What is a Progressive Web App? | SCRIBACEOUS.COM

Have you heard the term and wondered “What is a Progressive Web App?” In this guide, we’ll talk about Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) and how they’re changing the website game. They’re pretty amazing because they give users the option of a website or an app without the hassle of having to visit the app store and outperform even the best of traditional websites on mobile devices!

By the end, not only will you know everything you need to know about PWAs, you can check out some real-world examples of successful PWAs and maybe even design your own with a fabulous “off-the-shelf” option.

What is a Progressive Web App?

A Progressive Web App, often abbreviated as PWA, is a type of web application that leverages modern web technologies to provide users with an experience that closely resembles using a native mobile app. Native apps are the apps you buy from the app store that don’t have an associated website. The huge bonus of a PWA is that they DO have a website, so the user can choose which format they want to use at any given time.

Graphic of PWA / mobile app designer | SCRIBACEOUS.COM

PWAs are designed to work seamlessly on any device or platform, regardless of the operating system or browser being used. They are built using cutting-edge web development frameworks, which considerably reduce development costs.

How PWAs Differ from Native Apps

Mobile app development graphic | SCRIBACEOUS.COM

PWAs are a modern and innovative approach to web development that provide several advantages over traditional websites and native apps.

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Let’s explore some of the standout features of PWAs:

  • Offline functionality—PWAs can work offline or with limited connectivity, which enhances their reliability compared to traditional native apps.
  • Fast load times—PWAs are engineered for speedy loading, even on slower internet connections, ensuring that users can access content much faster than from a traditional website.
  • Push notifications—PWAs can send push notifications to users, just like native apps.
  • App-like experience—PWAs are designed to look and feel like native apps, making more engaging user experience and increasing user satisfaction. The IHUBApp adds to the experience by enabling users to completely personalize their content on the app through the use of Intelligent Content Channels.
  • Cross-platform compatibility—PWAs work seamlessly on any device or platform, which greatly enhances their accessibility.
  • Installable—Users can install PWAs on any devices and access them directly from the home screen, just like native apps. So, no more visits to the app store!
  • Responsive—Being highly responsive, PWAs are meticulously designed to work across various devices and screen sizes, ensuring that users receive a consistent and pleasant experience.
  • Improved user engagement—PWAs have been shown to increase user engagement by up to 137% compared to traditional web apps. Check out the IHUBApp case studies to see results from real people!
  • Improved conversion rates—They have shown an increase in conversion rates by up to 36% compared to traditional native apps…even higher for traditional websites.
  • Lower development costs—The web app development cost for a custom PWA is often less than developing a native app because it requires less code and can be built using common website technologies. Using an “off-the-shelf” PWA, like the IHUBApp, is even less expensive!
  • Lower maintenance costs—Maintaining a PWA is often less expensive than maintaining a native app because updates can be made independently without having to go through app stores. With the IHUBApp, all maintenance is included in the monthly license fee so no more website maintenance contracts!
  • Improved SEO—PWAs are indexed by search engines, which improves their visibility and discoverability. Because Google places a lot of emphasis on speed, they get an SEO boost simply because of how fast they are!
  • Improved security—PWAs use HTTPS encryption, which ensures that data is transmitted securely between the server and the client. WordPress website hackings have gotten out of control; the likelihood of a PWA getting hacked is significantly less.
  • Improved accessibility—PWAs can be accessed from any device or platform, which makes them more accessible for users with disabilities. The IHUBApp PWA has an accessibility score of 97 out of 100!
  • Enhanced performance—PWAs are designed for optimal performance, which ensures that they load quickly and respond smoothly.

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Success Stories of PWAs

Several successful PWAs have already proven the power of this web technology. Let’s explore a few noteworthy examples to better understand the versatility and potential of PWAs:

1. Starbucks

Starbucks built a PWA of the ordering system on the web, which delivers a similar experience to their existing native app. The PWA is 99.84% smaller than Starbucks’ existing iOS app, making this web app a favorite amongst its users.

They doubled the number of web users who place orders each day, with desktop users now ordering at about the same rate as mobile users.

2. Debenhams

After transforming their old website into a PWA, Debenhams has improved the customer experience by removing blocks on a customer journey—slow pages, hard-to-navigate structure, complicated checkout process.

