How To Convert Your Website To A Progressive Web App ?

Technology is transforming how all of us live, but it needs to transform how we work. The aim of technology is to improve the lives of people across the globe, which is why software development has evolved from websites/portals to mobile apps. The next step in line of evolution is PWA. 

Let’s begin by understanding what Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are and then we will move on to understanding – how to convert website to progressive web app

In simple terms, PWAs are application softwares delivered through the web. What makes them unique is that they offer app – like experience facilitating app advantages while using modern web capabilities.

Essentially, a progressive web app focuses on the core web-page first and then progressively adds layers of presentation and features on it based on the user’s browser and internet connection capabilities. 

convert website to progressive web app


Why Do We Need Progressive Web Apps?

Just like any other new technology, the entire point and concept of progressive web apps is to provide convenience to people/users by merging the pros of mobile apps and websites while eliminating the cons. This is one reason why people are looking to convert website to progressive web apps.

Progressive Web Apps are largely categorized as:

  • Reliable – PWAs load quickly. They never show “No Internet Connection” even if the connectivity is poor with the help of service workers caching.
  • Fast – PWAs are quick and responsive. They respond swiftly to user interactions with sheeny animations.
  • Engaging – These web based apps feel like a natural app when used on a device and facilitates an immersive experience to its users.

According to a study conducted by Google, brands that use PWAs witnessed a surge in page views by around 134% and a fall in bounce rate by around 42% when compared to similar mobile websites.

Moreover, brands using PWAs have witnessed an increase in engagement rate and conversion rates by 137% and 52% respectively. (Source)

Yet another benefit of converting website to progressive web app  and building a web app is that they are completely platform independent, quick, reliable and engaging.

These web applications can be saved on user mobile devices just like how it is in mobile applications. Another wow factor is that web apps can be accessed offline too. 

They are responsive and adapt well to multiple devices including computers, tablets, mobiles, etc.

TLS (Transport Layer Security) is another property of Web apps that make them so good and compels businesses to convert website to progressive web app.

Also, an imperative element of a web application is service workers that only run on TLS and HTTPS.

The benefits of a PWA are many. Some of the best benefits are that they facilitate an easy setup and automatically updates. Web applications do not need app stores, instead – they get installed immediately on the users screen.

Progressive web apps also facilitate a faster performance as the major files get cached locally. With so much to offer, PWAs are expected to benefit businesses significantly.

New age progressive web apps offer amazing user experience and higher engagement. These thus ultimately help businesses earn better user-base and profits.

So, the next palpable question is how easily can you convert website to progressive web app  in order to  amplify your business?

How To convert website to progressive web app ?

convert website to progressive web app


Before delving into the steps to convert website to progressive web app , it is essential to contemplate and list out the functions we need to add.

The primary aim must be to set the steal on the accessibility of basic content and functionalities to all the users. Then, here are the steps required to successfully convert website to progressive web app

Shifting to HTTPS

The first and the foremost step to convert website to progressive web app  is to switch from HTTP to HTTPS. Why?

Shifting to HTTPS is a prerequisite when looking to convert website to progressive web app,  significantly for the service workers. Service workers only work across secure connections. 

So then, in order to convert website to progressive web app , it is vital that you add TLS (transport layer security) and make a shift to HTTPS. How?

The TLS protocol ensures security while guaranteeing security along with ensuring safety against all unauthorized access. 

In order to switch to HTTPS, it is mandatory to avail SSL certificate. Make sure when you do this, you take a precautionary backup of all the data. Once done, update all the internal links to HTTPS.

Add Service Workers

One of the most important functions of a progressive web app is its ability to work offline. This can only be done with the use of service workers, which makes them an absolute essential for convert website to progressive web app.

You may be wondering what service workers are? Well, service worker is primarily a technical term used for a javascript file – a scriptable network proxy file that acts between the host and the browser.

This commissions offline and various other PWA capabilities to the website and enables it to convert website to progressive web app prompting the cache mechanism to sanction an immersive errorless offline experience to users. 

Primarily, there are 3 essential steps for adding service workers to include activation, installation and registration. 

  • Activation – Activation is required when all the pages of the PWA are closed in order to prevent conflict between previous and updated versions.
  • Installation – Installation is applied when there is no original service worker readily installed in the browser or if the service worker readily installed needs an update.
  • Registration – Registration is the process of revealing the location of the service worker to the browser for installation. 

Another benefit of service workers when you convert website to progressive web app is that they impart the enjoyment of real time updates, low storage, higher speed and enhanced performance to the PWA.

Create JSON File – PWA Manifest

What’s a JSON file? It is essentially a web application manifest that facilitates web app developers with a centralized place in order for them to put in the metadata for the application.

The metadata principally includes the applications name, the links to the images and the icons, app configuration data, app launch URL, default orientation, theme color, description & display options.

The web app manifest (JSON file) stores and provides for all the required information prompting the browser on how exactly to display the application. This needs to be added to the applications HTML template.

The PWA manifest must include:

  • The canonical name of the website
  • A short version of that name (for icons)
  • Website’s theme color for OS integration
  • The website’s background color for OS integration
  • The URL scope PWAs are limited to
  • The start URL that new instances of the progressive web app will implicitly load
  • A human-readable description
  • Orientation restrictions 
  • Any icons for your website to be used on the home screen 

Testing The PWA

There is no process that is complete without testing. Now that you have successfully shifted to HTTPS, added service workers and have prepared the web application manifest in order to convert website to progressive web app, it is about time you start applying some checks  and tests to make sure that the conversion of your website to a web app is smooth and successful.

Make sure that the service worker is registered in the developer tools. Remember that if the service worker is soundly installed for the current page that is open, it is a must that it is listed in the application panel that is under the service worker tab.

Note that every-time a new page is loading, updated services are automatically and immediately activated.

Also, don’t forget to check the offline capability. For a web app, it is imperative that the homepage loads even if your user is offline. Also, you must be able to see “index.html” and “images/” in the cache.

Final Thoughts

The times have changed and technology has moved one step ahead. Progressive web applications are the future of software development across the world and to convert website to progressive web app is a great move.

The best part is even if you have a website and you want to convert website to progressive web app , you can easily do it. 

Make sure you consider making the most of all the tips that we have spoken about in this blog in order to create your own progressive web application. 

RNF Technologies being one of the top web app development companies across the world has some of the best web app developers with the right skills and experience. We deliver high quality and up-to-date products for our clients.

If you need our help in creating a Progressive Web App or you just need to convert website to progressive web app, Contact Us!

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