Progressive Web App Development: A Complete Guide

Progressive Web App Development: A Complete Guide

13 October 2023 • 17 min read

Progressive web apps (PWAs) represent the future of digital experience. They blend the best of the web and native apps while eliminating their downsides. PWA tech brings native app experiences to browsers, using modern web platform features and service workers.

For over nine years, Softermii has assisted clients in harnessing the power of PWA technology. Our team knows how to achieve maximum performance, functionality, and user experiences. With this experience, we present a complete guide to making a PWA. We'll discuss the key features, development process and cost, future trends, and case studies from industry giants.

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Key Features of Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps bridge the gap between websites and nativemobile applications. You should explore its defining features if you start a progressive web application development process. Here are the essential characteristics of PWAs:

Responsive Design

PWAs are built to fit any screen size, including desktops, mobile phones, tablets, or other devices. This design guarantees a consistent user experience across all platforms.

Offline Access

PWAs stand out for their ability to operate offline or in low-network conditions. Service workers achieve this by caching key resources. Thus, users can access the app's core functions without an internet connection.

Progressive web app development

App-Like Feel

PWAs are designed to mimic the user experience of nativemobile apps. They provide seamless animations, intuitive navigation, and gesture support. This feature makes them indistinguishable from their native counterparts.

Progressive web application development

Push Notifications

PWAs can send push notifications to user devices, like native apps. They enhance user engagement, ensuring timely updates and prompts.

Development of progressive web application

Safety and Security

All PWAs must be served over HTTPS, ensuring secure connection and data encryption. Service workers also act as network proxies, ensuring data integrity and preventing tampering.

Create a progressive web application

Fast Loading Times

PWAs are optimized for speed. Lazy loading, caching, and streamlined code ensure the quick load of these apps. These techniques reduce bounce rates and improve user experience.

Easy Updates

Unlike traditional mobile apps that rely on users downloading updates from app stores, PWAsupdate automatically. Users will experience the most recent version when they visit the PWA.


Since they are web-based, PWAs are discoverable by search engines. This feature can significantly boost the apps' visibility compared to traditional mobile apps, which are limited to app stores.

Low Data Usage

Due to optimized images, caching, and other data-saving methods, PWAs use less data than native apps. This ability makes them a great choice for users on limited data plans.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

Developers create a progressive web application with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript technologies. Thus, they are platform-agnostic and can run on any device with a web browser.

Steps to Develop a Progressive Web App

Building a progressive web app is about blending features of web and mobile apps into a unified experience. It must be seamless, efficient, and accessible on any device. The development process is a systematic journey from the idea to deploying the final product. Here's a brief overview of the critical steps involved in developing a PWA:

Project Setup, Preparation, and UX/UI Design

Every successful PWA starts with a clear vision. This phase involves establishing the project's foundation, defining goals, the target audience, and functionality. Next, it's crucial to focus on creating a user-centric interface. The UX should be intuitive, while the UI should be appealing and responsive, ensuring the app works perfectly on various devices.


Here, your vision turns into reality. Developers use modern web technologies and frameworks to make the PWA. They ensure it offers offline capabilities, push notifications, and other signature features. This stage demands a keen focus on performance optimization, ensuring the app is fast and resource-efficient.

Testing and Quality Assurance

Before a PWA is launched, it undergoes thorough testing. Engineers must ensure that the app functions as intended. They identify any issues and verify the PWA meets performance benchmarks. This phase also includes testing on different devices and browsers to ensure wide compatibility.

Deployment and Distribution

It's time for deployment once the PWA has been polished to perfection. Unlike traditional apps that need app store approval, PWAs can be distributed via the web. Yet, it's crucial to ensure that the server settings are correctly configured and that the app is discoverable by search engines.

Technical Documentation

It provides a roadmap of the app's architecture, functionality, and underlying codebase. Documentation helps developers to understand, maintain, or expand the PWA.

Now you know what the development process of the PWA looks like, and you're probably wondering about the necessary investments. The good news is that we got you covered! Let’s look at the table with cost breakdown for the development stages. 

How much to invest in the development of progressive web application?

Development Stages




Project Setup, Preparation, and UX/UI Design

280 hours

$11 200



640 hours

$25 600


Testing and Launch

240 hours

$9 600


Deployment and Distribution

80 hours

$3 200


Technical Documentation

40 hours

$1 600


1280 hours (7.5 months)

$51 200

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Please note, that this table includes the estimates and the actual price may vary. To get a quote for your project, please get in touch with us to discuss the details.

Cost Considerations for PWA Development

When venturing into software creation, one of the primary considerations is the associated app development cost. PWAs have emerged as a cost-effective alternative to native app development. However, several factors can influence the overall budget. Here's a deep dive into the cost considerations for progressive web app development compared to native apps:


Native Apps


Their design is generally less intricate than a native apps' due to its web-centric nature. A single responsive design can cater to various device sizes, eliminating the need for several designs, which might reduce initial design costs.

Often offer unique designs for different platforms (iOS, Android). Aiming for platform-specific user experiences can lead to higher design costs.

Features & Functionalities

Can access many devicefeatures, but there are still limitations compared to native apps. Depending on the functionalities, your investment might be lower.

Can harness the full power of the device's hardware and software capabilities. A richer feature set escalates development costs, especially if integrating advanced functionalities.


It is generally lower than native apps as PWAs usually rely on web technologies. It's possible to build a progressive web application using a single code base for all platforms to reduce development time and costs.

Developing a native app involves more intricate coding, especially for different platforms. The app may require complex back-end integrations or use advanced devicefeatures, which can lead to increased costs.


