As the progressive web apps get more attention in the web tech world, we understand many business leaders and tech-savvy are still skeptical about jumping on the new trend. To make it easier for your decision-making process, here are 12 Progressive Web Apps Benefits, as well as its disadvantages for users, businesses and developers.
Progressive Web Apps Benefits For Users
1. Instant Installation
The installation process of progressive web apps is quick and easy. Users can conveniently set up the apps directly from the web browser to any device.
Moreover, they can access the progressive web apps directly from the shortcut saved on their desktop or mobile home screen. Also, the installation of PWA can be done via an URL, and downloading from an app store is not necessarily required. Instant installation and simplified access make people find using PWA flexible and reliable.
2. Working offline
Besides working online, PWA can also work without an Internet connection. When the connection is not secured or unavailable, the information of the PWA will be saved and cached, thanks to the built-in service workers. Users can continue their access to PWA without interruption.
PWA is the lifesaver for the retail industry whenever an Internet crash occurs. Customers are still allowed to view information that they accessed previously. If the information is new, customers will be redirected to a new custom offline page to ensure a smooth purchase.
3. Catch up with Push Notification
One of the progressive web apps’ advantages that resembles their native counterpart is the push notification feature. Users who allow push notifications on their screens are more likely to notice the news and updates.
With this feature, companies can boost their advertising campaigns and reach their target audience on apps. By constantly pushing the notification, companies can reach out to their users more frequently and receive recognition as a brand.
4. No manual update
Automatic update is another excellent progressive web app benefit. Unlike the native mobile app, all the updates will proceed without notification to users and their permission to update. Some PWAs, however, will not update silently and invisibly. The app may send push notifications to users about the impending update.
5. Low on data
Progressive web apps, in general, are lighter than native mobile apps. For example, Tinder’s PWA is only 2.8 MB, while its native app is 30 MB. The progressive web app requires less bandwidth than its native counterpart due to the advancement in caching.
With the small requirement for memory capacity, this is one of the progressive web apps benefits for those without access to a reliable Wi-Fi network or limited mobile data.
6. Use with any devices
Progressive web apps are highly compatible with most devices. It is built with a responsive layout design that can easily fit into any screen size. This responsive design is believed to improve user experience as the PWAs readjust the experience to any screen size. To further enhance user experience, you might need a PWA manifest file to control the full-screen view.
7. Native-app functionality
Many people favor native mobile applications over websites due to their convenience and advanced features. However, PWA has come to the rescue. Progressive web apps look and act like native mobile apps, from the home screen to deeper functions, making them suitable for every user. The end-user can enjoy the same experience as mobile apps regarding capability, responsiveness, and speed.
Progressive Web Apps Benefits For Businesses
1. Lower Development Cost
There are still many progressive web app benefits that businesses and enterprises can enjoy. PWAs are deemed investment-worthy due to their function on multiple devices and screen size adjustment.
Compared to traditional apps, PWA development is much cheaper while still offering a positive ROI. Moreover, PWAs require fewer resources for development. These benefits eventually help businesses reduce costs and save development time for developers. Small companies and start-ups can invest in PWA on a limited budget.
Surprisingly, you can reuse the PWA’s source code for future mobile app development, saving time and resources.
2. Improve your web/ web app performance
This is among the best progressive web apps advantages as it outperforms other types of webs in terms of performance. User experience in PWAs is boosted while user abandonment is reduced. Besides that, all data required by the PWA is efficiently cached, allowing the software to get the appropriate data rapidly when needed.
More specifically, progressive web apps help load pages two to four times faster. The finding also points out a 52% average increase in conversions. Lastly, a site using PWA can improve performance by 63% compared to its previous mobile site.
3. App Store independent
Users can download apps from familiar distribution platforms like App Store, Google Play, etc. However, not all devices are eligible for certain apps due to their specific requirements for the software of the device.
One of the advantages of progressive web apps is that they are app store independent. In other words, your business can release your own PWA without submitting it to the stores and paying fees to get your app published.
Without dependence on app distribution platforms, developers and businesses can freely create their web apps. They are also free from the requirements and restrictions of app distribution platforms.
