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Best Frameworks for your PWA Development

Table of Content

  1. Introduction – PWA Development
  2. What are Progressive Web Apps, and Why is It Important?
  3. Top Features of Progressive Web Apps
    1. Easy to Install
    2. Automatic Update
    3. Technical Advantage
    4. App-like experience Secure
  4. Top Progressive Web App Frameworks and Tools
    1. React
    2. Angular
    3. Vue
    4. Ionic
    5. PWA Builder
    6. Lighthouse
  5. Conclusion


In the rapidly growing technological era, the usage of mobile phones has gained a strong foothold in the lives of millions and people are discovering the convenience of surfing the web without connecting to a desktop/PC. Connecting the power of the web with smartphones has always been one of the most challenging tasks for development agencies. The popularity of mobile app type is giving birth to numerous PWA frameworks and tools that are used to strengthen the debate of Progressive Web Apps Vs Native in favor of the latter.

According to a report generated by Statista, the global rate of mobile internet usage has been rapidly growing over the past few years, reaching a 63% share of the total internet usage last year.

A personification of tech advancement that suggested the mobile phone users in the best possible way is PWA. It has the efficacy to turn around the entire browning experience and make it more fascinating. Seamless performance on various platforms and excellent UX ability to live on the user’s home screen give an edge to PWA over their native counterparts. 

The list of PWA frameworks and tools is getting long, however, it has made it more difficult for business organizations to choose the best frameworks for progressive web app development.

So, to ease your work, let’s go through the list of best frameworks for your PWA development based on the scope of mass adoption and ease of development.

But before we move ahead, let us identify the importance of PWA and what exactly it is.

What are Progressive Web Apps, and Why is It Important?

Progressive Web App represents applications that are ‘enhanced’ with certain features to deliver a native app-like experience. It is considered a bridge between websites and web apps.

PWAs allow you to install websites as apps to a mobile device and app drawer. It is the result of a unique cross-platform app development approach that helps to successfully deliver web pages installed on your phone via a mobile browser.

PWAs integrate the best features and functionalities of both types of software to generate something new and exciting. It grants a much more comfortable and stable user experience. This technology also offers fast loading, push notifications, access to the device camera, offline accessibility, microphone, background updates, storage, and much more.

It is important to focus on customer satisfaction and make them come back to you over and over again. PWA is a hybrid of a native app that uses standard web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to deliver an app-like UX. It is a web app at the core with various features of native apps that are easily discoverable by search engines. That’s why PWAs are popular and widely used by giant brands such as Twitter, Alibaba, and Trivago.

Top Features of Progressive Web Apps

1. Easy to Install

Since PWA is a website, it is easy to install and easily discoverable which is found on search engines. They are not distributed via app stores, but they can be shared through a URL instead and entail visiting a site on a device’s home screen.

2. Automatic Update

PWAs have automatic updates which make the apps stay fresh. You’re not required to update the PWAs manually which saves a lot of time and effort. All you have to do is upload new files to the server and publishers implement the patches directly using the current latest version of the application.

PWAs are now an essential part of many businesses and hence it is important to choose the right technology because technology can do wonders.

3. Technical Advantage

PWAs are lightweight and can be quickly installed and updated through the Google play store or directly from browsers, bypassing marketplaces altogether. Despite this, they are adaptive and responsive compared to native mobile and desktop apps.

4. App-like experience

PWAs mimic the navigation and interactions of native apps and find a way to integrate the best possible experience for the users. From a user point of view, the differences between PWAs and native apps can hardly be noticeable, excluding the way of downloading.

5. Secure

PWAs are secure because they are served using HTTP, so unauthorized users can’t access their content. Using the HTTPS protocols, the data is encrypted and it becomes more difficult to intercept and change.

Top Progressive Web App Frameworks and Tools

1. React

In 2013, ReactJS was released by Facebook and became the most popular choice among developers for interface design and its extensive JavaScript library. The progressive web app development framework helps to create SPA and multi-page apps with the same content loads and changes. It is a well-known and widely-used front-end technology such as ReactJS because it offers a flexible open-source JavaScript library to create innovative applications. Make sure to follow the best security practices of ReactJS and bring the insights to help businesses build high-performing applications.

ReactJS allows you to use JavaScript libraries such as GatsbyJS and NextJS that allow developers to generate server-side and client-side rendered pages, routing, and API interactions. It uses JSX to integrate with HTML structures and create a React PWA solution.

React has an excellent online community and several high-profile projects including WhatsApp, Twitter Light, Facebook, and Instagram. This development platform is a part of the tandem of frameworks used to provide seamless cross-platform and multi-device user experience whether it is with web, progressive or near-native apps.

Why use ReactJS?

  • Virtual DOM
  • JavaScript XML
  • One-way data binding
  • Declarative UI
  • Component-based architecture
  • High performance
  • Rich toolset
  • Strong community support

2. Angular

AngularJS was developed in 2010 by Google, and it uses the JavaScript ecosystem for building reliable and robust progressive web apps. It is one of the oldest and most powerful PWA frameworks having various benefits and features.

