What is a Progressive Web App
The fast improvement in technology has seen the internet grow and turn the world into a global village. It is easier now for people to access any information provided they have a smartphone. There are various apps for just about anything you can think of, and they play a significant role in our day to day lives.
With the rise in eCommerce, most businesses are making apps to ensure that their customers have a great user experience and easily shop with them. However, developing and maintaining an app is not only expensive, but also quite complicated. The best alternative to building an app is having a progressive web application. It is a combination of the technology used on a site, and the properties of an app.
Most companies have a progressive web application, so you do not have to install their native app. All you need to do is install it on your home screen, and what is even better is that they are as efficient as the native app. There is also no difference in how they run on different devices. The user experience is the same across all smartphones.
Why You Need It
Progressive web apps, when developed well, are fast, perform like native apps, and work offline. This means you get to engage with customers, and they have an excellent user experience. Just as every business does not need an app, not all businesses require a progressive web application. Before you get in touch with a developer to build you a progressive web application, you need to ensure that you understand your target audience. It would help if you also thought about whether it makes sense for your business to have a progressive web application. Understanding your business and who your target audience is often vital in ensuring that your business succeeds.
Therefore, if your target audience is online-based, they use apps a lot, they have good internet connectivity, and you believe this will make their experience seamless, then you can get a progressive web application. As mentioned earlier, they are not hard to set up, but you need to ensure that it is a necessity for your audience.
Benefits of a Progressive Web App
As aforementioned, most businesses want to create a great user experience for their customers this is why they opt to develop apps. When users install your app, chances are they will purchase your product or service. Push notifications make it easy to engage with customers.
An app that is well developed and is easy to use can help a brand make more sales, retain, and gain more customers. Getting a developer who tailors your progressive web application to ensure that the user experience is seamless will be suitable for your brand. Listed below are some of the benefits of having a progressive web application.
Less Codes to Maintain
It is easier to have a progressive web application since you will have fewer codes to maintain than having a native app. As mentioned earlier, progressive web apps run the same across all devices, so you only have to do maintenance on a particular code. If you have your business on both android and IOS, you will have to maintain the different codes since they do not use the same codes, which is cumbersome. Turning your site into an app ensures you have fewer codes to maintain. You also do not need to keep updating your site.
Building and maintaining a native app is expensive whereas, building a progressive app is cheap. When you build an app, you need to ensure that the user experience is seamless across all devices, and you have to pay both Google and Apple to host your app, which makes it expensive. On the other hand, a progressive web application does not necessarily need to be on either platform.
Easy to Build
It is easy to build progressive web apps since you can use standard website technologies instead of building a native app. When creating an IOS app, you need to be conversant with the programming language specific to the platform. You cannot use the same technology to build a website, an IOS and android app. Android apps use Java, and IOS uses swift. This is not only time consuming but also challenging. Progressive web apps do not need to be adapted to different formats. They run across all devices without you having to customize them to fit a particular device.
When a progressive web application is built well, it can run well across all devices, and users will not know that it is not a native app. They are also responsive, so they can work on different screen sizes. This is an essential factor because you have to keep in mind that all users have different devices, so having a responsive app on all devices is an added advantage. It ensures that all your customers have a great user experience and will not find it hard to use your app. they are also lightweight, making them fast and efficient.
Having users install a progressive web application can increase engagement because it has push notifications. They are also discoverable on search engines, so this is quite an advantage. Even better is that, unlike regular sites, they can work offline.
Drawbacks of a Progressive Web Application
While a progressive web app has several benefits, it also has a couple of downsides. Listed are some of the downsides.
Less User Experience
Compared to native apps, a progressive web application has fewer features. IOS does not offer full support of a progressive web application across all Apple devices. User experience is essential when it comes to businesses. You can retain and gain new customers if the user experience is excellent. So it is a shame that the possibilities of a progressive web application are limited to several users using Apple devices.
Lack of Access to App Stores
Not being on an app store limits your visibility. You will not be as exposed, and therefore, you may not have as many users engaging with your progressive app as you would if you had an app on Apple or Google. So it is quite a disadvantage because most people with smartphones tend to search for apps in app stores.
Progressive Web Apps are Limited
The functions and features that a progressive app offers are limited compared to that of a native app. For instance, you cannot build high-performance games with a progressive web application as it cannot support one. It is also hard to develop an advertising opportunity, or a revenue model for a progressive web application. Technical options such as Near Field Communication, and Bluetooth cannot be applied to them.
If your target audience is internet-based, then, by all means, invest in a progressive web application. It helps you engage with your customers. It is also essential to get a developer who understands your business needs and understands the user experience you would like to achieve. Users should not find it hard to maneuver your site. Having a progressive web application ensures lengthy extended sessions, page visits, and an increase in conversations. You get the best of both worlds, since it combines the best of apps and webs.