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Progressive Web Apps

PWA illustration showing mobile phone with office league app on a foosball table

Gartner predicts 20% of brands will abandon their native apps by 2019 due to a new trend called "Progressive Web Apps" or just PWA.  This initiative has been led by Google through enhancements to the Chrome browser and Android operating system, allowing developers to deliver web-based applications that rival, or even out-perform the native apps user experience.

Developments in web standards and browser functionality now enable you to build web applications that work offline and utilize functionality that was previously exclusive to native apps. All the major players in the browser and OS arena are now racing to deliver the best user experience for Progressive Web Apps. Progressive Web Apps are known by being:

  • Reliable - Loads instantly, even in uncertain network conditions.
  • Fast - responds instantly to user interactions with smooth animations and scrolling.
  • Engaging - Feels like a native app, with an immersive user experience.

Why you should consider building a PWA

The more you delve into PWA, the more benefits you discover. Here are 5 reasons why you could benefit from creating a Progressive Web App.

User Adoption

Data from comScore revealed that 49% of smartphone users download zero native apps in a typical month.  The journey of installing an app is often too much for many users. With PWA its is as simple as visiting a web link. Everything happens in the background, and a simple prompt asking if the user would like to add the website to their home screen completes the "installation".

Development Time

Progressive Web Apps in most cases eliminate need for development of Android, iPhone and Windows native apps. Imagine the possibilities if you could focus all of this effort solely on your web app, and still deliver the same experience to all of your users around the world. Then, imagine the cost savings.

Continuously Fresh

With a PWA, your user always have the freshest version of the app. You don’t have to disturb them with updates, and as a bonus you can do continuous deployments to bring new features and fixes to your users instantly.

Smaller App Size

PWAs tend to be much leaner than native apps. Twitter’s new PWA ”requires less than 3% of the device storage space compared to Twitter for Android” and Ola’s PWA is 500 times smaller than their iOS app. If you are building for scale, it’s important to think about resource, performance, storage and processing power. Leaner, slicker applications are more efficient.

Better Conversion

Better user experiences results in higher conversion rates.  By removing friction, you make it easier for customers to convert.  Whether it’s ecommerce, subscriptions, bookings, engagement, dwell time, loyalty, retention, cross selling, upselling or clicks, PWA can help boost these metrics.

By developing a Progressive Web App...

  • Twitter experienced a 65% increase in pages per session, 75% increase in tweets sent, and a 20% decrease in bounce rate.
  • Lancôme saw a 17% increase in conversions, 53% increase in mobile sessions on iOS and an 8% increase in conversion rates on recovered carts via push notifications.
  • Alibaba saw 76% higher conversions across browsers, 14% more monthly active users on iOS (30% more on Android), and 4X higher interaction rate from Add to Homescreen.
  • Wego increased organic visits by 12%, bounce rates dropped by 20%, visits increased 26% and conversions increased 95%.

Better user experience results in improved engagement and conversion, which means more revenue, customer satisfaction and loyalty. PWA has set the stage for a major shift away from native app development, back to the web.  This potentially means huge cost savings for companies, and a happier, more loyal customer base.

Why Enonic

Progressive Web Apps essentially consist of two parts, the front-end (running in the browser) and the back-end (running on the server). While the front end is covered by standard web and browser technologies, teams can choose from a multitude of back-end platform components. As a result, teams are haunted by complexity, maintenance and security issues related to their various platform software.

Developer productivity

We are a mission to accelerate custom development projects. Our flagship platform - Enonic XP - provides the essential platform services required to build back-end services for your application.

It is not uncommon for teams to have 5-10 different systems running, even for simple applications. Web server, App engine, Database, Search engine, Identity and Content Management (CMS) are the most common. Enonic XP brings all of these services together in a single and highly scalable platform. This dramatically reduces complexity and maintenance for your projects.

Teams building on Enonic XP reap the following benefits:

  • Faster development - Due to reduced platform complexity
  • Continuous deployment - Applications are easily rolled out even in clusters
  • Scalability and Performance - XP is highly performant and cluster-ready

Developers can run the entire platform on their Windows, Mac or Linux laptop - and it boots in just five seconds!


Historically, software platform vendors have created lock-ins for customers that building on their stacks. Open source has provided greater freedom and reduced investments for applications projects. The so-called Platform As A Service (PaaS) offerings from the cloud providers pose a new threat, creating new lock-in situations.

Enonic XP is open source software and can easily be deployed in any cloud from Amazon, Azure, and Google to your in-house cloud. Enonic also offers support subscriptions for mission critical projects.

Enonic Market - Kick start your project

Enonic provides a marketplace for XP which including ready-2-run applications, libraries that help developers with common tasks, and starter kits to bootstrap your project. It’s the closest thing to an appstore for your server. All projects are available as open source.

Check out the following projects on Enonic Market:

When to consider Enonic

Enonic XP speeds up delivery of customer tailored mobile web apps and their back-end.

Projects with high complexity, high performance requirements and extensive use of back-end services are typically are good fits for Enonic XP. Examples of requirements that add complexity to your project are: Custom application data model, User generated content, 3rd party Integrations, Login and security, Search and large data sets, Editorial content (CMS), High availability, High traffic, and Continuous deployment.

Business Value
Business value from Enonic XP increases with project complexity

Want to learn more?

Curious if PWA is right for you, or looking for more information or a demo of Enonic XP? Get in touch by filling in the form below!