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What are the Top PWA Frameworks to Develop Progressive Web Apps?

What are the Top PWA Frameworks to Develop Progressive Web Apps?

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are created to give a customer the best of both worlds – mobile & web. Since its advent in 2015, it has proven to be a smashing hit among businesses. With the significant increase in usage of smartphones, businesses and developers have quickly adopted to the many changes in technology to provide a sophisticated experience for the end users. Enter PWA. PWA brings the experience of a native app to a larger audience on the web. It eliminates the need of downloading an app from the App/Play store. Moreover, it functions even without an internet connection and is adaptive to smartphones, tablets and desktops. 

Before we dive into the frameworks for PWA, should you go for PWA? Read to know.  

There are multiple frameworks currently that can be used to build PWAs. Let’s look at some of the most widely used ones to weigh the pros and cons and see which framework would best suit your business.  

Top PWA frameworks for Progressive Web Apps 

1. Angular 

Angular uses JavaScript to create robust and reliable Progressive Web Apps. Introduced by Google back in 2010, Angular is the most popular PWA framework due to its modular nature.  

 

Pros: Angular 13 is the latest version to be released in the market in November 2021. It has excellent CLI workflow enhancements and supports TypeScript 4.4 which mean access to more language features. With Ahead of Time ‘AOT’ compilers it optimizes speedy application by converting Angular HTML and TypeScript code into simple JavaScript code well before the browser downloads and runs the app. Its well-defined methodology provides ease in implementation. Angular is backed by a large community of developers and able support from Google.  

 Cons – Using Angular requires understanding of TypeScript framework. It is comparatively complex to learn and not SEO-friendly. 

2. ReactJS 

React is a development framework created by Facebook and has a larger community of developers when compared to Angular. Its flexibility is what makes it the most preferred framework amongst developers. 

 

Pros – React uses virtual DOM or Document Object Model owing to which application rendering is fast and error-free. It has an extensive open-source JavaScript which supports scaling apps. It divides UI/UX components into simpler ones for easier use. The components can also be reused. It is extensively used for developing frontends. React can be used to develop single page, multiple pages or even make changes to existing pages with ease. ‘Create a new React app’ generator offers developers an excellent platform to develop an engaging PWA. 

 

Cons – Implementation with React is difficult since it does not have a set methodology which can also be attributed to lack of any documentation. Also, the framework is a little complex to work with, not to mention dealing with issues that come with the flexibility of using React. 

 

3. Ionic 

Ionic framework is based on Angular and Apache Cordova. It’s the most used framework for creating Hybrid applications.  

Pros – Ionic comes with a traditional layout style, UI elements and in-built plugins. This means low maintenance cost. The development cost is also low given that it is an open-source framework. With Web View, Ionic can create web pages within the browser thus creating pages similar to native apps. Ionic is easy for developers to learn and they can access API without coding. 

 

Cons – The main drawback of this framework is that it requires constant updates in the web application as per latest changes.  

4. Vue 

Compared to React and Angular, Vue is a relatively newer framework. It is similar to React since it uses Virtual DOM for high-speed rendering. But is Vue taking over React? Read here. 

Pros – Vue worked on existing technologies like CSS and HTML and improvised it. Developers who are comfortable with these languages can quickly create PWAs using Vue. It is supported by companies such as Laravel and Alibaba. Due to its simplistic coding and flexible ecosystem, it is gaining popularity among developers for creating front ends for apps. 

Cons – Since it is owned by a single person and not a company, the support system for this framework is quite small. The downside of this framework’s flexibility is that it leads to issues more often. 

 

5. PWA Builder 

If you’re looking to convert your current website into a Progressive Web App, PWA builder is your framework. Founded by Microsoft, PWA builder aims at increasing the adoption of intuitive and high-speed PWAs.  

Pros - It has a comprehensive but easy-to-use developing process that is well documented. This is an added edge for new developers using this framework apart from the fact that it is supported by a dedicated Microsoft team. It uses VueJS for development and has quick deployment because of pre-built typography. If the budget is limited, then PWA builder can be used for quick development of engaging PWAs. 

 

Cons – PWA builder is best suited for small and mid-sized sites. If there are specific needs and the site to be built is large and extensive, then PWA builder might not be the right option. With this framework, the process is also automated, making it difficult to make any required modifications. 

 

6. Polymer 

Developed by Google, Polymer is an open-source framework with its own set of tools and templates making PWA development quite simple. 

Pros – It has a universal code and enables developers to create reusable web components. This results in minimal effort on developer’s part. One can also keep adding functionalities and scale the PWA as and when required with this framework. Polymer is frequently updated with new features and functionalities by Google’s team. What makes this framework stand out from the rest is that its platform is a browser that aims to function like any library. 

Cons – Polymer does not have an official Integrated Development Environment (IDE). It also takes high reloading time because of using certain codes that are not supported by all browsers.  

 

7. Svelte 

Svelte is a recent introduction to the market that launched in 2019. But it is adapted by biggies like GoDaddy and New York Times.  

Pros - 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.  

Cons - It is a new framework and therefore does not have a pre-established community to support or well-defined documentation. Svelte has limitations when it comes to adding complexity and thus developers prefer Angular or React to build PWA. 

 

Conclusion: 

From the above list we see that almost all frameworks are developer friendly, but placing your business needs, cost, future plans alongside that factor is crucial in deciding the right framework for your PWA. Most PWAs even after it’s built will require to be scaled with additional functionalities in the future, load at great speed and prove to be robust. For this it is essential that the frameworks are reviewed with due diligence before diving into development.  

 

If your business has any PWA related need, reach out to Zuci Systems. Our team guarantees timely delivery of responsive and engaging designs with focus on functionalities that cater to your requirements. 

 

 

Sharon Mariam Koshy

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