Progressive Web Apps: How to Choose the Best Framework?

Chudovo OU
  • Date Published
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  • Reading Time 5-Minute Read

At a certain point, every business has to shape up its online presence. And choosing a platform is probably one of the toughest decisions to make.

We are introducing a game-changer in apps development – Progressive Web Applications or PWA.

Now, let’s find out what a progressive web app is, the best web app frameworks on the market, and whether the PWA is what you need for your business.

What is a Progressive Web App?

A Progressive Web Application is a highly adaptable app that has all the perks of a native app, yet can be used on various hardware, platforms, and devices.

Progressive web apps are becoming so popular that CMS giants like Squarespace or Themeforest are offering pre-made progressive web app template solutions.

Built on JavaScript. PWAs are currently supported by Chrome and Opera browsers. Firefox.  Samsung and Safari browsers are currently in the process of supporting those as well.

Users can access PWA apps simply via the URL.

The PWAs have all the perks of native mobile apps:

  • They make it possible to install websites as apps to a smartphone’s home screen and are available in the directory of installed apps;
  • They have Push notifications;
  • PWAs are available when offline;
  • Such apps are also updated in the background;
  • And PWAs also can access the phone’s storage, microphone, camera and geolocation.

Besides all of the above, they offer the same functionality when accessed from the web, while mobile apps usually require a separate development to do that.

While it seems to be very simple yet revolutionizing technology, the key to a successful and high-quality Progressive Web App is a thoughtful choice of a proper development framework.

Now, let’s see what the most popular progressive web application framework out there.

What are the best PWA frameworks and how to choose them wisely?

1. AngularJS

AngularJS is by far the most popular progressive web app framework. It optimizes the use of JavaScript to create responsive and secure apps.

The benefits of this Google-powered JavaScript framework are: 

  • It’s relatively easy to implement;
  • It’s easy to learn due to additional CLIs (command-line interface tools). It means that even non-sophisticated developers can create a decent app using Angular;
  • It supports IntelliSense (Intelligent code completion) and Typescript technologies;
  • It offers great support since it’s powered by Google.

The cons of the Angular framework are:

  • You have to be a pro in Typescript to develop in AngularJS.

2. ReactJS

React is also a popular web app framework powered by Facebook, another tech giant that provides great support for its users. It is favored among progressive web applications’ developers due to its rich customization possibilities.

Besides that, the pros of React as a progressive web app framework are: 

  • An advanced ecosystem;
  • Great code maintenance provided by Facebook;
  • Highly extensive JavaScript library and multiple customization possibilities help to create complex, yet flexible apps;
  • React code used for web apps development can be later reapplied in native apps development;
  • The Virtual-DOM technology ensures the fast rendering of the code.

What are the disadvantages? 

  • It requires thorough JSX knowledge;
  • With great power comes great responsibility. The extensive customization can lead to various complications and issues of the app’s operation;
  • Again, due to the framework’s flexibility, the developer has to freestyle the code, as the unified methodology doesn’t exist.

3. VueJS

Vue is a relatively new framework and at the same time, it’s one of the fastest-growing libraries among all other frameworks. Startups love this one due to its high-speed rendering and simplistic coding.

What are its benefits?

  • VueJS is very easy to learn;
  • The framework has similar concepts to the previously mentioned Angular and React framework. At the same time, this one is more dynamic, since it’s not dependent on tech giants like Facebook or Google. It’s more adaptable to changes.

What are the flaws?

  • The company is owned by a single person and doesn’t have a large support capacity;
  • Same as React, it offers amazing customization options that can lead to unpredictable complications.

4. Ionic

Ionic is based on AngularJS and Apache Cordova frameworks. It uses WebVIew to create web pages inside the browser of a device that makes it very similar to Native App development.

The perks of the Ionic framework for PHP development are: 

  • It’s extremely easy to learn
  • Extensive built-in tools drastically simplify app maintenance;
  • It’s a very popular framework. It means a large community and as a result, great community support;
  • The framework’s library is huge and it allows you to connect APIs without extra coding.

What are the downfalls? 

  • The framework is frequently updated. Once built in Ionic, your app has to be constantly aligned with all the changes too. It means regular app development updates.

Choosing the right progressive web application framework is crucial for the overall app’s success. It influences your PWAs flexibility and scalability in the future. But most importantly, you have to make the framework decision based on your development team’s expertise. Best progressive web apps are built with a strong tech backup. When bringing your business online, is really important to rely on your software development partner or a team.

The rule above is crucial for any software development project. And like any other type of software, PWA apps can be hit and miss. To help you with making the right decision, let’s be objective and review PWAs benefits and flaws one by one.