Progressive Web App: A Complete Guide for 2024

Progressive Web App Development

You’ve probably heard of Progressive Web App or PWA, but what is it? In short, PWA is a type of app that uses modern web technologies to deliver an app-like experience to users. PWA has been around for a few years now, and its popularity is only increasing. More and more businesses are turning to PWA to improve their user experience and engagement. So, what are the benefits of PWA? Keep reading Progressive Web App Development Guide.

What are Progressive Web Apps?

Progressive Web Apps built using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and can be deployed to any web server and other progressive web app development tools.

They are more responsive, reliable, and engaging. They can also be added to the home screen of a device, making them easier to access.

While Progressive Web Apps are still in their early stages, they have already been adopted by some major companies, including Twitter, Uber, and Alibaba.

How Does a Progressive Web App (PWA) Works?

A PWA is a website that can be installed on your device (phone, tablet, PC or Mac) and accessed at any time. While you may not update the PWA itself as often, it will automatically pull the latest updates for you. A PWA provides users with an app-like experience – giving them all of their favourite features from an app, but with all the Performance Benefits of Web Application.

When a user visits your Progressive Web App, the PWA is capable of checking what their device can do. These interactions can extend over time, with the PWA giving prompts to the user based on forthcoming situations or simply ensuring they are prepared for what you might be trying to get them to do. In some cases, this can resemble the experience of a traditional application, with things like offline usage, notifications when new data is available, and more features that would typically only be found within apps. All these features are built out from the same code base and in parallel with your web app in a browser so there’s no cost for development or any extra work needed for maintenance.

Technical Components of Progressive Web App Development (PWA)

For a progressive web app, how are the features technically implemented? Progressive web apps come with four important components.

Web App Manifest: The Web App manifest is a JSON file that allows a developer to control the way their app looks and behaves. For example, they can make it a full-screen experience without a visible URL bar. It also gives them an easy place to store metadata for their app (like the kick-off point and an app’s name). The most important thing about this film is that it will allow you to find your starting point for any web content on any computer or device to complete the setup process for your new app.

Service Worker: A service worker is a technical aspect of a progressive web app (PWA) that makes sure that it can still function offline, or with a slow or unreliable connection. They do this by syncing to the network in the background and by keeping notifications for updates coming even when you don’t have your browser open. A service worker runs separately from the web page/app, and each one is designed only to process a specific event instead of having a life like regular JavaScript files.

Offline Work Mode: The service worker allows for caching the application shell, so it will load instantly on repeat visits. Dynamic content – things like message histories and shopping carts – are refreshed every time the connection is back, allowing for decent app performance and a better user experience. For instance, a messenger user should see no difference in interface between online and offline modes: the messaging remains functional; message histories are available.

Push Notifications: are a fantastic tool for re-engaging with users by bringing content and prompt updates right to their phones. Progressive web apps can send push notifications when the browser is closed and the app isn’t open – even if it’s not running in the background.

The Application Shell Architecture (ASA): is a server-side technology that simplifies many of the routine tasks involved in developing an enterprise application. Building and maintaining PWAs requires both separating static content from dynamic content and using structured-based architectural principles. The only approach to cross-platform PWA development is the app shell architecture (the base of the UI). An app shell generally consists of core design elements required to make the application run without a connection (due to unstable or slow network connections, for example). For apps that have one page with JavaScript or are driven by DHTML, this architectural principle may be an especially good fit.

Transport Layer Security (TLS): a set of protocols used to encrypt network traffic. PWAs use the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, which guarantees the safety and security of your data exchange. To do this, you’ll need to serve the site by using HTTPS and install an SSL certificate on your server.

What are the Benefits of Progressive Web App?

PWAs are intended to provide a user experience similar to that of native apps but without the need to download and install them from an app store. PWAs can be installed on devices just like native apps, but they run in a browser.

PWAs are “progressive” because they are built using modern web standards that improve with time. And they are “web apps” because they use the same open standards as traditional web pages.

Keep Costs Low:

PWA offers a single progressive app that is compatible with all endpoints. This means developers only need to spend time on this one source instead of adapting individual applications for each device, thus reducing the development time and cost by up to three to four times.

ALSO READ: App Development Cost – A Complete Guide for 2023

Better UI/UX:

The need for user-friendly applications has become paramount these days to provide a better user experience and rank on search engines. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) combine the look and feel of mobile applications with web technology that provides a native mobile application’s speed, responsiveness, and database access without the cost or complexity of building an app from scratch. This allows users to enjoy a better user experience with responsive layouts and push notifications – similar to those they would find with a mobile app. They also offer extra abilities not present in other web technologies like offline use, background sync functionality, and game engine support that end users love. With all these advantages, PWAs rank highly among customers on the App Store and Google Play Store.

Fast and Responsive:

If you’re an Android or iOS user, it’s easy to download PWAs. All you have to do is search for them in a browser or the app store. No installation is necessary! If you’re using Microsoft Edge or Safari as your browser, you can even drag and drop a PWA into your home screen.

Downloading extensions for your browser is an easy way to install browser apps. After you download them, you can use them as a desktop application. Some browsers even have a call to action button that prompts users to download these apps when browsing through the website.

Better Performance:

With the performance and speed afforded by Progressive Web Apps, users will feel like they’re using a regular website. This type of mobile optimization has a positive impact on user experience, conversion rates, and retention for retailers and content providers.

