Hello, Magento Folks,

You might have heard about the PWA and its increasing use for converting websites to look and feel just like an app you use in your mobile devices. Since its announcement in 2015 by Google, it has become a hot topic for web developers. Most of the Ecommerce websites and platforms like twitter have shown their inclination towards the use of PWA.

Also, Magento has introduced the PWA studio, which is a set of development tools for developing, deploying, and maintaining PWA webpage (storefront) on the top of Magento 2.3 and above. With the use of modern tools and libraries, PWA studio will be able to create and build a system of the framework that will be in accordance with the Magento principles.

Let’s look at What PWA is?

PWA(Progressive Web Application) is a web application that consists of a set of modern tools for making websites to give user experience just like an app. These PWA websites work just like a native app, but they use a web browser for being compatible with providing an app-like experience. It is an advanced form of app development, which is user-friendly.

Just like an app, the PWA provides functions like icons on the home screen, full-screen display, push notifications, splash page, offline working, background sync, and so on. If I have to be more specific, then PWA is like a Google doc which runs through the medium of browser and internet whereas a native app is like a program like MS word that runs on your computer. You may need to install MS word but not Google Docs.

The basic features PWA should have to satisfy the required user experience are as below:

  1. Fast Load Speed
  2. Secure Connection
  3. Responsive Design
  4. Cross-Browser Compatibility:
  5. Offline Usability
  6. An icon on Mobile Home
  7. On the Go Sharing

Feature Rich Magento 2 Working Demo and PWA Demo with ScandiPWA by MageComp: 

Let’s Look at what are some of the differences between PWA and native app,

  1. The conventional native app needs to be downloaded from the app stores, but in the case of PWA, you just need to add them to your home screen, and they will be installed automatically.
  2. Native apps can run only on OS like IOS or Android, but PWAs run on web browsers of the mobile phones, thus supported on all the mobile devices irrespective of the OS.
  3. Native app updates can only be downloaded from the app store of the OS but in the case of PWA, just refreshing the page will update it.
  4. PWAs don’t take up the large memory space as the native apps do.
  5. Sharing of the content becomes easy in case of the PWAs compared to the native apps.

Now, why should we use PWA along with Magento 2?

With the release of the Magento 2 PWA studio, Magento 2 users have shifted their focus to enable and integrate this technology on their website. This will save them developing costs for native apps.

Below are a few reasons you should also consider converting your Magento website into PWA,

  • Increased User Experience on devices like Mobile and tablets. Users will be able to use PWA without any download. The new doors of wonderful features and functions will open up, such as offline mode, on the go sharing, background sync, and many more.
  • The cost of development and maintenance is lower compared to the cost of the native apps. PWA apps work regardless of the operating system of the mobile device as in the case of native apps. You may need to develop two different apps, one for Android, and the other for iOS. Unlike this, PWAs will run on a single database from the browser of the mobile device.
  • PWAs are the future of the apps industry. Many Magento owners have adopted and integrated their website to PWA, which has improved the mobile user experience.

Ways to integrate PWA to Magento 2 website:

There are several ways you can convert your simple website into the PWA. Below is the list of all the possible ways.

1. Magento 2 PWA Extension

The easiest method of all is to purchase an extension that will help convert your website into PWA. There are many extensions available on Magento marketplace both free and paid to choose from.

This is the easiest, quick, and cost-effective way to convert to PWA. On the downside, all the extension does not offer all the features and functions of the PWA. Some may include home screen Icon and push notification but not other essential features like fast load speed, offline usability, and background sync. So, read all the features carefully before you make any purchasing decision.

2. Magento 2 PWA studio

Magento has recently introduced Magento 2 PWA studio that helps to develop, deploy, and maintain your Magento 2.3 and above version stores to PWA. This is a more comprehensive solution, then installing an extension. Magento 2 PWA studio will develop, deploy, and maintain the PWA from scratch. After developing, and deploying this, your existing storefront will be replaced with the PWA storefront and will be connected to the backend through an API

Magento 2 PWA has some basic tools that support the PWA app development, and still, it has a long way to go.

3. Magento PWA theme

Using Magento PWA theme for your Magento 2 store is an advanced solution based on the Magento 2 PWA studio tools, ReactJS, and GraphQL. This will connect with your Magento storefront and Magento backend through the built-in API.

This is one of the most reliable solutions, and it has all the PWA elements and features like fast load speed, splash screen, background sync, home screen shortcut, full-screen display, easy updates, etc.

The implementation cost of the PWA:

1. Installation Magento 2 PWA Extension

There are extensions available at around $0 – $150 and additional cost of professional installation. You can also install it on your own, which is not recommended.

2. Setup Magento 2 PWA studio

The cost of developing the PWA using Magento 2 PWA studio depends on the developer you hire. You need a developer that has experience working with Magento 2 as well as PWA. The integration work would require time and a good amount of budget.

3. Installing Magento PWA theme

This will lie somewhere in the middle of both of the above options. The cost of the PWA integration mainly depends on the level of integration you require. You can Take a Look at ScandiPWA.

Over to You! 

Now, with the introduction of the Magento PWA studio, It’s just a matter of years to witness the world shift to PWA. It is a step into the direction of online growth and development. With this enabled, all the users will get the app like look, feel and experience.

This is undeniably the dominating force no one can conquer. And it is here to stay for long. The quicker you adopt this, the better for your business. This is why Magento 2 site owners should integrate the PWA right now.

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