Top 10 Progressive Web App Framework That Developer Should Know
With the advent of technology and easy internet access, smartphones have gained a lot of popularity. Most of the time, we are glued to our applications. Today, we will talk about the top Progressive Web App Framework in detail.
Nowadays, almost everyone spends a considerable amount of time on their smartphones surfing various websites, playing games, or browsing e-commerce websites.
In these torrid times, it has really become important for the small business to reach the customers and the easiest way to connect with them is by using mobile applications.
It is the best channel to reach to the customers and inform them about your products as well as any offers you are rolling out. The Cost To Make A Website is not low as well.
In recent times, it has served as the best marketing tool which can be used to reach new potential customers and connect with them directly. The end-users expect a fast-seamless application that they can use to browse through the applications.
Recently, progressive web applications (PWA) have emerged which provide users with native experience and do not require them to install applications. This also helps as you don’t have to spend a lot of money in building an application.
What is Progressive Web Application (PWA)?
Progressive Web Application extracts the best out of native web applications and Web Apps. Progressive Web applications are built with modern APIs to deliver native experience and they can be used to connect with all users similar to Web Apps.
In progressive web apps, modern capabilities are added to the browser, and web manifest allows your application to be reliable and installable.
Twitter has reported a 65% increase in pages per session and 75% more tweet, after moving to progressive web apps. Similarly, Nikkei observed 58% more subscriptions and also saw an increase in inactive users.
Benefits of Progressive Web Application
- Compared to the basic Web application, PWA tends to be more engaging to customers because of their native UI and capabilities.
- It is promoted by tech giants like Microsoft and Google. Google has made enhancements to their browser and they accept these applications to be listed in google play. Even Microsoft allows you to list your Progressive Web applications in their store.
- PWAs are used by tech companies such as Instagram, Twitter, Uber, and other leading companies.
- Progressive Web applications are lightweight and can be installed quickly as compared to native applications. Their load time is also fast.
- PWAs use HTTPS protocol so they are safe from the moment you start building applications using it.
- PWAs typically take less time to build and can be quickly shipped to the market. If the developer is familiar with building a web application, he can easily build Progressive Web applications. You can even use components from your existing Web applications.
Disadvantages of Progressive Web Application
Every good thing mostly comes with some issues.
- The major issue is the reluctance of Apple towards the Progressive Web application. With iOS 11, you can develop PWA for iPhone, but it is limited.
- Progressive Web applications are based on the Safari browser and the browser is not natively able to support multiple functionalities of Progressive Web applications. For instance, it only allows you to store 50mb of data in device memory.
- Also, in iOS, you cannot install native applications that are not listed in the official App store and as a result of this your customer reach will also decrease.
10 Noteworthy PWA Framework
It is one of the most used frameworks for building frontends. It can be used to develop both single-page applications as well as multi-page applications. React uses Virtual DOM so that application rendering is fast and seamless.
React allows you to create components using JSX and these components can be reused across different web applications. You can even open-source the complete component which can be used by various other teams.
Benefits of React
- Open source and active community help you if you are stuck
- Reusable components
- Virtual DOM increases rendering speed
- React uses native APIs so the look and feel are similar to Native applications
- The applications created using React are scalable and can be easily maintained.
Disadvantages of React
- You need to know JSX to write React-based applications.
- The framework has a steep learning curve compared to other applications.
- There are issues when you try to build complex components.
- The code is not standardized so it becomes difficult to manage complex projects.
Angular was created by Google in 2010 and is the most mature and widely used framework to build web applications. It is packaged with most of the functionalities that are needed to build a web application.
In 2017, Angular 5 was the first version to support Progressive Web Application.
It added a dedicated service worker script, which allows you to create progressive web applications, by using JSON configuration.
This allowed developers with less expertise also to create web applications with ease.
Benefits of Angular
- It is easy to learn as the documentation is easy and code is standardized.
- Excellent community support and issues are fixed by Google.
- TypeScript is used to write web application code which is pretty simple to write.
- With Angular 8, you get CLI support which can simplify your downloading and installing experience.
Disadvantages of Angular
- You need to learn TypeScript.
- It is complex to build applications in AngularJS.
- The code is not standard as there are multiple ways to solve the same problem.
- The UI lags severely if there are more than 2000 watchers.
