PWA Myths And Facts

Progressive Web App (PWA) was first introduced in 2015, but there are remaining PWA myths that make so many customers, and business owners have the wrong perceptions about this technology. This post will focus on both PWA myths and facts – clarify the most common misunderstanding and provide a more precise one of this technology.  

1/ Add To Home Screen Is A Mobile-only Feature

Our PWA myths and facts list will begin with its most outstanding feature – installation/ add to home screen.

We know that PWA shares many similar characteristics to the native app. One of them is the Add to home screen feature, which makes it possible to install PWA. However, most customers think this is possible on mobile devices only as we only have apps on our phones and then access the website on the laptop by the URL.

The truth is that PWA is also installable on large screens – desktops/ laptops. This feature creates a PWA shortcut that will appear with an icon badge on the desktop background. 

2/ Add To Home Screen Is Not Available On iOS

iOS has long been known as the operating system with the least support for PWA compared to other rivals like Android or Chrome.
In the past, this is true, but recently, Apple has started to change its policy and let down some barriers by allowing some PWA features to operate on its devices. It is now possible for iFans to install PWA on their gadgets. 

The way this function works on iOS might be pretty different from other browsers. There will be no pop-up message to guide users, but they need to use the new share sheet feature to add PWA to their home screen. 

3/ Most Don’t Know About The PWA Update Process  

PWA is the perfect hybrid between apps and websites. However, this leaves a question on how PWA updates will work. Business owners are confused over how they can update their store, and customers do not know how to get the latest updates from the PWA store. 

Obviously, during the business operation, owners will still need to make adjustments on the site to serve their customers. Thus, getting this point is vital to maintain the store’s performance. 

For PWA updates from merchants, the developers will update the code and release it. During that time, the website interface remains unchanged, and customers can still view the products and proceed with their orders. 

PWA updates for customers work the same way with the website. By refreshing PWA, the updating process will be complete within a few seconds. 

4/ Offline Mode Is Available For Every Page

Other PWA myths surround the offline mode feature. Most think that every content on PWA will be available when the Internet connection does not exist. 

However, the truth is the opposite. 

PWA makes preloaded pages accessible without a network connection. But for the first time visiting any other content, the devices need to be connected to the Internet. 

The main reason is that PWA consumes little space in the memory (way smaller compared to the native apps). Thus, not all the data is stored in the device. This is not necessarily a weakness, as the lightweight PWA can help users save their space for future use. 

Another thing about offline mode to note for merchants is that they can control which pages can go offline. For product pages, updates on the remaining number in stock, price, new version,… make the offline mode turn out to be useless as customers might get the wrong information. 

5/ PWA Is Just A Responsive Storefront

Different from other PWA myths and facts on the list, this one is partly true. We know that PWA optimizes the mobile browsing experience by introducing a storefront that matches different devices’ screen sizes. However, PWA also offers the solution to create a separate interface for smartphones to deliver the best quality online store to customers. 

This means that the size of the website changes to fit the smaller screen of mobile phones, but the content and layout are also rearranged to bring a better storefront to customers. 

6/ PWAs Are Not Allowed On App Store

Another PWA myth that we want to mention is that PWA cannot be found on the app store. App Store is the place that only store native apps and PWA are not one of them. 

In the past, this may be true, but technological evolution has proved this statement wrong.

Except for Apple, other app marketplaces still allow the presence of PWA. Google and Microsoft are also investing a lot of effort and money in this technology on their system. 

With the constant rise of the number of brands releasing PWA and gaining positive results from this step, we can expect the announcement from other browsers to permit PWA to appear on their marketplace. 

7/ PWA Might Not Be A Good Component Of The SEO Strategy

As Progressive Web App has a different structure from the original website, another PWA myth concerns whether PWA integration also affects the SEO score of the site. Also, PWA is the combination of apps and websites, whereas SEO is not possible with apps. Thus, they are afraid of whether this thing also happens with PWA.

We can tell you with 100% confidence that the above scenarios are not possible to occur. 

PWA remains with the URL, so it is still possible to be indexed by Google. Plus, merchants can add Google tool tracking code into PWA source code to see how their SEO score is going.

Instead of causing trouble to the company’s SEO strategy, PWA will positively impact the SEO score. It can support boosting ranking and reaching a higher position on Google search results by meeting Google’s ranking criteria (fast speed, mobile-friendly). With better users’ experience, the bounce rate will be minimized, and session duration will be prolonged. 

8/ PWA Is Expensive To Develop

With all the amazing benefits of developing a Progressive Web App, some merchants hesitate whether the PWA development fee will exceed their budget or not. This fear is somehow true as no PWA providers give the exact amount they would charge for each customer. It is like building a website. 

The development depends on the solution firms choose (building the PWA from the beginning will definitely be more costly than selecting a ready-made PWA theme), which company they partner with (agencies from Europe and the US will charge more than those in Asia. 

This process also works with PWA.

Whether the cost is high or low depends on businesses. Developing PWA is not expensive if merchants know their budget and find the most appropriate solution for their site. 

Plus, PWA integration will also generate positive results on sales revenues to set off the development fees. Hence, instead of jumping to the conclusion that developing PWA is expensive, try to spend time to find the appropriate development method and find a company that offers the most reasonable price. 

9/ PWA Is Only For Big Companies

The last PWA myth is that most PWAs we know about are Twitter, Starbucks, AliExpress, Tinder, etc…

This causes several people to believe that only large corporations should apply this solution. This combining with the myth that PWA is expensive to develop, has deterred small to medium-sized businesses from adopting this technology. 

In fact, PWA is designed for businesses of all scales (not only large ones). To clarify the myth, we need to understand why the first firms to integrate PWA are of large size.

Large companies usually take up large market share, and they can be considered leaders and trendsetters in the field. They always want to be the first in introducing the new products, applying the latest technology innovation.

They also own great resources in both human and capital to support in doing so. Also, small and medium-sized businesses are like followers, and they might wait till larger firms take steps and see the results to decide whether to adopt PWA or not. 

Why do businesses of smaller sizes still need PWA?

The next thing we want to emphasize is why small businesses need to consider developing PWA. Small companies are at the beginning of the development stage, and to gain expansion in size; increasing market share is a must.

While the goal sounds simple, the way to achieve this is rather challenging. There are so many providers offering the same products. Why should customers choose small and less reputable firms? By applying PWA, merchants can bring a better user experience, differentiating them from other rivals.

Also, PWA improves the SEO score of the website so the site can appear on the first and second pages, which in turn generates more traffic.

The last thing to note here is that small and medium-sized firms might need PWA more than large firms. Large firms have adequate resources to invest in large marketing campaigns and maintain their relationship with customers through several channels (email, SMS,..).

This might not be possible for firms of smaller size as their revenues are not flexible enough to take up all these branding activities. PWA is the perfect solution when the push notification feature will keep users updated with the store’s latest news from the store.

Also, the availability of the store on the site through the add to home screen feature will increase the engagement from buyers.

PWA Myths And Facts Clarified

We hope this list of PWA myths and facts has helped you eliminate all the PWA’s wrong understandings and grab a better understanding of this technology. As the technology evolution is still happening at lightning speed, we look forward to seeing the radical improvements of Progressive Web App soon.

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