What Are The Top 5 Progressive Web App Development Frameworks For 2021?

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Ever since mobile devices were introduced and websites became more popular, combining the user experience for both has been very challenging for developers. Indeed, developers explored different tools and methodologies that helped them reach their goals to a certain extent but not perfectly. However, the advent of progressive web apps changed this scenario and developers now have a better web solution that provides a marvelous experience across different devices.

Progressive web app development has emerged as a popular trend in web development. Businesses can take advantage of progressive web apps (PWAs) to deliver a phenomenal user experience across different devices. Here we will take a look at the top 5 PWA development frameworks for 2021 that you can use to develop outstanding progressive web apps.

What is a Progressive Web App and why it is important?

In essence, a PWA is a unique cross-platform web app development methodology that allows users to install web pages on their mobiles or desktops. So, you can use PWA like a native desktop or mobile app on your device. Though a PWA is a web app at the core, it has many features that equate it to native applications like push notifications, work offline, installable, shareable, etc.

Features of Progressive Web Apps

Progressive web apps are special types of web applications that are designed to run on smartphones and desktops. There are many functionalities in PWAs that make them similar to native desktop/mobile apps and many differentiate them from these devices. Here are the key features of progressive web apps.

  • Fully responsive and browser compatible: PWAs are created on the principle of progressive enhancement that means these apps provide basic content and functionality to users regardless of the devices or browsers they use. So, these apps render seamlessly on all kinds of devices and browsers.
  • App-like: PWAs look and feel like native desktop/mobile apps and have similar features like push notifications. 
  • Always update: PWAs are always fresh and don’t require manual updates. 
  • Installable and shareable: Users can install apps and share them with others using links. 
  • Easy to install and discoverable: Installable is not complicated like with native apps and they are searchable on Google search engine. 
  • Work offline: PWAs cache content that enables them to work without an internet connection. 

Progressive Web App Hype

What are the trending technologies in PWA development?

Developing a progressive web app is becoming crucial for businesses, and entrepreneurs are investing hefty amounts for it. However, it is important to pick the right set of technologies to create a robust PWA. Some new technologies have hit the market while some have been deprecated. We are now on the threshold of 2021, which will have several trends for PWA development. Although many technologies are in trend for progressive web app development currently, here we will focus on top PWA development trends that will also rule in 2021.

  1. ReactJS

ReactJS was released by Facebook. It is a very popular JavaScript library that is widely used for creating outstanding user interfaces or UI components. ReactJS is an open-source front-end library that provides amazing JavaScript functions to create varied web solutions. It serves as a solid framework for developing single-page or multi-page web applications. You take advantage of ReactJS to develop robust progressive web apps for your business. It utilizes JSX to render functions to connect HTML structures and offers to create web solutions. 

Pros of ReactJS for PWAs 

  • PWAs built with ReactJS have high flexibility and are very scalable with many extra packages.
  • The same code can be deployed by the developers for native apps.
  • Due to the Virtual DOM, the rendering process is very speedy.
  • This Progressive Web App development framework helps in server-side and static rendered pages, generation of API interactions, and routing using different JavaScript libraries.

Cons of ReactJS for PWAs

  • To build a React-based PWA solution requires the knowledge of JSX besides JavaScript.
  • In the absence of a clearly-defined methodology, the implementation is tricky.
  • The presence of JSX makes migration from AngularJS difficult.
  • In a React-based PWA solution, more functionality issues will arise as you go for more flexibility.
  1. AngularJS

AngularJS is an open-source front-end web framework based on JavaScript which was introduced and maintained by Google. It is one of the most popular front-end JavaScript frameworks for developing outstanding web solutions. This framework has been deployed by many individuals and corporations to meet varied challenges in developing single-page web applications. AngularJS allows using HTML as the template language and expressing application components in HTML succinctly and clearly. You can utilize AngularJS for creating outstanding progressive web apps. It is one of the key PWA development trends. It offers CLI commands that simplify many tasks. 