4. Data Security
Data security has always been a concern for both users and businesses. PWAs can deal with this problem quite smoothly. As PWAS use HTTPS to manage and maintain data safety according to new web design standards, their launching within a secure environment is highly convenient.
Applying PWAs also helps eliminate risks of security breaching, spying, content alternating, and other illegal acts. Users can rely on your PWA’s protection of their personal information.
5. Increase user engagement
PWA provides many benefits for users, ultimately making them stay and return to your web app. Users will look for applications that not only solve their problems but should also be easy to use and convenient. The progressive web app has it all.
Using PWA, Twitter gained a 20% decrease in bounce rate, while Spotify achieved an average 40% increase in monthly engagement. These are just one of many successful PWA use cases from top brands to enhance user engagement.
Progressive Web Apps Advantages for developers
Of course, adding advanced features can cause some challenging work, yet PWA is still easier to deal with than a native app, which is the strongest progressive web app benefits. PWA can be a good project if a web developer wants to switch or expand their expertise to native app/ mobile app development.
For an eCommerce PWA, many developers suggest combining it with a headless or microservices architecture, to make PWA more accessible and adaptable to the constant changes in content.
Yet, consider Disadvantages of Progressive Web Apps
1. It kills the battery
PWAs can indeed load pages quickly, work under weak network connections, and respond effectively. However, with all incredible features coming in one pack, PWAs tend to require lots of energy to process and thus drain the device’s battery quickly.
2. Lack of download potential
Progressive web apps disadvantages also include the lack of download opportunities on app stores. When it comes to apps these days, general users will reach the app store in the first place to find, download, and install their desired apps. PWAs do not appear on the app stores as they are not regularly published through these sites.
On the other hand, they are discoverable through search engines and shareable throughout URLs. Yet, the result is usually a traditional website first and can only be turned into a PWA if the users know how to access and install one.
To tackle this, businesses can consider converting their PWAs to APK and IPA files and uploading them to app stores for more recognition and customer reach. Another way is using a pop-up on your website to ask if the user wants a PWA.
4. Performance issues if not done right
Despite the fast speed, progressive web app disadvantages in performance persist. PWAs can operate fast and smoothly when optimized right. If not, users can suffer from speed-related issues while using PWAs.
5. Unable to access the device’s hardware for advanced features
Unlike mobile apps, progressive web apps cannot access such device features as Bluetooth, phone cameras, and memory storage. This eventually causes one of the most significant progressive web apps disadvantages – the inability to perform certain functions that are possible with mobile apps, such as uploading photos, on-app taking pictures, voice search, voice chat and many more.
Despite its necessity for most apps, the PWAs clipboard/file system is not even accessible. This leads to the PWA development getting more and more difficult as developers lack access to necessary technologies.
6. Limited support on iOS
PWA can only operate with iOS 11.3 version and upwards, which can be a challenge for Apple users. Plus, PWA on Safari still suffers from glitches, and it doesn’t entirely support service workers, shortcut to the home screen and push notifications. This is due to Apple’s strategy, as they stated the process is still under development.
Therefore, you might consider whether most of your traffic is Apple’s users. If that’s the case then investing in a PWA is not a good choice now, as there is no guarantee that it can benefit your business.
7. Challenge for SEO index
Even though PWA is convenient, has a good user experience and fast loads, it doesn’t directly contribute to your SEO performance. Because of its architecture, search engine crawlers will take longer and be less efficient when indexing your content.
How can we tackle this? There aren’t many methods other than ensuring your Core Web Vitals is strong enough and every element is SEO-friendly.
However, if you are a startup or a small business in the growing stage, PWA might not be a choice since you don’t have stable traffic and people don’t know your brand yet. During this time, a website with a good ranking factor can be more accessible.
|To get the best of PWA, here are a checklist on how to mitigate the cons of Progressive Web Apps and leverage the pros of it.|
Progressive web apps offer advantages for individual and business users, with fast loading, wide device adaptability, data security, and so on. It also offer more benefits than their native counterpart, from smaller sizes to reduced development time and costs. However, PWAs undeniably have several drawbacks that hinder them from performing effectively. So carefully consider both the pros and cons before choosing to deploy a PWA.
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