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Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

Progressive Web Apps
Progressive Web Apps

What are Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps are fast light weight web applications installed on the users home screen from the web browser.

PWA’s provide mobile app like features.

PWA’s enhance overall visitor experience just like native apps.

PWA’s are standalone apps in full screen mode.

With PWA’s, neither you need to download and install heavy apps from the app store (Google Play and iOS) nor have to update them at regular intervals.

To install PWA just open the website and add it to the home screen, if it has a PWA active.

Thus, PWA’s also save you lot of mobile data.

Components required to Convert Site to PWA

  • A website served over HTTPS.
  • A web app manifest file.
  • A service worker.

A service worker is a client side proxy which automatically caches pages in the background as you browse the website.

Some PWA’s also work without active internet connection, if enabled by the site owner.

Benefits of Installing PWAs

  • Saves power.
  • Saves RAM.
  • Saves CPU.
  • Saves data.
  • Saves storage space.
  • Made for speed.

Why Build PWA for Your Site

  • To provide native app like experience.
  • PWA’s are inexpensive to build that too in less time.
  • Not limited by hardware, memory or space constraint.
  • To give your website a permanent place on the visitors home screen.
  • Work reliably, irrespective of network state (online, offline) or speed (2G, 3G, 4G).
  • Faster initial as well as subsequent loads by consuming less data.
  • Easily discoverable by search engines.
  • Increase visitor engagement as well as time on site.
  • Ultimately improved conversion lead to increased sales for eCommerce sites.

How to Build PWA Online

PWA Pros

  • Quick and Fast.
  • Secure as served via HTTPS.
  • PWA’s provide an app like full screen experience.
  • Saves expensive mobile data by not having to install or update apps from the app store.
  • Saves precious storage space.
  • Location service is active only when you open an app and only to the site you have explicitly granted access permission.
  • A PWA can also send you push notifications.
  • Syncs updates in the background.
  • Share PWA by simply sending the URL.
  • Increases battery life.

PWA Cons

  • Currently PWA’s don’t work in Incognito mode.
  • PWA’s do not auto start on their own.
  • You need to delete browser cache data at regular intervals (weekly, monthly) depending on your internet usage.

How to Install PWA

  • PWAs can be installed from all browsers, mobile (Android, iOS) as well as desktop.
  • Visit any website.
  • Click the + sign on the address bar for all desktop based chromium browsers.
  • For Safari browser, click up arrow inside u to install PWA.
  • Select Install or Add to Home Screen from main menu for browsers on mobiles.

Settings for Optimal PWA Performance

  • For Firefox, go to Settings -> Clear Private Data -> Untick Offline web site data and Site settings.
  • For Chromium based web browsers like Brave and Chrome for mobile/tablet, go to Settings -> Privacy -> Clear Browsing Data -> untick Cookies and Site Data, Passwords and other Sign-in data, Site Settings, and Hosted App Data(desktop).

Best Global PWA’s

Best Indian PWA’s

PWA makes your WordPress faster for subsequent visits.

Moral of the Story

PWA are fast, light weight web applications which provide app like experience irrespective of network state while saving data with low battery consumption.

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