Maintenance costs are usually lower as updates can be pushed directly. Also, users can access the latest version without updating the app manually.

Regular updates must be pushed through app stores, and users must download these updates. Over time, maintaining native apps for different platforms can become cost-intensive.


PWAs don't need app store approvals, which reduces deployment time and associated fees.

Launching a native app requires app store approvals, which can be time-consuming. Additionally, app stores often take a percentage of the app's revenue.

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Real-World Examples of Successful PWAs

PWAs have empowered business giants to elevate user experiences and boost their profits. Let's explore some PWAs that have made a significant impact on these companies:

Lancôme: A Beauty Giant's Digital Transformation

Lancôme noticed that while mobile traffic was high, conversions were lower compared to desktop. They needed a solution to provide a smooth and efficient mobile shopping experience.

PWA development

They decided to create a progressive web application to offer users an app-like experience on the web. Lancôme saw:

  • a 17% increase in conversions;
  • a 51% increase in mobile sessions;
  • push notifications yielded an open rate of 18%. 

The offline browsing feature also enabled customers to browse products without an internet connection, improving user retention.

Uber: Extending reach with m.uber

Uber has aimed to be accessible to everyone and everywhere. They needed to cater to users with slow internet connections and basic smartphones.

Build a progressive web application

The company introduced m.uber, designed for fast operation even on 2G networks. With a focus on performance and efficiency, this app allows users to request rides without the need to install the native app. m.uber offers a consistent user experience across various devices and network conditions, especially when high-speed internet isn't available.

Future Trends in PWA Development

Progressive web apps have become an alternative to nativemobile apps. As technology advances and user demands evolve, we can expect PWAs to adapt and integrate new features. Here's a look into the predicted evolutions in progressive web app development:

Broader DeviceFeature Accessibility

PWAs are getting closer to matching native apps using devicefeatures and storage. Get ready for PWAs to use even more device capabilities. It will result in a better user experience and improved storage for smooth performance with data-intensive apps.

Voice Interface Integration

PWAs will likely integrate with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Users can interact with PWA via voice commands, which enhances user experience and accessibility.

Heightened Personalization & Customization

Machine learning and AI allow for dynamic personalization and customization. PWAs may adapt to user behavior and preferences, offering more relevant content and functions.

Advanced Data Visualization Tools

With data gaining significance in decision-making, PWAs may incorporate advanced data visualization tools. They allow for presenting insights in a user-friendly visual format. Thus, this integration will help businesses and users in understanding complex datasets.

Enhanced File and Clipboard Interactivity

PWAs are improving their capability to manage files from the device's storage and interact with the system's clipboard. Content creation, editing, and sharing within PWAs become much more fluid.

Blockchain Integration

Blockchain revolutionizes finance and healthcare; PWAs are expected to incorporate those features. This integration can offer secure, decentralized transaction capabilities and data storage options.

Deeper Web Ecosystem Synergy

PWAs will further integrate into the broader web ecosystem. We expect better support for web components, adoption of emerging web technologies, and improved interoperability with other web-based platforms and tools.

Softermii as Your Web App Development Partner

Choosing a partner for custom web applicationdevelopment makes all the difference between achieving online success and getting lost in the noise. Softermii's dedicated team makes every project exceed client expectations. We aim to understand your business vision and provide the best digital solution to align with your strategy.

Please take a moment to explore SmartStart, our innovative solution for financial management. It helps you navigate spending, loans, asset management, and property oversight. The app integrates with different American banking systems. Thus, SmartStart offers real-time insights into your spending habits and financial forecasting. One of its defining features is the algorithm that connects with banks, offering users probable loan options.

Develop a progressive web application

On the other hand, PractiCall revolutionizes video conferencing technology. This app is designed for high-traffic scenarios, accommodating large and small meetings. Data privacy is vital nowadays, so we integrated end-to-end encryption into PractiCall. The platform offers multilingual subtitles, breakout rooms, and extensive screen-sharing features.

Cost of a progressive web application development


Our PWA development guide has explored insights, best practices, and valuable tips for making the most of these apps. We've covered the main advantages of PWAs and the technical aspects of creating them.

We know that progressive web application development can be complex, and you may have questions or require expert guidance. The Softermii team is here to support your PWA project. Contact us, and we'll turn your ideas into exceptional software to benefit your users and company.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does progressive web app development differ from traditional web app development?

While traditional web apps rely on the user being online, PWAs use service workers for offline functionality. They focus on responsive design for optimal performance across devices. PWAs also use app manifest files to enable home screen icons and splash screen features.

Do PWAs Need an App Store Submission?

No, PWAs are accessible via web browsers and can be added to a device's home screen without going through app stores. Businesses can offer quicker updates and a direct line to their audience without the constraints or fees associated with app store listings.

Is it more cost-effective to develop a PWA than a native app?

It can be more cost-effective than creating separate apps for different platforms. PWAs are made using standard web technologies, which allow for reduced development time and costs. Additionally, PWAs don't need submissions or updates across app stores.

Can PWAs Be Installed on Both Android and iOS Devices?

PWAs are designed to be accessed and "installed" on any device with a modern web browser. On Android devices, adding a PWA to the home screen can often feel like installing a native app. On iOS devices, users can add an app to their home screen through the Safari share button. It ensures broad reach across both popular operating systems.

How do PWAs impact SEO?

PWAs can have a beneficial effect on SEO. Their quick load times, offline capabilities, and mobile-first design improve user experience, a factor search engines consider for rankings. Also, as PWAs are indexed by search engines, they can increase online visibility.

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