Guide to Progressive Web App Development

Classic mobile applications as we know them do not seem to meet all the current market needs. Their number in Google Play/App Store is overwhelmingly high, which makes it harder both for users to find the app they need, and for app owners, who want their products to be visible. Besides, the native web development has become too time-consuming and costly, despite that its functionality is rather limited and the UX is poor. The time has come for something brand new.

Progressive Web Apps have entered the stage to provide the best possible UX, excellent visual content, app-like navigation, and great business opportunities. Progressive web application development helps businesses and developers bridge the gap between native and web experiences. But what does PWA development agencies do? After all, what is a PWA technology? In this posting, we will take a deeper dive to shed light on some of the insights of the progressive web application development process, explaining its peculiarities and differences from native app development. 


What Is PWA Technology?

PWA technology refers to a methodology combining the best approaches to web and mobile app development by taking advantage of both features of mobile applications and basic functions of browsers. Typically, the development of progressive web apps requires the use of CSS, JavaScript, and HTML. Just imagine a site that works and looks like a typical app, though it was created using web technologies. In simpler terms, this approach enables visitors to access a native-like mobile version of a site with a single tap.

Basically, PWAs are websites built to resemble an app installed on your desktop, tablet, laptop, or smartphone. We have already discussed them in detail in one of our previous postings. Similarly to a regular mobile app, a PWA sends push notifications and creates an icon on your home screen. They are faster and simpler than native apps, however, unlike them, PWAs can easily be shared through a URL. This functionality is implemented via service workers that, among other things, enable offline data storage execution. In order to be considered progressive, a web application must:

  • provide network security 
  • be hosted over HTTPS
  • provide installation on the home screen
  • provide mobile app-like features, such as push notifications
  • use the universal identifier displaying the app’s current status 
  • have a UI corresponding to the characteristics of a device 
  • be visible in search engines
  • work offline or with limited connectivity
  • have a look of a classic application
  • be capable of deploying all the features of a device it is used on
  • be supported by any device

Read also: WHY BUILD A PWA?

Progressive Web App Development Explained

Basically, the PWA development process is a set of practices aimed at making a web app work like a desktop/mobile application. That is why this process is very similar to native application development. Typically, it includes the following stages:

  1. Defining your direction

Before we can start building a PWA, you should clearly set the direction, formulate goals and purpose of your future project.

  1. Defining the audience and security documents 

This stage involves the in depth research of your target auditory or prospective users based on the following assessments:

  • Analyze fraud level of the area, user characteristics, etc. in order to plan the appropriate security measures based on these factors
  • Determine the needed level and type of users’ access
  • Identify basic characteristics of your target auditory (skill level, age, gender, etc.)
  1. Specifying all of the functionalities 

At this stage, you need to specify all the technical features as well as other specifications of a PWA to accomplish. They should be described as detailed as possible to prevent any misunderstanding of the project’s functionalities. The easiest way to do it is to create a document with a summary  of all the essential elements.

  1.  Analysis and identification

At this point, you will have to make up your mind regarding the following:

  • Firewall equipment, server provider, network issues
  • SSL certificate
  • Payment system (if needed)
  1.  Selection of structure and technology

At this stage, you will need to select the framework, development environment, structure, and platform for your future progressive web application.

  1. Wireframing/Prototyping

At this point, we will create a detailed dynamic functional model of and visual guide of your PWA in order to get an idea of how it looks and works from the user’s perspective. Here is more information  of this stage. Wireframing/prototyping is crucial in avoiding potential UI/UX issues and additional investments.

  1. Actual PWA development

Now, we can finally start the actual development of your PWA, which includes the following:

  • Building the PWA architecture and framework
  • Designing the database structure
  • Developing the PWA libraries, classes and module
  • Implementing all the functions
  1.  Error checking and QA testing 

At this stage, we will remove all defects and errors. After testing, your product is ready to go live.

  1. Project release, further support, and improvements


Costs of PWA Development

Well, it is impossible to ascertain the exact costs of PWA development without understanding the full scope of the project. This depends on numerous factors, such as preferred technology and framework, intended use, design complexity, the number of realizable features, time needed to make a layout, etc. At Loonar Studios, we have enough skills and experience to build a PWA of any scope and complexity. And remember, those who invest in PWA today will stay on the same wavelength with their clients in the future. Good luck!