To say that mobile web users are demanding would be an understatement. They expect a responsive and stable browsing experience every time. They also want their search results to load more quickly and expect rich user experiences.
What’s more, modern apps need to support a diverse range of ecosystems, including mobile and desktop web, native iOS and Android, and Facebook’s Instant Articles, just to name a few. In order to give users a faster and more reliable mobile browsing experience, developers need to combine the most popular features of mobile tech.
This is where both AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) and PWA (Progressive Web Apps) come into play. These frameworks have become the hot new buzzwords in the front-end arena. But how can
AMP and PWA benefit your website? Let’s take a look at their individual functions and discover how you can incorporate them into your web page.
What is Accelerated Mobile Pages?
If you’ve ever used a search engine on your mobile device, you’ve probably encountered AMPs. This Google and Twitter-backed open source framework cuts down on multiple elements that slow down websites in order to enhance site speed and user experience across all mobile devices and platforms. Thus, AMP is one approach that developers can use to create web pages for static content.
AMP was initially made for news articles and blog posts from reputable content publishers. In fact, this technology was launched as an answer to Facebook’s Instant Articles and other similar frameworks. However, over the years, it has morphed into an effective platform that delivers content from search results at lightning speed. Google has created a separate news carousel that only hosts AMP pages, and these appear exclusively on mobile search results.
So, how does AMP work? The framework has three primary elements:
- AMP HTML
- AMP JS
- AMP CDN
Let’s tackle AMP HTML first. This particular component comes in the form of an open-source code, which developers utilize in order to build AMP pages. However, there are stringent rules you must follow in terms of HTML tags. For instance, AMP doesn’t allow the use of specific elements, such as forms, to make pages load more quickly. You’ll also need to utilize an updated version of CSS for this AMP element.
What are Progressive Web Apps?
The PWA framework has been defined in a variety of ways. For one, Ionic defines PWAs as web apps that provide users with an app-like experience through modern web capabilities. Conversely, Google Developers define PWAs as user experiences that integrate the finest in web and app capabilities.
According to Mozilla’s technical definition, PWAs utilize specific technologies and common patterns in their development. These elements allow PWAs to take advantage of both web and native app features.
But there’s another definition that truly touches on what the framework is all about. PWAs are web apps in the form of typical web pages or websites that can look similar to regular or native apps on mobile devices. These apps integrate modern browser features and the advantages of a mobile user experience into one technology.
PWAs have the following characteristics:
Thus, PWAs should load immediately even if mobile networks are erratic or fluctuating. They should also have fast responses to user interactions and feel app-like with the immersive user experience.
There’s also a baseline criterion that websites must have so that they can be classified as PWAs:
- PWAs should come from a secure origin. This means you should serve your app over TLS and padlock displays.
- PWAs should load or launch while users are offline. Therefore, your PWA should deploy service workers in its interface.
- PWAs should reference a web app manifest
What are the Individual Benefits of AMP and PWA?
AMP and PWA have a variety of advantages as stand-alone frameworks. Using AMP to develop faster web pages presents the following benefits:
- The framework itself is super fast.
- AMP works for all users.
- Pages can rank higher on Google’s mobile search results.
- Users tend to stay longer on AMP sites and are more likely to buy products from such sites.
PWA offers developers the following advantages:
- Reduced load times after installation through content caching.
- The ability to solely update the content once an app update goes live.
- A more homogeneous appearance and feel that complements the native mobile platform.
- User engagement through system notifications and push messages.
How to Combine AMP and PWA on Your Website
You can integrate both AMP and PWA on your website by using any of the following methods:
- AMP as PWA
- AMP to PWA
- AMP in PWA
AMP as PWA
AMP to PWA
AMP to PWA utilizes AMP as a website’s entry point and subsequently prepares the PWA for switching. This allows you to serve fast-loading pages to your users when they organically click on your site. Service workers will only be installed once users navigate to your website.
AMP in PWA
Lastly, the AMP in PWA method powers PWAs by utilizing AMP pages as a data source. All you have to do is incorporate Shadow DOM into your PWA, then use an XMLHTTP request to fetch the AMP document and return a response HTML once the AMP page has loaded.
Regardless of what method you decide to use, your AMP page can utilize numerous PWA features, provided that you’re serving the former from the same HTTPS origin.
Benefits of Integrating AMP + PWA on Your Website
AMP and PWA may have their natural weak points as individual frameworks, but they’re able to conquer those flaws and create a better user experience when they’re combined. Both frameworks are useful if you need to maintain multiple websites.
AMP caches your site’s primary page view, while PWA service workers cache the content source of its non-AMP version. Moreover, integrating both technologies on an e-commerce site can result in higher site visits, user engagement, and conversions from mobile shoppers. To sum it up, the AMP + PWA combination can help users start fast, stay fast, and stay engaged on your page.