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Web Development

Guide to Progressive Web Apps

Back in 2015 when Google introduced ‘Progressive Web Application’ (PWA), not even the developer ‘Alex Russel’ and Designer ‘Frances Berriman’ knew that it would become the future of the website. However, Progressive Web Applications are just a website that looks and feels like a mobile application. Credit goes to modern technology. 

More or less, it means that users can browse web applications by using a URL just like they do with any website, but right at the moment they land on the page they will be able to feel the experience of using a mobile application. The basic idea of Progressive Web Applications is to combine the discoverability of web apps with the power of native mobile apps. As an end-user, you browse to a Progressive Web App just like you would browse to any other website. Users can experience any website as a mobile app without actually downloading and installing it on their mobile phone. Isn’t it fascinating? Of course, it is and this is what technology brings.

Have you tried opening PWA in your browser ? If not , go ahead and click on any of these links : Instagram , Pinterest , Starbucks

Notice the “Add <website name> to Home screen” popping up ? This is how you can know the site you are in is a Progressive Web Application (PWA). Go ahead and click the button and add them to your home screen. 

After the site is added to your home screen, an icon will show up just like if you had downloaded the app and installed it on your device. When you click on the icon and open up the app, you will see a splash screen just like a mobile app. And the web will load up and you can use the app just like a normal app. You haven’t downloaded or installed anything but you have a website working like an app on your phone , this is Progressive Web Application (PWA).

Pintrest PWA

Starbucks PWA

Instagram PWA

Get the whole concept clear: It is a “website” but it can be added to the home screen where it can be used as a mobile app. It is not limited to mobile phones only.  Barring its ultimate features, this technology can be experienced on a desktop as well. This is so smooth that you wouldn’t even come to know about things happening in your browser. Whether you want to browse for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Tinder, Congratulations PWA has borough your mobile on your laptop or desktop. Instagram and Twitter are some famous PWA websites. 

Service Worker

A service worker is a proxy in between the website and the network. We can control the network. We can control incoming and outgoing network requests. In case of failure, we can decide to serve another document or something from the cache. With service workers, developers have greater control over the network. It serves as a background thread for the web.

Service Worker is an amazing part of the progressive web application that enables and pushes notifications away along with refreshing the cache which ultimately boosts the loading speed of a website. We can even show a custom offline page when the site detects that a user’s network connection is down.

Web App Manifest

A JSON file that explains to the browser what kind of app is this. What is the name of the app, where is the icon, what is the theme color, etc.

PWA Frameworks

There are a number of frameworks that can be used to create Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Well, some ask “can I make my WordPress site into PWA ?”. Well, you can but the problem is, when users access the PWA after adding in their home screen , they can see the chrome top bar. 

The site you are in right now is a WordPress site which is also a PWA.

The Chrome top bar does not quite give users the best experience. That is why there are a number of frameworks which can give the best for PWAs.

Angular.js

Official Site : https://angular.io/

Who is using Angular : The Gurdian , Lego , jetBlue , iStock Photo , Upwork , Netflix , Freelancer , Forbes , Rockstar Games  

React

Official Site : https://reactjs.org/

Who is using React : Weather , Paypal , Instagram , Yahoo Mail , BBC , Udemy , imdb , CodeAcademy , Atlassian , AirBnB , Asana , Bleacher Report , Flipboard , imgurProduct hunt , Khan Academy , Scribd , Squarespace

Vue.Js

Official Site : https://vuejs.org/

Who is using Vue : Behance , Gitlab , Nintendo , Louis Vuitton 

Polymer

Official Site : https://www.polymer-project.org/

Who is using Polymer : Repods , Marktplaats 

Suggested Read:

Native, React-native or PWA, what should I choose?!

Why Progressive Web Applications the future of web ?

Besides its feature of apps like websites, PWA is renowned for its speed and user experience. And there is no doubt in saying that Progressive web applications are the future of websites. Just because everyone loves this feature but also for its low loading time and other magnificent advantages. 

Whether you have an e-commerce website or just a service page, the speed of your website really matters. Leading SEO blog ‘Search Engine Journal’ said 60% of users left a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Even if the page loads in less than 3 Sec then users expect it to be fast and friendly. Also, the search engine ‘Google’ hates slow websites with junky content.

In addition to its service worker feature, progressive web applications take less time to load than other websites, and also the app-like design engages the users. PWAs reduce extra cache and loading time too. These applications perform better than traditional web applications.

List of Progressive Web Apps  :

Flipboard

AliexpressFlipkart

Trivago

9gag

Forbes

Alibaba

Housing

Spotify

Tinder

Telegram

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