You may or may not have heard of progressive web applications (PWAs) – but they open up a very exciting range of possibilities for your business. Developed by Google a few years back, and coming to the world’s attention in a big way in 2019, a PWA is – in a nutshell – a website which acts like a mobile app. If your company’s website is a PWA, it can be added to the home screen of a smartphone and work offline – meaning your customers can access your fantastic web content even without an internet connection. If you haven’t taken the plunge into the world of apps, then a PWA could be the answer you’ve been looking for. Here we’ll take a quick look at some of the main benefits progressive web apps offer your business.
PWAs work offline – meaning your business can still do business even if your customers don’t have access to the internet. By saving your website to their home screen, they can access your content even if they’ve ran out of data or have their phones in flight mode.
PWAs combine the user experience of a native app with the speed and performance of the mobile web. Save a PWA to your homescreen and you’ll see an icon appear, amongst the WhatsApps and Facebooks. Click it and you’re back on your website, but in a full screen container with no system dialogues. PWAs use significantly less storage space than native apps, making it less likely you’ll be jettisoned when the dreaded “iPhone storage running low” message appears. Costs to your business are lower too – developing native apps means creating at least two separate versions (Android, iOS etc) whereas a PWA needs only be developed once. This is a great boost for small companies who have found the costs of native app development off-putting.
Due to the way in which PWA technology caches and serves elements of your website (like images and scripts) performance of PWAs is a marked increase on regular mobile apps and websites. They load very fast – at least 2-3 times faster. This not only benefits the user, but you’ll notice your search rankings improve thanks to the rapid loading speeds afforded by this technology.
Swap your website for a PWA and you can serve push notifications on your customer’s devices – great for letting them know of a new article or special offer you’re running.
On top of the development costs and time associated with native apps, these must be submitted and approved by the big mobile app stores. Not so with PWAs – all a user needs do is visit your website and add your PWA to their home screen – no hoops to jump through at all.
We recently redeveloped our own website as a PWA and performance has markedly improved. If you’ve been thinking about getting an app for your business but have found the price implications daunting, get in touch to talk about what progressive web apps could do for your business.
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