What is PWA (Progressive Web App)- Examples, Features and Importance

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Last updated on March 26th, 2024 at 06:57 am

Do you want to know “What is Progressive Web App PWA”?

Imagine you have a favourite app on your phone, and you wish the same seamless experience when you visit a website.

PWAs are websites that behave like apps.

They load quickly, even when your internet connection isn’t perfect, and they give you an app-like experience right in your browser.

Websites with PWA features can load up to 15 times faster than regular websites.

Studies show that the average user bounces off a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. PWAs help keep users engaged.

Did you know businesses have reported up to a 68% increase in user engagement after switching to PWAs?

What exactly is a Progressive Web App PWA?

pwa progressive web apps

Think of a PWA like a superhero version of a regular website.

It’s a website that acts and feels like a mobile app, giving you a smoother and more app-like experience when you visit it on your phone or computer.

PWAs use special technology to load quickly, work offline, and even send you notifications, just like your favourite apps.

Example of Progressive Web App PWA

Ever used Twitter (X) on your phone’s browser and felt like you were actually using the Twitter (X) app?

That’s a PWA in action!

Twitter’s (X) mobile website is a PWA.

It loads fast, works even if you’re offline, and feels very much like the actual Twitter app.

And get this: PWAs can be pretty powerful.

Forbes saw a 43% increase in sessions per user and a 100% engagement increase after turning their mobile site into a PWA.

That’s like turning a regular website into a turbocharged version, making users happier and more engaged!

How is PWA Different from the Native App?

1. Download

Imagine you want a new app for your phone.

With native apps, you go to the app store, hit download, and wait.

But with Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), it’s like visiting a website – no need to download anything.

Just open your browser, visit the site, and voila!

53% of users abandon apps after just one download.

PWAs save the day by eliminating this hurdle.

2. Programming Language

Think of building apps like constructing a house.

Native apps use specific tools and materials (programming languages like Swift or Java).

On the other hand, PWAs use more common tools (like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript).

It’s like using materials found in many houses, making it easier and faster to build.

This versatility is why 87% of developers prefer PWAs.

3. Limitations

Picture native apps as luxury cars – powerful, but expensive and sometimes tricky to maintain.

PWAs, on the other hand, are like reliable everyday cars – not as flashy, but more practical.

Native apps have limitations like different code for different platforms, but PWAs work on any device.

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Over 50% of users prefer mobile websites, and PWAs offer a seamless experience without the hassles of platform-specific issues.

4. Platform

Consider platforms like different types of game consoles.

Native apps are like games made exclusively for one console, while PWAs are like games that work on any console.

Native apps are built separately for iOS and Android, which can be time-consuming.

PWAs, however, run on any platform with a browser, saving developers from the hassle of making two versions.

This flexibility is why Twitter (X) saw a 65% increase in pages per session after switching to a PWA.

5. Time

Imagine you’re preparing dinner.

Native apps are like cooking two separate dishes for iOS and Android.

PWAs are like making one dish that everyone can enjoy.

Building native apps takes more time because developers must create and maintain two versions.

PWAs streamline the process, reducing development time.

Pinterest rebuilt its mobile site as a PWA and saw a 44% increase in user-generated ad revenue, proving that saving time can also mean making more money.

6. Cost

Think of app development like building a house.

Native apps are like constructing two houses on different plots.

PWAs are like building a duplex – one structure, shared resources.

Developing native apps costs more because it involves creating and maintaining separate versions.

PWAs cut costs since they work universally.

Tinder, for instance, reduced its development costs by 90% by switching to a PWA.

Cost savings make PWAs an attractive option for businesses looking to maximize their resources.

Features of Progressive Web App PWA

1. Reliable

Think of a reliable friend who is always there when you need them.

A reliable Progressive Web App is similar.

It works, even if your internet connection is a bit shaky.

Studies show that 53% of users abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

PWAs, being reliable, help reduce this number, ensuring users can access your app even in less-than-ideal network conditions.

2. Fast

Imagine waiting for an elevator versus taking the stairs.

Fast PWAs are like taking the stairs – quick and efficient.

A fast-loading website is crucial because 47% of users expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.

PWAs use smart techniques to load quickly, providing a smoother experience for users.

Faster loading times can lead to a happier and more engaged audience.

3. Responsive

Picture a friend who understands you no matter where you are or what device you’re using.

A responsive Progressive Web App is like that friend.

It adapts to different devices seamlessly, whether you’re on a phone, tablet, or desktop.

Did you know that 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing?

A responsive PWA ensures users have a consistent and enjoyable experience, regardless of the device they’re using.