Freedom Across Platforms and Devices:

PWAs are platform and device-independent, meaning they can handle a variety of tasks. One example is Spotify; it’s been built as a PWA so that people have access to desktop apps. This allows them to download songs offline (for premium users), use Spotify Connect, and more.

Automatic Updates:

It’s tough for people to stay up-to-date on all their apps, so PWAs automatically update without requiring much input from the user. They update themselves whenever you visit the app. That way, users don’t need to download a whole batch of updates at a time or reinstall an app again and again. And because they run fully in a browser, they provide a new look and feel without any extra work on your part – which means you have more time to work on what matters.

On the side, progressive web apps even send push notifications when there are new updates available. You have complete control over what content people can see, which helps make for a richer customer experience. Offline-compatible Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) allow users to access features without an internet connection, even if they’re not stable or offline. Service workers automatically cache important pages in PWAs so that users don’t have to download the information when applying for them. So, even if a user is offline, or has visited a page that he/she hasn’t been online, PWAs will be able to show the custom offline page which will decrease cart abandonment and increase customer retention rates. Because of the simplicity and interface of PWAs, they make it easy to access web pages and provide great user experiences.


A Progressive Web Application has access to device-specific functionality like push notifications, which you can use in various ways to maximize your content marketing. Because more and more users allow PWAs to send notifications, they increase the chances of specifying their interest in a product or service. And when a user sees a notification on their mobile device, he or she is 10 times more likely to respond than if it were seen in other mediums such as email newsletters, blog posts, social media posts and so on. Notifications are an excellent way to personalize marketing messages and convert visitors into customers. They also give you the opportunity for your company’s brand recognition and capitalize on the customer’s attention towards the notification.

Improved Security:

PWA provide data safety and decrease security risks. The implementations use Web Bluetooth technology, which includes security capabilities. PWAs are as secure as applications and help users access them quickly and share their sensitive information with peace of mind.

SEE ALSO: API Development & Integration : How to Develop an API from Scratch

No Need to Use App Distribution Services:

With applications, you need to distribute them in the App Store, Windows Store, and Google Play. But with PWAs, producers don’t need to store them on similar services. This can save them from a lot of extra work.

When Should you Start Using PWA?

One reason brands go native is that it’s a way to cater to their customers. Apps make it easier for frequent actions, such as ordering coffee, to be completed without going out of the app.

Progressive web apps work well for apps that visitors will use often.

It’s important to consider using progressive web apps when:

  • You don’t have the budget for a top-notch app.
  • If you want to get your business to the next level, you need to get going.
  • Without proper SEO indexing, your content can’t be found.
  • Cross-platform compatibility is vital for any online business.
  • If you can’t find the right audience, you will fail.
  • If you match any of the criteria listed, you likely need a progressive to meet those needs.

Examples of Progressive Web App:

1. Twitter: According to Mashable, Twitter uses PWA technology for the Twitter Lite platform. This is the default experience for mobile web browsers in April 2017 and it has saved them a ton of storage, and data usage and helped them see an increase in tweets, pages per session and decreased bounce rate.

2. Flipkart: Flipkart’s PWA app is called Flipkart-Lite. These stats illustrate what happened to Flipkart when they launched their PWA:

  • 3x lower data cost
  • Flipkart Lite gives users a better content discovery and navigation experience than before. They’re on site for 3 1/2 minutes vs. 70 seconds.
  • Our clients often see a significant increase in time spent on their websites after using our site optimization services.
  • A higher re-engagement rate means more money in your pocket from lower advertising costs.
  • Seventy per cent of people who arrive on our website by clicking Add to Homescreen convert.

3. Uber: Uber’s Progressive Web App (PWA) lets you get a ride without having to download and install the app. It is lightweight, at just 50kb, so it loads quickly even when your connection isn’t great.

4. Instagram: Instagram recently launched its progressive web application, which looks and behaves just like the traditional application. It has all the same upload capabilities as a native app, but you’ll see that it also runs on your desktop when you’re not connected to wifi.

5. Forbes: Services like Forbes have been taking notes on the advantages of Progressive Web Apps. PWAs offer lightning-quick loading times and can be loaded in a portion of the time necessary to load a mobile website. Previously, Forbes’ mobile website would take 3-12 seconds to load, but as of recently, it loads in under one second!

6. Lancome: At Lancome, we make the very best in beauty. Inspired by our founder, this ideal has been defined since 1884 and continues to never change. Our purpose is simple: To be the premier beauty brand. One of the ways that we do this is by listening to women’s desires and bringing their dreams to life with a full portfolio of luxury, science-based skincare products and makeup.

7. Tinder: Tinder took 3 months to build and implement their MVP PWA based on React and Redux. In doing so, they were able to deliver their core Tinder experience in just 10% of the data-investment costs for someone in a data-costly or data-scarce market. That’s right! A 30MB native app has been reduced to a 2.8MB PWA — it’s about time! Additionally, Tinder cut load times from around 12 seconds down to around 4.5 seconds.

8. Pinterest: Pinterest is an image-heavy social site that can slow down a lot. To combat this and make the site faster, they built a PWA (a Progressive Web App). This gave them some new features such as faster loading times and the ability for users to download images or add them to their home pages. These features helped with engagement for users on mobile sites.


By using modern web technologies, progressive web apps can provide a native app-like experience that is fast, reliable, and engaging. If you’re looking for a new way to build your web app, progressive web apps should be at the top of your list.

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