What Are Progressive Web Apps?

Apps are some of the most progressive software programs available today. Apps have become essential when navigating through devices such as computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. They greatly affect how efficiently businesses and people interact with certain electronics. They can do this through supplementing, modifying, or improving their online experiences. Apps can have the added benefit of trivializing most laborious work and making many aspects of life easier. 

Though apps usually can be accessed through your devices’ home screens, they have a limited function. This function will be further limited to the device they are created for. It is for this reason why there are many options end-users can utilize. Within the amount that is created, there are some that have found a spot in operating without the need of having an internet connection called progressive web apps. In this article, you will learn what progressive web apps are and how businesses are using them today.

progressive web apps

Types of Apps

There are several key apps that most people use: native, web and hybrid. Native apps operate on a specific device and can be downloaded through the app store of that device. For instance, you may be able to access them on two different devices, though they would have two separate codes that are mutually exclusive to the device they are downloaded on. An app you download on your iPhone through Apple’s store will not have the same code if downloaded through Google Play on your Android. They may appear the same on the outside but internally they are different.  

Web apps are not limited to functioning through a specific device and only need internet access to be downloaded. They run on programming languages such as CSS or JavaScript. An example of this is YouTube or Disney+. 

Finally, hybrid apps are essentially both, made to assist the technologies used to create native and web apps. They are created through a single code which makes them easier to program and can be downloaded through multiple platforms. Though, they are only hosted via the app store. Apps such as Twitter and Instagram are examples of this app implementation. 

How Do Progressive Web Apps Work?

Then, there is what is called a PWA, meaning progressive web apps. PWAs are web apps that use certain programming functions such as application programming interfaces or APIs to give end-users an experience similar to native apps. Unlike hybrid apps, you do not need an app store to download PWAs. This means they are not confined to the host app store. In fact, they behave like websites that function like apps and can be downloaded on the home screen of your mobile device with the use of an app store. They act as a bridge between responsive web design and your device’s application and are constructed with programming languages such as JavaScript. The idea behind PWAs is that you do not need an internet connection to access them. This greatly enhances the user experience. There are multiple PWAs, meaning there are many ways a user can find what suits them. 

benefits of progressive web apps

How Can Businesses Benefit from Progressive Web Apps?

With experts stating that there are over 5 billion mobile users as of 2021, it makes sense that most business models have adapted to accommodate that incredible usage. Businesses can find benefits to upgrading the user interfaces of their online stores. Developing an online presence will do wonders for new and old businesses as it allows them to maintain competitiveness in an ever-evolving mobile market. If you are interested in developing your own PWA, understanding the three pillars that they are constituted from will provide the trajectory needed.

The Main Pillars of PWAs

For a fully functioning PWA, you have to understand the philosophy behind what makes one good for business practices. Being capable, reliable and installable are the integral functions that give PWAs the experience usually provided by more traditional apps. 


An important aspect of what can drive the usage of your PWA among many end-users would be its capability. Many factor in convenience as a convincing stance on their app usage. If the app can provide an ease-of-use model through a competent UI, you will be ahead in the game of app development. 

Most users would also appreciate it if the information they are looking for is readily available without having the need to search aimlessly. This would be much needed, even if they themselves don’t know what it is they are looking for. 

PWAs that can effectively communicate to the user the status of an online delivery, breaking news, etc. are seen as apps that are capable. This can be done through what is known as mobile app push notifications that can keep the brand top in mind of the user. Push notifications can come in the form of messages that appear on a locked screen. It serves information to the user that is quick and efficient. They are also good for notifying users on potential promotions. It is through this that push notifications are fairly effective at retargeting customers through multiple business channels. Since push notifications do not normally ask for any personal information from the recipient, consumers often view this as a more ethical route to ultimately getting them to return. Since the user has already expressed interest in what the app provides, they will be more likely to convert. 


An app that works through thick and thin is what makes it reliable. What better way to utilize PWAs but in an offline environment where the internet is expensive or is unreliable? One of the leading benefits for having your app be progressive-based, is that once the app is installed on the home screen, it will retrieve data from any prior caches once having left an area with internet connection. Speed is a key function for a PWA. A faster loading time can prevent crashes of your store from happening. Your customers should not have to worry about the validity of the app under extenuating circumstances. 

How installable a PWA is, is an extension to how reliable it is. A PWA doesn’t need an internet connection. So, the ability to access it from your device’s screen and the illusion that it is a part of the actual device is a powerful facet of app design. You should be able to maneuver between the app and the device seamlessly.  

pwa meaning


PWAs are inherently optimized for mobile devices which aid in the user experience. Experts over at The Future of Customer Engagement and Experience have stated, “Optimized content that leverages the same URL structure as the desktop site, eliminating the need for deep-linking into apps as endorsed by Google.” Integrating your app with your marketing strategy will net you higher discoverability via that you follow the guidelines of proper SEO etiquette

After understanding what Google asks of you in regard to your app’s future discoverability, you will gain increased engagement and your app will perform better. The very foundation of PWAs enables better conversion than most other apps. You can accomplish this through service workers that operate in the background of PWAs, retrieving the appropriate data needed for longer retention. 

Convenience once again makes a return as to solidify its importance when deciding how you should design your PWA. Today, instant gratification plays a part in any business to succeed. It is not necessarily a bad thing. If a business can tend to the needs of their customers as quickly as they deem appropriate, they will be better off for it. Reducing the number of steps it will take to download the app is a strong reason consumers prefer PWAs over native and web apps. 

how progressive web apps work

Choose SEO Design Chicago to have Your Progressive Web App Questions Answered

Apps are here to give that extra spice to your web surfing experience. That is what a PWA meaning has in store for potential app makers. In reference to PWAs, they are a new technology. This means that there are even more new ways to modify how they behave every day. If you are running a business or just starting, you may not have the time or the accessibility to start. At SEO Design Chicago, we have experts that can lessen the work needed to help get your own PWA off the ground. 


  • What are PWAs?
  • What are the benefits to using PWAs?
  • How do I install a PWA?
  • What are the main pillars of progressive web apps?
  • What are the differences between PWAs and hybrid apps?

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