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The 8 Best Progressive Web App Frameworks

In today's technology-driven world, the most successful businesses want to provide users with a seamless experience on all their devices. However, mobile app development for each platform separately can be time-consuming and expensive.

This is where progressive web apps (PWAs) come in. PWAs are web apps that offer users an app-like experience without the need for a native app installation.

This article will take you through the most popular progressive web app frameworks and their benefits.

Benefits of Progressive Web Apps

But how can you benefit from building a progressive web app? Here are reasons why businesses should consider adopting PWA development:

  1. Higher user engagement. PWAs are highly interactive and engaging, offering a seamless and immersive experience. It attracts users by providing features such as push notifications, offline access, and smooth animations.
  2. Increased conversion rates. PWAs offer users a fast and convenient way to access your company’s products or services, thus driving sales and revenue for the business.
  3. No middleman is involved in app download and installation. PWAs can be accessed directly through a web browser. Therefore, users don't need to download and install an app from an app store. This means businesses can avoid the fees and restrictions associated with app stores.
  4. App update independence. With PWAs, businesses can upgrade their apps directly without going through the app store approval process.

Also, progressive web apps offer a range of benefits to users. Some of them include:

  1. Short loading time. Progressive web app development technologies enable apps to load quickly, even on slow or unreliable network connections.
  2. PWAs are smaller in size. This means that users can install and use an app without worrying about taking up too much space on their devices.
  3. No manual updates. Because PWAs are web-based, users don't need to manually update an app.
  4. No intermediary like App Store or Google Play. With PWAs, users can access the app more easily, directly through their web browser .

For example, PWAs are widely used in the e-commerce industry to simplify the shopping experience, enabling customers to quickly browse and purchase products. By using PWAs, consumers can enjoy shorter loading times and simpler checkout processes, resulting in higher customer satisfaction. Whether users access the PWA from a desktop or mobile device, they get the same seamless experience without the need for a native app installation.

If creating a PWA sounds like a good plan for your business, you can find programmers with experience in one of the below-mentioned tools to help you get started. But before that, let’s take a look at the best progressive web app frameworks in more detail.

Top Progressive Web App Frameworks

1. ReactJS

ReactJS is an open-source JavaScript library used for building reusable user interfaces. This is one of the top progressive web app frameworks and was released by Facebook in May 2013. ReactJS enables developers to build faster and more efficient apps. Among its advantages are:

  • Improved performance: ReactJS uses a virtual Document Object Model (DOM) that allows for faster updates and rendering of components. This improves the overall performance of the application.
  • Code reusability: ReactJS allows developers to create reusable components, which can be used across the application. This not only saves development time but also makes it easier to maintain and update the codebase.
  • Large community and ecosystem: ReactJS has a large community of developers and a vast ecosystem of tools and libraries. This makes it easy for programmers to find solutions to their problems and to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in web development.
  • SEO-friendly: ReactJS renders web pages on the server side before sending them to the client side. As a result, it is easier for search engines to crawl and index web pages.
Facebook Messenger has been rebuilt from the ground up using React as a progressive web app framework. After seeing how successful it was, Meta did the same for Instagram. The new versions offer faster load time, offline support, and notifications, even when the app isn't running in the background.

2. AngularJS

AngularJS is also one of the popular choices for progressive web app frameworks. It is often used for building single-page applications (SPAs), which are web applications that dynamically rewrite the current web page with new data from the web server, instead of the default method of a web browser loading entire new pages.

It includes features such as:

  • Data binding allows changes in the model to be automatically reflected in the view, reducing the amount of code needed to maintain synchronization between the two.
  • Dependency injection helps to make code more modular and testable.
  • A lot of development tools help developers with testing, debugging, and optimizing their web applications.

However, the complexity of the API and documentation may pose challenges for developers, and could potentially impact productivity and time-to-market. Nonetheless, the vast support network from the community can help mitigate these challenges. Developers can find answers to their questions or troubleshoot issues through platforms like StackOverflow, GitHub discussions, and Reddit. The community support makes it easier to hire Angular.js developers who are well-versed in overcoming such obstacles.

AngularJS remains one of the top progressive web app frameworks. For example, Gmail uses AngularJS to provide a better user experience by allowing users to read and write emails without launching an entirely new tab with every new action. It also offers push notifications when mail arrives. As the ReactJS and AngularJS are the two most popular frameworks, we've compared two frameworks side-by-side.