In 2017, Angular 5 was released which was the first version to support the PWAs and an ideal platform for developing excellent web solutions. Web developers use Angular to meet the various challenges in developing single-page web applications. It uses HTML as the template language and expresses the HTML component in HTML clearly.

Angular allows you to create a PWA using a JSON configuration, thereby eliminating the need to build a web app from scratch. It is modular in nature and renowned for its inability to sustain complex dynamic applications; this fault was corrected in the latest versions.

Why use Angular?

  • Follows MVC architecture
  • High speed and optimum performance
  • Efficient two-way data binding
  • Less code framework
  • Angular command-line interface
  • Lazy loading syntax
  • Builder and workspace APIs
  • Efficient material design library
  • Readable and testable code

3. Vue

VueJS is an open-source front-end JavaScript progressive web app framework that is distributed under the MIT license. There are many similarities between React and Vue at their core, both these languages use Virtual DOM for a lightweight and efficient representation of the actual DOM.

You can easily get started with the Vue.js PWA framework and streamline the development process with amazing features and functionalities such as high-speed rendering, simple coding syntax for starters, routing, and much more. It is simple and has similar concepts as Angular and React, but there is a lack of experienced web developers having knowledge of the tPWA framework, specific features, and its ecosystem.

Presently, Vue.js is gaining more popularity and it is because of the ease in coding and high-speed rendering. You can easily scale your project with the added advantage of extra packages. It allows you to deliver the project faster, and build smaller solutions and MVPs.

Why use Vue?

  • OS and device agnostic
  • Highly SEO friendly
  • Decent and detailed documentation
  • Virtual DOM
  • Event handling
  • Animation and transition
  • Templates and directives
  • Computed properties
  • Data binding

4. Ionic

Ionic is an open-source development platform founded in 2013 based on Angular and Apache Cordova Progressive Web App framework. It is used for developing more than five million hybrid apps as of today because of its rich features and seamless development process.

With powerful features and functionalities such as cards buttons, interactive PWAs, components like badgers, and ready-made packages,  you’re not required to build these facilities from scratch. It is an ideal solution for PWA development for both iOS and Android platforms as it allows you to create web pages running inside the device browser using WebView.

The Ionic framework has a flexible tech stack so that developers can effortlessly create an Ionic app and use competing frameworks like Vue, Angular, or React. It also provides a library of more than 200 pre-built plugins for adding native device features to the solutions.

Why use Ionic?

  • Huge library of Plugins
  • Ionic command-line interface
  • Cross-development framework
  • A Free and open-source platform
  • Low development cost
  • Easy-to-maintain
  • Built-in browser tools
  • Web standards-based
  • Cordova plugin
  • Elegant design creation

5. PWA Builder

PWA builder is one of the best platforms for PWA development founded by Microsoft that converts websites into fast, engaging, and functional PWAs across multiple platforms. It is an open-source framework that has the fastest way to build components for a web app responsive across devices. There is an extensive community of web developers and programmers that support Android and iOS app development.

The recently released version of PWA builder 2.0 extends its official support to the Mac platform driven by WebKit and it aims to create cross-platform PWAs including the availability in places that should not be possible such as Mac and Microsoft Store. This framework allows you to kickstart your project easily, all you need to do is enter the URL in the PWA builder input line. However, it has a huge community and provides excellent support for Android and iOS app development.

Why use PWA Builder?

  • Easy development process
  • Converts website into PWAs easily
  • Enhance the web app with powerful features
  • Intuitive converting process
  • Dedicated Microsoft team
  • Extensive documentation

6. Lighthouse

Lighthouse is an open-source PWA framework developed by Google for automated audit of web apps and to improve the quality of applications. It assigns an evaluation score and the list of passed or failed audits for each parameter. You can also run additional checks manually.

The instrument accurately evaluates performance, and search engine optimization levels. Progressive enhancements, and identify audits make it indispensable for both support specialists and web app developers.

Why use Lighthouse?

  • Improve the quality of web apps
  • Open-source platform
  • Benchmark the build quality of the website
  • Improve user experience
  • Progressive enhancements

Final Words

The demand for progressive web technology is rapidly growing, and more and more PWA frameworks and tools are available in the market. Choosing the right framework is the crucial step for any PWA project and there are many factors to consider to make the right choice. Every framework has its features, functionalities, and capacity sets of future applications, as well as the expected scalability and complexity, which plays a significant role in selecting the solution.

To stay ahead of the competition, businesses have to adapt to state-of-the-art technologies. Many giant and middle-sized brands leverage progressive web app frameworks to offer their users with app-like experience.

And the list of best PWS development lists ends here. However, if you’re planning to create your own PWA, then choose one of the frameworks mentioned above and start your project today!

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