Progressive Web App development : Course

Given that Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, contain features of both websites and pure native apps, they keep one step ahead. As applications that are downloaded from the Internet, progressive web apps are easy for users to access and for devices to get them running. They work across all kinds of devices and platforms as distinct from the OS-specific native applications.

Progressive

Besides, if the current trend continues, users will spend progressively less and less time on mobile apps or searching for new ones. Yet, we must admit that opening a page to start browsing the web, we often find ourselves going down the rabbit hole. That is exactly the point where businesses making use of modern web technologies may take advantage of an opportunity and start working on their first progressive web app. Therefore, why not make an effort to create an app-like experience as long as the IT industry offers it?

Benefits of Progressive Web Apps

Before diving into PWA development (actually, into any new type of software development), as a rule, one is wondering in what way to benefit from it. It is important to consider the pros and cons of PWA yet before you start. Although a thorough investigation of the issue may make things clear, it is usually preceded by certain expectations regarding the potential benefits. So, how many of them are met in the case of progressive web development?

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1. Reduced friction.

Any hint of friction and users’ attention is distracted. Smart businesses should avoid it at any point of customers’ interaction with their product. Nobody likes waiting in line. It is the same with e-services. Delivering them, a provider must know that fast-loading pages are the key.

The global developer community truly believes in the PWA’s success. Google even published a checklist to follow in pursuit of building an application whose feel would be fast and fluid. They explain there how to improve those points that are beyond the Lighthouse’s scope.

2. Extensive availability.

We are spoilt with all the modern amenities. PWAs, unlike native applications, are accessed on any OS and on any device, on an unreliable network or even offline. This gives us as users the feeling of inner peace, which is generated from the certainty. It is all but certain that a PWA will be available anyway.

Many places, formerly occupied by mobile apps only, are hosting PWAs now. Besides, the progressiveness is the key to creating a feature-complete website version, to creating a PWA site. Consequently, when you are browsing web pages on your smartphone, you can enjoy more than their standard limited functionality.

3. Ultimate user experience.

Everybody who has ever double-clicked the Internet browser icon knows full well what bad user experience is. Imagine you click a button on website X, wait, and… nothing happens. It is not a perfect scenario, for sure. Ideally, users should not notice that the action is going through several stages when being completed. It must be instant. But trying to be productive and fast while dealing with the mobile web is still often a thankless job. This is how you might be missing out on potential customers and decreasing conversions.

How a PWA works

The beauty of a PWA technology is that it serves as a means for building apps that at the same time unites the best of what the web and OS-specific apps have. The concepts to focus on here are speed, integration, reliability, and engagement. But how can you bring them to fruition creating your very first progressive web app? What are these ‘lightweight web pages’ like in action? How to use a PWA?

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How to build a Progressive Web App

Now that there is no doubt left as for why creating a PWA is a good idea, let’s consider how exactly it can be done so that to be able to naturally go over to the question of how to implement a PWA. These are some basic points to emphasize:

1. Service worker. Just as every house has its solid foundation, so PWAs’ basis is SW. It stands behind nearly all the above capabilities. Traditionally, every request a client makes must go to the network. It involves waiting. Moreover, if the network fails, repairing a connection may take long, not to mention the risk of losing data. In the case of PWAs, users’ requests go to SW first. Once all needed resources are cached to be used when necessary, SW redirects the requests to either of the two destinations: to the cache storage(if this is the first time the page is being reached) or to the network directly. So, creating a service worker by writing a JavaScript code is the initial step.

2. Secure connections. Ensuring security is the only possible course of action. The SSL protocol must be used to transmit data of the app you are determined to deploy. Serving a site on HTTPS is an obligatory condition for SW registration.

3. CacheStorage API. For instance, if you come up with a list of URLs to be cached, a SW will send them to CacheStorage instead of forwarding to the HTTP browser cache. API helps to find a place to store information from web pages on users’ mobile devices or desktops which allows viewing them offline thereafter.

4. An application shell architecture. After the web page is transformed into its lightweight version, it gets cached. With an app shell architecture, the page is presented as a ‘shell’ to be filled with content once the network allows doing so. All the user needs to do to have the basic interface elements load speed boosted is to visit the website.

Conclusion

Breaking into with a new app is known to be challenging and no doubt costly. In fact, when choosing the PWA approach, you do not need to go out of your way.

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