ReactJS

Developing a Progressive Web Application (PWA) in React

Apr 26, 2022

Nikita Vyas

By Nikita Vyas

Introduction

Progressive Web App (PWA) has been the center of attention in the IT space. Many people assume that PWAs will soon replace native apps given their range of benefits, features, compatibility, etc. Given the wide range of benefits of PWA, global businesses and software development companies should consider, suggest, or prioritize Progressive Web App development instead of traditional web app development.

Something incredible exists about these Progressive Web Apps and this is why the tech giants have opted for PWA in their application development projects. PWA has been complimented directly by Tinder, Instagram, Aliexpress, Make My Trip, Uber, Pinterest, Spotify, etc. by adopting it into the development of all these great apps.

What is PWA?

Able to operate in the offline mode, PWAs are quite popular nowadays due to their capabilities to work smoothly in areas with low connectivity. Leveraging the front-end technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc. which are used to build PWA that delivers native app-like experiences over the web as well as mobile platforms.

One can just use Vanilla JS, HTML, and CSS or pick up a framework or library. Ionic, Vue, Angular, Polymer, and of course, React are the most popular technologies to build a web app. As React is now in trend due to the many features it provides, PWA development with React, one of the most popular front-end libraries, building a Progressive Web App with React is the trending topic as we speak.

However, first of all, let’s see what benefits we get with PWA.

Benefits of PWA

  • No need to buy an account on Play Store and App Store to upload your app. You can simply do “Add to Home” and have your web added like an App.
  • There are only a few configurations needed for making your React to PWA which I have already shared below
  • It is less costly compared to other App Development techniques and technologies.
  • As it is a single code base for web & app, it will be easy to maintain.
  • Responsiveness for different screen sizes is simple to handle with PWA.
  • It works smoothly and fast.
  • No need to spend money on Google and Apple stores. It works for Android and iOS both.
  • It works offline also, not like a website to stop you when you have some internet issue.
  • PWA is easy to be tracked for search engine optimization. That will help your web app to gain more traffic.
  • It will not use more storage on your mobile device.

Limitations of PWA

  • PWA offers limited functionalities making it the most preferred choice to make Single Page Applications and apps with simple functionality.
  • Apple doesn’t fully support PWA.
  • PWA products can be overshadowed by sophisticated native apps in the competitive market.

There is no point in establishing a competition between Native Apps vs PWAs. Everything depends on your business needs, project scope, investment, and many more factors.

PWA Setup Guide

  1. Create react project
npx create-react-app my-app --template cra-template-pwa-typescript
  1. In order to opt-in to the offline-first behavior, developers should look for the following in their src/index.js file:
if (navigator.serviceWorker) {

    navigator.serviceWorker.register(‘./service-worker.js’).then(function (registration) {

        console.log(‘ServiceWorker registered:’, registration.scope);

    }).catch(function (error) {

        console.log(‘ServiceWorker registration failed:’, error);

    });

}
  1. Update in public/manifest.json file
{
    “short_name”: “PWA”,
    “name”: “Giving PWA a chance!!”,
    “icons”: [

        {
            “src”: “favicon.ico”,
            “sizes”: “64×64”,
            “type”: “image/x-icon”
        },

        {
            “src”: “logo192.png”,
            “type”: “image/png”,
            “sizes”: “192×192”
        },
        
        {
            “src”: “logo512.png”,
            “type”: “image/png”,
            “sizes”: “512×512”
        }
    ],
    “start_url”: “/”,
    “background_color”: “#3367D6”,
    “display”: “standalone”,
    “scope”: “/”,
    “theme_color”: “#3367D6”,
    “shortcuts”: [
        {
            “name”: “How does one feel about PWA?”,
            “short_name”: “PWA”,
            “description”: “PWA is looking easy and fast to implement”,
            “url”: “/today?source=pwa”
        }

    ],
    “description”: “Some images to show for my APP”,
    “screenshots”: [
        {
            “src”: “logo192.png”,
            “type”: “image/png”,
            “sizes”: “192×192”
        }
    ]
}
  1. Run in local
npm run build && npx serve -s build

Summarising It In Short

Progressive web apps can be a great decision for your App and Web Solution. They’re fast, work offline and perform a sort of a native app. All in all, they will offer your users an awesome user experience.

Building PWAs with React enables engineering teams to develop, deploy and publish progressive web apps for billions of devices using technologies they’re already familiar with. Existing React apps can also be converted to a PWA. PWAs are fun to build, easy to ship and distribute, and add a lot of value to customers by providing a native-live experience, and better engagement via features, such as adding to the home screen, push notifications, and more without any installation process.

Have an Idea & Interested in PWA Development?

Any small to medium eCommerce business would definitely benefit from choosing PWA for Custom eCommerce App Development. Fast loading speeds, enhanced user experience, and our expertise increase the conversion rates. Whether you plan to develop a full PWA or choose to go with push notifications and add to the home screen only, incorporating the PWA strategy should be the primary priority for any Business, small or big.

If you have a brilliant idea and are looking to develop a great Progressive web app, then contact and hire expert PWA developers now.

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