They have seen a 40% increase in mobile conversion rate and a 20% increase in the average order value.

3. MakeMyTrip

India’s leading travel company has about eight million visitors to their site every month, with mobile traffic accounting for two-thirds. MakeMyTrip.com is a great example of PWA that offers an app-like experience to its users.

The PWA has seen a 3x increase in conversion rates and 160% increase in user sessions.

4. Pinterest

Pinterest rebuilt their mobile site as a PWA and saw a 60% increase in engagement. The PWA loads in under 5 seconds on repeat visits even on slow networks and uses 80% less data than their native app.

How to Create Your Own PWA using the IHUBApp Platform

Now that we’ve explored the definition, success stories, and features of PWAs, it’s time to dive into the practical steps of creating your own PWA.

The goal of the IHUBApp team was to make it fast, easy and affordable for small businesses to create their own app or significantly reduce the costs of having a professional designer do it for them.

They have built the engine of the “car,” all a business owner or designer has to do is go in and customize the body of the “car.”

Follow these simple steps to embark on your IHUBApp PWA journey:

Step 1: Sign up for the IHUBApp plan that works for you

Go to the InspireHub plan page and choose the plan that best fits you. You do not start paying for your license until you launch your IHUBApp PWA. They even offer a free plan to help brand new businesses get started! (If the Standard License is the one for you, definitely contact Scribaceous as they offer an exclusive discount on this license!)

Step 2: Create your pages.

Add core pages, such as About Me/Us, Services, Contact, etc., with either images, videos, or embed codes in the header.

Step 3: Create your channels.

The IHUBApp has four types of content channels—Home (broadcast channel), Public, Request, and Private. (Paid channels, which are perfect for subscriptions or premium content, are coming soon!). Watch this video tutorial to learn more about these channels. Simply create channels based on the types of content you’ll be offering.

Step 4: Write one post per channel.

It’s recommended to add one post per content channel so people understand what the channel is all about. Like pages, you can easily create a header from an image, video or embed code. Make sure to add at least one post module on the bottom—every post should have some sort of call to action!

Step 5: Use Canva to create your Home page sliders.

Canva makes it super easy to design your Home page sliders. Do take time to ensure they are branded, polished and professional. Link them to the appropriate page, post, channel or outside URL.

Step 6: Personalize your Welcome Message and choose the channels where users will be automatically added

When someone registers for your IHUBApp, they will receive a Welcome Message—this is the perfect time to give them a freebie and call them to action. You can also set up your IHUBApp so it automatically adds people to one or more specific channels upon registration.

Step 7: Review on desktop and mobile and test everything

Make sure you proofread all content and check out your Hub on both desktop and mobile to make sure all that you did is polished and professional. Thoroughly test your IHUBApp, paying attention to performance, responsiveness, and the overall user experience. Gather feedback from peers, family and/or friends and make improvements based on their input.

Step 8: Launch your IHUBApp.

Once your IHUBApp is complete and reviewed, you’ll simply click on the button to take it live. If you chose a paid license, this is the point it’s active and you will start being invoiced.

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Step 9: Promote your IHUBApp.

Market your IHUBApp to your target audience. Leverage your website, social media, and other marketing channels to raise awareness and encourage users to install and use your IHUBApp. For the best results, we recommend using Scribaceous to manage your IHUBApp as they are highly experienced in both its functionality and marketing it.

Step 10: Gather user feedback.

Encourage users to provide feedback on their experience with your IHUBApp. Use this feedback to make continuous improvements and enhancements.

Step 11: Stay updated & informed.

These steps are to create a basic IHUBApp. It is capable of so much more! The best resource for IHUBApp tips, tutorials, and updates is the Hub Mama. This Hub will keep you informed so you can continue to refine and expand your PWA as new features and capabilities become available.

If you are interested in becoming an IHUBApp designer, known as a Hubmaster, click here to learn more about this amazing opportunity!

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Now you have the answer to the question “What is a progressive web app?”! PWAs, and the IHUBApp in particular, revolutionize web development, delivering a top-notch user experience with features like offline functionality and push notifications at a much lower