You might have heard about PWA if you revolve in the tech circles. Progressive Web Applications have been the center of IT attention since Google introduced the term PWA in 2015. Few of them say PWA empowers an industry-changing force. So, why is everyone talking about PWA? Let’s catch up with the world and figure out the deal with the PWA. Moreover, we’ll explain the whole PWA development process in this blog. 

What is PWA (Progressive Web Application)?

PWA mainly aims to transfer a few mobile app functionalities to the web application. PWA offers cross-browser compatibility and offline accessibility without writing a separate application for different devices. PWA comes with a great potential to generate leads, increase engagement and reduce data consumption. This relative technology has a 36% higher conversion rate than native apps. Adopting PWA co-relate with more than half the rise in website visits. 

There may be a query, what if PWA poses some threat to Native apps? In this case, PWA is a JavaScript web application with limited functionality, while a native one comes with full access to the OS features. Moreover, there’s no need to create a debate between these two technologies as both are good in their way. 

Let’s understand PWA by adding a real-life example to grasp the concept fully. Let’s take a look at the top companies that gained their superpower with the help of PWA.

PWA Examples

A few tech giants that use PWA are Twitter, Uber, Instagram, Tinder and Aliexpress. These are the companies that early adopted PWA and showed us the real beauty of the world.

Also Read: PWA vs Hybrid Apps vs Native App

Benefits of using PWA

  • Easy Access: The user can devote the whole marketing strategy to making the user download an app. Simply open PWA through any browser to the app store.
  • Fast Connection: The main goal is to provide high connectivity by using the low amount of memory and mobile data possible.
  • Offline Usage: Few pages can be accessed even offline with improving user satisfaction. 
  • Complete availability: PWA offers accessibility in all devices’ browsers like tablets, laptops and smartphones.
  • Reduce developer’s work: When compared to a native app, developers create only one app instead of two with PWA.

PWA development Basics

After discussing what PWA is, now it’s time to move ahead to the core and discover what makes PWA more powerful.  Web technologies that fuel progressive web apps include:

  • Service workers
  • Web Manifests
  • Application Shell
  • HTTP

Why choose React for building a Progressive Web App?

React is an open-source library for JavaScript created by Jordan Walke in 2013. It was developed to build a simple, fast, and scalable user interface. The Facebook team maintains a library by implementing products such as Instagram and Facebook. React supports extensive web applications with hot reloading. It means your app keeps on running while you edit it at runtime.

Another hot feature it offers is building UI with React. It is excellent code reusability provided by Learn once and write anywhere principle. Let’s understand a few advantages of React for progressive web development.

  • Easy to learn: Compared to Angular or EmberJS framework, react isn’t a complement to learn. React supports JSX, where the syntax extension allows writing HTML-like syntax in JavaScript code. However, you’re not bound to use JSX in React. One needs to use plain JavaScript, HTML and CSS to build a powerful PWA with React. 
  • High Powered: React works great in creating a scalable and fast web application. It helps in avoiding performance issues. JavaScript applications experience problems with DOM manipulation. React uses virtual DOM to change the UI without redrawing the whole page and experiencing rendering issues. 
  • Well-equipped: React comes with developer tools, libraries and boilerplates. It makes testing, debugging and design easier. It comes with a lot of options from which you can choose. They include examples such as React App by Facebook, React Ant design and other semantic UI React.
  • Community backend: React works as an open-source repository on Github at writing. The react developers are responsive and robust.
  • SEO-friendly: It’s a standard SEO related issue where the failure of web rendering service works with heavy web applications. This means part of the website can not be shown in Google search results. All thanks to using the virtual DOM where the content on React powered web pages can be indexed correctly.

Progressive web examples built with React

Starbucks: The company already made a mobile application with the same functionality, but they got a 98% reduction in app size with PWA. It determines factors for rural areas with a less reliable network connection. 

Tinder: It’s a well-known dating app that releases a progressive web app. PWA built with React and Redux allows tinder to achieve great results. PWA made the app 90% lighter compared to a native app.

How to create a PWA with React?

After understanding the benefits of React and PWA and getting to know great PWA react examples, it’s time to make a react progressive web application. If you want to make your existing web application more engaging, connect to our Progressive web app developers using React. Let’s follow the steps to get a clear idea.

Step 1: Set up a simple React App

React allows using the latest JavaScript function with built-in webpack and Babel. Therefore, you do not need to worry about bundling and transpiling, which is required to ship your app to the browsers. Using CRA (Create React App), one can easily install and bootstrap your app using a command like:

➜   
 ~
npx create-react-app cra-pwa –template cra-template-pwa

npx stands for a command-line tool for running npm packages. The command create-react-app cra-PWA builds an app called cra-pwa. A few seconds later, the argument – -template cra-template-pwa adds up to create an app with a service worker. 

Use the below command to navigate to this directory:

➜    
~
cd cra-pwa

Now run your app using:


npm start

Step 2: Register, a Service worker

CRA offers tools to create PWA and React. But how to make the React PWA app runnable in offline mode? One needs to configure an auto-generated service worker file -register to it.

Use the following command code to create a project that contains file index.js. 

// If you want your app to work offline and load faster, you can change
// unregister() to register() below. Note this comes with some pitfalls.
// Learn more about service workers: https://bit.ly/CRA-PWA
service-worker.unregister();

In the above code, the service worker is not registered yet as one needs to change the unregister() call to register().

Step 3: Configure the Web Application Manifest

In this step, one needs to setup a web app manifest for a progressive web app located in a manifest.json file in a public directory. Use the metadata that’s responsible for the appearance of your application. While creating, the manifest file should look like this:

{
 “short_name”: “cra-pwa”,
 “name”: “cra-pwa”,
 “icons”: [
   {
       “src”: “/android-chrome-192×192.png”,
       “sizes”: “192×192”,
       “type”: “image/png”
   },
   {
       “src”: “/android-chrome-512×512.png”,
       “sizes”: “512×512”,
       “type”: “image/png”
   }
 ],
 “start_url”: “/”,
 “theme_color”: “#F4BD42”,
 “background_color”: “#2B2929”,
 “display”: “standalone”,
 “scope”: “/”
}

Finally, to make the web manifest file work, one can add pages to a web app like:

<link rel=”manifest” href=”/manifest.json”>

To get a more precise idea about PWA, check on the web app manifest guide and learn more about the app appearance and functionality.

Step 4: Test your PWA

Now that you know how to make a react progressive web application. The next comes testing your application. One needs to run the app in the production mode by following commands such as:


~
npm run build


~
npx server build

Now that you have built your app, you can test it. 

Bottom Line

This blog has addressed a few exciting topics related to PWA and how to create a PWA with React. Many well-known startups and large companies profited from PWAs, the golden mean between web and native apps. 

To conclude, PWA is considered more resource-effective. It adds the perfect timing to start gaining profit and promising technology. If you need help building PWA for your business, Agile Infoways has a team ready to offer the best progressive web application development. Discover the best from your business and develop a PWA with React.

FAQ

How to create a PWA app?

One needs a web application to start the process. Build and install a service worker necessary to configure a manifest file. Now test the app and start using it.

How to test a PWA with React?

Testing the PWA helps build React that includes planning, creating, running and analyzing the results. The test comes with artificial cases that validate your PWA within the project requirements. It facilitates your testing using various tools.

What is the process of React Progressive web app development consisting of?

The three steps below would help bring you one mile closer to business success.

  • Adding a PWA manifest
  • Adding service workers decide on what cached it needs to point
  • Testing your PWA with a lighthouse
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