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How Progressive Web Apps Are Redefining The Mobile Landscape

Today, it’s crucial for businesses to develop fast web experiences irrespective of the industry vertical. Users now wish to get quick results, faster payment sites, and rapid access to information just in one click. Well, any kind of friction pushes the users away and within seconds they just abandon your website and move on to the next. In fact, as per research as page load time increases from 1s to 3s the probability of bounce rate increases to as much as 30%. Also, when the load time increases from 1s to 5s the bounce rate increases to as high as 90%. So, it won’t be wrong to say that in a digital world, even one second of delay can cost huge amounts of money. 

 

Most businesses are now turning to cutting-edge technologies such as Progressive Web Apps to give a boost to their site conversions and search rankings. PWA is a promising technology offering a range of advantages to businesses across a wide array of domains. Let’s explore what PWA is all about, its key features, how it compares to native and web along with the benefits it offers to businesses.

 

What is a Progressive Web Application(PWA)?

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are primarily web apps that leverage the web capabilities to provide app-like experience to end-users. It uses popular web technologies such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. PWAs are deployed on servers hence can be accessed via URLs. Also, they load instantly due to their pre-caching feature and index seamlessly across search engines. With Progressive Web Apps you get updated content every time the app is launched. Similar to native apps, PWAs can be saved on the home screen. 

PWA vs. Native App

True, native apps offer great user experience, but they can also cause friction. With PWAs you get the native-like feel without having to deal with complexities of the app store. Also, you have access to the latest content without having to manually update the app. Even though PWAs offer a native-like experience they also offer optimum value as it is optimized for the web. PWAs are linkable and just by clicking the URL, they are good to go. This makes it easy to use as part of social media posts, messages, and even marketing emails. Because of this URL link, Google ranks PWAs just like any other web content and they are preferred due to their fast loading speed and prompt availability. All the friction that you might experience with native apps is diminished by PWAs as it offers the best of both worlds. 

PWA vs. Mobile Website

PWAs are a perfect blend of native apps and web. From above it is already clear how PWAs with their native-app-like capabilities and web-ready features benefit users. PWA augments the user experience with faster loading, linkable, and search-engine friendly structure. With PWAs you can do away with the reliance on the network, which is a major advantage over traditional websites. With pre-caching features of PWAs you get updated content at all times no matter the state of the network. Moreover, Progressive Web Apps offer many native functionalities like background updates, push notifications and so much more.

 

Some Key Features Of PWA

 

All the features of PWA function without any network dependencies and therefore are available across devices both iOS and Android powered.     

 

  • Progressive feature enhancements can be made with time as the business grows and more features need to be implemented. 

  • PWAs function on secure SSL connection which ensures enhanced security of app data from unauthorized access.  

  • PWA is saved on the home screen similar to a native app with the help of the .json file.

  • A JavaScript file helps the app to instantly catch and respond to push messages in real-time.

  • PWA comes loaded with an advanced web API that helps it offer a host of amazing functionalities that are no less than that offered by native apps.

 

The Benefits Of A Progressive Web App

Faster loading

With the help of pre-caching features, PWAs load really fast even when the network is not so great. Often users abandon a web page if it takes longer than a few seconds, therefore website loading speed plays a major role in the success of the business and getting conversions. PWAs offer SEO advantage, as well as faster load speed, which is also attributed to great indexing by popular search engines.  

Improved rankings

As mentioned above, search engines give preference to PWAs and similar to websites perform full indexing. While, native apps can’t be indexed, which means that they don’t have a role in your SERP. Also, PWAs are truly a website, so users get the liberty to share URLs as part of their backlink strategy to optimize their search engine rankings, something that is not possible with native apps.   

Less data consumption

The pre-caching feature minimizes the data consumption significantly. As there are fewer API requests the need for bandwidth reduces to a great extent. Users now need to consume less data when browsing and also the app will take up less space than native apps. 

No app stores

Want apps that can augment brand visibility? Opt for PWAs. Discoverability is one of the most important features of PWA that sets it apart from native apps. With PWAs, there is no need for an app store, which in turn reduces friction to a great extent for users who wish to install the app. No need to develop an app as per policies of the app store, submit it for review or run marketing campaigns for iOS and Android separately. Your existing users or users can install the app from the website, which offers a delightful experience to users. 

Reduced cost of development

PWAs leverage widely used technologies like CSS, JavaScript, and HTML, whereas native calls for a completely diverse tech stack. This makes it quite cost-effective to upgrade a PWA when compared to building a native app from the ground up. Also, with PWAs you don’t require the updates to be reviewed by Google or Apple, all the changes can be made instantly.

Better user experience

PWAs are designed to function flawlessly across devices, they are highly responsive. It is built on a progressive enhancement approach, which means that the primary focus is on getting the core features first, and once the browser meets the requirement of advanced features it is made available. These two factors play a major role in amplifying the user experience to the next level.      

Improved engagement

The offline and catching features of PWAs allow users to browse the website whenever they want, and because it is so fast they don’t have to abandon the page for any loading issues. With amazing features like push notifications as well as location tracking, marketers get the liberty to deliver important content to users without any limitations. All this helps businesses in delivering a great experience to users.  

Boost conversions

Moving to PWA can significantly boost conversions. PWAs offer a simple checkout process, a clean interface, and better engagement that helps in augmenting conversions, especially for eCommerce businesses.  

Conclusion

If you're developing an app and having difficulty choosing between a native app and web, PWAs are your best bet. Progessive Web Apps are cost-effective, simple and work flawlessly across devices and browsers. Also, they offer a great user experience and hence widely adopted across worldwide. It loads quickly which significantly enhances the conversion rate. PWAs are equipped to offer great performance, wider reach and user engagement and are a great choice if you wish to experience phenomenal business growth in the years to come.

About the Author

Bio: 

Nathan Smith is a Sr. application developer by profession at TechnoScore, a leading web and app development company with a global reach. He loves to write technical content based on his sound knowledge of all the latest technologies used in various industries.