progressive web app features
2021 23 Aug

Progressive Web App Core Features: The Future of Web Development

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) have become the new era for mobile web as most users stay connected 24*7 using a smartphone. Popular brands like Pinterest, Twitter, and Starbucks have reported an increase in the user engagement level. Why PWA rocks? What are their core features. In this article, we have mentioned key Progressive Web App features that make it the future of web development.

There has been an increase in the number of mobile web users. It has made companies make positive changes to their online strategies. With many users accessing your website through their smartphones, you must utilize the latest technologies to improve outreach to your audience. There is a need to focus on the performance of your online assets and ensure that your audience has an excellent experience when they visit your website.

There has been an increase in the use of Progressive Web Apps by renowned brands and combines the best practices of native apps and web solutions. PWA is created using a web stack with unique features and excellent user experience usually associated with native applications. This article will discuss the progressive web app features and the associated benefits.

Critical components of a PWA

The Shell Architecture

The maintenance of PWAs involves the separation of the dynamic and static content. Using an application shell architecture can help cover the core elements of the design and make the application sprint up. It works well with apps having changing content and stable navigation.

Manifest JSON

This component acts as the central place to store the metadata of the PWA. It can include the URL for launching the application, its name, the icon on the home screen, etc. It allows the developer to customize how the app will be shown to the user. The developer can have complete control over the appearance of the application. Like native applications, the developer can customize splash screens too.

Service Worker

It is JavaScript that runs separately from the application and can respond to the user interactions from the pages it serves. It allows the caching of an application shell and loads the data instantly when the user visits again. The dynamic content refreshes again when the connection to the application is back. It also helps in providing an exceptional user experience and improved performance of the app.

In addition, it helps in background synchronization that is necessary till the connections are back. The servers can send updates once the link is back. It can also send push notifications when the browser isn't working.

The Use of TLS Protocol

Security is among the critical PWA features, and the application should be accessed over the TLS protocol. It will require you to install an SSL certificate that happens to be a prerequisite to work on a PWA. This will form a secure and encrypted connection between two entities. It will also ensure the integrity of the data and the authenticity of the connection being established.

Few Critical Progressive Web App Features

More Features than a Responsive Website

Responsive websites are a necessity as they score SEO brownie points. It also helps to enhance user experience and can be viewed seamlessly over all devices. It can provide app-like features too. The PWA has specific characteristics and does more than your responsive website. It includes features like allowing push notifications and offline capabilities like serving offline content and providing a faster cache mechanism.

Improved Performance

When the service workers are registered, it allows you to control what is being cached entirely. It ensures an enhanced user experience for your audience. Research has shown that first paint improves with a PWA and provides an instantaneous experience for visitors. The benefit is not as pronounced for mobile users as the service worker threads are not so optimized.

Browser Compatibility

As these applications are built on the principles of progressive enhancement, they can provide the content without any bias for the type of connection or the browsers used. The use of PWAs can provide sophisticated versions of the web pages to the latest browsers versions. The PWAs can be compatible with any device, and your audience can have a unique experience regardless of the device they use.

Easy Access

The PWAs utilize features that are like both mobile apps and web apps. One of the significant benefits of PWAs is that they do not require publication on app stores. They are readily available through search engines and also sharable through a URL. The installation is simple too, and you can visit the site and install it on the device screen. They come with automated updates and can be found easily too.

A Mobile-First Approach

It is necessary to offer a seamless experience across all devices that ensures a higher ranking during a keyword search. The features of progressive web apps can be built with ease and combine the benefits of a native app and a website at low costs. They allow work offline and ensure optimal experience on the devices on which the website is loaded. It does not stop providing a great website but ensures the ideal visitor experience who look forward to revisiting your website.

Easy Installation

One of the critical PWA features is that they do not require publication on the app stores. Instead, one can readily browse the websites through search engines. In addition, they can be easily accessible by installing them onto your device. Hence, it can reduce the cost of developing expensive mobile apps.

Apart from being serviced through web browsers, it can work on smartphones too through web browsers. No lag time is required to get the app published in the store. They are easily installable on the device by clicking on the "Install" button. It will load the application onto the home screen, and the user can readily visit it by clicking on the icon.

Benefits of using PWAs

Score SEO Brownie Points

It is necessary to rank higher during a keyword search. One of the essential keywords ranking parameters is to have a responsive website. It is among the crucial progressive web app features, and you can ensure cross-browser support too. The apps can load fast even on 3G devices, provide enhanced user experience, and load offline.

Users engage more with PWAs

Studies show that users move the most used apps to the home screen. Hence, the PWAs can readily compete with the native apps and gain more eyeball share too. The simplicity of accessing it coupled with the fact that it loads fast ensures more engagement by the users. The push notifications also enhance usage and distribution than the native mobile apps. Various industry behemoths and e-commerce brands have benefitted from the use of PWAs.

Savings in Development Costs

It is a fact that mobile applications have a tremendous associated cost. Moreover, there is also a cost associated with publishing the apps onto the app store. The use of PWAs minimizes the costs associated with designing a mobile application. Most developers use a web stack in the development of the PWAs. Hence, it leads to reduced cost and effort in developing the PWAs. Moreover, you do not need to create an app for multiple platforms. A single progressive app can work well on all platforms.

Hardware integration

The web also allows hardware integration features, and there are several modern APIs that you can build into web applications. In addition, you can include several next-gen progressive web app features like real-time camera, geo-location, biometric authentication, payments, motion sensors, etc. Thus, it makes the PWA a cheaper option than developing a native app.

Conclusion

As the competition between brands increases, they are always looking out for optimal ways to increase conversions. There are various options available, but Progressive Web Apps offer a cheaper and more feasible option. As a result, they can improve SEO brownie points while ensuring an improved user experience.

It is advisable to undertake discussions with an industry leader who can help you finalize the features that would be beneficial for your business. Our team of experts has immense experience in developing such applications for renowned brands cutting across multiple industries. In addition, we can understand your workflows and the goals and objectives you have from the PWAs. We are just a phone call away.

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