Progressive Web App (PWA) Development: Cost of Services & Main Tools

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A PWA combines both web and native applications’ features and allows you to receive push notifications, work offline, install an app on the home screen, etc.

These days, businesses launch mobile applications to serve the growing number of smartphone users.

However, the plethora of native apps on app stores makes it too complicated for companies to stand out from the crowd. To overcome this issue, such giants as AliExpress and OLX now actively build progressive web applications.

Today we want to offer you a better insight into PWA technology, define the cost of development services and show what tools can help you create a Progressive Web App.

What Is a Progressive Web Application (PWA)?

A PWA combines both web and native applications’ features and allows you to receive push notifications, work offline, install an app on the home screen, etc. Such apps are developed by the means of web technologies (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript), but act and feel like a native application. Simply said, you get a website with mobile app functionality.

Below you can see the core properties of Progressive Web Apps that make them strong competitors to native apps:

  • Progressive
  • Responsive
  • Connectivity-independent
  • Safe
  • Discoverable
  • Fresh
  • Rapid installation
  • Re-engageable
  • App-like
  • Linkable.

Which Brands Successfully Implemented Progressive Web Apps?

The adoption of PWA technology proved efficient for many brands, such as Twitter, Pinterest, Tinder, Trivago, and others.

Thanks to positive feedback from users, businesses were able to target more potential clients, generate even more conversions, and boost their revenue.

AliExpress is an e-commerce platform that offers products of any category to global online shoppers. Mobile commerce is growing three times faster as compared to e-commerce.

AliExpress wanted to create a cross-browser solution to combine the best of their native app with advantageous features of the web. The solution came in the form of a Progressive Web App.

The implementation of a PWA turned out to be very successful:

  • 104% for new users across all browsers; 82% increase in iOS conversion rate
  • 2X more pages visited per session per user across all browsers
  • 74% increase in time spent per session across all browsers.

How to Build a Progressive Web App

Before proceeding to the PWA development process, we would like to focus your attention on its structure and core parts.

Major Components of a PWA

Service Workers

It is a proxy layer between front-end and back-end placed in the browser. All the requests pass through it. The key benefit of this technology is the full freedom in business logic implementation.


Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is an extension that adds more safety for website resources by using bidirectional encryption.

Application Shell

The app shell is a graphic interface skeleton, namely a template. Suppose, you have a website with a header, two sidebars, and a footer. When you remove the webpage content and dynamic elements, the remaining static data is the app shell.

Web App manifest

This is a JSON file specifying the app name, icon, size, and other parameters in a declarative manner. It allows you to install a PWA as a separate application to your home screen.

Push Notifications

This valuable feature can increase engagement by approximately 4 times. For example, Treebo received a 4x increase in conversion rate after launching their PWA with push notifications.

Technologies and Tools Used for Progressive Web Application Development

My team has been creating PWAs since 2015. This long-term experience allowed us to select the best programming languages, frameworks, and tools for turning a website into a PWA.

  • React, Vue.js. We use React.js for building the front-end part of the application. Vue.js, in its turn, is a good help for creating lightweight and easy-to-fix apps.
  • Ruby and Ruby on Rails. The flexibility of Rails and its ready modules enable us to develop the proper back-end logic functioning.
  • Service Worker API. It provides us with means for turning a traditional website into a progressive web application.
  • SCSS/CSS-in-JS/Modular Stylesheets. We create web page styles with its help.

Cost of PWA Development

The cost of PWA development services is a tricky question. All projects are different, as well as approaches, technologies, and domain expertise of PWA development companies.

The key factors below will help you define the total spendings on creating a progressive web application.

1. Project Complexity

A complicated project takes more time to finish. As a result, you have to pay more for the services of a software development company.

For example, if you decide to turn to a PWA numerous websites or marketplaces, it will be a challenging and costly process.

The project complexity is often defined by the number of pages that require caching. The more pages your online platform has, the more time and money you will need for turning it into a PWA.

2. Development Approach

You have two options. You can either opt for ready-made products or use services of a software development consultancy to get your progressive web application built from scratch.

Let’s discuss each option briefly.

Ready-Made Software

This option will allow you to shorten the time and, what is more important, lower the cost of PWA development. However, these solutions may not cope with specific business requirements.

Famous ready-made products include Deity Falcon, PWA Studio, and Vue Storefront.

Custom PWA Development

If you have particular business needs, this approach is for you.

There are two main stages of turning a simple web application into a PWA: adding a Web App manifest and a Service Worker. To complete them, you will need front-end developers with profound knowledge of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

The rates of these specialists depend greatly on their geographic location and experience.

For example, in the USA, the average rate can be $101-120/hour. As for Eastern Europe, the rates can be a lot lower, with an average of $61-80/hour.

Final Thoughts

Progressive web applications are strong competition for native apps thanks to fast loading, rapid installation and offline mode. These qualities help entrepreneurs enhance user engagement and boost conversions. Customers, in their turn, get a fast, reliable, and engaging mobile experience.

For more information on the subject, read our full article: Progressive Web Application Development: Cost of Services & Main Tools