What is PWA (Progressive Web App)?
PWA is a new way to create user-friendly mobile websites, and it's definitely a trend we'll be seeing a lot more of. PWA technically works like a regular website - it's hosted on regular web servers, accessible via web browsers and indexable by search engines - but it's very similar to a mobile app.
Flipkart, India's largest e-commerce website, decided in 2015 to replace their mobile website with a Progressive Web App because they found it difficult to deliver a satisfactory user experience on mobile devices. The switch to PWA resulted in a 70% increased conversion rate, a three times longer average session duration and a three times lower data consumption. If this sounds like something you'd like to achieve too, forget about AMPand read on below.
Advantages of PWA
- App-like design. The PWA is built in a responsive design, similar to a mobile app. This ensures an optimal user experience for mobile users.
- Offline functionality. Users can add PWA websites to their home screen (like an app), allowing PWA websites to be used without internet access.
- Access for all. Users don't have to download or pay for PWA sites. This puts an end to Apple's App Store (and others) and the restrictions it has imposed.
- Push notifications. You can send your users a quick update or message with a push notification.
- Lower data consumption. PWA websites have lower data consumption, which is particularly important for users in areas with slow or limited internet access.
Google has spoken very positively about Progressive Web Appsand there is no doubt that PWA is better than AMP. But it is also a more demanding and expensive solution development-wise. AMP may therefore be a good and easy place to start, until open source tools make it easier to develop PWA websites.