You might not have heard about Vue as it is pretty new as compared to Angular and React. But it is becoming quite popular among developers to build front end applications.
It is one of the fastest-growing libraries to build native applications.
It provides you with a complete ecosystem and it is pretty versatile. You can either use it as a library or you can use it as a full-featured framework to build a web application.
It is also compact in size and thus, a lightweight PWA Framework.
Benefits of Vue
- It is supported by major companies like Laravel and Alibaba.
- The documentation is extensive.
- The concepts are very similar to the Angular and React framework.
Disadvantages of Vue
- The support is less as the community is not large.
- Vue provides a lot of flexibility but at times this becomes an issue.
- The plugin support is very limited as it is comparatively new and the plugins are getting added slowly.
Ionic is an open-source front end Progressive Web App Framework. You can build a native-looking application using Ionic. It uses a native wrapper to run on top of mobile applications.
It was initially dependent on angular components but with the release of Ionic 4, this issue was resolved. Ionic is pretty flexible and developers can easily use React, Angular, or Vue along with Ionic to build their mobile application.
Ionic also comes with the Enterprise edition which is typically used by companies to build their web applications. It comes with technical support and training. Also, they help enterprise users with version upgrades and maintenance.
Ionic natively supports building progressive web applications by providing a rich PWA toolkit that includes UI components, pre-built routing, and a detailed guide.
Advantages of Ionic
- Ionic community edition allows you to build applications for free.
- The community of Ionic is large and supportive.
- Multiple libraries are built-in which can help you develop your application at a faster pace.
Disadvantages of Ionic
- The debugging in Ionic is a very difficult task.
- Sometimes build crashes due to random reasons.
- Few of the native applications are not stable and can conflict with each other.
Svelte is a relatively new PWA Framework to build web applications.
It has gained a lot of popularity recently and is adopted by various companies such as GoDaddy and The New York Times.
Svelte is inspired by React and Vue and it tries to solve shortcomings that are present in React.
Svelte tries to shift a lot of code from run time, where the virtual DOM gets updated, to compile time. Instead of virtual DOM, Svelte updates the variables precisely as the state changes.
This optimization at compile time allows you to build complex applications and the speed of the application has also improved drastically.
With version 3 released in the market, you can now easily write components. All the boilerplate code typically used to write a component is baked in the framework itself. Svelte framework aim is to be completely reactive.
Benefits of Svelte
- You need to write less code as compared to other frameworks
- There is no virtual DOM
- It is designed to be truly reactive
Disadvantages of Svelte
- It does not give you as much freedom as React does.
- Components give less visual feedback
- The community is small, and the support is limited
- It lacks tooling
6. Progressive Web Application Builder
PWA builder is one of the PWA Tools designed by Microsoft and it can be used to convert your web application to progressive web application.
You just need to enter your website URL, PWA builder will generate the code and give you manifests which can be downloaded.
When you enter your website URL, the PWA builder will build a service worker and a manifest. After that it will evaluate how well the PWA features are supported by them. It will also test basic security such as SSL and HTTPS.
You can also add additional features to your PWA by using ‘snippits’ on the PWA Builder website.
These Progressive Web App Template give you markup and code which is necessary to add APIs like geo-location, copy to clipboard, and Microsoft Graph integration.
Advantages of PWA Builder
- Quickly build PWA from your existing website
- Snippits can be added easily in the website
- Security of the PWA is tested by PWA builder
- Supported by Microsoft
Disadvantages of PWA Builder
- It is not extensible
- You do not have control which does not help in debugging.
7. Webpack Module Bundler
It is a Progressive Web App Builder that can also provide you with loaders and plugins which can be used to optimize files before serving them in the browser.
It can also be used to add offline capabilities to your application. These capabilities are very useful to reach those customers who do not always have high-speed internet speed.
Also, sometimes when a person is traveling, you may need to save data on the device when it is not connected and sync it back to the server at a later point of time. At this point in time, offline capabilities help a lot.
Advantages of Webpack Module Bundler
- Automatic dependency collection
- It supports various module formats.
- It is backed by a large community.
Disadvantages of Webpack Module Bundler
- Difficult to configure.
- High learning curve.
- Takes time to get the project up and running.
- Documentation is not reader-friendly.