4. Installable

Imagine turning your favourite website into an app on your phone’s home screen.

An installable Progressive Web App lets you do just that.

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It gives users the option to add the app to their home screen, making it easily accessible with a single tap.

This feature encourages users to engage with your site like they would with a native app.

Research shows that 50% of users prefer mobile apps over websites, making the installable feature a game-changer for user convenience.

5. Splash Screen

Think of a splash screen as the opening credits of a movie.

It’s the initial visual users see when they launch a Progressive Web App.

The splash screen creates a smooth transition, providing a more polished and immersive experience.

Research suggests that users form an opinion about a website in just 0.05 seconds.

A well-designed splash screen contributes to a positive first impression, setting the stage for an engaging interaction with your app.

6. Engageable

Imagine a friend who not only listens but also responds to your thoughts.

An engageable Progressive Web App does just that.

It allows for interactive and dynamic experiences, keeping users involved and interested.

Engageability is crucial because engaged users are more likely to convert.

In fact, engaged users are 87% more likely to make in-app purchases.

This feature enhances user satisfaction and encourages them to spend more time exploring and interacting with your app.

Importance of Progressive Web App PWA

1. App Store

Imagine having an app without going through the hassle of downloading it from an app store.

PWAs are like that – they work directly from your web browser, so there’s no need to visit an app store.

This is cool because studies show that users tend to abandon the idea of downloading an app if it takes too long, but PWAs eliminate that barrier.

2. Building

Building a traditional app for different platforms (like iOS and Android) can be like creating two completely different things.

But with PWAs, it’s like building one house that fits all weather conditions.

It’s more efficient because you don’t have to start from scratch for each platform.

Around 68% of users prefer experiences that work on both desktop and mobile – PWAs do exactly that.

3. Cheaper

Creating and maintaining apps can be expensive, especially if you’re doing it for multiple platforms.

PWAs cut costs because they share a lot of the same code between different devices and platforms.

On average, PWA development can cost up to 75% less than traditional app development.

4. Code-Base

Think of the code base as the blueprint for your app.

Traditional apps often require separate blueprints for iOS and Android, making things complex.

But with PWAs, it’s like having a universal blueprint that fits all devices.

This simplifies things for developers and ensures a more consistent experience.

About 56% of developers find maintaining a single code base for PWAs easier than managing different ones for each platform.

5. Responsive

PWAs are like chameleons – they adapt to different screens and devices seamlessly.

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Whether you’re using a phone, tablet, or desktop, the PWA adjusts to give you the best experience.

This is crucial because over 53% of web traffic comes from mobile devices, and a responsive design ensures that users on any device get a great experience.

6. Fast and Lightweight

Imagine using an app that loads super quickly and doesn’t eat up all your phone’s storage.

That’s what PWAs offer – they’re like speedsters of the internet.

Studies show that 53% of users will leave a mobile site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.

PWAs, being fast and lightweight, keep users engaged without the frustration of slow loading times.

7. No Money to Other Parties

Building and maintaining apps usually involves sharing a cut of your revenue with app stores.

PWAs bypass this – it’s like having a store without paying rent.

You get to keep all your hard-earned money.

This is especially great for businesses, considering that app stores can take up to a 30% cut from your earnings.

8. Offline Mode

Picture using an app even when you’re not connected to the internet.

PWAs make it possible – it’s like having your favourite game available even when the Wi-Fi is down.

About 37% of internet users expect websites to work just as well offline.

PWAs ensure your users can still access your content, making them more reliable.

9. Discoverable

Getting your app discovered in a sea of others can be tough.

PWAs, however, are like being a lighthouse in a storm – they’re easily discoverable through search engines.

Around 92% of all web traffic comes from organic search.

PWAs leverage this by making sure your content is more visible and accessible to users actively looking for it.

10. Push Notification

Imagine being alerted when something important happens, even if the app isn’t open.

PWAs offer push notifications – it’s like having a personal assistant that keeps you in the loop.

Studies show that push notifications can increase user engagement by up to 88%, ensuring that your users stay connected and informed.

11. Installation

Installing an app can sometimes feel like a commitment.

PWAs make it simpler – it’s like bookmarking a webpage.

Users can add your PWA to their home screen without the hassle of going through an app store.

This leads to a more straightforward installation process, increasing the likelihood that users will engage with your app.

Wrapping up – Progressive Web App PWA

PWA has many benefits, but native apps still provide more features.

PWA is good for normal sites, but if you want high-performance apps, it is best to go with native apps.

However, many companies convert their websites into PWA to gain more audience.

A progressive web app is also compatible with AMP pages.

You can use a plugin if you want to implement this with your AMP version of the site.