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The 9 Best Progressive Web App Development Tools

The 9 Best Progressive Web App Development Tools

Websites designed to give you the experience of a standalone app minus the hassle of installing an actual app. It is quite easy to understand why PWA has taken over as the choice for companies like Twitter, Forbes, Uber, Instagram, Wikipedia, Spotify, and Pinterest to name a few. Progressive Web Apps have raised the bar of what an ideal website should deliver in terms of loading speed, easy navigation and seamless interaction. 

 

There was a time when we thought that nothing could match the experience of a native app, but as per the Top 30 PWAs report, PWAs registered 36% more conversion than native apps and enjoy 50% more customer engagement than on native apps. So, if you haven’t already considered switching to PWA for Business, this article on the best tools to develop a PWA could change your mind. 

Benefits of Progressive Web Apps: 

  1. Easy to install or not! Yes, you read that right. While PWAs can be installed straight from the web browser, you can also access it at all times without installation and using just a URL. This gives the user more leverage over how they wish to use the app.
  2.  Minimal Development Cost. PWAs slash down developer’s time and cost in deployment since they are cross platform and easily adapt to various screens and devices. 
  3. Send Push Notifications. While this feature was limited to Native App, PWAs also make use of this feature to send highly engaging and noticeable notifications to users. 
  4. Works Offline! Thanks to in-built service workers, PWAs function even without an internet connection or when the network is unstable.  
  5. No hassle of App Distribution platforms. Choosing to go for PWAs will save you a lot of time and cost which you would’ve otherwise spent on meeting the requirements of platforms like Play Store and App Store. 

While this is not a comprehensive list of benefits, we’re sure you get the picture now.

Now let’s look at Why choosing the right PWA framework is critical for your business: 

Simply put, each framework comes with its own capacity, features, complexity, ability to scale up and cost. It’s important to weigh your needs against these factors and scan the team which will be taking up the project in terms of - resources available, their expertise, time given and so on. Only after this must the decision to build a PWA be undertaken, and the framework chosen to achieve the set business targets.  

Here are the top 9 frameworks for building PWA: 

1. AngularJS 

With the latest version release of Angular 13, AngularJS has upgraded itself as one of the most streamlined web frameworks. It is a highly efficient platform to build both single pages and enterprise level apps. The main reason developers go for Angular is that it saves them from repetitive tasks and makes app rendering faster with its Ahead of Time (AOT) compilation method. It is a JavaScript enabled framework which amplifies the responsiveness of web apps.  

By integrating Command Line Interface (CLI), the architecture offers an advantage to split the components individually. This makes it easier to build and test PWA. Angular is also backed by active and able community support from Google and if that does not do the trick, it also has comprehensive documentation where you can find anything you are looking for. 

2. PWA Builder 

This tool makes it really easy for developers to build a PWA without having to write any code or even when you’ve had no previous experience building one. Here’s how: 

  • It offers Builder Now that lets you outline the specs of an app in less than 10 mins and create a prototype 
  • Builder Studio is a no code app builder that lets you build a PWA with some human involvement 
  • Get access to Builder Cloud to run your PWA at the best possible price 
  • Builder Care ensures that your PWA stays updated at all times  

With all these facilities, it’s not hard to see why this is amongst the top PWA frameworks.

Check out how NBC Universal used PWA Builder for one of their business needs. 

  

3. React 

Developers love this framework, thanks to its fast performance and simplicity. It is easy to set up and has become the most popular framework to build user interfaces. This is because interfaces built with React are dynamic and responsive since it does a great job of fetching data. It is easy to integrate React with other frameworks and libraries, thus making it easy to use in new as well as ongoing projects. Reusability of components is possible with React making project developments faster. Again, this framework enjoys community support and up-to-date documentation on every aspect. PWA becomes more effective and efficient using React framework, making it an easy winner in this respect. 

 

4. Ionic 

Ionic is known to use cutting edge web standards for building PWAs. Moreover, you can create responsive UI with Ionic’s flexible components, and the apps can be combined with service workers to make it function offline. With Ionic 5, building a feature filled PWA has definitely become a breeze. 

 Read to know if PWA is the best choice for your business.
 

5. Lighthouse 

Launched by Google in early 2018, Lighthouse is an open-source automated tool that does a thorough check on your website and suggests improvisations. One of the aspects that Lighthouse measures is PWA and others include performance, accessibility, best practices and SEO. This framework has the capability to examine the weak points and offer solutions to fix them. It also shows which areas the PWA works well. With such detailed reports and analysis, work is cut down for developers who can ensure that these pointers are taken care of to optimize the PWA to its full extent.  

 

6. Polymer 

This framework has a different take altogether on how it plans to function. While the existing features and APIs are enhanced with each update, it ultimately wants to shrink and function as a browser itself. It is essentially a platform of the future that lets you build your PWA with just a click and lets you scale as required. This ensures minimal efforts on the part of the developers. 

7. Vue 

Vue has recently gained popularity as a web framework which can be attributed to its feature called Nuxt. Nuxt makes developing PWAs possible without even a server while offering outstanding features that could make your PWA highly engaging. It is easy to learn and not only boosts developer productivity but also end user experience. Read more about Nuxt here. 

 

8. Svelte 

A recent introduction to the market in 2019, Svelte has made its mark as a robust framework for developing PWAs 

With its drag and drop interface, even developers with no experience can easily use Svelte to develop PWAs. It can be used to create prototypes in just a matter of hours. Thanks to its compiler nature, it makes loading and execution superfast. 

 9. Knockout 

Knockout is most efficient in building UI interfaces that change dynamically based on any external action by the users which in turn changes the data. You can also put into effect new custom behaviors with just a few additional lines of code. What’s more? It is a JavaScript library that works on any browser and can even be added on top of your existing web application without any major changes to the existing architecture. Since responsiveness is a major feature of PWA, Knockout seems to handle that portion effectively. 

 

To sum up: 

If the aim is to refine your mobile app in terms of speed, user engagement, performance and ease, go for a Progressive Web App. But if you still have questions, feel free to contact us and we can help you identify if PWA is the best fit for your business. 

 

 

Sharon Mariam Koshy

Loves getting creative with mundane topics in addition to geeking out over books and movies.