8. Lighthouse PWA Analytics Tool
Lighthouse is an open-source tool to test the quality of your Progressive Web application. You can automatically test using the Lighthouse tool.
Typically, companies use it in their continuous integration (CI) pipelines before releasing to catch regressions. It is a noteworthy Progressive Web App Framework.
You can run the ighthouse in multiple ways: using the command line, Chrome Devtools, or as a node module.
You just need to provide the URL and it will generate an audit report against the page. You can use detailed audit reports to correct the mistakes and run the report again.
It also specifies how you can fix the issues specified in the audit report.
Advantages of Lighthouse PWA Tool
- Sharing as JSON or GitHub gist.
- Lighthouse makes actionable recommendations based on tools used.
- Multiple plug-in allow developers to extend the lighthouse as per their custom needs.
Disadvantages of Lighthouse PWA Tool
- Limited browser support
- Limited hardware and software support
The platform in this case is the browser. A lot of frameworks build the application on top of the browser, but polymer intends to use all the capabilities of the browser to deliver the capabilities.
It is highly adaptable and accessible. The tools and components for design polymers are available in multiple browsers.
Advantages of PolymerJS
- A cross-browser capability.
- Fast and hybrid mobile application development.
- Supports two-way binding.
- Provides a polymer command-line interface.
Disadvantages of PolymerJS
- The performance is slow.
- The learning curve is steep.
- The community support is small.
Knockout is a library based on the MVVM design pattern, which allows you to build reactive libraries. The frameworks take care of dividing your code into Model (data), View (UI), and View Model.
Knockout has support on almost all the browsers – IE 6+, Firefox 3.5+, and Google chrome. Steve Sanderson has design it and release date was on July 5, 2010.
It supports automatic UI refresh when the data changes. Knockout is very extensible, and you can add new components as per your need. A fine Progressive Web App Framework you will see.
Knockout is a very small and lightweight library and is independent of other frameworks. It is open-source.
Advantages of Knockout
- Declarative binding
- The UI refreshes automatically as the data changes
- It supports templating designed to build complex screens.
- Automatically tracks data changes and updates the affected areas.
- You can create a dynamic data model easily
- Supports event-driven programming model
Disadvantages of Knockout
- It is hard to use templates which exist on external files, making it difficult to work as a team
- It only supports two-way binding.
Why Choosing the Right PWA Framework Is Essential?
When you start building a PWA, it is really important to choose the right framework to start with. There are various factors which will allow you to choose the right framework.
It is important to choose a framework that can help you support all the complex components which you want to build.
You can also consider the size and performance the framework will provide so that you have a small and seamless application.
One of the major factors is to consider your team’s expertise. You should choose a framework in which your team is comfortable and has previously worked on it. Also, you should consider the maturity of the framework while choosing a project.
One more thing to keep in mind is the fact that you really need PWA. If your website experience has a lot of navigation between pages, it might not be a good idea to build a PWA. It will degrade your experience and lead you with zero value.
In today’s ever-changing world, the best way to market your product and increase its reach is by developing a mobile application and using it to market.
Progressive Web applications help you build mobile applications which users need not install, but they will still get all the native look and feel.
You should choose the right framework for building a Progressive Web Application. We have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each of them and you should consider them when you are deciding which framework to choose.
Also, we have discussed important factors that you should keep in mind for building a PWA application.
So, go ahead and build your own Progressive Web Application and enjoy all benefits you get with it. We hope you had a great experience reading this article and it proves to be of a great value for any Web Application Development Company. Thank You.!
A PWA is a web application that gets installed on the system. It works in the offline mode by making use of cached data during the user’s last session.
With the help of Chrome’s Lighthouse extension, you can determine whether the website is PWA or not. It also gives you some tips related to PWA.
There’s documentation – https://codelabs.developers.google.com/codelabs/your-first-pwapp/#0 prepared by Google. With the help of this, you can create a PWA.
The most popular PWA frameworks are tools are listed as follows:
The simple answer to this question would be NO. Flutter is a framework that allows you to build apps similar to native and PWA are desktop apps.
The simple answer to this question would be YES. Progressive Web Apps does work offline, you need to install it in your system.
There are many companies that have switched to PWA. Some of the well-known ones are as listed below:
The Weather Channel
The Washington Post
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