The new technology developed by Google called Progressive Web Apps (PWA's) is an absolute game-changer for the web and is simply too good to ignore. The upsides are massive because a PWA can deliver the total app experience and functionality as well as working beautifully on a large screen desktop. They work on IOS and Android devices, they work on all the major browsers on desktops, laptops and tablets and mobile phones. They do not need to be seperately developed for app stores on IOS and Android, in fact, PWA's do not even need an app store to install. The user simply visits the website on a mobile device and then use "add to homescreen" to install the app. They are fast to install, usually less than a second. Both the app version and the web version are seriouslty fast to navigate. The speed of these websites will be the most noticable difference compared to a traditional website. When we say "fast" ... we mean really fast, like almost instant and it is this single factor that will create a significant reason to upgrade. By the end of 2019 normal websites are going to feel slow, clunky and outdated compared to PWA's. But wait there's more... PWA's will be favoured in a Google search, they work offline, they are simple and easy to update and users will love them and they will see more of your content in less time ... and this is why 2019 is the year to rethink your online strategy and consider re-developing your website to become a PWA.
PWA's may be new technology but unlike many "new technologies" introduced in the past this one really is here to stay. Not only has this technology been developed by one of the largest companies in the world, Google, it is being strongly backed by Microsoft and Apple (also among the world's biggest companies). If that is not convincing enough then consider the fact some of the world's largest websites have already converted to the PWA technology. These sites include Twitter, Uber, Pintrest, Whats App, NASA, Starbucks, Trivago and more ... websites of this size and reach would not use technology for their own sites if was at all flaky or unlikely to continue. At JABA we are totally convinced that PWA's are the new frontier for effective web design projects in 2019.
The first thing users will notice is the sheer speed of a PWA compared to a website. If the app version is installed this will work just as fast even when you have a very slow connection ... and it can even work offline. PWA's can look like a traditional website with many pages of content, however the PWA delivers all the content in a single page, it is called a "single page application" ... you will notice this when you click on a tile or link to another page ... the browser will quickly slide to the top and instantly display the new content.
In simple terms, a PWA renders all the page content on the server rather than on your computer and then sends down parcels of content pre-rendered and cached. One way to see the difference is to look at the source code of a PWA compared to any traditional website. Traditional websites can have thousand of lines of code for each page within the website. The source code of a PWA is only a few lines long and is the code for the entire website, not just the page you are viewing. As said earlier, a PWA is a "single page application" and all the hard work that other websites do on your computer is done on the server instead. Our programmers are writing code for "service workers" that bundle up page assets and gets them ready for almost instant delivery when a page is selected.
At first glance, there is not a lot of differences between a PWA and a native app. Most things that can be done on a native app can be done on a PWA. But there are significant differences behind the scenes including the biggest advantage which is the cost of development. PWA's can be more than 50% cheaper to produce, in some cases the difference is even more in favor of the PWA. This is simply because a PWA only needs a single development instead of native apps that require two versions of the app development for IOS and Android. Plus the native app developments do not create a website solution, so companies that use apps as part of their digital strategy also have to budget for the development of the website. PWA's cover all this in one development, which for some companies will save ten's of thousands of dollars in their digital marketing budget.
The most obvious difference between a PWA and app is the ability for a PWA to work on desktops and laptops. Not only just "work" but to create that ultimate user experience across all platforms and devices. Many companies that use a website and an native app as part of their digital strategy should and will consider the PWA as an option, because it simply makes common sense. Currently many apps do not relate to the look and feel and the user experience of the website that app is associated with. PWA's totally solves that problem.
Another significant difference is the editing and updating of content. Some apps have updates that require the owner to go back to their app developers to make the upgrade and then wait for them to submit it to Google and Apple's App Stores for approval. This can be timely and costly each time where a PWA can be easily updated using the site's content management system. JABA PWA's use a CMSv6 that will look similar to the traditional CMS users and is really simple and easy to edit and can even completely change the design, if required. PWA's do not need an app store and any user that has the app installed on their device will get any update almost instantly.