It’s not too long ago when either iOS or Android were mainly two dominant classifications in the app development world until a new acronym entered the space – PWAs or Progressive Web Applications.
So, what’s a PWA, and how is it helpful?
Well, we’ve all come across outdated websites that make it difficult for us to navigate across multiple devices. Didn’t we? We’ve also come across responsive websites that may adapt to various screen sizes and browsers but do not fully leverage device functionality, thereby offering poor user experiences.
It is where PWAs come into the picture.
What is a PWA?
Many sites you find online are progressive web app. Take facebook.com, for instance. On visiting that site on your smartphone, you can install it on your home screen. Now, on opening the saved Facebook site, you’ll notice that it looks and performs just like a native app. There’s no browser window or anything. There’s no difference in running it from an iPhone or an Android smartphone. Log in, and you’re good to go. That’s a significant benefit of building your web app with a PWA in mind.
PWA is an astonishing piece of technology that has the potential of transforming the way we develop web and mobile apps. However, some may say that PWA is simply a website converted to a mobile app, while some may argue about its capabilities, security issues, and performance over native mobile apps.
Some of the benefits of using PWA are:
Providing Excellence with PWAs
PWAs (Progressive Web Applications) fully leverage the functions of mobile sites, native apps, and responsive websites to offer a seamless, smooth, and first-class user experience.
Most mature businesses and startups turn towards PWAs to keep up with today’s users’ rising expectations while keeping a check on their app development and maintenance costs. Alibaba has recently stated that with the implementation of PWAs, they’ve seen a 76% jump in conversion rates across multiple browsers.
It is evident that PWAs are gaining popularity, and how?
Today, PWAs are preferable over and above the traditional websites because of the top-notch user experiences. They’re secure, searchable, fast, feature-rich, and provide an excellent performance to users on repeat visits.
Having a glance at PWA stats will give you a sight of its extensive usage and advantages:
- Trivago saw a 150% jump in engagement for people who add its PWA to their home screens.
- Uber’s PWA worked extremely fast, even on a 2G network.
- BookMyShow’s PWA loads in less than 3 seconds, and it marked an elevated conversion rate of more than 80%.
- Pinterest rebuilt its mobile site as a PWA and found an increase of 60% in its core engagement.
In simple words, if you’re considering creating an app that genuinely and cost-effectively conveys your brand’s vision, you should opt for a PWA instead of a website.
Let’s delve into some of the factors which make PWAs more beneficial than websites concerning speed, functionality, and adaptability.
Websites often rely on real-time data transfers for providing ‘on-demand’ information to their users. It can cause an extremely slow refresh-rate for pages and unfinished loads, resulting in a poor browsing experience that can frustrate users.
On the other hand, PWAs can cache data and work offline. They offer a super-smooth user experience even in low and no connectivity networks. PWAs can also provide improved search ranks, thanks to their blazing-fast speed.
Websites are usually incapable of leveraging mobile device capabilities. Designing a website that’s perfectly compatible with multiple browsers and screen sizes is a time-consuming job.
On the other hand, PWAs make the most browser-specific improvements like push notifications and leverage mobile capabilities like GPS for location and camera compatibility. Moreover, they even provide content offline and work correctly on multiple devices and browsers, thereby paving the way for a top-class user experience.
A2HS stands for Add to Home Screen. Most of us would have often noticed that website, iOS, and Android shortcuts to Home Screens look ugly and poor, and they usually take time to load, offering a bad user experience.
On the other hand, PWAs are A2HS-ready. That is, users can conveniently add PWA shortcuts to their Home Screens (both on desktops and mobiles) and get a full-fledged native-app experience (and a quick load time) with a single tap on the PWA icon; this, undoubtedly, gives PWAs an edge over the rest.
Although responsive websites have filled the gap between mobile and desktop experiences, PWAs empower businesses to create a single web property that scales and adapts as and when technology evolves.
PWAs are not only progressive, but they’re also cutting-edge to resolve multiple issues that businesses face regularly.
Business Problems that PWAs Helps in Resolving
- The necessity to create apps for different platforms – Since browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Opera support PWAs. Businesses don’t need specialized app development for diverse platforms.
- Difficulty in searching Mobile apps – A significant obstacle in choosing a mobile app is that they do not easily come up in search results. PWAs, on the other hand, creates and improves opportunities for acquiring new users. Anybody can search and share them quickly, which gives businesses better visibility across multiple user groups.
- Re-engagement and timely communication are taxing – You can add PWAs to home screens, which help users get real-time push notifications on the latest offers, discounts, sales, or even abandoned carts.
- Mobile sites may often not be user-friendly – Although optimization of mobile sites is there for device-driven experiences, they may often be too slow, testing users’ patience. PWAs create an interactive and faster way for users to connect with a business. When 53% of users tend to abandon a site if it takes over 3 seconds to load, PWAs are of utmost importance.
If businesses aim to bring down long-term costs and combat poor mobile experience, they must upgrade to PWAs. Improved performance (as against traditional websites), simplified communication with customers, and elimination of overhead are just some of PWA adoption benefits.
If you’re genuinely interested in providing a smooth user experience, then you should leverage the full potential of PWAs, and see the results for yourself.