Sometimes you need a website that will work as a full-scale application. A progressive web application is the embodiment of this principle. Examples of what it can do include file handling, data reading and proceeding, advanced graphics, and real-time interaction with the customer. And, still, it is basically a website written using web services and fully discoverable by search engines.
You can find a good progressive web app development company and contact it to know more about the price and workflow. Before, let’s explore the essentials of this technology and see whether it will be suitable for you.
Essentials and reasons for the popularity
It is the way to make your app work without going native. What does it mean?
Generally, you need to create a native app for Android or iOS using their own development studios. If you want something more universal, you can utilize a development framework, which will greatly facilitate your labor, but it still should be developed separately. It will give you an application, which will then be released via application stores and distributed to the users.
But you can go the other way and produce a progressive web app, which will serve the same purposes. See the diagram above: it shows how such an app works from the user’s perspective. Their development is generally easier and cheaper than native app creation, as they utilize web technologies and are essentially complex websites. Therefore, their popularity constantly increases, and the PWA market is predicted to reach more than $10 billion in 2027.
When are they preferred?
In cases when you need some functionality that will realize your business’s mission and goals, but it is possible to implement it using web services, you can choose PWA. As you’ll see, it will save you money and give you several great advantages. However, sometimes it would be better to avoid this option. While more than 40% of European and American software-related companies either use or plan to use progressive web apps, most still rely on native apps.
Let’s see PWA’s advantages, evaluate possible drawbacks, and you’ll decide whether to use them or not. If yes, you’ll also find the algorithm of their development and the approximate cost.
As you can see below, PWAs unite the functionality and capabilities of native mobile apps and the vast reach of websites. It means that you’ll obtain an embodiment of your idea in the form of a highly functional website, but it still is a website: easier to use, indexable by search engines, and accessible via the browser.
Let’s see a list of advantages.
- Cross-platform compatibility, as they are web-based and not limited by operational systems.
- Easy installation directly on the home screen from the web browser, without downloading from the app store.
- Offline functionality, as it uses caching mechanisms similar to websites.
- Discoverability and shareability mean that distribution and marketing will be much easier, as they are searchable on the web.
- It is quite cheap, as building a PWA utilizes web technologies and the amount of code is usually less than in the case of native apps.
- Easy updating in the background, without the necessity to download any updates manually.
- Improved performance due to modern web technologies, caching mechanisms, and being lightweight.
So, probably, now you question why everyone doesn’t use them. Well, the concept is quite new, and companies are adopting it slowly. In addition, it has several drawbacks, which should be counted.
First, native apps have access to more features and APIs which are embedded into the device, allowing them to provide better user experiences. It is the reason why most companies still prefer native apps: as UX is their crucial part, they want to immerse customers in them as deeply as possible.
They also have better integration with the device in general, including push notifications, camera access, and access to hardware such as phone sensors. Thus, if the app will use various hardware features extensively, such as the healthcare app for body parameter tracking, native app creation is preferential.
Therefore, to decide whether PWA will be good for you, ask yourself whether the usage of web technologies will be enough. If some of the Android/iOS/Windows functionality is required, or the application will be very complex, then a native app will be a better choice.If the answer is yes, feel free to design and build a progressive web app and employ its advantages and much lower prices.
OK, after the decision is made, you need to choose the developer. Choosing the right one is crucial for your success. It will ensure that the process will be exciting and beneficial for both parties.
Let’s review some characteristics which you can use to evaluate the developer.
- Experience and expertise that include analysis of their portfolio and team members’ skills, such as the knowledge of crucial languages and frameworks, such as React.
- User experience (UX) focus is a special topic that you should consider and communicate with the developer about it directly. Immersion is the key in the modern world, full of distractions and activities, and the company should be able to implement it.
- Efficient communication enables quick problem-solving and prevention, so choose a developer who is responsive, communicative, and can work with your team closely and seamlessly.
- Performance optimization includes testing, fixing various app’s flaws and broken optimaking the decisiontion, and you should ensure that the developer is capable of that.
- Support and maintenance are crucial, so make sure that your collaboration will be long-term and the developer will help you maintain your app.
- Pricing should be clear and transparent, as a good developer can substantiate their prices and is open to rational negotiations.
- Lastly, notice and consider customer reviews and references to see your potential developer’s reputation.
PWA development, as in all other cases, starts from the mission, goal-setting, and conducting market research. Then, you develop, test, and refine the app based on this information and constantly updating information.
At each stage, you’ll need a specialist or several of them doing this certain part of the work. A project/product manager will guide the whole process and is involved in all stages.
- Analysis is the foremost step to determine the app’s purpose, functionality, and place on the market. It consists of planning, goal-setting, market research, and communicating with possible customers to gather information. A product manager can complete this process by themselves.
- Prototyping is the creation of the first working version, which will then be enhanced, expanded, and improved.
- Design is the process of “tuning” the prototype, turning it into something resembling the end product.
- Development starts when all prerequisites are ready, and you can add all core functionality.
- Testing is launching the app in various conditions and catching all UX flaws. bugs, broken features, etc., all of which are to be fixed and improved. While app developers can test the app by themselves, there is a QA tester position for this purpose.
- Release is when you launch the first end version. Marketers are usually in need here to ensure that your app will be promoted and advertised and reach your end users successfully.
- Support includes maintaining the app’s functionality and releasing updates regularly.
While a progressive web app will cost you less than a native one, the lowest budget estimation should start from $10,000. A typical price is $20,000 – $35,000.
To evaluate it, as always, start by evaluating the prices of web developers with whom you plan to collaborate. See below the key factors which will influence its cost. The upper limit is usually more than $100,000, in the case of complex features and cutting-edge technologies.
To build a robust PWA, utilize all their advantages and benefits, such as offline functionality, cross-platform, and interaction with search engines. There are also several points for application development in general, such as clear purpose and responsiveness, which are essential for a good user experience.
Let’s review the article in a list of quick end notes.
- Define clear goals and requirements to determine the key features and functionalities of your app.
- User experience and performance are your top priorities. Be sure to optimize your application so there are no UX flaws and broken features.
- Focus on offline capabilities to utilize the key advantage of PWAs: their ability to work in low-connectivity environments.
- Push notifications will deliver users all information that is crucial for them during using your app.
- Optimize for search engines to utilize its another key advantage. Use SEO practices for all texts used in it to make your app more visible when someone googles the concepts realized in it.
- Make it work in all environments. Test your PWA across different platforms and their versions of them. It will ensure compatibility with all browsers and operating systems and an excellent user experience.
- Updates and feedback analysis are necessary, as your app must remain relevant and useful. Remember, it can update on the background, so use this feature to constantly improve the app based on the market realities, new technologies, and user feedback.
You’ll like the idea of progressive web app development if you want to realize some crucial features in the form of the application. Probably your business needs to share some information, improve communications, analyze data, or help people with their travels – in these cases, PWAs will be the clue. If your app will be not very complex and the usage of the smartphone’s hardware is not particularly important, you can consider this idea. It will save you money and provide your customer with the best experience. Make sure to check the list in the previous section before the development!