app content is available even when the network connection is weak or unstable.
Thanks to Progressive Web Applications (PWAs), Uber's core app can now load in less than 3 seconds on 2G networks. Similarly, Tinder was able to reduce its load time from 11.91 seconds to just 4.68 seconds, all thanks to its PWA implementation.
PWAs store the necessary data in the cache, making it possible for users to access the app and its content even when there's no internet connection.
Trivago's adoption of a PWA allowed users to access the site even when they were offline, which increased engagement on the platform. When users went back online, 67% of them continued to browse the site, resulting in a 97% increase in click-through rates on hotel offers.
Improved user experience
PWAs offer an immersive and seamless user experience, thanks to their responsive design and smooth animations. They offer the same level of functionality as native apps, with features like push notifications and more. Additionally, PWAs are highly customizable, allowing you to tailor the app's look and feel to your brand and style.
One of the best examples of Progressive Web Applications is OLX. OLX observed a 250% boost in re-engagement and a 146% surge in ad click-through rates through push notifications.
Better reach and accessibility
PWAs are accessible through a simple URL, making it easy for users to discover and access the application without the need to download it from an app store. By expanding the reach of your application to a wider audience, PWAs can help you tap into new markets and attract more users.
The success of OLA's PWA in Tier 3 cities is evident with a reported 30% higher conversion rate compared to their traditional app. OLA has also observed a 68% increase in mobile traffic, with 20% of users who switched to the PWA after uninstalling the native app.
One of the technical components of PWAs is that they are hosted on a secure HTTPS connection, making them more secure than traditional web applications. Additionally, PWAs are protected against common security threats like cross-site scripting (XSS) and cross-site request forgery (CSRF).
How Do You Create a Progressive Web App?
Creating a PWA is a series of steps that require careful planning, development, testing, and deployment. Here's a simplified guide to help you get started:
- Identify the needs of your application and determine the features and functionality you want to offer.
- Create an intuitive and user-friendly design for your PWA that works seamlessly across different devices and screen sizes.
- Build the front end of your PWA using web technologies and implement the necessary APIs and features for offline support and push notifications.
- Serve your PWA over HTTPS to ensure a secure browsing experience and protect user data.
- Test your PWA across different browsers and devices to ensure compatibility and performance. Optimize the code and assets for faster load times.
- Host your PWA on a reliable web server and make it accessible through a unique URL.
Progressive Web Apps vs Native Apps
It's no secret that smartphones have become an essential part of our lives, with US adults spending an average of over 3 hours on their phones every day. However, with the increasing use of mobile phones, the use of native apps is slowly being overtaken by PWAs. Let’s see why:
- PWAs can run on any device with a web browser, while native apps require separate development efforts for each platform.
- PWAs can be discovered through search engines, making them more accessible to users. Native apps need to be downloaded from app stores, which can limit their discoverability.
- PWAs take up minimal storage space on the user's device. That’s the opposite with Native apps, which can be a barrier for some users.
- One of the financial benefits of PWAs is that they can be developed faster and with less code compared to native apps, resulting in cost savings.
- Compared to native apps, PWAs provide users with a quick, responsive, and application-like interface.
Some Challenges of PWAs
Limited Browser Support
Not all browsers support PWAs. Safari, for example, has been slower to adopt PWA standards than other browsers like Chrome and Firefox. This means that users on Safari may not be able to access all the features of your PWA.
One way to mitigate this is by providing a fallback experience for users on unsupported browsers, such as redirecting them to a traditional website or showing them a message that explains why the PWA isn't available.
Unlike native apps, PWAs are not typically distributed through app stores, which can make them harder for users to discover. While PWAs can be added to the user's home screen like a native app, this requires the user to first find the PWA on the website.
To improve discoverability, you should promote your PWAs through various channels, such as social media, email newsletters, and paid advertising. You can also use tools like deep links and app banners to help users discover and install the PWA from within the website.
PWAs are built using web technologies, which means they are subject to many of the same security risks as traditional web apps. For example, PWAs can be vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks or man-in-the-middle attacks.
To mitigate this, you should follow best practices for web security, such as using HTTPS to encrypt all data transmitted between the user and the server. You should also use a Content Security Policy (CSP) to help prevent cross-site scripting attacks and regularly update all software components to address any security vulnerabilities.
If you're looking for a game-changing technology that can take your mobile app to the next level, look no further than Progressive Web Applications. PWAs are fast, reliable, and highly customizable. Other features of PWAs include better reach and accessibility than traditional mobile apps.
With big players like Pinterest and Uber reaping the benefits of PWAs, it's time that you, too, get on board and see the results for yourself.
Explore here How PWAs Are Revolutionizing Mobile App Development