10 Reasons to build a Progressive Web App (PWA)

A progressive web app (PWA) is simply a web app that is running using the browser engine and uses some of the features available to native apps such as the option to add an icon and name that can be saved on the home screen and launch it from there as a separate app, offline support and push notifications.

10 Reasons to build a Progressive Web App

  1. Is very easy to build. If you’re already familiar with web technologies like: HTML, CSS and Javascript then you’re ready to build the app.
     
    If you want to build a PWA you will need a manifest file which is just a json file that contains information about the app suchs as paths to app icons, app colors and app name. You can find more about the manifest file here: https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/web-app-manifest

    Apart from the manifest file you will need some service workers which will run in the background. These are just some javascript listeners that are waiting for events like fetch to perform different tasks. This is useful especially for saving data which can be used offline.

    The last thing you will need is the app icon and make sure that you’re using HTTPS.

  2. You can send push notifications which will increase user engagement. Because the web app is cached on the device, it can take advantage of this functionality which is much better than having the user to visit the website.
  3. It works in offline mode. There is no internet needed if you cache the data on the device.
  4. The user won’t have to go to the app store to install the app. The app can be installed directly from your website.
  5. Because the app doesn’t have to be published in a app store, you as a developer can avoid paying to publish your app on Android store or for an Apple developer account.
  6. Unlike a native iOS app which can only be built on OSX, PWA can be built on any OS.
  7. It takes less space than a native app since the only thing thats on your device is a couple of cached files.
  8. Because a PWA is a website, it means that it can be indexed by search engines like Google which is a great way to get visitors.
  9. PWAs are responsive. The same app can run on desktop, phones and tablets without extra changes needed.
  10. This technology is already used by big companies like Twitter, Pinterest and Google. Twitter for example had a 75% increase in tweets sent and 20% decrease in bounce rate.

Conclusion

This is one of the most exciting technologies to emerge in recent times in web development and in my opinion, PWA’s future looks very bright.

Andy

Front-end Engineer & Designer based in Dublin currently working @IBM.
I write about: Javascript, HTML, CSS, React JS, React Native and UI/UX Design.

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