Progressive Web Apps: 7 Resources for Businesses and Developers
Get the full scoop on progressive web apps–from the history of the term, to tips for developers and businesses–with these seven resources.
Progressive web apps offer companies and their customers a unique blend of benefits. They are the next generation of web applications, with power-ups such as push notifications, device hardware access and the ability to work offline.
Progressive web apps offer users an improved mobile experience and can differentiate businesses from their competition while streamlining technology behind the scenes.
1. What Businesses Need to Know about Progressive Web Apps
“No matter what the future brings, PWA technology can immediately make a huge impact for your business.
Building a single application for ALL platforms in record time (think, a new feature every 4 weeks) provides an immense business advantage, don’t ignore it.”
In his article “Progressive Web Apps – The Business Perspective,” software developer and business owner, Jedidiah Weller, offers a pretty well-rounded take on the advantages of progressive web apps, specifically for businesses.
Jedidiah makes a solid case for businesses to use progressive web apps. When applied correctly, the technology allows companies to increase mobile conversions, improve user engagement, and speed up load times. Companies can even offer quality in-app content while bypassing traditional app stores.
Large companies like Uber and Pinterest are already taking advantage of progressive web app technology, as is Starbucks with their wep app allowing customers the ability to quickly and efficiently pay for their drinks.
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2. Seriously, Though. What is a Progressive Web App?
“Progressive web apps are just websites that took all the right vitamins.”
Tech thinker, Amberley Romo, set out to define “progressive web apps,” — not a straightforward task. If you’re still confused about progressive web apps, check out her thoughts on the technology, plus a helpful historical account of how it all started in her article, “Seriously Though, What is a Progressive Web App?”
She runs through a detailed list of the common attributes of progressive web apps, including: being mobile responsive, offering the ability to work offline and featuring app-like interactions.
3. An Accessible Intro to Coding for Progressive Web Apps
“The dream is to have an experience so uniform and seamless that the user is unable to tell the difference between a progressive web app and a native mobile app.”
If you’ve ever been on a mobile website and seen an “Add to Home screen” banner that allows you to install an application to your device, chances are you’ve used a progressive web app.
In her article, Progressive Web Apps 101: the What, Why and How, PayPal software engineer Shruti Kapoor stresses that progressive web apps are not a new framework or technology, but rather a guide of best practices to make web applications function similar to a desktop or mobile application.
Progressive web apps help solve issues surrounding slow internet speed, slow website download, high friction, and user engagement. The article also touches on some of the basics of building a progressive web app.
4. Progressive Web Apps: A Comprehensive Guide for Developers
Dean Hume’s extensively helpful guidebook, Progressive Web Apps, offers thorough and practical insight on progressive web apps for designers and developers. This book breaks down the skills needed to build fast, reliable websites that work offline.
Hume’s examples and lessons equip developers to meet requirements for building progressive web apps. He also gives some interesting examples of what the future of progressive web apps might look like.
5. Tool for Generating Progressive Web Apps Using a Link
PWA Builder is a simple tool that takes the data from your website and helps you convert it into a cross-platform progressive web app. In his article about the inception of PWA Builder, Microsoft program manager, Jeff Burtoft, explains that the tool allows developers to more easily build stand-alone web apps across all platforms.
PWA Builder offers an easy way to provide the missing pieces of your progressive web app without weighing your site down with additional data. It’s there to simplify the process.
“Our goal is to help web developers keep their workflow, while enjoying the native aspects of client OSes.”
6. Google Insights on Progressive Web Apps
Chrome’s web page on progressive web apps offers definitive insight on PWA basics, plus an introduction to Lighthouse, an open source, automated tool for improving progressive web apps.
For a fresh look at the politics around progressive web apps (yes, there are politics), check out journalist, Mike Elgan’s article on why both Google and Microsoft are major proponents of PWA technology.
In a nutshell, progressive web apps give Google the benefit of more people using the web, while collaborating with Microsoft makes the experience easier for users.
Mike also explains another reason progressive web apps are so sticky: “Because PWAs bypass app stores, they help solve the problem of app fatigue, where users resist wading into an app store to find yet another app they’ll try once and forget about.”
7. Firefox Insights on Progressive Web Apps
Be sure to check out the Firefox web page on progressive web apps for information on the specifics of building progressive web apps, such as how to make a PWA installable or how to make them work offline. It’s a go-to spot for core PWA guides, technology guides, and coding tools, all the essentials to help developers at each stage of the building process.