3. Vue.js

Vue.js is a progressive web app framework for building user interfaces and single-page apps. Vue.js companies use the framework to develop large-scale applications due to its component-based architecture. There are a few reasons why more and more businesses have started using it for PWA development. For instance:

  • Regarding performance and speed, Vue.js is among the best. With this framework, the developer can easily create a fast, responsive web page that all the major browsers support.
  • It uses secure, encrypted connections by default. This means that all your data is safe from hackers and other third parties.
  • Its ability to scale with large codebases and its component-based architecture makes integrating with existing frameworks or libraries easy.
AliExpress, a PWA built using Vue.js, is a mobile e-commerce platform that provides a native-like user experience with fast loading times, offline support, and push notifications.

4. Ionic Framework

Ionic is one of the most popular frameworks for progressive web apps that allows developers to build hybrid mobile apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It was developed by Max Lynch and Ben Sperry in 2013 and later acquired by the Drifty Co. Businesses choose Ionic because of its:

  • Cross-platform compatibility: The Ionic Framework allows developers to build hybrid mobile apps that work seamlessly across multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and the web. Therefore, businesses can reach a wider audience without having to invest in separate apps for each platform.
  • Access to native features: Ionic offers a large library of plugins and extensions that allow developers to access native features of mobile devices, such as cameras, GPS, and contacts. This means that businesses can create more feature-rich and engaging mobile apps that offer a better user experience.

One of the progressive web apps built with Ionic is Sworkit, an easy-to-use fitness app. It offers users various exercises they can perform at home or outdoors without requiring equipment.

5. Polymer

Created by Google developers, Polymer is a JavaScript and HTML library for building progressive web apps. It allows developers to build reusable web components once and use them across various projects. Polymer gained popularity over the years mostly because of the following benefits:

  • Polymer provides a simple way to create custom elements and use them in your apps without worrying about compatibility issues.
  • As a lightweight progressive web app framework, Polymer performs faster than others.
  • This framework is highly customizable, thus allowing developers to take full control over the application’s features.

However, Polymer is more complicated than other tools, which is why making components for every browser will take more time.

The Weather Channel PWA was built using Polymer. It provides real-time weather information and alerts. This app has a fast loading time and provides users with an intuitive interface for checking the weather in their area.

6. Svelte.js

Svelte.js is a progressive web app framework for building user interfaces. Svelte.js is considered one of the best PWA frameworks due to its efficient code and fast rendering capabilities.

It differs from other Javascript frameworks like React and Angular in compiling components into highly efficient imperative code that updates the DOM rather than relying on a virtual DOM. This results in the following advantages:

  • Since Svelte compiles components into highly efficient code, it generates smaller bundle sizes, improving performance.
  • Svelte has a simple and intuitive API that is easy to learn and use.
  • The Svelte reactive programming model allows developers to build complex user interfaces that respond to user input and data changes.

However, Svelte has a smaller community than other frameworks, which means fewer resources and support are available.

Budget is a PWA built using Svelte.js and the Google Sheets API. This application allows users to track their expenses and income using a spreadsheet interface.

7. Preact.Js

Preact.js is an open-source JavaScript library that serves as a progressive web app framework. It is a lightweight alternative to React and is suitable for building mobile applications and websites.

It has a small footprint, is fast, and has a low memory consumption. Also, you can use it together with ReactJS or VueJS. You can seamlessly use React ecosystem’s components for your application.

While Preact has a smaller feature set than React, making it less suitable for complex applications, it is known for its better performance. Similar to Svelte, Preact also has a smaller community than other frameworks, which can lead to limited resources and support.

Twitter Lite, a lightweight version of the Twitter app, was built using Preact JS. It was designed as a PWA to work on slow networks and low-end devices.

8. PWABuilder

PWABuilder is an open-source tool that allows developers to easily transform existing websites or web applications into PWAs. It was founded by Microsoft and has already helped a lot of companies to adopt PWA, including Pinterest, Tinder, Trivago, etc.

PWABuilder simplifies the process by automating the creation of service workers, manifest files, and other components required to make a PWA. It helps to not only build progressive web apps but also evaluate the quality of your app, particularly its performance, security, etc. In addition to this, it allows for distributing your PWA via publishing it in app stores.

Ensure You Get the Best!

By leveraging one of the top 8 frameworks for progressive web app development, you can ensure that your app provides the best possible experience for your audience and helps to enhance your overall digital presence. This includes implementing a responsive design that can adapt to different screen sizes and provide fast loading time.

With a lot of alternatives on the market, JavaScript frameworks remain the top choices for building progressive web apps. Choosing the right one not only streamlines the development process but also gives you access to a rich ecosystem of libraries and tools. This enables you to stay ahead in the competitive landscape, delivering high-performance and feature-rich PWAs that resonate with your users.

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