Answering all of your questions about PWA platforms and how they can impact your mobile marketing.

What is PWA Platform?

What is PWA Platform? 

There’s a big shift happening in mobile. Brands across the world are all switching to Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). What is a PWA? Good question! Hopefully, we can answer “What is PWA Platform” by saying PWAs are the perfect combination of everything you love about native mobile combined with all of the benefits of the web. A Progressive Web App is an app that utilizes web capabilities to create an outstanding web experience. These apps function just like normal apps, but they use websites for data storage and functionality, instead of the storage on your mobile device. That being said, compared with websites and native apps, PWAs are much more beneficial. So if you’re deciding between a PWA vs native mobile app, a PWA is the best choice for your needs. So if you’ve been asking yourself, “why web app?” now you should know what they can do for you!

In short, you build PWAs once and they work across all devices and form factors, which means there’s no specific PWA iOS requirements to worry about. Another great characteristic of PWAs is how users install PWA apps to their phone...well, to be technically accurate, PWAs aren't actually installed. Users can actually access PWAs in a variety of ways, including: QR codes, text, SMS messaging, and through a link. Because PWAs work across all devices and form factors, this means you could actually have a desktop PWA! Let’s take a look at a desktop PWA example. Since launching their PWA (Twitter Lite), Twitter has seen nearly unbelievable statistics: A 65 percent increase in pages per session, a 75 percent increase in Tweets sent, and a 20 percent decrease in bounce rates.

In order to fully understand how Progressive Apps works, it’s important to know about React Native apps, so consider this a mini PWA tutorial React. React Native is an open-source mobile application framework that is designed by Facebook. This framework helps to develop apps for Android, iOS, Web, and UWP. This is done by enabling developers to use React with standard native platform capabilities. If you’re searching for “react PWA firebase” or how to create a React mobile app, you should know it’s technical process that requires knowledge of coding languages. Whoever is developing the app should have knowledge of Java or Objective-C/Swift coding language. For these reasons, creating a PWA from scratch is your better option. See how easy building a PWA is with the Lumavate platform. And the best part is, Lumavate is a low-code platform meaning you could have a PWA built in a few hours! Try it for free here. 

PWA Examples

Before you build a PWA, it might help to see some web app examples. PWAs can be used for almost any scenario. Consumers love them so they’re the perfect match for retail. But PWAs aren’t just for B2C. Consumers’ phones are cluttered with clunky native mobile apps; the last thing they want to do is add another native mobile app to their increasingly crowded mobile phone. PWAs offer B2B marketers the perfect channel to connect with their target audience. We’ve been writing about the expanding PWA apps list for years, and it’s continuously growing. Let’s talk about some of our favorite PWA examples. First up on our tour of some of our favorite PWA examples 2019 is the Pinterest PWA. We actually had one of the creators of the Pinterest PWA on Lumavate’s Podcast. You can check out the episode here. Pinterest’s user-first mindset paid off big time. Their PWA saw a 370% increase in logins and a 103% increase in weekly active users when stacked against their previous mobile web experience, making it one of the best PWA examples 2019 had. 

Another one of our favorite examples is the PWA Starbucks example. David Brunelle, the Director of Product Engineering at Starbucks, and his team led the charge in building the Starbucks PWA, and since its launch in September of 2017, it has seen incredible success.

Thanks to specific PWA requirements, the Starbucks PWA is not only faster than its native mobile app counterpart, it’s 0.4% (you read that right…0.4%) of the size. The PWA gives coffee-drinkers around the world all the feel and functionality of a native mobile app without the download while freeing up precious storage space. It’s no wonder the PWA has become a fan favorite among Starbucks’ most loyal customers.

Other honorable mentions are the PWA Flipboard example and the Trivago PWA. Similar to the previous examples, the results Trivago has seen with their PWA have been incredible. Many people go to the PWA examples Github has or search for “react PWA example Github”, but you can also download our free infographic to see the other brands who have all developed PWAs this year. Download the The State of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs): Q1 2021 here. 

PWA Framework

Just like there are several mobile experiences to choose from, like native mobile apps or PWAs, there’s also a lot of options you have when deciding on Progressive Web App framework. Various Progressive Web App frameworks include:

  • React PWA Framework
  • AngularJS Framework
  • VueJS
  • Polymer
  • PWA Builder
  • Ionic Framework

You could debate the best PWA framework 2019 or PWA framework 2018 all day, but it might help if you try building a PWA yourself to see which lightweight PWA framework you like best. You could build a PWA React, or you could partner with the leading PWA platform for marketers, Lumavate. Unlike React PWA 2019 framework, Lumavate incorporates Ionic Framework, which makes customizing various Components in the Lumavate Studio easier than ever. But the best part about low-code platforms is users don’t have to modify code if they don’t want to. Lumavate incorporates drag-and-drop functionality to make building a PWA a breeze. 

PWA Builder

There are many different services and platforms out there that can help you build a PWA. Google’s PWA Codelabs offers various help guides and PWA platform tutorials to use when getting started. Then there’s a React PWA Template and React PWA starter kits, such as their React boilerplates to get started building PWAs quickly. There’s also a Polymer PWA starter kit as an additional option. You can clearly see there are a lot of options you have when it comes to finding the right PWA builder for your business, and rightfully so. 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 - 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.

