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Raja Speet
Birgitte Hundhammer
Kai Dietrich
Stijn van Driessen

How to Develop and Deploy Progressive Web Apps Faster?

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4 min. read time

How-to-Develop-and-Deploy-Progressive-Web-Apps-Faster

Today optimized user experience is a prerequisite implementation strategy for every business. This is because users expect optimized UX as a basic requirement. Therefore, UX-centric web development is the trend for quite some time now and it is influenced by several factors including design, usability, page loading speed and readability.

However, the advent of mobile devices have brought a paradigm shift in web browsing as more and more people access your website via their smartphones and tablets. As a result, web development experts are prioritizing mobile friendliness of a website more than ever.

Though you can easily apply a mobile responsive theme or optimize your site for mobile devices with tools like Google’s Mobile Friendly Test but developing a progressive web app (PWA) can help you take things to the next level.

What‘s a PWA? How it differs from a traditional web app?

Originally proposed by Google in 2015, PWA enables app-like features by using modern web technologies. While traditional web apps refresh the entire page when new content is loaded, PWAs doesn’t need to do the same.

Moreover, PWAs can be accessible even without internet connectivity as they leverage service workers and they can also be reused from the shortcut added to your home screen.  They are capable of rendering an app-like experience by making the most of re-engagement tools like push notifications.

No wonder, Progressive Web Apps are considered the future of mobile web!

As big players like Twitter and AliBaba have already adopted Twitter successfully, it is very likely that you might like to pursue PWAs projects to ensure a sustainable mobile web presence.

Tools and resources to get you started with PWAs

Here are modern web development tools that would enable you to strengthen your future mobile presence with progressive web app development:

Understand about PWAs at PWA.rocks

Prior to getting started with developing a PWA, you need to understand thoroughly the capabilities of a progressive web app. Therefore, refer to PWA.rocks to see progressive web apps in action under various verticals.

You can get an inspiration from the available examples to conceptualize the features of your own PWA. Moreover, you can also visualize how your PWA look like and what it would offer to your target audience.

Get the basics down at Google Developers

If you are new to web development then try to go through the library of resources offered by Google Developers and learn more about coding. This resource also offers a comprehensive tutorial on how to build a PWA, how it works and how to deploy it correctly.

So, it is the right resource to get your basics right and also learn how to enable the “add to home screen banner” and also how to use the HTTPS.

Build lightweight PWAs with Knockout

Knockout is a free and open source tool that enables you to manage Model-View-View Model (MVVM) bindings between JavaScript and HTML.

This also allows you to define declarative bindings and views that are controlled by ViewModel properties and thus simplifies the process of coding JavaScript UIs for you.

Furthermore, this platform easily integrates with existing websites without requiring you to rewrite extensively.

Create PWAs swiftly with PWABuilder

One of the fastest routes to transform your PWA idea to reality is by using PWABuilder. This tool enables you to fast build a service worker – the element that enables the offline functionality of your app by pulling and serving the “offline.html”.

Using PWABuilder is quite easier; just insert the URL of your website, fill in other details like your name, brief description of your site, and an icon of your choice. This platform also allows you to customize certain properties. For instance, you can modify your language, background colour, screen orientation, etc.

Based on the information you have given, the tool will generate a manifest automatically.

Take the AngularJS pathway

AngularJS is one of the most preferred JavaScript frameworks used for modern web app development and PWAs are no exception! Their official site also offers heaps of information through tutorials, guides, resources and much more to help you learn the AngularJS framework.

If you find AngularJS too complex for your PWA then ReactJS could be a reliable alternative.

Leverage components of ReactJS

The component-centered approach to development is the USP of React. Each component of React is built using JavaScript and you can easily reuse it.

You are not required to learn a new language; you can use both raw as well as JSX JavaScript. Furthermore, you can utilize the DOM layer to quickly pass the rich data.

Also, this JavaScript library enables you to overcome challenges of app management while delivering it for various operating systems, devices and browsers.

Manage dependencies easily with WebPack

A modular bundler for JavaScript applications, Webpack, enables you to create dependency graphs easily. This in turn eliminates the need to link all the JS files at the bottom of an HTML web page. I other words, there is no need for managed dependencies.

With Webpack, all non-code assets such as images, fonts, CSS, etc can be easily called as objects that have crucial benefits of speed via JavaScript.

Despite steep learning curve and inadequate documentation, Web pack is the best choice for developing front-end driven progressive web apps.

Use Polymer as a template

The open source project by Google, Polymer can significantly reduce the time required to build a PWA by providing you with templates as well as other reusable components.

The Polymer template basically uses the PRPL pattern to speed up development of PWA and optimize the delivery of the app to a device.

Our web development experts at Helios use Polymer to build prototypes quickly. It allows them to immediately begin with the coding for the project and bypass custom setup rapidly.

Wrapping up

With the aforementioned tools, you are fully empowered to create a full-fledged PWA and establish an authoritative web presence.

As tons of brands are currently investing on PWAs, do you think PWAs are the future of mobile web experiences? Please initiate a conversation by leaving your comments below.

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