Progressive web apps do not require a download, installation, or registration on a users’ device. Read this blog to know how to build a progressive web app.
Many different companies have begun switching to progressive web apps in recent years due to their relatively reliable and engaging experience than native apps. PWAs offer an integrated mobile experience to the users. But you cannot consider them as the replacement of the native apps for more companies.
Native apps are equally good and engaging, but as far as the mobile web implementations are concerned, many companies still prefer PWAs. The PWAs proffer an app-like experience to the users. The users get the chance to work offline and can view the cached content. Also, they can receive notifications.
What benefits do users procure :
Image via NotifyVisitors
- PWAs offer a convenient speed, the ability to work offline, and accessibility directly from the browser.
- Users can add them to the Home screen of the devices similar to a native app.
- These apps are much lighter than the native apps, and users do not have to install them specifically. PWAs do need some space on your devices but not as much as the native apps.
- These apps have a short loading time.
- They give you instant updates and work in poor network conditions as well.
What Is The Definition Of PWA :
There are many sites online, which are Progressive Web Apps. for example- twitter.com and pininterest.com. They perform similar to the native apps. You can run them from an iPhone or an Android smartphone. You can log in, and you are good to go!
Features of PWA :
- Reliable: They load instantly and work even in haywire network connections.
- Faster: They respond quickly to the users’ interactions with smooth animations.
- Engaging: They feel like a natural app on the device with engaging user experience.
What Are The Components Of PWA :
PWA consists of the following components :
- Manifest: This component defines how the user will interact with the application and how you will launch it. You can view the app’s metadata, such as the starting URL, link icons, and splash screen.
- Service workers: They enable offline work mode that means users can work offline. The storage APIs allow the users to pre-caching of the content.
Note: A service worker is a separate script from the web page, and a browser can run them in the background.
A service worker provides these features :
- The intercept HTTP/HTTPs request enables the serving of data from a local data store or network.
- You can handle the push notifications by implementing hooks into the underlying operating system, consequently enabling response to the operating system’s events.
- Service workers can handle the background events enabling offline work.
- Application shell architecture: The application shell is not mandatory, but it is the recommended way to build PWAs. This shell is in itself responsible for allowing the application to run even if connectivity is not there. It separates the dynamic and static content.
Read below the google developer guidelines for the application shell :
- The app shell should load faster.
- You have to use as little data as possible.
- You can use static assets from a local cache.
- You can separate the content from the navigation.
- You can hide or display the page-specific content.
Most of the time, PWAs are built using the application shell architecture. You need a blend of SSR and CSR to make an app shell. You can use streams API as well to create a PWA.
How To Build A Progressive Web App With App Builder :
I hope by now, you might be familiar with the fundamentals of PWAs; let us now know how to make one from scratch.
You might have faced many challenges and issues while choosing a tech stack that enables you to manifest all your goals for delivering a better user experience. In such a scenario, A PWA app builder is a great choice, to begin with!
Below are the tools to create a PWA app :
- Lit-element: You can choose the lit-element as the web framework of choice to fulfill the performance requirements and provide a great user experience. This element conjures all the benefits of using web components, including the bundle size. You can build PWAs with the lit-elements to provide a faster, smoother experience for the users, which will go a long way in terms of battery life and memory usage.
- Roll-ups: You can choose roll-ups as the bundler for creating PWAs. Roll-ups make the work pretty much easier with standard es-modules and web standards.
You can use “await import” my module (A web standard syntax for dynamic imports) and roll up knows how to bundle this in the right way.
- Typescript: It would be quite easy to use TYPESCRIPT in the default. Typescript enhances the user experience of lit-element even more.
- Workbox: You can make heavy use of the workbox for the available service workers on the PWA builder. The workbox enables PWA to work offline, load much faster and the PWA apps require no extra effort from the developer.
Apart from these tools, you can employ the below steps to create a PWA app:
- Create a basic website: You need a website to create a PWA. You can begin it from scratch, or you can download a template. Replace the content in index.html and modify the colors using CSS. You have your website ready to turn into a progressive web app.
- Create an app icon to the home screen: You require an app icon for PWA. Create your logo or download free ones from online sources. The logo must be at least 144 pixels resolution. Once you create the icon, you can download it and add HTML code to the <head> index.html file. Remember that the path to this file must be correct.
- Create and register Web App Manifest: Web app manifest is a crucial step in creating a PWA. This file contains the websites’ data. You can create one or use a web app manifest generator to fill in the data.
- Add to the home screen: A user can install the application on their device by adding the Home screen dialog (A2HS). You also need to serve the app through a secure HTTPS connection. Once you fulfill all the requirements, the browser will display the A2HS dialog, such as popup and other options.
Note: Once you add the app to the home screen, the PWA will appear like a native app.
PWAs are, therefore, a powerful tool for creating modern web applications. All you need is a great PWA app builder!