What is PWA and Why do we need it?


PWA is short for Progressive Web Apps.Progressive Web Apps are still websites. They just look and feel like an app, thanks to modern web technology. This means users will browse Progressive Web Apps on their browser with an URL just like they do any website, but right after they land on the PWA, they get the experience of using an “app”, right on their browser, without the need to download and install.PWA is better than normal websites at:Speed: Given the same content, PWA loads faster than normal websites thanks to Service Workers technology. It is fast at first load and even faster on second loads onwards since it pre-caches all contents and delivers them when needed.Offline mode: This is also made possible by Service Workers technology. All contents are pre-loaded the first time you visit the PWA and are delivered afterwards using Javascript. This is why it can work offline. After the first load It doesn’t need to request anything more from server to deliver the contents. (This doesn’t work if you have never visited the PWA and try to browse it offline, however, since it needs at least one visit to load the contents.)Add to home screen: this function prompts mobile users to “install” the PWA. After the user accepts the prompt, the PWA will be added to their mobile home screen, and it will run like any other installed app.PWA is better than native apps at:Cross-platform: Once PWA is built, it can be accessed via any mobile platforms like Android, iOS, or Windows, since PWA is browser-based, not OS-based.Up-to-date: Changes made to PWA will take effect immediately, as soon as users refresh the page.Indexability: Because PWA is still technically a website, its content can be indexed and discoverable on search engines like Google. This opens up opportunities for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices, which enables PWA to reach a larger base of users compared to native app.No need to publish: With native apps, the app stores publishing process can sometimes be a real pain. Imagine submitting your app to app stores, excitedly waiting for 5 days, only to get back a rejection with a reason that takes you 10 times to re-read and still don’t know what it is talking about. And in some cases, your app may never be accepted, ever. (Sex shops or vape products, anyone?). With PWA, there’s no app submission. What a relief!Low development cost: Since PWA can be developed once and then be applied to any mobile platforms, the development cost for PWA is relatively small compared to native apps’. Another reason is that PWA use programming languages and technologies that are more commonly understood and have a much larger developer base.

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