What are Progressive Web Apps?

We will say it right away: "your organization must replace its native app with a Progressive Web App", why? Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are the new standard and there are many benefits associated with PWAs, but what exactly are those benefits and why are these "new" apps so much better than the apps we've been using for several years? You can read that here.

What are Progressive Web Apps?

A Progressive Web App is a website with the character of an app. For example, websites created according to the PWA principle benefit from the strengths of native apps without the disadvantages of native apps, because it is not a separate technique, but "only" a set of guidelines, created by Google and where your website code/technology. In practice, this often means that you have to rebuild the website, but there are many advantages to a PWA.

In summary, a PWA is, therefore, an app that is started from a web browser and, just like a native app, can be stored on the home screen of your phone. As a user, you do not have to download the app and this keeps the app always up-to-date while it is also available offline.

The benefits of PWAs

Progressive Web Apps are user experiences that have the reach of the internet and therefore there are a lot of advantages to it. A major advantage of PWA technology is that it is based on open standards: PWAs are built from HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This makes the apps faster and cheaper. Native apps often still have to be maintained separately in Android and iOS.

The PWA that is installed loads the responsive website, but it is then loaded into the "cache environment" of your mobile. Because the website is/remains present on the mobile phone, telephone functions are easier to perform, so sending push notifications and opening the camera is easier. These important success factors are made possible by the fact that the PWAs are provided with a new set of APIs, which are called "service workers". The "service workers" make it possible to run JavaScript in the background: this is again very useful for pre-loading content, synchronizing and receiving data and sending push notifications. This makes the app or the responsive website so much faster and easier to use, but those are not the only advantages. The other benefits of a PWA are as follows:

  • Reliable: A PWA charges immediately even in uncertain network conditions. A Progressive Web App is even available offline. The technical "service workers" ensure that it also connects to online on low WiFi or 3G networks. The combination of data offline and service workers, who can refresh or send data in the background, ensures a high degree of connectivity.
  • Fast: The new app version responds quickly to user interactions and the load capacity of images, for example, is also a lot faster.
  • Engaging: A PWA looks like an ordinary app on your device, but it has a much better user experience.
  • Progressive: The PWA works for every user, regardless of the browser, because it is built with normal web technology.
  • Responsive: Suitable and suitable for any shape; desktop, mobile, tablet, etc.
  • App-like: It feels like an app because technology ensures a separation of content/information and functionality.
  • Up-to-date: The data is always up-to-date, thanks to the service workers, who take care of the update process in the background.
  •  Safe: A PWA is always and only possible via an HTTPS connection so that it is safe.
  • Search engine friendly: According to the W3C manifesto, a PWA is accepted as an application and the data is indexable and Google gives PWA websites/applications priority in their search results! In short, Progressive Web Apps perform better in search engines than normal websites; these are in fact punished by Google. Do you want to know more about how you can score high in Google search results? View 9 tips for Search Engine Optimization here.
  • Increase repeat visits and loyalty: With PWAs you increase repeat visits and customer loyalty because sending Push Notifications is possible.
  • Easy to install: Ensures that visitors can easily install the app (the app icon) and do not have to do this with an extra step via the App Store or Google Play store.
  • Linkable: The app can easily be exchanged by sending a link and without further complex installations.

Want to know more about Progressive Web Apps? Download the whitepaper here

In the whitepaper 2 Progressive Web App examples, you will find two successful customer cases of companies that implemented a PWA. PostNL and Horticoop are sharing their stories.