Progressive web apps use modern web capabilities to deliver application-like experiences to users. For this, they are deployed to servers, accessible through URL links and indexed by search engines. Moreover, for the application to be considered as being progressive it needs to be connection independent, responsive, use app-like notifications, up to date, engaging, safe and discoverable.
The progressive web apps normally use technologies of both web as well as mobile apps. In addition, the advancements in the various browsers and the service workers in the cache and push API’s allow users to install the web apps in their home screens to work offline.
The progressive web apps: –
Doesn’t need downloading from the appstore or play store
Can be shared easily and download fast from the browser
Doesn’t require much space
Is quick and can engage more effectively
Has better Search engine optimization capability (SEO)
For progressive web apps to be effective, the user experience of the website needs to be reliable, fast and engaging. Thereby, your website should qualify in these attributes.
1) It should be immersive
In order for your website to be immersive, the full screen, theme and orientation should be looked into.
Full screen: The website pages should neatly fit the screen when viewed from any device. Thus, it requires it to be responsive with no overflow or zooming in and out. This is because the progressive web application will open the pages the same way that it is seen online. Moreover, you can easily lose visitors if the website looks outdated with no latest trends.
Theme: This is the general outlook which entails the color combination, animations on the screen and objectives. Even when making the website it is important to choose a theme that is flexible enough. If you use a combination of blue and white, ensure that your application will take the same colors.
Orientation: Orientation requires the orderliness of the website with the right kind of sections put in the right place. This makes it as professional as possible for a great user experience.
2) It should enable notifications
When a visitor opens your website, you should ensure it showcases a push notification that is easy to conceal. However, it should direct the user to add the website progressive application to their home screen.
It can be added to a desktop’s screen, tablet’s screen or a smartphone. The notification should also be attractive and not nuisance to the user. The wordings on the notification should be straight to the point to prevent the user from leaving the website abruptly.
You may also decide to use prompts instead of the push notifications.
3) Your website should be secure
In order to secure your website, you need to get an SSL certificate which is easily accessible through various platforms. You are then given a code that you can use to encrypt to your website. Whenever the URL link is clicked it will inform the users about the security standards of the website, which in turn increases the user’s trust.
The secure connection also ensures data integrity and user privacy. For instance, if it requires the visitors to log in so as to access certain information, all the details and credentials of the person won’t be prone to any cyber crimes.
4) No loop-holes in the website
You need to ensure that there are no loop-holes in the website that will prevent the progressive web application from functioning. It might be a slight code error, but it will cost the whole website.
5) There should be a valid JSON manifest install
This helps to cache information with the help of the service worker. The shell app is then used to load the CSS rules and deliver an offline version of the website with a complete user interface capability.
6) Hosted website
The Progressive Web app can only function for a website that is online. If it doesn’t have a domain and a hosting company, it may not function as it should.
7) Trouble shoot all problems
Before trying to convert your website to become a progressive web application, make sure to troubleshoot all the problems on the website. If there are any missing links, broken links and code errors, make sure you solve them before attempting anything.
The benefit of having a progressive web application for your website
For starters, if a user adds the web app to their home screen, they can easily view all the pages they had previously opened on the website.
It has a capacity for offline-view without using any data. Moreover, it will never show the offline failure page, except for the pages that had never been opened, but it will direct one to the home page instead.
For these progressive web apps, there are no installs needed, or downloads via app store or play store. Once the website is added to your device’s home screen, you can view the pages as many times as possible even with no internet connection.
Due to the immersive aspect, the pages will showcase on the full screen without dividing the content.
In addition, it also increases the professional aspect of your website, company, and business.
Due to a service worker, the web app can easily load with slow network connections. It also aids in improving conversions.
How to make the progressive web applications
1) For starters, you need to get a security certificate for your website. The certificate can either be provided by your hosting company or by purchasing from some service providers.
2) You need to use a service worker that helps the web app not to show any offline page.
Service Worker Cycle
The function of the service worker is to add the app-like lifecycle to a page that enables converting of the website. Another aspect is that it keeps an eye on OS and responds to all the system events.
It is responsible for caching all the files, push notification, updating content and handling data. The script functions independently with Event listeners and commands. It handles the requests with the appropriate responses that allow customized pages offline.
Steps to be undertaken
Add an install Event handler
Proceed on to pre-fetch the application sources
Then add an active Event Handler
Then final step is to fetch the Event Handler.
After this, you need to test the progressive web application by using Lighthouse (a chrome extension) that tells you if your site makes a good PWA or not. You can access it , by generating a report that guides you on what you should improve.
Also make sure that you have an application icon for your PWA. The icon should correspond with the icon that is used on your website. Remember to maintain its simplicity and keep all the rules that are adhered in website design.
If you have a website, make sure you learn how to make a progressive web app and convert your website. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are migrating it, but just increasing its diversity. It is the onset of progressive web apps and it is expected to thrive well as time goes by.