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What are Progressive Web Apps and why they are important?

Introduction
Progressive web apps are a relatively new, however popular concept in the Information Technology fraternity. So, while building for the web, considering PWA is a worthwhile decision.
In this article, we will understand the Progressive Web Apps (PWA) basics, PWA features, and importance.

What is a Progressive Web App?

A Progressive Web App abbreviated as PWA is a term used to underline a new software development methodology. PWAs utilize modern web capabilities on web pages to deliver a modern app-like experience. They typically progress from being regular web pages to impressive, top-level apps – ensuring enriched user experience.
Simply put, Progressive Web Apps combine the best of both worlds – websites and mobile apps!
You might ask, how does a progressive web app do it? How does it ensure that the web page you see on your preferred browser progresses to offer a mobile app like interface?
It happens with the following PWA specific features:

Security contexts (HTTPS):

Security is the foundation of Progressive web apps. Serving the web application over a secured network establishes the web application as a trusted site. It plays a vital role when users are to perform secure transactions.
To make service workers available, it’s the foremost step to load the PWA using https.
Service workers:
Progressive Web Apps deliver what users really want – speed, performance and ease of access. Service workers are responsible for achieving these characteristics for a PWA. A service worker is a script that runs in the background, separate from the web page. It controls how the browser handles its network requests and enables intelligent asset caching. Furthermore, it facilitates background content updating and offline functionality (after the first load, the previously visited websites/apps will run faster even on fluctuating network connection) among other efficiency contributors.

Manifest files:

These are generally a JSON file that contains the PWA name, its start URL, icons and other details required for delivering the distinct app-like experience on the web page. In simple terms, the manifest files control the appearance of the app and ensure that the PWA is discoverable.

Quick summary:

With these features, Progressive Web Apps provide:
Speed: WPA ensures speed with swift animation, Glitch free scrolling, seamless interface and effective navigation
Reliability: WPA ensures Reliability with fast loading and offline functionality.
Performance: WPA ensures performance with speed, authenticity and the highly impressive app like web pages.
UK clothing brand George recorded 31% increase in conversion, 2x lower bounce rate and 20% page views after upgrading to PWA – PWA stats

Importance of PWA:

Progressive web apps act as a bridge that leads from discovery to conversion. A PWA starts as a simple web page in a browser and prompts users to add it to their home screen. It conveniently eliminates the steps involved after discovering a brand and searching the app and downloading it. Progressive Web Apps serve as a competitive technology for conversion.
Progressive Web Apps are shaping the future web, and the following three factors validate the importance of PWA.
Reach: Hundreds of millions of active users are there on mobile, and the number is consistently increasing. Similarly, the mobile web audience has grown exponentially and will continue to grow. If mobile web users are catered with great experience, they will stick around. Progressive Web Apps could reach millions of users through desktop and mobile web.
Acquisition: users can discover websites quite easily as compared to native apps. The user acquisition cost for the web is way cheaper than that of apps. With the tremendous exposure, PWAs are likely to obtain a large user base at negligible cost, unlike apps.
Conversion: A smooth User interface helps stay users onboard, and seamless, end to end, highly interactive user experience helps to convert – this is what works with Progressive Web Apps. They are fast, deliver high-end UI and even offer offline functionality – together it results in improving conversion rate.
With remarkable results at competitive costing, Progressive Web Apps will be getting dice rolling for many businesses

Conclusion:

PWA is a breakthrough in software development for the web. Progressive web apps are truly progressive as they bridge the gap between the websites and native apps. PWAs are a means through which users experience highly interactive web apps that render mobile-app like environment. They are credible in user onboarding and achieving conversions.
IF you are to address the web with the latest tech, PWAs are a must.
WaysNX Technologies can provide you all-round assistance in launching really-good PWAs that don’t just engage but also convert!
Get in touch with us today.

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