How Do I Create A Progressive Web Application (PWA)

How Do I Create A Progressive Web Application (PWA)?


PWA delivers an app-like experience to the users by using modern web capabilities. In simple terms, we can say that it behaves like a simple website that runs on your browser with some add-on features and enhancements. There are ample benefits provided by progressive web apps:

  • You can install the app on the mobile/desktop home screen. 
  • You have the advantage of accessing it offline.
  • You can access the camera.
  • Get Push Notifications.
  • Benefits of background synchronization. 

Apart from these, you can do many more things when using PWAs. Undoubtedly, PWA is the future. Businesses are coming up with their PWA to target their potential customers and make their business grow. 

If you are thinking of developing a PWA for your business, you can hire a PWA development company

But before that, let us discuss the steps to create a progressive web app. 

Steps To Create A Progressive Web Application (PWA)

Developing a progressive web app is not an easy task. You need to follow these specific steps to build a successful PWA for your business. 

I) Serve Over HTTPS

SSL, also known as Secure Sockets Layer, is a standard technology that helps your internet connection provide security while sending data between two systems. When you implement SSL on your website, it offers secure connections that help users feel confident and secure while using your app. With PWAs, you can configure HTTPS for using service workers and allowing home screen installation.  

An SSL certificate can be purchased easily from the domain registrar, and you can configure it through your hosting provider. 

II) Create an Application Shell

When users open your web app, the first thing which appears on their screen is the application shell. It exists in your index HTML document with inline CSS to ensure it loads faster and your users won’t wait up with a white screen for longer. 

The app shell forms part of the pattern of progressive enhancement. You should ensure to provide the content to your users as soon as possible. 

III) Register a Service Worker

PWA goodies include push notifications, caching, install prompts, etc. To tap into the full spectrum of PWA, you need a service worker.  

In simple terms, a service worker is a programmable network proxy that allows you to control the network requests of your page and how they are handled. Service workers only run over HTTPS; thus, you should ensure that your progressive web app is HTTPS configured. 

If you want help regarding registering a service worker for PWA, you can connect with your progressive web app development company for assistance. 

IV) Add Push Notifications

Users using your PWA receive push notifications from the web push API. If you need to access it, you have to tap into self.registration.pushManager from the service worker file. 

Suppose you are developing the PWA from scratch. In that case, you can use the Google Firebase service that comes with Firebase Cloud Messaging for configuring push notification in your PWA that works seamlessly. 

V) Add a Web App Manifest

Commanding over the web browsers about the progressive web app becomes an easy task when the web app manifest is implemented. You can easily track PWAs working when installed on the user’s mobile or desktop.

The web app manifest is a JSON file supported in Chrome, Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera. It is partially supported in Safari. 

Thus, you need to add manifest.json in the PWAs root directory to install your application. 

VI) Configure the Install Prompt

While your users visit a PWA, the browser will automatically prompt them to install it to their home screen. The main purpose here is to wait until the user demonstrates any interest in your application and request them to add fixtures to their devices. 

VII) Analyze Your App’s Performance

PWAs performance matters a lot for your business. Make sure that your app should be faster for your users in all network conditions. Even if your user does not have a browser to support service worker technology, your PWA should work faster without any lag.

Connect with your progressive web app development company to analyze your app performance through the RAIL system (RAIL is what google calls the ‘user-centric performance model’) and work accordingly with the development team to make your app faster. The four parts of the RAIL performance model are Response, Animation, Idle, and load. 

VIII) Audit Your Report With Lighthouse

With the help of the lighthouse, you can improve the quality of your PWA pages. Google is the biggest champion supporting progressive web apps as the future of the web. Lighthouse tools can be a good support to help you in your PWA development.  

Lighthouse tool can help you to audit your web app according to PWA guidelines and gives you a score out of 100. It can also score your app on web best practices at the same time. 

The following things can be performed using the Lighthouse tool 

  • Registers a Service Worker
  • Responds with a 200 when offline
  • You have access to some content, when JavaScript is not available
  • Uses HTTPS
  • Redirects HTTP traffic to HTTPS
  • Page load is fast enough on 3G
  • Prompt to install the web app. 
  • Configured for a custom splash screen
  • Address bar matches brand colours
  • Has a <meta name=”viewport”> tag with width or initial-scale
  • Content is sized correctly for the viewport

What Makes Progressive Web App Different From Other Web Development?

A progressive web app is a next-generation web app that provides a Native alike experience to users. 

  • PWA developers ensure to meet all the criteria while developing web apps. They ensure icons, short names, displays, and HTTP are all well integrated with the app. 
  • Using modern technologies, PWA developers work on the app to make it accessible offline to the users. 
  • App Shell Model helps PWA load faster on all devices without any lag. 
  • By following SEO guidelines, PWA is developed to make it SEO-friendly so that it is crawled and indexed in Google and other search engines.
  • PWAs are developed with a beautiful interface and are user-centric to ensure users love using these apps. 

Conclusion

Well, to conclude the topic, we can say that progressive web apps are the future. Many businesses are coming up with their PWAs to grab customer retention, which is essential for any business’s success. 

Being a business owner, if you want to transform your business into future-ready, avail progressive web app development services from reputed firms that can help you transform your dream into reality. 

Author’s Bio

Steven Martin is a senior app developer at AppsChopper, who is not only passionate about coding, but also likes to share his knowledge via writing unique content. He is dedicated towards his work, and stays updated with all the latest technologies trending in the market.