Technology is mostly manipulation and by the same logic, no technology stops to evolve simply because there is always a scope of manipulation. Thus the strict boundary between mobile apps and websites has been blurred thanks to fusion technologies like Progressive Web Apps (PWA). Yes, PWAs are basically websites with native app-like features and user experience. On the other hand, PWAs are applications without the constraints of download and app market presence. No wonder, PWA development in recent years has become immensely popular and many brands and e-commerce ventures jumped on the bandwagon of PWA stores.
Both Vue Storefront and Magento PWA Studio are comprehensive solutions for building PWAs. Before we compare them in detail, let us provide the definition of PWA.
What Exactly is PWA?
While web and mobile apps continue to remain and grow popular, Progressive Web Apps breaking the barrier between them brought the best of both worlds, namely, web and native mobile apps. It can easily be said that PWAs redefine the way we experience and interact with the web and mobile apps.
PWAs can be accessed right from your browser, but you can always save them on your home screen or inside the app drawer and can access them with a single click. You get app-like speed and performance, while there is no constraint of downloading them from the respective app markets like App Store or Play Store. In one way to describe, PWA represents the modern web technologies to deliver mobile user experience much akin to native mobile apps.
Some of the key ways PWAs are considered more helpful to the users than regular websites and native apps include offline access, good performance, and streamlined accessibility irrespective of slower network connection, better integration of device features and functions, sophisticated mobile-optimized user interface and many others.
Why Develop Progressive Web Apps?
Now that the basic definition and how the PWAs generally work are explained, we need to take a look at the key advantages this new fusion technology offers to business merchants with web stores and the users or shoppers. Let’s look at these advantages one by one.
- Fast-Paced Development:
Since with a PWA you can completely do away with the need of building two separate native apps and a web store, your store or business website for the entire target audience gets alive and running faster.
- Low-cost Development:
Building native apps for each platform separately you need to invest a fortune if you really want to keep the optimum quality throughout. PWAs allow you to build a dynamic web page with a native app interface and the development cost can be at par with that of any website. Moreover, if you already have a business website running, you can just upgrade the same to PWA and take full advantage of native mobile presence.
- Quick Access Through Home Screen:
A PWA can easily be set for quick home screen access with the website logo. This gives your web app a native-app like a countenance and easy accessibility.
- Easy Interaction With Push Notifications:
Just like native mobile apps, your PWA from time to time can send notification messages to the users and can ensure steadier engagement.
- Great Boost to SEO and Business Conversion:
The best thing is that PWAs thanks to faster loading speed and smooth interactions are preferred by search engine crawlers and they rank higher in SEO ranks. This ensures better discoverability and business conversion.
- A Lean Solution:
PWAs are very lightweight, lean and low-footprint solutions that take very less device storage space. This is why once a PWA is set on the home screen and is found relevant by the users, it is not dumped anytime soon. This makes PWA great for user retention as well.
- Offline Access:
PWAs allow offline access to content whenever and wherever you need to access and utilize PWA content. With the help of modern in-device caching mechanism PWAs help accessing offline content that has once been downloaded or used online.
- A consistent User Experience:
PWAs built with the focus of providing easier user experience following the latest mobile trends work across all mobile devices with a variety of device screen sizes.
Vue Storefront vs Magento PWA Studio
Vue Storefront is the latest toolset built with the help of the VueJS framework for developing Progressive Web Apps (PWA). Magento PWA Studio is the toolset from Magento that developers can use for developing a PWA business Storefront by using the power of Magento CMS. Magento development services by using this toolset can help update your regular Magento website or the web store to a fully equipped PWA.
Vue Storefront is basically a VueJS based PWA based toolset that has been built to develop an e-commerce storefront with consistent user experience. Vue Storefront supports almost several major e-commerce CMS platforms including Magento, Spree, Cornershop, Shopware, Episerver, and other customized CMS solutions.
Pros and Cons of Vue Storefront
Vue Storefront is already a trusted solution for building robust e-commerce stores and business websites with the app like interface and user experience. The solution has its pros and cons that we will look at here.
- Vue Storefront offers well equipped PWA solutions that are ready for production.
- It comes with a robust contributor community.
- It comes as an open-source and free toolset.
- If you want to use Magento CMS, it is compatible with both Magento 1 and Magento 2.
- It is a Platform-independent platform
- At present, it is a more equipped toolset with a lot of features not available with PWA Studio.
- Vue Storefront is built by an independent development company and you have to depend on their policies.
- There is growing concern over the conflict as soon as the Magento gets an update.
Pros and Cons of Magento PWA Studio
Magento PWA Studio equally gave an array of pros and cons for building PWA based business storefronts. Let’s have a look at these pros and cons one by one.
- This PWA toolset has already been used across many successful projects.
- The tool enjoys the backing of a strong contributor community.
- It has a dedicated PWA team to provide support and come with solutions.
- It is an open-source and free toolset.
- It comes loaded with GraphQL support.
- It is well-equipped with every different tool required for building a custom storefront.
- Many consider it lacks comprehensive features.
- It comes with a slow-release process.
- This toolset as of now is only available for websites running with Magento 2.3.x or higher version.
Thanks to PWAs we have already entered a new revolutionary phase corresponding to the website and mobile app development. Since PWAs are ready to address most of the regular website and native app shortcomings with novel and comprehensive solutions, they are not going to be extinct any time soon. Both Vue Storefront and Magento PWA Studio will continue to spearhead the popularity of PWAs in the years to come.