But then there’s Lumavate. Lumavate is the leading digital experience platform for marketers. In addition to having an extensive library of resources for building and designing PWAs, Lumavate also has a large collection of Starter Kits in our App Gallery for marketers to get started building a PWA fast. And on top of that, Lumavate also has a PWA page design eBook, with a collection of our favorite page designs for PWAs. The benefit to building a PWA with Lumavate is you build once, and you can continuously reuse it and modify it to your needs. There’s no waiting on the dreaded app store to approve your changes. 

PWA Tutorial

Like many things in life, you’ve got to practice and research something before getting good. Well, the same applies to mobile app development. You don’t just take a stab at building a PWAs…(although low code platforms might be the exception to this rule). You’ve got to put in the time to be the best, which is why reading a PWA tutorial is helpful when first getting started. Lucky for you, we’ve put together an entire PWA tutorial PDF specifically for marketers. Let’s start off with a simple PWA tutorial. 

Did you know you don’t have to build a PWA from scratch? That’s right, you can stop searching for “PWA tutorial from scratch”! Many app development companies have a PWA template that you can use to get a jumpstart on your project. Lumavate has an extensive App Gallery you can use when first getting started building your PWA. That’s why so many companies have embraced creating a PWA – Apple has a history of placing restrictions on templated native mobile apps. One other thing you should know about PWAs is they are run through a test called the Google Lighthouse Audit. You’ll learn in this PWA tutorial points or scores are awarded to PWAs based on their performance. But maybe you’re up for a challenge and want a quick PWA app tutorial from scratch. You could look for a PWA tutorial Github has, or you could look here for the best design trends for mobile apps. Keep these design trends in mind, so you’re not designing an app that has a poor UI/UX:

  • Keep the navigation simple. No one wants to be overstimulated by how many pop-ups appear on the app.
  • Allow for a custom dashboard; that way, users can toggle on and off certain features.
  • Use familiar gestures in your app, so users swipe to their hearts’ content.

PWA Code

Did you know building an app is no longer something only IT or software developers can create? That’s right, thanks to low-code and no code tools, anyone can build mobile apps, which means anyone with a laptop is considered a citizen developer! Citizen developers are individuals who are able to use low code or no-code platforms to build an app that can be used by others (like customers, employees, or prospects). The term citizen developer was coined by a Gartner analyst back in 2012 when he predicted that we would all someday become developers. His vision proved to be true when SaaS companies started designing platforms that would enable individuals to bypass IT in order to achieve their business goals.

Marketers move fast. 2020 proved just how fast marketers would need to move in order to keep up with quickly changing consumer behavior. Unfortunately, building a native mobile app takes months if not years. Marketers didn’t have time to be learning code and searching for “React PWA Boilerplates” or “React PWA stack”. Marketers need to get started building a PWA quickly, and have it built in a few hours. That’s where Lumavate comes in. We’re the leading low-code platform for marketers. And every app built with Lumavate is a PWA. Take a look at our App Gallery. We have Starter Kits for almost any use case. But maybe you were looking for “PWA example code”? Try it for free here.

What’s Included in a PWA Checklist?

We hinted at this earlier, but there’s a PWA checklist available to see how compatible your PWA compatibility is with Google’s requirements for PWAs. Google’s PWA checklist, Google’s Lighthouse Audit (not Chrome PWA checklist as many refer to it as) is a tool developers use to test web pages based on five audit references: Performance, Progressive Web App (PWA) Compliance, Accessibility, Best Practices, and SEO Score. Once you provide Lighthouse with the URL you want audited, you will receive a generated report with scores in all five categories.

Each audit category in Google’s PWA checker contains criteria which the web page must fulfill in order to pass that portion of the audit. For now, let’s hone in on security and see what Lighthouse’s audit looks for in security measures, as well as some of our tips to achieve a high-security score. We have a full video on Google’s Lighthouse audit here; you’ll learn what it takes the audit, and what each PWA essentials category is. But Google isn’t the only browser that supports PWAs. Many browsers are offering PWA support browser version updates, such as Microsoft Edge. The increased adoption by browsers of PWA support further proves PWAs are here to stay. 

Lumavate’s PWA Support

Building a mobile app from scratch for the first time can be a tricky task. But with Lumavate, it doesn’t have to be. While other PWA platforms have support, like CanIUse PWA support, Lumavate provides PWA feature support from our dedicated team of mobile experts. We’re constantly updating our PWA resources to include current support, not just PWA support 2019 documents that haven’t been updated in years. Lumavate’s team of PWA experts hosts regular training on how to use our platform. On top of hosting a variety of platform training, we even have a Design eBook to help users get started building a PWA quickly. We’ve curated some of our favorite page designs and how to customize Components in the Lumavate Studio in our Design Gallery eBook. Check it out here to download for free. Come see for yourself just how easy building a PWA is with Lumavate. Create an account for free here

See Lumavate in Action

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