An Ultimate Guide to the Progressive Web Apps

An Ultimate Guide to the Progressive Web Apps

Anuja Lath 16/10/2019 9

If you have an interest in software, technology, web, and design it is possible that you might have come across the term Progressive Web App many times recently. Actually so much is happening around this word, that there is simply no escape from it as we progress into the last quarter of 2019. The term has witnessed a gradual and logic buildup amidst all the noise which has happened around it. Interesting it may seem that despite all that you may have also felt a difficulty around arriving at an apt definition.

Let us do it here.

What is a Progressive Web App?

Progressive Web Apps are the latest level of technologies that have come together by a combination of the best of the web and mobile apps. They were introduced by Google in 2015 and have caught a lot of media hype primarily due to the enhanced ease of development and the successes that have been seen with the user experience of the application. You may take it as a website that is like an app. The latest developments in the browser, Cache and Push APIs have made the installation of web apps on home screens possible. Users are also able to continue their work offline and receive push notifications.

It can be said that these take leverage from the growing web ecosystem, plugins and even ease of development of website when it is compared to the banal apps.

Basic Attributes of Progressive Web App

The basic attributes of these new level of apps were enumerated by Alex Russell in 2015 along with Frances Berriman. Some of the most notable among these are:

  • Responsive: It is responsive to the extent that it can fit in any form factor.
  • Fresh: Due to the Service Worker Update Process, it is always fresh, renewed and updated.
  • Safe: It helps to prevent snooping by its TLS or the Service Worker requirement.
  • App-like: It often takes on a Shell+ Content application model for the creation of appy navigations and interactions.
  • Re-Engageable: PWAs can help in accessing the re-engagement of the UIs of the Operating system, chiefly the Push Notifications.
  • Connectivity Independent: It helps the Service Workers to work offline by being progressively enhanced.

Progressive Web App Framework

One of the most demanding tasks of web development is to enable the power of the web on mobile platforms. There has been a lot of hustle around this ever since the concept came up. There have been numerous attempts by the developers to attain the impeccable combination of performance and scale but none were able to reach the benchmark that was needed to take it forward. It was in 2015 when things took a turn towards the new horizons. It almost took a year to make PWAs mainstream. The benefits linked were huge, that the industry bigwigs could not resist and went bonkers. As a result, the popularity shot up. It was this popularity that gave way to a number of frameworks.

Here is a list of frameworks that have made it big on the reliability scale and have become popular.


It came into being in 2013 and is backed by Apache Cordova and Angular framework. Ever since it has become a part of more than 5 million hybrid app development. Ionic is open-source, free and also has the shortest learning curve. Another brilliant feature is that it possesses a huge plug-in library for accessing the APIs.


One more open-source framework that has been developed by Google. Polymer comes loaded with a huge range of templates, tools and many other web components that simplifies the whole process of Progressive Web App development. It uses the HTML/JSS/JS, thereby making it a complete PWA framework of its own. Not only it has great documentation but it also has full web stack support which includes the routing, data tier, and other responsive layouts. The APIs are also easily understandable.


This was given by Google in 2009 that is based on the Javascript ecosystem for building the apps that are not only reliable but also robust. AngularJS enjoys a great support from the community, has a great method for implementation. IntelliSense and Typescript are also present.


Vue is one of the biggest and growing libraries due to its coding speed and another high-speed rendering. Some of the best features that have led to its popularity are that it is supported by Laravel and Alibaba. In addition, even the learnability curve goes down due to the simplicity in the code. Lastly, TypeScript and JSX make it highly flexible.


React has always been one of the preferred choices of Progressive Web App builders mainly due to its JavaScript library and a big community. React enjoys great support from the community and is basically a big ecosystem.

Progressive Web Apps are thus the perfect blend of the best of web and the best of apps and can actually be used by the visitors even in the browser. One of the eminent features of these are that they get better and more personalized as they are used by the user. They have an amazing load speed even on not to stable networks and are great to send the most relevant push notifications. You should be looking at a seminal experience on a full-screen. They are for all the users as they are built with the central principle of progressive enhancement. They have bought the future closer and made it clearer.

This should have left you much more clarity and knowledge about the PWAs. The world of apps is fast progressing. The time is right to make your own versions for you never know you might just give shape to the most intriguing technology of the future. Explore the new possibilities and do share your experiences with us.



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  • Tony Evans

    Thanks for the tips

  • Carl Passaro


  • Wayne O'connor

    So on point, thanks for sharing.

  • Jane Vishnova

    Great article!
    We also create PWA for Magento.

  • Maryna

    Great post! Explains very well what is PWA and how exactly it works. In addition to this, I would also like to mention the core elements that are used to build progressive web applications, such as App Shell, which is a core element of PWA that provides a fast performance; service worker, an entirely separate network script that works on the background and decides if the content should be downloaded from cache or server; manifest file which is used to describe progressive web app features; and also other elements like PWA Push Notifications, Install banner, Caching strategies. To learn more information on how to develop a PWA, read this article:

  • Dasha

    Good read! I'm a big fan of PWA's and I would like to add that besides actually enabling the power of the web on mobile platforms, PWA's also allow companies to solve a bunch of problems, like slow Internet speed and slow website load, which it its turn helps to improve the user experience and even increase conversions. There are many success stories of companies which implemented PWA. For instance, Alibaba achieved a 76% increase in conversions and 4X increase in interaction rate after upgrading their site to a PWA.

    The downside of  PWA's is that they are not native which poses some limitations, e.g. not being able to implement all the features that fully native apps might offer. Another downside is that PWA's naturally can't reach the same performance as their native counterparts, but anyway they are a completely viable and in many cases are even optimal solution as progressive web app development takes less time as compared to native an hybrid apps and allows you to create and launch a mobile app without spending too much time. 

  • Yuliia

    Thanks! Very useful information!

    Our company
    also works with some of listed frameworks.

  • Hasan Raza

    Thanks for sharing this highly useful content piece, progressive web app development has its merits indeed and top web application development company should really incorporate this in their development practices.

  • Katarina

    It's definitely was a nice read. Recently I've been searching for every information bomb related to PWAs. Luckily, this is one of them. This piece is short but very informative, without unnecessary info. One more useful article I've recently found tells about the advantages of PWA for business. Hope, somebody else will also find at least as much useful as I consider it to be.

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Anuja Lath

Digital Marketing Expert

Anuja is the Co-founder and CEO of RedAlkemi Online Pvt. Ltd., a digital marketing agency helping clients with their end to end online presence. Anuja has 30 years of work experience as a successful entrepreneur and has co-founded several ventures since 1986. She and her team are passionate about helping SMEs achieve measurable online success for their business. Anuja holds a Bachelors degree in Advertising from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chandigarh, India.



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