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Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are apps, often built with modern APIs, that act as a lightweight website that can be stored on your home screen with a single code base. They can be used both online and offline, on any device, at any time. The way in which PWAs are built allows developers to provide enhanced capabilities, reliability, and install-ability.
When starting to build you own PWA, you need a server with a HTTPs connection for security, an application shell that is the skeleton of your user interface which allows the site to be cached to keep the web app running when offline, a JSON file for app functionality and aesthetics, and an icon to click on.
The capabilities of a progressive web app are essentially undistinguishable from a normal website application. They can enhance user experience by working in full screen mode, can be installed onto any device home screen, and can tap into device specific tools like push-notifications, location, camera, microphone, etc.
PWAs are built to be very fast and reliable no matter what network it is using. This massively impacts the user experience. The increased functionality and reliability of progressive web apps ensures that all animations, page speeds, buttons, scrolling features etc. perform smoothly.
PWAs are also much easier to install as they can be installed directly without having to go through an app store first. This quicker process decreases abandonment rates significantly. They are just one desktop icon click away; no need to be online and works with any browser and any device. But, as they do not need to be installed, the URL linked with PWAs for browsers makes them extremely shareable too.
AppInstitute found that PWAs were 15 times faster to load and install, the average load time was 2.75 seconds, and required 25 times less storage space.
PWA based apps also have less security shortfalls and are easier to see products and press buttons. Mobile websites can squish information and unfortunately have a 50% lower customer engagement rate than its web-based counterparts.
According to ‘Smashing Ideas’, companies like Lancôme and Twitter are great examples of businesses that have gained a significant increase in customer engagement since turning to Progressive Web Apps with Twitter gaining 25% more pages per session and Lacome gaining 53% more mobile sessions.
Native apps require a certain level of coding language and programming expertise. They also, often, require multiple versions of the app to suit multiple devices. Then there will be a need for constant maintenance for any necessary app updates while PWAs update automatically. All these elements together would take up a lot of time and rack up higher costs than would be needed for a PWA.
PWAs are on a single code base and often not made from scratch as they can be configured from your existing website. This means that they work on multiple platforms without so much effort or costs.
Furthermore, the fact that PWAs have a URL that can be used in any browser, your app gains all the benefits of SEO. With 43% of all eCommerce traffic coming from organic searches, having your app indexed and optimised is nothing to be scoffed at.
The TOP 30 PWAs report found that, because of the many benefits of PWAs, the average conversion rates were 36% higher than that of native mobile apps.
PWAs are more secure because they run on HTTPS. As these protocols are encrypted end- to - end there is less risk off interception or tampering. Meanwhile, native apps require various added security measures like two step authentications.
The installation process, as mentioned before, is also much quicker as you do not have to go through an app store to do so.
As time goes on, PWAs are becoming more and more popular. Therefore, if you are now considering a PWA for your business, but you do not know where to begin, then our web design team can help you out! Contact us here if you want to get in touch.
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