Progressive Web App – a whim or a necessity?

What is a Progressive Web App (PWA)?

What does PWA mean and why is it important to enforce this technology on our sites? Website development has changed a lot in recent years, users have begun to expect everything to work quickly and not see the click “effect” and a few seconds of waiting. The problem is that the changes in download speeds that sites have begun to make on the desktop do not reflect so well on mobile devices.

Users currently use mobile devices more than computers, and this has been the case for more than four years. According to data from Comscore Mobile Metrix, 87% of the time users use applications against only 13% on the web.

Let’s see why:

  • Apps are more predictable
  • Users have easy access from the phone screen through the app icon
  • There are push notifications to reengage users with personalized content that bring them back

But does that mean we all need to start making applications and abandon the web? Of course not!

78% of the total time the user spends in applications, he uses a maximum of 3 of them. Again, according to a study by Comscore Mobile Metrix, the average user download zero apps per month. On the other hand, it entered over 100 sites during this period.

Apps load faster, can work offline, display notifications, are more secure, and have access to phone features such as camera, microphone, etc. However, there are limits because they require different versions for each platform. The idea of PWA is to combine the performance of applications, and to keep mobile web access.

The main goal of Progressive Web Apps is to work fast, to look more integrated with mobile devices, to be more reliable and applicable.

Users expect the site to run fast and scroll smoothly without any problems. If the site loads for more than 3 seconds, you will lose 57% of your traffic. The site should provide the feeling of a mobile application, you should not deprive users of features that can be seen in the apps. PWA uses so-called offline storage to make sure your web app never looks offline to your users. Applicability and accessibility are also at the heart of Progressive Web Apps. The design and arrangement of elements should make everything as simple as possible for users.

How does PWA work when there is no internet?

Meet the service worker. This is Javascript, which runs separately from the main function of the browser, intercepting network requests, caching or retrieving resources from the cache, and providing push notifications. In short, the service worker is javascript, which takes care of you when the site is not accessible by the browser.

What are the benefits of PWA: 

  • A decrease in loading times after the app has been installed, thanks to caching with service workers
  • The ability to update only the content that has changed when an app update is available
  • More integrated look with the native platform
  • Re-engaging with users through the use of push messages leads to better conversion rates
  • Users spending more time on your service
  • Reduced bounce rates for your leads
  • More returning visitors

How can we know a website is a PWA?

Every website and online store can be tested with the chrome tool: Lighthouse PWA Analysis Tool

You can see successful examples of PWA on Twitter, Tui, Trivago, Guardian, Independent, Forbes, Terra, Gumtree, Wego, Airberlin, Nivea, CNN, Konga, Alibaba and Flipkart.