In the decade since web-capable smartphones came into prominence, mobile web use has skyrocketed at a consistent rate. Mobile devices account for over half of web traffic worldwide, and with the convenience, accessibility, low barrier to entry, and near-ubiquity of modern smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, that number can only be expected to increase.
As such, it will only be more important for the design of webpages to not only have a consistent experience between desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. The use of responsive web design through frameworks such as Bootstrap has contributed greatly toward this goal in terms of layout, providing the ability for a webpage to adapt its layout and elements to best suit the device and screen on which it is being displayed. However, design has its limitations, and a responsive layout alone may not provide the functionality a user needs from your website. This is where progressive web apps come into play.
Progressive web apps, or PWAs, are applications that use a variety of platforms and technologies to provide services to your user base with the functionality and ease of use of a mobile or desktop app, but requiring nothing more than your web browser. As a result, not only is the need for your users to install an external app eliminated, but your site’s functionality is platform-agnostic, meaning that with the same code base, your users can have the same experience whether they’re using a Mac, PC, or an Android or iOS device. This, in turn, also eliminates the need to spend additional time and money to develop and maintain separate apps for each platform you want to serve, making it the ideal solution for a business on a budget.
Building a progressive web app can also be done quickly and with relative ease, as there are a number of frameworks available such as Google’s Angular, Facebook’s React, and the open-source Vue that streamline the development process and currently serve as the foundation in PWAs for many large companies such as PayPal, Netflix, and Pinterest. If you are interested in implementing a PWA for your own needs, contact us to see what Open Professional Group can do for you!