PWA or Progressive Web Apps are web applications that use the latest web technologies to provide a user experience similar to that of mobile applications. They are fast, reliable and can function offline or with a weak internet connection thanks to background services. PWAs can be added to the home screen of mobile devices and send push notifications, making them ideal for improving user engagement.
As WordPress developers, we have the ability to turn our websites into PWAs with several tools and approaches.
Start: Choosing a suitable plugin
For beginners, the easiest way to create a PWA with WordPress is through a plugin. There are several quality plugins that help you turn your site into a PWA without requiring much coding. Let's choose a 'PWA' plugin for WordPress which is open source and created by XWP, Google and Automatic, the company behind WordPress itself.
Configure the plugin
After installing and activating the plugin, you can access the PWA settings in the WordPress menu. In this area, you can configure your PWA's settings, including icon selection, app name, home page, and more.
Service workers are a key component of any PWA. They work in the background, providing features such as caching content, working on a weak connection or offline, and receiving push notifications. The PWA plugin for WordPress automatically generates a service worker for your site.
The Web App Manifest is a JSON file that provides information about your website in the PWA context, such as name, description, icons, screen orientation, and more. The PWA plugin automatically creates a manifest that you can customize according to your needs.
Testing your PWA
Once you've set up your PWA, it's important to test it. There are tools like Lighthouse that can help you evaluate your PWA's performance and give you tips for improvements.
PWA technology offers the ability to provide our users with more than just a website. They are faster, more reliable and offer better user engagement than traditional websites. With the help of WordPress and the right plugins, we can easily turn our site into a PWA and improve the user experience.