How to Build React Progressive Web Application (PWA)

With the development of the software industry, there is seen progress in technology, but if we overlook how the emergence of Progressive Web Application has aided business industries in boosting their online power, it will definitely be a loss for us. 

Progressive web application, or PWA, is an uplifting technology that merges native and web application features to give you a power pack performance.

And this isn’t enough about PWA; there are many more concepts and steps we must squint at to build a react progressive web app

What is a progressive web application?

The progressive web application is built in a way that combines the behavior of a native app and a web application that offers a wide range of functionalities like hardware faculty within a cheaper, speedier, and effortless environment.

The PWAs are built using front-end technologies like JavaScript, HTML, or CSS, which provides native apps a solution to perform on the web platform. 

This technology consists of massive framework support and tools along with functionalities like offline work, access to geolocation, microphone, and others, as the basics incorporated in the cross-platform application.

The vast framework cannot be seen in android and iOS, and maybe this is why most companies are adopting PWA for their business growth. 

The characteristics of PWA for online business making

Basically, PWA must consist of web technologies that aid in boosting the core of progressive web applications like service worker, which is a sequence of bytes that your website executes in the backdrop to allow web apps to function offline.

It serves as a bridge connecting your website and the internet by handling and intercepting network requests. It helps in the smooth functioning of providing user experience enabling the web app to load instantly and reduce data usage. It closely resembles the behavior of native apps.

Another is the web app manifest, a JSON file governing how a user can download their PWA. The style, name, and description are resources included in it, and the PWAs can use standard APIs that can be put on the device screen, unlike the regular web app.

Also, at the time of writing, mobile versions of Opera, UC Browser, and Firefox are among the browsers that enable web app manifests. Additionally, the mobile Safari browser offers limited functionality.

Why build a PWA?

There always remained a sense of doubt about whether to use the traditional web application or opt for the progressive web application that is typically initiated with the upcoming advanced features of the time.

Of course, the timeline and the era mark the PWA as the best choice for software development because it consists of unmarked parts like, 

  • Progressive web applications are adaptive that can handle any range of orientations and viewports with a mobile-first design methodology.
  • They can function even with slow internet or in offline mode. PWAs allow application developers to customize their apps’ operations when there is no Internet access.
  • They are always served over HTTPS, so they are fully secure.
  • PWA enhance application accessibility along with its rich features that make smooth functionality of web application.

Benefits of having PWA 

However, working with PWA gives vast advantages besides offering superior optimization to the software industry. The benefits are here below. 

  • Any user, regardless of browser preference, can use progressive enhancement. Your app will function correctly across a variety of browsers and will gently downgrade whenever these functions are not accessible while maintaining a good user experience.
  • You can efficiently work with an offline functionalities mode even if your internet connection goes down.
  • PWAs leverage push notifications to keep users engaged. When you receive messages about, let’s say, a friend request or breaking news or anything else, you may feel compelled to comment and access the web app once more.
  • PWA It offers a mobile-like performance that feels native-like. 
  • Although it is a web app, using it gives the impression that you are using an Android or iOS app.
  • It can adapt to fit every screen size, whether on a tablet, phone, or desktop. 
  • It automatically makes adjustments to account for a newly created or small space.

Connecting PWA with React 

Extensive, adaptable web apps that enable hot reloading can be created with the aid of React. This function is handy for adjusting the UI’s functioning.

It implies that your software will continue to operate while you make dynamic edits. The “Learn once, write anywhere” philosophy makes for excellent code reuse when creating user interfaces using React.

Furthermore, React with PWA is very beneficial because React is an open-source JavaScript created in 2013 with the innovative tech to build the user interface faster and more scalable.

Concerning React with the PWA gives a plethora of benefits like 

  1. Easy to work 
  2. Highly powered
  3. SEO friendly
  4. Well-equipped resources
  5. Community backed 

The steps to create PWA with React

It is very critical to build a progressive web application with the technology of React under utmost series wise because of the process. However, it seems easy to handle and will get complex if not understood properly.

Follow this step-by-step guide to getting enhanced with the interesting practical part of building PWA with React native technology. 

Step 1: Create a basic React app.

The first step involves using the Create React App tool, which leverages the most recent JavaScript features with the designed Babel and web pack.

Writing the commands below, You can install and bootstrap the application:

npx create-react-app cra-pwa –template cra-template-pwa

Under this command, npx stands for a command-line tool that launches the npm packages. The command create-react-app cra-pwa allows you to build the app named cra-pwa, after which you receive a basic React App in cra-pwa folder.

Also, because the CRA4 doesn’t include any built-in service worker, template cra-template-pwa is added to enable the creation of apps using a service worker.

You can easily navigate to the directory of cra-pwa by adding the command:

cd cra-pwa

Also, to run the application, you can type 

npm start

Step 2: Enroll a service worker

There is an automatically created service worker file that needs to be registered and configured if you need to run the progressive react web app in offline mode.

You can do so by replacing serviceWorker.unregister() with serviceWorker.register() in the directory file of /src/index.js.

Step 3: Update the Web Application Manifest

The third step is to set the web app manifest, which can be found in the manifest. json document in the public directory. Here, you must modify the metadata of the PWA that determines how your application appears.

There are specific attributes that must be noted before you go for the modifications, 

  • name: The name of your application as it appears on the app store as an opening screen or prompts. Sometimes, short_name might get shown if the name attribute is not defined.
  • short_name: Your application’s name is as it appears within the icon like launcher or home screen, etc.
  • icons: The collection of icons used by users on their launcher, task streamers, launch screens, and other screens.
  • display: Every action of the browser screen is controlled under the display section. Many actions in the tab like fullscreen, where the program will open entirely within the user’s display, bypassing any browser UI is accessible. Another is the standalone enabling the program to be launched in a new window and used just like a native app. The next is minimal_ui, the most straightforward set of browser UI, including the return and refresh buttons. The last is the browser option that activates the standard browser interface.
  • start_url: The website address of the app launch page that users view.
  • theme color: The shade of your app’s toolbar.
  • background-color: The splash screen color comes in when you click on the app’s icon on the home screen. Here splash screen is basically a graphical section that appears at the time when an app gets launched. 

Finally, you must include your manifest web file in your web application’s pages to function:

<link rel=”manifest” href=”/manifest.json”>

On the Manifest screen of the Application menu in Chrome DevTools, you can verify if the options match your needs and if not, then change it as your web demands and apply the command as stated above.

Step 4: Check on your PWA

After gaining complete insight into how to create a progressive web application through React, the next step is to build the app and test it.

You may evaluate your web app using Lighthouse, and Google has prepared a PWA checklist. It is a utility that may be found in Chrome DevTools’ corresponding tab. 

  • By selecting “Inspect” from the right-click menu on the page, Chrome DevTools will be opened. Alternatively, you can use the keypad strokes. 

Command + Option + C or Control + Shift + C on a Mac (for Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS).

  • Select the “Generate Report” option under the Lighthouse tab. Ensure that the “Progressive Web App” box is marked when you prepare a Lighthouse report.

Bottom line 

Using PWA with React native technology can easily create, deploy and publish advanced web applications with improved engagements and native-like experience alongside features that don’t require any installations and are fascinating to design, ship, and quickly distribute.

The creation of progressive web apps is thought to be more resource-efficient. Therefore, this reliable and promising technology is the ideal time to start making money.

Conclusively, this article gives you proper knowledge of creating a web app and how it benefits every entrepreneur.

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