So, you know when you’re on Safari using your phone and right underneath the address bar is a pop-up saying “download our app from the app store”? So you follow the prompt, it takes you to the app store, you download the app, open it, etc. and then after a few minutes of waiting for it all to load you are back looking at the exact same thing in a slightly better version? I don’t think I’m alone here when I say that it is the most frustrating process! If a brand has a browsing version that is better for mobile, why not just make it easily available? That is where a Progressive Web App (PWA) comes into play. PWAs combine the benefits of the web and native mobile apps into one, and can be stored in an icon on your phone’s home screen. If you still aren’t buying it, keep reading to learn all about the benefits of a PWA.
Benefits of a PWA:
- No Download. A huge perk of using a PWA is that there is no download required. Since a PWA runs through the web there is no need to actually download the PWA, but you can install the PWA to your home screen and access it like you would a native mobile app. So that means no more searching through the app store, and waiting for an app to download. Plus, since there is no download PWAs take up significantly less space than native mobile apps so no need to purge all your apps just to clear up enough space to download something new.
- Speed. Speed is another great benefit to using a PWA. PWAs load quickly even when you are in low or no services areas (Thank you service workers). When a user is on a PWA, service workers are constantly working in the background to cache and store data so it will instantly reload the next time you access it.
- Mobile First. PWAs follow in line with the mobile-first mindset, a mindset that EVERYONE should adopt. PWAs take the web and think about how it can best provide a frictionless mobile experience to users. I’m sure you know how frustrating it is to go to a website on your phone and know that it was designed for desktop and desktop only. Like when you have to zoom all the way in to read just one word, and buttons are so small that you end up accidentally hitting three things with just one tap. Yeah it’s annoying. But, PWAs put mobile first and can solve that problem!
Benefits of PWA Builder:
Using a PWA builder will help you achieve a high-functioning PWA with all those benefits I just mentioned. If you use a PWA builder it will be like having a supportive friend helping you through the process, making sure you know what you are doing, and in the end giving you the best PWA possible! Here are some of the specific benefits:
- No Code Required. I’m going to repeat that again. No. Code. Required. This means anyone, including you, yes you, can be an app developer (or citizen developer as we like to say). There are many no code and low code PWA builders that offer platforms that require no prior coding knowledge, making it super easy to develop PWAs. If you were to bypass the PWA builder option, you would not have this same luxury.
- Templates. Next up, templates. PWA builders will provide you with a general outline of what your PWA should look like, suggested layouts, and page options to get you started. So, if you’re like me and would have no idea where to even start when building an app, a template will be your saving grace.
- Tutorials. If a template that tells you exactly where to put things isn’t enough, most PWA builders also offer tutorials that will walk you through the process, and teach you how to use all of the functions of the builder. Imagine how much time you will save using a PWA builder tutorial rather than trying to figure out what different icons mean and how different tools work.
- Tools. Finally, you will get access to a wide variety of PWA development tools to aid in the building process. Some of these tools are the templates and tutorials that will be offered, however, there will also be different features and components that you will have access to. These features and components will vary slightly between different builders depending on what PWA framework and PWA platform the builder is using. Lumavate, for example, incorporates some of the ionic framework into the platform, and therefore platform users have access to ionic web components. It is also more likely than not the PWA builder will offer more resources including blogs, articles, podcasts, webinars etc. that offer valuable info when breaking into the world of PWAs.