Pros of AngularJS for PWA

  • It provides a clearly-defined methodology that makes implementation easier.
  • It has a huge community of developers like ReactJS.
  • Google maintains AngularJS code makes operations smoother and ensures support.
  • The learning curve of the framework has shortened due to the advent of CLI commands.

Cons of AngularJS for PWA

  • You need to understand Typescript to take advantage of this Progressive Web App development framework.
  • Although the learning curve has reduced, AngularJS is still more complicated than other PWA frameworks.
  1. VueJS

It is another open-source front-end framework based on JavaScript that is available under MIT license. It is mostly driven by a community of developers and starting with this PWA framework is easy. Vuejs has many features that streamline the development process like simple coding, high-speed rendering, routing, and more. 

Pros of VueJS for PWAs 

  • You can utilize additional packages to scale up your app with Vue JS just like you can do with ReactJS.
  • It offers very clear and detailed documentation that is quite useful for the developer community.
  • VueJS helps in fast product delivery, so it is very useful for creating MVPs and smaller solutions.
  • It has the capacity to build dynamic and complex web apps.

Cons of VueJS for PWAs

  • Although VueJS is easy to learn and the code is new yet there are only a few Vue developers in the market.
  • As this Progressive Web App development framework is not used by major developers there is a tiny support team.
  • It has the benefit of flexibility but it creates issues in PWA development when you use it.
  1. Ionic

It is an open-source web app SDK that is based on Apache Cordova and AngularJS. This framework is widely used for developing hybrid web applications. The massive library of components available with Ionic makes it an ideal choice for progressive web app development. You can also use Ionic for creating web pages that run inside a web browser through WebView. 

Pros of Ionic for PWAs

It is an open-source framework so you don’t need to spend a single penny. Consequently, app development is very low that makes it good for small businesses.

  • It is an easy technology and anyone with experience in Angular and web technologies can use it.
  • Using the built-in debugging tools of a browser, it is easy-to-maintain.
  • It offers a huge library of plugins to access APIs without using code.

Cons of Ionic for PWAs

  • To reflect the changes, frequent updates need to rework on the existing PWAs. It could be cumbersome over time.
  1. Polymer

It is another reliable open-source web application development framework that was created by Google. This framework is composed of varied features like templates, web components, and PWA tools that allow creating marvelous web apps. The framework uses JSS, HTML, and JS that makes it an Independent framework. Also, the tools and components that Polymer offers are supported on a wide range of web browsers including Opera and Chrome. 

Pros of Polymer for PWAs

  • The APIs of the Polymer progressive web app development framework are relatively easy to understand.
  • Excellent documentation is available for Polymer that helps users in the implementation process.
  • Polymer provides full web application development stack support that includes routing, responsive layouts, and data tier.

Cons of Polymer for PWAs

  • Polymer doesn’t offer an official IDE.
  • It is not an SEO-optimized framework that doesn’t fulfill the purpose of creating a web app.
  • The page reloading time is high with this framework which is not favorable to PWAs.
  • This Progressive Web App development framework may require debugging tools sometimes because it has embedded development tools in it.

Let’s wrap everything up!

In this age, the value of websites and apps is undeniable for every kind of business. However, businesses have to face many challenges with these digital platforms like slow loading speed, poor appearance on different devices, internet speed, etc that result in lower user engagement, conversion, and adoption rates. The advent of progressive web apps has provided businesses with better solutions to reach their customers and boost their sales by providing the best user experience across different devices. By opting for progressive web app development businesses can derive huge profits and deliver an outstanding experience to customers. 

To build a perfect PWA, you need to understand the latest PWA development trends in the market. We discussed 5 top PWA development trends that are prevalent in the market today and will also remain so in 2021. You can take advantage of any of these trends to create a robust progressive web app for your business.


21 December 2020
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