Making Progressive Web Apps from Existing Websites - How to Do It?

Making Progressive Web Apps from Existing Websites - How to Do It?

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Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are very popular because they’re easy to use and develop. The difference in the quality of user experience between a website and a PWA is massive. Many businesses have hopped on the exciting PWA bandwagon. It’s a huge sign of progress in the field of mobile web development as PWAs offer the best features of websites and mobile apps in a single package. Website owners should consider converting their existing website into a PWA because - They offer offline capabilities. Even people who use 3G internet can access websites. Some features of PWAs are available even without any internet connection. • Converting a site into a PWA or even developing a PWA out of nothing are both very cost-effective processes. A PWA development services company will charge much less than a mobile app developer because there are fewer complexities to the task. For instance, app developers have to build apps for specific operating systems.
• PWAs offer a complete app experience. For instance, developers can choose to remove the browser bar to boost user engagement or maintain distinctiveness. • PWAs are compatible with search engines. Google’s search algorithms can easily identify PWAs and list their capabilities on the results pages. • Similar to mobile apps, PWAs are downloadable. Users can add PWAs to their PC or mobile browser’s home screen. • PWAs consist of ‘service workers.’ These are JavaScript files that run discretely. They’re not present in the main browser threads. These files automatically intercept network requests and retrieve resources/web design elements from the cache. They can also be used to deliver notifications. Hence, there’s no need for users to manually update their PWAs.
• PWAs load faster and are easier to navigate than standard websites. On eCommerce platforms, these qualities are essential for generating and securing leads. • Since only HTTPS websites can be converted to PWAs, they’re completely safe for both users and site operators. • Marketers can send notifications to their customers to promote offers, deals, marketing content, etc., directly via the PWA. • To share a PWA, users simply need to send a specific URL link. Clicking on the link brings the user directly to a download option. There are no complicated app stores involved. What Websites Can be Converted into PWAs? The word ‘progressive’ in PWA denotes the gradual development of apps. So, all types of web applications can be technically converted into PWAs, even legacy web apps that run on older technologies.
To convert modern web apps into PWAs, developers must add essential PWA features on a gradual basis. For instance, they can start by adding app manifests and service workers. Later, they can add features like advanced caching, geolocation API and continue until the web app is fully transformed into a PWA. But, people who don’t have existing websites should start by adding these features. What Will You Need?
Firstly, and most importantly, the website manager needs to have advanced coding skills in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. They must also know how to create separate JavaScript files, such as service workers. Other necessary items include - • Text Editors - Visual Studio Code, Notepad++, or any other integrated development environment (IDE) where the developer is comfortable. • Browser Support: The browser should support service workers. Google Chrome, the most widely-used browser, supports service workers. • Web App: To generate the app manifest, developers need to start with the existing web app! Developers who don’t have any of these skills or devices should entrust a progressive web app development company to complete the conversion. Starting the Conversion Step 1: Add PWA features. To add PWA features to an existing website, developers must create and add a JSON file to the HTML code. This data will serve as the operating system metadata for the PWA after installation. The JSON file is called the official ‘app manifest,’ and it should contain - • The official name of the website and a short version for icons (e.g., the Washington Post’s PWA features icons titled ‘WP’) • The theme and background colors of the website (to be integrated into the OS) • Icons that’ll be displayed on the user’s home screen • The URL scope that limits the PWA • Start URLs that new versions of the PWA will cautiously load • Clear description for others to read (in simple language)
• Orientation limitations • After creating the manifest, it should be added to the standard HTML template. Step 2: Offline Capabilities To make certain PWA features accessible offline, users will have to create offline.html as an identifier of the index.html. Step 3: Develop and load the service worker. Step 4: Deploy the PWA. Step 5: Start using the PWA! Leading businesses hire progressive app developers to make this transition extremely smooth. Businesses that popularized the use of PWA technology (Twitter, Alibaba, etc.) benefited a lot early on. Now, other businesses are launching their PWAs to compete!

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