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What are Progressive Web Apps?

Tips From Professional Web Developers

A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a website with additional, more app-like capabilities than a traditional website. These capabilities include the ability to work offline and to send push notifications. With a PWA, users can access all these features through their standard web browser.

There are specific Requirements to be considered with a Progressive Web App. It must be able to run on any browser and in any form, whether it be a smartphone, desktop, laptop, or tablet. Progressive Web Apps must be accessible through a secure URL and are always run through an HTTPS. Finally, they must be app-like and downloadable, while maintaining the regular engaging updates expected of a website.

Benefits of Using a PWA

App developers at Google have come up with a handy acronym for the benefits of using a PWA: FIRE–Fast, Integrated, Reliable, and Engaging.

Since they do not need a steady internet connection to function, PWAs are usable in areas with limited or no internet connectivity. That may be on an airplane or a remote mountaintop–as long as the user had an internet connection when they first engaged with the PWA.

PWAs are helpful because they are ultimately a Faster and More User-friendly experience, similar to accessing the website on a computer, but with a quicker load time and without using as much bandwidth, plus have the ease of use of native apps. They are also Discoverable on Search Engines, which can help reach more potential customers or users. Because the PWA is located at a web address, it is also easier for users to share with each other via a URL, while still being downloadable and more accessible–this provides excellent potential for them to go viral.

Drawbacks of Using a PWA

Like all browser-based technology, PWAs are limited by the browser the user has available. App developers need to keep in mind some browsers, even the latest ones, may not support all of a PWA’s functionalities. The user can still receive the bulk of the information available on the website, and the same level of security, but will miss out on the higher-level features, and it may not work offline. 

Best Practices for Progressive Web Apps

Designing a PWA requires multiple areas of focus for App Developers. The secure website needs to be able to function across browsers and needs to load quickly, even in slow network areas. Universality is essential.

One of the most important functions of PWAs is that they must be progressive–that is, making the experience of using the PWA exciting and taking advantage of the most modern capabilities, while remaining functional on older browsers.

The Benefits of integrating the Best Features of the Web with the best features of a Native App are often worth the extra work setup requires. Once the web and downloadable features are established, the upkeep is minimal as long as there is new content and features are distributed  regularly to keep users engaged. Contact Agency Partner today to discuss how we can help you get the most out of PWAs.

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