August 20, 2021

Best Tools to Develop a Progressive Web App

Best Tools to Develop Progressive Web App

Using mobile phones for browsing the internet is pretty convenient. The fact that you can do it anywhere without being tied up to a stationary PC is what attracts more and more users every year. For this reason, lots of companies are creating apps to make users’ experience better. Among different types of apps, the progressive web app has some strong advantages.

What is a progressive web app?

Progressive web app (or PWA) is a cross-platform software that contains parts of web and native apps. It provides an app-like UI and uses typical web technologies like CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. PWAs are faster than native apps and can work offline. They have the best features from both web and native applications and give the smoothest user experience.

A progressive web application has three features that distinguish it from regular websites.

  1. HTTPS that gives a secure context;
  2. Service workers (scripts that are used in the back-end and enable core functionality, like push notifications and cashing);
  3. A web manifest that contains all UI and UX details.

Many famous brands switched to progressive web app. Some of them are:

  • Twitter;
  • Instagram;
  • Pinterest;
  • Spotify;
  • Uber;
  • Wikipedia;
  • BMW.

progressive web application

Framework specific tools for progressive web app development

PWA’s increasing popularity caused the uprising of frameworks for its development. Using frameworks makes the process of creation significantly easier. It eliminates the need to write the code fully manually and gives effective tools to develop a progressive web app that fits the specific requirements. 

The following list consists of the most popular frameworks for PWA development.

Angular.js

Angular has the first position on our list, as it is the oldest web framework, released by Google in 2010. But not all versions of Angular support developing a progressive web app, this ability appears only in Angular 5 and higher. It is the fifth version that for the first time had a script, which allowed users to create PWAs through JSON configuration and not build them from nothing.

Angular is suitable for building large-scale enterprise apps as well as simple single-page ones. In any case, the result will be no worse than apps built with newer frameworks.

This framework is maintained by Google and frequently updated. It also has an extensive community. However, Angular is quite complicated and requires deep coding expertise. Moreover, you need to know Typescript to use Angular for progressive web app development.

Vue.js

Another progressive web app framework that uses JavaScript. Unlike Angular, which was brought to life by a corporation, Vue.js was originally created by a single person. It is now open-source, which means anyone can contribute to it. In fact, the community is what drives Vue.js. Still, some big companies like Alibaba and Laravel prefer using this framework for their web and app development.

Vue.js is mostly known for its simplicity, hence the reason for its rising popularity. It also has clear and detailed guidelines, which makes the learning curve even smaller. Despite the pros of Vue, there are yet very few experienced developers working with it, on the contrary to Angular, so it could be hard to gather a team for a big project.

Although Vue is truly a great framework for progressive web application development, still, there aren’t any corporations that support it, only the community.

Ionic

Ionic is a framework used for creating hybrid apps, as well as web applications. Up until recently, it was highly dependent on Angular, but since the release of Ionic 4, it is an independent framework. However, Ionic allows developers to use competing frameworks, like Vue and Angular, to build a progressive web app. This means that even developers with experience in other frameworks can create a PWA with Ionic.

This framework has a broad spectrum of progressive web application development tools, like pre-built routing, unit tests and elements for UI design. It also has a library of plugins for adding native device functionality to a PWA.

Ionic has two editions: Community and Enterprise. They have some common functionality, but one is for independent developers, whereas the other one works for enterprise apps. However, if the app is too complex and has lots of media, the Ionic framework starts showing problems with performance.

progressive app

Progressive web application development tools

Besides framework-specific tools that are still quite complex, there are some other ones that make the development process even easier.

PWA Builder

This tool was created and is supported by Microsoft, unlike most of the others that are supported by Google. It is a solution suitable even for those developers that have little to no experience with building progressive web apps. It also fits those who need an app as fast as possible and have a tight budget.

PWA Builder works by automatically converting a pre-existing website into an app with PWA functionality. Lately, you can enhance the app with additional features using coding.

Magento PWA Studio

Magento PWA Studio is designed specifically for Magento 2 websites and is aimed at creating a PWA Storefront for them. It uses advanced tools and libraries conforming to Magento’s principle of extensibility. This PWA Studio is following the same updating schedule as Magento 2 platform, so it gets the same features at the same time.

Hiring a team for this toolset may be challenging because it requires the knowledge of at least one JavaScript framework and markup language.

SuperPWA

This progressive web app development tool is a popular solution for converting WordPress websites into a PWA. It is basically a plugin that can create high-quality offline pages. It is a quick and easy solution, unlike framework-specific tools.

However, this plugin alone is not enough to create a PWA project from scratch. It is only fitting if you want to add offline functionality to your website. Once it’s installed, the users will get the notifications to add your website to the home screen.

progressive web app

An app is a great way to engage and attract more users, raise brand awareness and create an excellent user experience. The tool to create a progressive web app is for you to choose according to your specific needs.

Coreteka has experience with all of these tools and can create a web app for you using any of them.

Contact us if your company is in need of a professional development team to create your own progressive web app!