Progressive Web App

Progressive Web App.

A web platform that behaves like an app

Mobile is increasingly popular across the board. And since your target group is no exception, your online platform needs to work on all devices. Responsive websites that automatically adapt to the size of the screen have been standard for some time. A progressive web app (PWA) is even more responsive and behaves more like an app: it is mobile friendly, can make use of smartphone features, and can even be accessed offline. Here we explore the benefits and explain why you need to add a progressive web app to your digital marketing mix.

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A progressive web app:

  • Is mobile-friendly and responsive and works on any device
  • Allows users to access your content from anywhere
  • Enables use of smartphone features such as QR and NFC, push notifications, location services and camera
  • Increases your online visibility and use search engine optimization
  • Can be updated from anywhere anytime without inconveniencing users
Progressive web app for any device

What is a PWA?

A progressive web app (PWA) is a mobile website that behaves like an app and enables use of smartphone features such as NFC, camera, push notifications and offline mode. It is accessed through your browser but has the look and feel of a native app downloaded from the app store.

A progressive web app is a more advanced version of a mobile website and has the following features:

  • Progressive enhancement
  • Responsive design
  • Offline functionality
  • App-like interaction
  • Always up to date
  • Re-engagement
  • Installability
  • Security protocols
  • Findability
PWA vs native app

PWAs versus native apps.

First, let’s look at how PWAs differ from native apps. A progressive web app is basically a website that behaves like a mobile app, whereas a native app is a standalone program that has to be downloaded and installed on a device.

A native app is essentially a piece of software that is stored and run on a user’s device. It has to be installed and updated by the user. A PWA on the other hand is accessed through a web browser, so users do not have to install or update it. And the benefits don’t stop there. 

When creating a native app, you have to decide if you are going to develop it for iOS, Android or both. When building a PWA, this is not something you need to consider. Since it is accessed through a web browser, you don’t have to decide which operating system to use. A PWA works on any platform, device, operating system and browser. So users can access your content without any difficulty.

Learn more about how the PWA and native app differ from one another

Discover PWA vs native

A PWA is progressive

Progressive enhancement.

The main disadvantage of native apps is that they are generally only available on one platform. PWAs do not have this drawback: progressive web technology ensures that they work on all platforms. First, the app loads essential content then adds more layers and functionalities depending on the browser used to view it and the quality of the  internet connection. So PWAs are compatible with all operating systems though some older browsers may show only essential content.

PWA is responsive

responsive webdesign.

Besides working on all operating systems, PWAs are also designed to work well on any device, with responsive design that automatically adapts to the size of the screen. No need to zoom in and out, no unreadable text and no links too close together. A PWA ensures that your website works seamlessly and looks great on any device: desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile.

Progressive web app can be used offline

Offline functionality.

Without internet, it is difficult if not impossible to visit a website, but you can still use any native apps installed on your device. A PWA ensures that your website also works offline! Service workers enable PWA websites to be used offline by caching data so it can be accessed when there is no internet connection.

App-like interaction.

To give users the best possible online experience, a PWA website should look and feel like a mobile app. To achieve this, you need to add app-like features to your web app, such as a loading icon, animated transitions and swiping to reveal the menu and scroll through photos.

Use mobile functionalities with a PWA

Smartphone features.

Today's smartphones are increasingly sophisticated. A PWA enables use of the latest smartphone features such as GPS, a camera, QR scanner and NFC.

a PWA is always up to date

Always up to date.

Native apps have to be updated by the user, but PWAs are updated on use, so users automatically get the latest version. Developers can update and add new functionality whenever they want. When users open the app, they get the latest enhancements without having to install an update. This also means that security updates are automatically applied in the background.

Re-engage your PWA users with notifications

Re-engage your web visitors.

PWAs can send push notifications to keep users coming back. You can arrange for notifications to be sent when you post a news item or answer a question in the chat, and when products are available for purchase. This helps maximise use of your app and improves the quality of your leads.

Add the PWA to your home screen

One click away from the home screen.

A PWA can be added to a smartphone home screen just like a native app. This enables users to access your content faster and more easily. Talk about a seamless experience!

PWA is always secure

Security protocols.

Your PWA is a highly secure platform. An SSL certificate assures users that their data is safe, and the MODX content management system ensures that the backend of your web app can only be accessed, edited and managed by authenticated users.

PWAs are findable in search engines

Easy to find and share.

Unlike the content of native apps, PWAs can be easily indexed by search engines. This makes it easy for users looking for your content or specific characteristics of your PWA to find you through Google and other search engines. And since a PWA has a unique URL, it is also easier to share.

Want to Get Started with Mobile?

Would you like to know more about the potential of Progressive Web Apps for your company? We have plenty more to tell about PWAs, so please feel free to contact us! Or just schedule a meeting/call with Monique.

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