Should We Build A PWA Or A Responsive Website?

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Should We Build A PWA Or A Responsive Website?
Should We Build A PWA Or A Responsive Website?

For the past two decades, the blooming of technological approaches has been making way for modern and innovative website development solutions. The two most common ways are building a responsive website or developing a Progressive Web App (PWA).

Although both aim at delivering the best experiences for users and help companies increase sales, they still differ from each other in many aspects. In this article, we are about to find out what would be the most comprehensive method for merchants and business owners. Let’s get started!

What Is A Responsive Website?

A responsive website includes several flexible grids, layouts, images, and CSS media queries. These features help the websites automatically adjust their resolution, image size, and scripting abilities when users switch from desktop to mobile screen. 

What Is A Progressive Website Application?

This technological advance combines all the best features of a website and a native app. In simple terms, it mimics what a native app offers while operating as a website at the same time. Therefore, it is true to say that PWA technology is the best of both worlds.

Purpose Comparison

Both Responsive Websites and Progressive Web Apps are created with seamless technologies. This explains why they are able to perform well on a variety of browsers as well as different devices.

These two approaches aim at delivering satisfaction and better experiences for users while surfing the sites. Despite sharing the same goals, they have quite a lot of dissimilarities in functions and development methods, thus creating a gap between price ranges.

Benefit Comparison

1. Design

Responsive website

A responsive website is celebrated for its high consistency in design. This means that it is able to resize, shrink or enlarge your content to make it compatible with all devices.

PWA

In terms of design flexibility, a PWA can outweigh a responsive website. With PWA development, websites might have their own version specially designed for mobile devices instead of just a responsive one.

2. Functions

Responsive website

In addition to a better user interface, a responsive website has no significant functional abilities to a regular website. 

PWA

At the same time, PWA can offer business owners a broad range of distinctive features. Thanks to PWA technology, a website would be able to perform many similar tasks as a mobile native app does, and even more. 

Below are some of the most highlighted features of a website integrated with PWA:

  • Lightning page load speed

Generally, a regular website or even a responsive one will take up more than 5 seconds to completely load its page.

Meanwhile, a progressive web app needs less than 3 seconds to present the whole page to the users. Therefore, users tend to stay longer on the PWA, which contributes to higher conversion rates.

  • Network independence

A progressive web app can still be accessed (for pages in the previous visits) when there is no wifi signal or the Internet around. This feature is based on Service Workers which control page requests and cache API for responses storage.

  • App-like experiences

Compared with the native apps in terms of functional features, PWA isn’t falling short in any way. It allows users to add a shortcut to their home screen with ease instead of visiting the app stores to download the app.

Besides, PWA is also able to send handy push notifications to inform users of any updates. Therefore, the app visitors will not miss any important announcements or information.

With all of these key features, it seems that PWA far exceeds the abilities of a responsive website when it comes to functional abilities. 

Development Comparison

1. Development Solutions

Responsive website

There are usually two most common ways for businesses if they want to convert their regular websites into responsive ones.

The first option is using responsive website templates and the other one is developing a custom responsive website from scratch.

Progressive Web App

PWA development solutions are similar to those of responsive websites. Business owners can consider two approaches: using PWA templates or developing custom PWA from the ground up.

However, it’s worth noting that due to its complexity and sophisticated features, Progressive Web App development will take a longer time to build and finish than that of responsive websites.

2. Overall Cost

Responsive website ($2,500 – $20,000)

Regards responsive website development, businesses are expected to pay from around $2,500 to $20,000 depending on which solutions they prefer. One option is using responsive themes (with/ without the customization) and the other one is building a whole new and unique design.

Progressive Web App (5,000 – $50,000)

Like responsive websites, Progressive Web Apps offer businesses two common options for development.

  • First, PWA can be built from ready-made PWA themes and templates. On average, high-quality PWA themes cost from $700 to around $2,000. Extra fees will need for theme installation, configuration, and customization. The total cost for this solution, hence, will be in the range of $5,000-10,000.
  • Second, firms can look for custom PWA development when having a higher budget, from $10,000 to $20,000. PWA development agencies can provide them with a wide variety of options and recommendations until the firms’ demands are met. The more sophisticated the requirement is, the higher the project price is.

Overall, it is obvious that PWA development would cost businesses a greater amount of investment compared to responsive website development. However, the price disparity is totally reasonable because PWA technology exceeds responsive websites in many aspects.

Wrapping up

Both responsive websites and progressive web apps have their own merits and drawbacks. However, based on the analytics above, it is clear that PWA can bring about more significant benefits thanks to its awesome features, faster and more user-friendly design. 

The thing is, PWA development will require a higher budget than that responsive website development. Therefore, if firms have a generous budget, PWA is definitely the choice. On the contrary, they can go for the responsive website first, and consider upgrading it to PWA when it’s possible.

Last but not least, PWA is for every business owner in the modern market who desires to boost sales revenue and user experiences.

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