Progressive Web Applications (PWA) is a web page that thanks to the technology’s application offer a mobile experience like an application.
Therefore, the PWA is halfway between a website and an app, using web technology to provide the app’s functionalities. It is an app that works with the technology of a webpage, taking the advantages of one and the other. For example, you can use offline or generate notifications as an app while maintaining the website characteristics, such as search engine indexing.
The advantages of a PWA are:
- Google rewards this development: Google directs more and more efforts in the mobile and positions better these webs, not only for the architecture of the web that is responsive but also because it gives better positioning to those websites with less load time in the mobile. Beware, not all browsers allow to see PWA, but the main ones like Chrome or Firefox, as well as that has already been integrated by Microsoft.
- It is used as an app: PWA is a website allowing offline browsing as an app and delivers notifications on the mobile, among other advantages. As an inconvenience, notifications do not work for now in iOS.
- Load speed: they load much faster than a responsive web, and this allows the PWA to be fully optimised. The main PWA advantage is its weight since they are pages that can weigh less than 1 MB, offering incredible speed to users and a significant advantage in this mobile world and smartphones in which we are.
- Independent load of the connection quality: The PWA are improved with service workers to work without connection or in slow networks with intermittent connections.
- Easier installation: can be easily shared using your web address or UR and does not involve complex installation processes or app downloads. Once downloaded appears on our mobile with an icon as another app.
- Programming more economical and more straightforward than that of an app: being as a website, does not require us to develop a separate app whose programming is more complex, and therefore, more expensive.
- Improved conversion: all the above elements give the user a better usability experience translating into more and better conversions and more excellent SEO positioning. For example, AliExpress improved conversions for new users in all browsers by 104% and in iOS by 82%. Another example is Extra Electronics; the push notifications from the PWA helped users spend twice as much time on the site. Or Alibaba, which increased conversions by 76%. Therefore, the companies that are best suited to have a PWA are the e-commerce, since the loading times and the app type navigation increase in the duration session’s and a decrease in the bounce rate, improving conversions. Service companies may also be interested in using PWA for push notifications allowing users to transfer notices or interact with the user.
To measure the PWA speed, we can do it in a simple way: with Lighthouse, a Chrome extension developed by Google, which provides a specific report on the PWA’s operation.