As technology keeps changing the world and the way people buy, rent, and order services, businesses everywhere struggle to stay at the top. With the slow demise of brick and tar outlets, businesses now have to adapt to the Internet era, where service buyers look toward the internet whenever they need something. Businesses nowadays need to have an online presence to survive.
But there are many ways to do that.
Mobile apps, websites, social media advertising, the choices are many and every business has to decide what they are going to go for.
Mobile apps are the most powerful instrument these days for any business to reel in customers. By finding a home in people’s smartphones, something they are constantly latched to, businesses can make sure that they are there whenever they need their services.
Websites are also an equally significant tool and a much more seasoned option for the users. Nowadays, websites and mobile apps act as business cards; they are how a business makes its first impression on any new customers. So obviously, businesses want to do all that they can to make sure that they leave a good one, and for that, they invest heavily in getting expensive websites and smartphone apps developed.
But both of these approaches, however, have big cons.
Mobile apps, while they give businesses a way to remain in constant touch with their users, they take up a lot of storage and need to be downloaded, thus demanding data.
Websites on the other end can take forever to load, especially when they are being accessed by a mobile device on a slow internet connection. At that point, your expensive and bulky website will work to your disadvantage.
But this begs a question though, what if we could have the best of both worlds? What if we could have a website that works like an app that doesn’t need to be downloaded or stored on our devices?
Well, this What If, is actually called Progressive Web Apps, and it is taking over the IT sector with a storm.
What is a Progressive Web App?
A Progressive Web App is an installable web application that you can use on a desktop or a mobile device that you can make and access directly on the internet. A PWA is basically a web site that responds, behaves, and operates like any regular mobile or desktop app, and yet it is there on the net for you to access whenever you need it.
How is a PWA different than any Regular Web App?
The answer is simple, it is installable. When you bookmark a web page, it just creates a shortcut in the web browser and will require a web browser to be accessed. But a PWA is installable. That means you can install them on your device, desktop or otherwise, where all the other apps are stored and launch it as you would launch them. It will have a separate app window, a separate splash screen, and no URL in the title bar. It will behave just like any other app on your device and it will need the slimmest and flakiest of internet connections to run.
Thanks to PWAs, businesses are able to generate better conversion rates, see better bounce ratios and session lengths and as a result, do better business.
Pros of PWA
- No Installation
When we say no installation we mean no traditional installation is required. A PWA will not demand any storage from you and won’t take your internet data for downloading. It will simply be a small shortcut to the web address where it exists. But again, it will not run on a web browser but in a separate app window and behave and operate just like any other app on your desktop or mobile device.
Mobile users are constantly complaining that they are running out of space or that they have no data to download an app. For those people, PWA is a great alternative.
- Elevated Performance
While PWA is a veritable web app, it is better than it in every conceivable manner. A PWA looks and performs like any normal app does, which a normal web app cannot do. It can also make use of device features better than any web app can because it is closer to the hardware than the web app. Users always want a solution with good user experience and that is just one of many areas where web apps fall utterly short and PWAs excel.
- Operable on slow internet connections
Internet distribution is not linear, we know that much. There are developing nations where the internet speed is criminally slow and as a result, net surfing, especially on mobile devices, is a really poor experience. So a web app or a web site can really damage your business in such cases. But a PWA doesn’t need a lot of internet speed to work and give a top-notch user experience.
Everything good costs more. This saying proves to be utterly wrong in the case of PWAs. Whenever you develop an app, you need to develop it for both Android and iOS devices, unless you want to lose a lot of business. And developing a native app for both of them is an expensive affair that not every business can afford. For budgeted businesses and especially startups, money is always a concern. Sp for them, PWAs are the perfect way to work on a budget and yet not compromise with quality.
Because PWAs are hybrid apps, they have only one code base for all platforms and thus need to be developed only once. Furthermore, since they are available on the internet, the cost of developing them is significantly lower than other options.
- Discoverable on Search Engines
Because PWAs are available on the internet and are accessed with a URL, you can find them on search engines.
- Better User Experience
A PWA is more engaging than a web app or a web site since it works like a mobile app. It is easy to navigate through and give a better user experience which can be a really big deal for many businesses.
Cons of PWA
While PWAs have a lot of pros, it does have a couple of cons as well and you should know about them before you commit to them.
- PWA is Android-centric and doesn’t work on other browsers like Safari, Edge, IE, etc. This can be a problem in areas where people commit to any of these browsers more than they do to google Chrome.
- Not all platforms support PWAs yet since it is relatively new in the market and those who do don’t do it with the same warmth. Like not all devices allow PWAs to use GPS and Camera of the native device.
- Because these apps are available on the internet directly, they are not on any of the app stores like Google Playstore. This can turn people off toward them because not being on any of the big app stores can give them an unauthentic reputation.
They are a great option for people who want a quality tool without having to pay big bucks for it. Businesses with a tight budget can go for PWAs instead of native apps for Android and iOS devices and yet avoid all the inconsistencies and shortcomings of having a web app developed.
So if you want a top-class product that is unapologetically loaded with features and enhances a user’s experience, then you should definitely go for a progressive web app for your startup.
Govind Sharma is a Digital Marketing expert providing his services to a highly acclaimed software engineering studio, Matellio LLC. His passion resides in sharing knowledge with the world and grow by keeping abreast of the latest industry facets. He has crafted some of the brilliant informative write-ups that have received great commendation.