Developing a Progressive Web App
Like most things, web development is also evolving, and now web developers can create web pages or applications that can be seen by millions of people all over the globe in just a few clicks. Recently, there has been an advancement in progressive web apps, where users can have an app like experience using modern web technologies, while just being on a webpage. This can have multiple benefits, one of the biggest being that users don’t have to spend the time downloading an app. A progressive web app is accessible in tabs in a browser, plus users can add the page to the home screen of their devices, much like a normal app. There are also other app like features such as the ability to use it offline, have push notification and the ability to sync in the background.
Many companies are taking the time and the funds to re-develop their websites into a progressive web app so it appeals to more users.
A term that comes partnered with progressive web apps is service worker. A service worker is essentially a script that works in the background, separated from the web page. It will then respond to events that are made on the webpage and runs only as long as it needs to process the event. This is what can be used to give people an offline experience unlike web pages. They also provide instant loading for repeat visits to the site, which can be a very handy tool for retaining users.
With the use of push notifications, you can build web apps that are able to engage with users outside of the tab. A customer doesn’t even have to be using the page for you to interact with them. Utilizing this feature will require both a Web app manifest and service worker.
The great thing about creating a progressive web app is you can apply these features to an existing framework or application you are using, so there is no need to start from scratch. One of the most common approaches taken is architecting the app around an ‘application shell’, which comes with several benefits. Using this comes with significant performance gains, and is worth considering when building a progressive web app for your business.
There are many web starter kits available online for those that are looking to build their first progressive web applications for their business, and the returns gained from creating one will be worth the time and effort put into creating it.These apps are still in their infancy, therefore it is the perfect time for business to play around and see what they can create with this new technology. It is an exciting time for business, and it won’t be long before everyone is using progressive web apps in their day to day lives.