Do I need a Progressive Web App?

Mobile-first indexing is here and the need to optimize for mobile is imperative; as well as the need for a progressive web app. The majority of website traffic generated worldwide is from mobile accounts. Statistics show that almost 30% of people who search for something nearby on their smartphone will end up making a purchase. Will your website show up on or offline?

When it comes to mobile web design, speed takes importance over many ranking factors. And the failure to rank could result in the ability to succeed. So, how do you stay ahead or attempt to keep up with the competition?

a Progressive Web App… What do they do?

Progressive Web App (PWA) is a web application that uses modern web techniques to deliver a native app-like experience. It’s a mix of both mobile applications and traditional web pages. PWAs are web applications with progressive enhancements that use features like caching, background sync, and push notifications. They are highly secure and capable of scaling. There is a lot of news around Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) being the future of web development and with increased dependence on mobile devices, there is a major reason to believe that PWAs are the tool of choice.

Before PWAs, you had native (mobile) apps and websites functioning independently of one another. Native apps designed specifically for mobile are fast and efficient. Websites, on the other hand, are great for desktop viewers, but can be slow and only get worse when there are connectivity issues. With PWAs you get the best of both worlds as they perform like an app in slow connectivity as well as no connectivity. Here are some others reasons to consider PWAs.

Seamless data

PWAs do not need any download or installation. Instead of going to the app marketplace and downloading a native mobile app, users just need to search for a website and they immediately access a PWA. By avoiding the download process, users avoid storage space issues on their mobile devices and they avoid unwanted data charges that can sometimes occur during a lengthy download. As a result, users locate and download your app faster!

Ability to access content online and offline

Progressive Web Apps provide content while the user is online and offline. Service Workers are a programmable proxy that enable applications to control network requests. Service Workers are at the core of PWAs and help the app work offline. They are idle when not in use and restart when needed.

Maintenance free website updates

When changes or tweaks are made to a native app, you need to contact the app store about the adjustments and updates, and to fix any bugs or errors. Often this requires writing two separate codes; one for Android and one for Apple. And this process might take a week or longer to deploy and for the changes to take effect. PWA changes are deployed immediately and there is no need to contact anyone. No need to register, and no need for users to pay fees for downloads or in-app purchases with a PWA.

SSL Certificate, HTTPS Secured Domain
Close-up of a browser window showing lock icon during SSL connection

HTTPS: SSL Security

Security is always a concern, so much that Google gives preference to HTTPS secure websites. This standard requires web developers to program websites in HTTPS to provide protection for consumer information.  As a result, it is easier to launch a PWA in a secure setting giving users peace of mind.

Website speed is essential

Load times is another Google ranking factor and PWAs deliver. Since Service Workers and Java Scripts run separately from the main web thread, PWAs can load regardless of how slow the Internet connection may be. They also have smooth scrolling and animations making it much like a native application.

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