What is a Progressive Web App?
Progressive Web Apps are Web Apps or a Website Page which provide the looks of a general Mobile Application. Progressive Web Apps help users to re-visit your website through features like Rich Offline Experiences, Periodic Background Syncs & Push Notifications.
Progressive Web Apps can be used to fill the vast void spaces created with Accelerated Mobile Pages results, if you’re seeking to reduce your webpages load time. Currently, these are only used by big enterprise level websites and companies.
Basically Progressive Web Apps have 3 features which make it different from Accelerated Mobile Pages-
- Progressive Web Apps operate quicker in comparison to Accelerated Mobile Pages.
- Secondly, Progressive Web Apps are reliable in providing all information to the user, which Accelerated Mobile Pages lack as they remove many scripts which you’ve added on your website to improve the conversion rate.
- They provide a high engagement rate, which Accelerated Mobile Pages lack.
Difference Between Accelerated Mobile Pages and Progressive Web Apps
By using AMP and PWA, you can bid goodbye to the high page load time and long waiting duration. You might show patience for loading sites on your desktop but on a mobile even three seconds would seem to be a long duration. Beyond three seconds, you refuse to wait and end up closing the tab to move on to your next URL or search. This behaviour accounts for 53% bounce rate on mobiles.
That’s where the features of these two applications/technologies comes into play. They safeguard the mobile searches as well as the searchers. But, first, here’s a brief explanation for both the Google Features.
AMP Vs PWA
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are scripts developed on open
source platform to help websites to load their content as fast as possible in
Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are mobile apps which provide the
looks of general website.
It involves Social Worker, Service Worker, App Shell, Web App
It is suitable for publisher-based websites.
It is suitable for ecommerce websites.
AMP mechanism reduces the page load time.
PWA pages update as fast as possible allowing users to surf
the website without any interruption.
Accelerated Mobile Pages is a feature developed on open source medium and approved by Google to improve page-loading performance of web pages. It generates an outstandingly fast browsing experience on mobiles.
Accelerated Mobile Pages are simple as it contains 10 times fewer data than a usual website or app. It thus helps to get informative content in front of users in the shortest possible time. It’s like you place your demand and the solution will be provided to you in a jiffy.
What are the Benefits of Accelerated Mobile Pages?
- Pages are easily cached and instantly loaded.
- Supports all existing formats of ads.
- Enhances and deepens engagement factor.
- The load time of a page reduces to less than 1 second, making the website 4 times faster.
- Primarily, it was used for news articles and now it has expanded to other verticals of content.
- Publishers of the website have full control over both the business and visual design.
How Google Accelerated Mobile Pages Works?
Accelerated Mobile Pages development:
Step 1: Create an Accelerated Mobile Pages template for the certain content type.
Step 2: Use a rel=’’amphtml” tag on the non-AMP version of the content.
Step 3: Accelerated Mobile Pages version directs to the non-AMP version with a canonical tag.
What are Progressive Web Apps?
Progressive Web Apps is the latest Google feature developed for the home screens of smartphones & other mobile devices with modern web technologies including App Shell model that provide features such as push notifications, offline web pages, and fast load timings. These are simple web pages with modern browsing features which makes these web pages to appear as a normal mobile application.
It has been noticed that if users arrive from home screen icon of a Progressive Web Apps, the conversion rate is more than 70%. Not only does it load pages faster, but it also has 3 times lower data usage. Users who visit the website twice or more within 2 weeks span are suggested the option ‘add to home screen’. They just need one tap to add to the home screen and one tap to open it.
For more information: What is Progressive Web Apps
Progressive Web Apps Characteristics:
These 9 characteristics comprehensively define Progressive Web Apps.
- Progressive Enhancement for User Engagement
- Responsive Web Design
- Can also Work in an Offline Network
- With App Shell Model, Progressive Web Apps looks like a Mobile App
- Always get a Fresh Appearance with its Rich Offline Experiences, Periodic Background Syncs and Push Notifications
- Always comes with an HTTPS certificate that Encrypts your Data between the Browser and the Web Server
- These are Search Engine Results (SERPs) Friendly
- Re-Engagement at its Best! Re-engagement is a Nectar which becomes possible through its Push Notifications feature
- Allow users to add Apps directly on their Home Screen without going to an App Store
What are the Benefits of Progressive Web Apps?
- Loads the pages faster.
- Enhances the conversion rate.
- Users can scroll 60 frames in one second.
- Opens on full screen without any URL bar.
- Engages the users with push notifications.
- Allows smooth animations and navigations.
- Users access the website via Home screen icon on the device.
- Permits working even on weak internet connections.
- These webpages are stored in the cache with Application Shell and, thus loads them instantly in less than 5 seconds on repeat visits/re-visits.
How Progressive Web App Works?
Progressive Web Apps are web apps; the look and feel of which is just like native mobile apps for both iOS and Android. It leverages different features of a mobile device like a camera and geolocation in the web apps.
