There is seemingly an app for everything today. But for small businesses, building a mobile app may not be feasible. It can be a long, complicated, and expensive process. Luckily, when it comes to web application development, there are many different options available to you. One alternative that is particularly attractive to smaller businesses is a progressive web app. Essentially, it combines the features of a mobile app with the technology of the internet.
What Are Progressive Web Apps?
Nowadays, almost any website can be turned into a PWA. This process is much quicker and less expensive than building a native app. In fact, many of today’s largest companies use PWAs. This includes Starbucks, Pinterest, Uber, and Spotify.
One such example is Twitter. If you visit twitter.com on your phone’s browser, you can also install it on your home screen. When you open the app on your home screen, you’ll see that it looks and behaves exactly the same as a native app would. You do not see a browser window and there are no limitations on what you can do. Plus, it would look the same whether you were using an iOS device or an Android device.
Benefits of Progressive Web Apps
There are many reasons why businesses large and small choose to create PWAs instead of typical mobile apps. These are just some of the top reasons.
Cheaper to Develop
If you’ve ever undergone the process of building a mobile app, you know how time-consuming that process can be. If not, it can come as a bit of a shock. First, you have to build a separate version of the app for both Android and iOS devices. Then you need to follow the different testing and approval processes for each to be admitted into their respective app stores. In the future, you will need to maintain and update the app on two different platforms. All of this costs valuable time and money.
With a PWA, there is one codebase for all of the available platforms. This leads to substantial cost savings and time savings since it does not need to be developed from scratch. You can even configure your current website to fit, which is a much simpler process.
Can Be Indexed by Search Engines
Ever heard of search engine optimization (SEO)? In simple terms, this is the process of making your website more visible when people search for keywords on search engines. The higher you rank in the search results, the better chance you have of attracting the attention of your audience.
Unfortunately, native apps are not able to be indexed by search engines. Instead, they can only be found through the Google Play Store or Apple App store. But since PWAs work like websites, they can be indexed by search engines. This means they can rank better in search results than native apps can, leading to increased traffic.
PWAs are more secure than mobile apps because they run on HTTPS. HTTPS is a secure way to send data between a web browser and a web server. With credit card numbers, usernames, and passwords being shared online, more users are concerned about their online security than ever before. Many consumers are even specifically looking for the HTTPS designation when they visit websites.
With a progressive web app, they are already more secure since they run on HTTPS. In comparison, native apps need to have implemented security measures like multi-factor authentication. Adding these additional features creates more work for your developers and additional steps for your users to go through.
Less Burden on the End User
Your user navigated to the app store, searched for your app, and now they need to install it and download it. While this time might seem minimal to you, it requires some commitment from the user to complete. They’ll likely have to check multiple permissions, insert their login details, and more before they can begin the installation. A PWA doesn’t require any of these tedious steps. Instead, mobile users can use their browser to bookmark it and add it to their home screen with just a few easy taps.
Can Be Used Offline
Out and about without access to a Wi-Fi network? That might spell trouble for a mobile app, but not for a progressive web app. These apps are able to work with no trouble while offline and in low-network conditions.
What Makes a Good Progressive Web App?
Despite all of the benefits above, not every progressive web app is created equal. Your web application development team should make sure these basic aspects are included in your PWA.
Responsive to Any Screen Size
Everyone has used a website or app that looks great on one device, but not on another. For example, you read a news website on your laptop easily but have a hard time with the cramped appearance on your cell phone. A good web application is able to adapt to any screen size, remaining easy to read and navigate.
Work With Any Browser
Since PWAs are web applications first, they need to work on all browsers, not just a few. Users should be able to use them in any browser from Google Chrome and Safari to Firefox and Edge. If your web app is only available on one or a few browsers, you risk losing out on potential traffic.
Starts Fast And Stays Fast
The number one reason people end up leaving web pages is that they don’t load fast enough. In fact, 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if the page takes more than 3 seconds to load. And 47% of consumers expect websites to load in 2 seconds or less. However, their expectation for quickness doesn’t end with the initial loading of the page. They also expect immediate responses whenever they interact with their site. If they click on a button, they should never be left wondering if it registered or not.
Partner with Professionals
Even if you have an in-house tech team, there are several reasons to leave the web application development to the professionals like the ones at Dorian Solutions. We have experience building many application types for companies across various industries that meet their specific business needs. We’ll work with you to discover exactly what your customers need in a web app and how we can best deliver it to them. Reach out today to see how we can help you get back to growing your business, and not just running it.