Progressive Web Apps: Pros & Cons

Web pages and applications now can go progressive. Should you send yours on the same journey?

6 min read, Jun 13
pwa-pros-and-cons

According to Forbes till 2021 worldwide mobile traffic amounts will be multiplied seven times. The distribution crisis on the mobile app market resulted in a closer focus on website optimization for small portable devices.

To avoid making efforts in this direction senseless due to the browser issues Google came up with a solution that provided the experience of a native app without its actual development.

Progressive web apps: definition and justification

PWA is a linkable mobile-app edition of a website that doesn’t require any distribution systems. Minimum requirements for the implementation is the availability of a web app manifest to store its metadata and a service worker providing a scriptable network proxy for handling HTTP/web requests.

PWA features

The technology goal is to upgrade user experience during the Internet surfing regardless of the device or network they employ. This innovative merger of web & mobile was able to resolve three basic problems of each separate solution.

Stability. Bad network connection or even its absence leaves the negative impression on the whole session despite the fact that an app or website owner isn’t responsible for the wireless service quality.

Speed. In the age of constant motion, people have no patience. Each user interaction should instantly have a noticeable result, as well as any UI element should be displayed without any delays.

Usage. How to immerse customers into your brand if they avoid loading beautiful but eating traffic websites and devouring memory space apps? Relying on customer will isn’t the best strategy.

Surely, like any other technology, it’s not perfect. But any solution can change the game drastically if it’s applied the right way at the right place and time. Check out PWA strengths and weaknesses in comparison to traditional components of digital marketing to make up your own mind.

Progressive Web Apps Advantages

Not to leave previous statements unsupported let’s go over the facts and features that bring PWA upgrade for some business scopes above the web and mobile development.

PWA vs mobile websites

Initially, it can be hard not to take the technology just for another approach to mobile optimization of web pages. Performance acceleration and interface adjustments are improvements that are implemented either way.

But when taken into consideration that PWA beats mobile in their quality and the following specific features you can say that a white towel is already on the ring.

PWA pros vs mobile websites

Connection-free. Users won’t even notice that they’re out of the network range thanks to pre-cashing key resources algorithms. No more competition for their attention with various creatures indicating such status. Progressive web apps offline keep the set bar for UX.

Browser-free. You shouldn’t just rely on software choice or dictate what app will be the best fit for your product. PWA allows running away from browser compatibility issues to the user Home Screen and lets them interact with your brand directly.

Loading-free. Some mobile websites with a multilevel architecture like eCommerce platforms give customers time to have coffee breaks during their exploration. PWA provides smooth surfing no wait-for-it insertions needed and ergo partly diminishes bounce rates.

The technology application also positively affects other website metrics. For instance, Forbes progressive web apps statistics showed that the scroll became three times deeper. Also, each user session duration is now longer by 43 percent. Such dynamics allowed it to earn better SEO rankings.

Progressive web apps vs native mobile applications

In this case mistrust in the technology usually is based on a misleading comparison of regular web apps to native. The reason is that nowadays to achieve the desired level of customer engagement to set a website and wait for visitors isn’t enough. Reserving a place on the client smartphone or tablet is the next step.

Opting for PWA you reach users without any intermediaries that usually only add obstacles on the way to them such as the initial circumspection to everything new.

Even such simple steps like sign-up or log-in, downloading and resolving memory insufficiency issues will likely be ignored by users and make them turn to other product or service providers who won’t demand from them going through that. Additionally, as Springs ascertained itself, your business can benefit from:

Smaller expenses. Even a cross-platform approach won’t save as much time and money on providing native app experience on Android and iOS as it’s possible with progressive web apps development.

Simpler maintenance. Due to the ease of the technology in comparison to mobile applications, it requires less support and improvement efforts. PWA updates with the website automatically.

Adjustable solution. Progressive web apps features allow creating the required experience in the mobile environment that will satisfy both digital marketing and customer needs regardless of the device size.

PWA contributes significantly to the digital transformation of various business sectors since it doesn’t require technical proficiency from business owners. Sometimes to transform a website, for instance, an e-commerce platform, into a progressive web application it’s enough to use a customizable storefront.

Besides, PWA is already ready to battle for the PC. Desktop progressive web apps is a relatively new approach to achieve a responsive website design. Now it’s only supported in Chrome browser (since version 73) but already available on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS.

Progressive Web Apps Disadvantages

Despite that technology around since 2015 it still has some issues to resolve. It’s important to consider them to discover if it is the best fit for your business strategy.

OS conflicts. iOS only since 2018 started to support PWA. And even now such benefits as progressive web app push notifications aren’t available for Apple users.

Integration incompletion. So far PWA can’t fully take advantage of the device features and user data to reach the bar of diverse and truly custom experience.

Tracking complexity. Another side of offline availability is the difficulty to monitor and measure necessary metrics during such sessions that are vital for the successful business running.

Lack of awareness. Excluding App and Google store from a brand-user connection chain set free from their restrictions but at the same time cut down the proven distribution channel.

Nevertheless, in progressive web apps eCommerce, retail, hospitality, events, media and other industries which business focus continues to move online found the boost of conversion rates, mobile revenues and as already stated customer engagement.

Such world-famous enterprises like Lancôme, Starbucks, Flipboard and other companies that only wish to reach their level have chosen PWA to create a quality mobile experience for their clients. Review their way to progress to make a deliberate decision to join them on that path.

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