Step 1: Install and register for a service worker separately and relate it with your app to make it a Progressive Web App.
Step 3: Use web push notifications to increase user engagement with your web apps.
Pros of Accelerated Mobile Pages
- Boosts the speed and lowers the load time of the website.
- Affects Mobile SEO and improves keyword rankings in mobile devices.
- Reduces Server load and improve its performance.
- Supports ad facility.
- It is suitable for publisher-based websites.
Cons of Accelerated Mobile Pages
- It cannot track the user activity on Accelerated Mobile Pages pages.
- It is not suitable for Ecommerce website.
- It cannot enhance the search engine ranking.
- It works only on the basis of cache.
Pros of Progressive Web Apps
- No physical installation of the app is required.
- No need to visit the App Store.
- It gets updated automatically.
- It is suitable for eCommerce website.
Cons of Progressive Web Apps
- It has platform limitations that lead to re-engagement issues.
AMP Vs. PWA – Which is Better?
It is important to know the difference between Accelerated Mobile Pages and Progressive Web Apps, but you need to understand both go hand-to-hand. If you’re an “HTTPS” website owner, then you need the support of both the technologies to serve your visitors better, thus you need to study Google AMP & PWA.
With Accelerated Mobile Pages, users get access to content quickly while Progressive Web Apps improves user experience and keeps them engaged. To explain in simpler terms, Accelerated Mobile Pages is the waiter responsible for serving the food quickly while Progressive Web Apps is the cook preparing dishes that look appealing and taste delicious. Both the new facilities PWA and Accelerated Mobile Pages are added for website development.
The initial review may tell you that Progressive Web Apps are better than Accelerated Mobile Pages, but you should know that Accelerated Mobile Pages cannot be ignored. This is because, there are hundreds of websites that users are visiting each day, and they store all apps all on their mobile phones. But they need websites to load faster and, that’s where the role of Accelerated Mobile Pages comes into play. Almost 92% of users give up on a site if they find signing up difficult or lengthy. One tap sign in or auto sign-in is possible with Credential Manager API (Application Programming Interface) and one-tap check out is possible with Web Payments API.
Standard progressive enhancement techniques will help Progressive Web Apps to work across all modern browsers. So, a website will not have to pay for each browser and will see a huge improvement in terms of traffic, leads and conversions. Progressive Web Apps takes the support of https, which is a secure connection between site and users. Security is highly essential as it builds trust on the website, gives notifications if anyone has tampered with the pages and gives the leverage to hide the browsing behaviour. It even sends notifications when the page is closed or if the internet is not working. One more major difference between Accelerated Mobile Pages and Progressive Web Apps is this notification facility in the later. It also secures the website from unwanted content, unwanted ads and viruses. Many new technologies are supported in https only.
Research shows users spend 74% more time on Progressive Web Apps and it helps to get 82% conversion rate in iOS and 104% in the rest of the browsers. With the help of push notifications feature, users can be notified with specific information on time to time basis.
It has continuously been noticed that Google is giving extra preference to Accelerated Mobile Pages. Recently, Google has come up with a new visual content “Snapchat-like Media Content”. This content format is based on Accelerated Mobile Pages and is very much similar to stories feature of Snapchat. This new Google Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative, named as “Stamp”, where ‘St’ stands for stories, is based on AMP for faster loading of pages.
Washington Post – an Ideal example of both Adoption
Let’s take the example of Washington Post- a renowned news agency to see how they have improved their website and upgraded their user-experience with Accelerated Mobile Pages and Progressive Web Apps combination. Initially, when they transformed their website into a responsive mobile site, their speed was 3500 ms. They then adopted Accelerated Mobile Pages mechanism to reduce the page load time to 1200 ms and it was further reduced to 400 ms with Accelerated Mobile Pages CDN technology. As a result, there is a huge difference in searches from 35% has reached 63% after adopting AMP. As a news delivery organization relying on third-party content submission, they then shifted to Washington Post Progressive Web Apps and Social Workers to reduce the site burden. With the PWA adoption, their pages were updated as fast as possible allowing users to surf the website without any interruption.
Accelerated Mobile Pages to Progressive Web Apps flow is a gradual procedure, websites first accept the Accelerated Mobile Pages technology and then shift to PWA. Similarly, Washington Post article first came up in AMP carousel before registering in Service Worker. They started incorporating more navigation facilities in Progressive Web Apps for better user- experience with the aim of increasing users who accept this flow. So, they simplified the process by providing instant loading of pages on Washington Post domain. Once a user becomes a frequent visitor, they promptly show ‘add to home screen’ option. Once a user accepts it, it becomes a one-tap experience.
Now, Google is paying attention to turning the readers into paid traffic. Here the news publishers will not have to pay to advertisers for their news articles. From now on, Google will search for potential subscribers through Accelerated Mobile Pages, who are willing to pay for recent updates. No such initiatives have benefited Google while utilizing the Progressive Web Apps technology. Therefore, Accelerated Mobile Pages is still the best option for Google.