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Progressive Web Applications (PWA)

Updated: Jul 7, 2021


Progressive Web Applications’ (PWA) are websites that have features that are found in most mobile applications. PWA uses the current technology to offer an app like experiences to clients in their commonly used browsers; thus, no need to download an application on their mobile devices. PWA is accessed through URL, meet some requirements, deployed to servers and are indexed by search engines.

Features of progressive web applications

PWAs have fast navigations, quick animations on the screen, and scrolling is quite efficient compared to other applications. Again, these sites are engaging, have home screen icon, push notifications, no browser window, and have splash support. PWAs are also reliable since they can be accessed offline and in bad network regions. The progressive aspect is manifested when the sites suit all users’ basic needs irrespective of their surroundings. The PWAs are adaptive and appealing on any device. The PWA feels like the native applications since they conform to the usual methods for user navigation and interaction. Most PWAs have an automatic self-update, thus providing the latest developed features. Moreover, PWAs are easy to install and use. A URL is enough to open a site.

The specialty of progressive web apps.

Unlike web applications and native mobile applications, progressive web application enables developers to build their app once and for all since they can run on every platform. PWA breaks the monotony of user division on either a web application or native mobile application. PWA gives the user the best of the two worlds. PWA all major mobile browsers allow installation of PWA. All modern platforms support PWA stand-alone experiences. More importantly, PWAs can work offline once the PWA has been installed in user devices. PWA content can be displayed when a user is in regions with no or unstable network.

Service workers on PWA

Service workers are defined as the core of PWA procedures for push notifications and resource-cashing. Service workers are the secret technology basis for seamless offline services. A service worker is a lightweight proxy that integrates network requests. In case the networks requests undergo a downtime, the service worker provides case resources.

Service worker comes along with a cache interface. The interface allows the user to create stores of answers to some request. Cache interface is reachable from the scripts of every customer location. Cache enables a user to have a PWA theme user interface even when offline.

Installation of PWA on home screens

Web application install prompt allows easy installation of progressive web application on a desktop or mobile devices. The user can accept the prompt, and the PWA is automatically added to the launcher and runs as other installed applications. PWAs can also be added manually via the mobile browser menu. Display mode enables different styling techniques for the PWA.

Secure progressive web applications

With most PWA, a developer can create engaging, fast, and reliable user experiences. HTTPS is a security aspect used in sites to enhance confidentiality, integrity, and identity. The HTTPS protocol acts as the secure underlying platform allowing a user to send and receive data in secure methods. Insecure connections can lead to intrusion by malicious third parties who may corrupt data on the PWAs. Developers must enable their HTTPS on the servers for data protection.

Examples of Progressive Web Applications

Twitter officially launched Twitter Lite in 2017 as the default site for its worldwide users. This decision was made after the realization that eighty percent of Twitter users were on mobile. To enhance the mobile experience, increase its speed and to make the app more interactive, twitter choose the PWA now known as Twitter Lite. This improvement would serve all users, including those living in flaky and slow network regions. Twitter Lite takes lesser time to load and has reduced data usage with optimized images and trusting on cached data. Users also get push statements and further permits users to improve the progressive Web Application on their home screens. Twitter has gained a seventy-five percent increase in sent tweets, sixty-five percent increase in pages for every session, and the bounce rate decrease amounting to twenty percent. (Biørn-Hansen, 2017).

Flipkart Lite is an improved progressive Web App version of Flipkart mobile application. Flipkart offers fast and efficient user experiences by combining the native Flipkart native application with the web application. Flipkart at one point shut down its mobile website temporarily to embrace application only strategy. However, this proved ineffective since users had an unsatisfactory experience with the application interface. Furthermore, most of its users relied on unstable 2G networks. With the introduction of the new and improved technology and website development features, the organization settled for a Progressive Web Application. Flipkart Lite has led to a seventy percent increase in conversions, three times more time utilized on the site and three times lower data usage for the users. Additionally, the organization enjoys a forty percent higher re-engagement. (Hume, 2017)

OLX is known for its vast operational confidential ads’ directory in India and Pakistan. The OLX corporation works with an operational marketplace in more than forty counties to connect buyers and sellers of different product and services. OLX had a record of ninety percent of its users on mobile and thus the need for the company to focus on user experience and interaction. The observation was that most conversations were made over the native application; therefore, an increase in bounce rate amongst the portable web users due to sluggish loading ads and sheets. The progressive Web Application OLX version comes with interactive push notifications as similar to the native app. The progressive web application had an immersive, app-like knowledge on their mobile site. The progressive organization application has resulted to an eighty percent decrease in bounce rates, a hundred- and forty-six percent increase in CTR on Ads, two hundred and fifty increase percent in re-engagement and twenty-three percent reduces in the time booked for a page to get collaborative. (Majchrzak, 2018)

In conclusion, PWAs are reliable, fast, and engaging with excellent user experience. Building a progressive web app is not dependent on the network condition, has improved conversion and enhanced engagement. The progressive web apps have offline support as well or caching app data for display. The above examples show positive feedback from users worldwide. The progressive web apps are also cost effective by ten times less compared to a mobile app. The only weakness about PWAs is that they are unsupported by some browsers or software. However, with rapid technological improvements, progressive web applications will overcome such issues, thus becoming the future of web development.


Biørn-Hansen, A., Majchrzak, T. A., & Grønli, T. M. (2017, April). Progressive Web Apps: The Possible Web-native Unifier for Mobile Development. In WEBSITE (pp. 344-351).

Hume, D. A. (2017). Progressive web apps. Manning Publications Co.

Majchrzak, T. A., Biørn-Hansen, A., & Grønli, T. M. (2018). Progressive web apps: the definite approach to Cross-Platform development?.

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