How To Develop Magento PWA? Which Solution Is For You?

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PWA has made its way to the top search among Magento stores looking for ways to improve the site performance. However, finding the right methods to develop Magento PWA can be rather complicated for merchants.

PWA stands for Progressive Web App and it integrates the app-like features on the website. Using the PWA but mistaking it for an app is the common feedback from PWA users.

This post will list three main solutions to develop PWA for Magento websites. We would also give some suggestions on the types of business that best fit each method. Based on that you can decide which solution best matches your budget and requirements.

Let’s begin!

Magento PWA Integration By Extensions

Pros:

This is the most budget-friendly method. It is usually free or merchants can be charged at a very low cost.

The easy installation process is another advantage when taking this solution. Merchants can complete by themselves or they could go for hiring developers to install the Magento PWA Extensions.

Of the three solutions to build a Magento Progressive Web App, it takes the shortest time to get PWA integrated.

Cons:

Short time and low price are the strengths but it comes with only a few changes to the store after installing PWA extensions for Magento 2.

PWA features are added but they show inconsistent performance. This may cause great annoyance for consumers when their experience is interrupted by improper site functions.

Website structure remains the same with the front end and back end. This is different from the PWA structure (front end is converted to PWA storefront) so merchants cannot take full advantage of this technology.

This PWA Solution Is Suitable For:

Small-size businesses that have a tight budget would find this solution profitable. It would not be a wise decision to invest so much when the company has to work for months to repay the money spent.

Magento PWA Development By PWA Studio

Pros:

Magento PWA Studio supports converting a Magento 2 website to a Progressive Web Application with all PWA features included.

The website site structure will be changed to the PWA structure with storefront, backend, and API (connecting the storefront and backend).

This is the official tool from Magento which means there are zero risks of coding conflict. Merchants don’t need to worry about issues like insecurity, incompatibility between the new storefront and default functions in their Magento website.

Cons:

In terms of the PWA Storefront design, Magento PWA Studio with the Venia storefront looks really basic and not attractive enough to retain customers, not to mention convincing them to make a purchase. Also, it is not optimized for desktop users.

Regarding the functionality, some custom features and extensions from the original Magento website may be missing after PWA installation.

Therefore, it’s clear that to build a Magento 2 PWA using the PWA Studio tool, merchants still have a long way to go. Hiring developers is a necessary step to get the full necessary features and complete design for the app.

Consequently, this solution probably has the highest price as it required significant custom development work.

This PWA Solution Is Suitable For:

This solution fits medium to large-size businesses most, who are willing to invest a lot of money in Magento 2 Progressive Web App and expect a unique storefront.

Magento PWA Development By Themes

Pros:

This solution is less costly and time-consuming compared to using Magento PWA Studio for many reasons. Firstly, since most of the Magento PWA themes have already provided a well-designed storefront, design customization is optional. Also, some templates are compatible with the popular Magento extension and there is no need for developing further APIs.

Although the cost for a PWA theme is much higher than normal Magento themes (starting from $500), it’s still significantly lower than developing a PWA from scratch using PWA Studio.

Cons:

Currently, Magento Progressive Web App templates can be divided into two types, depending on whether they are built with Magento PWA Studio or not. For the one having the PWA Studio base, the code conflicts after development are minimized.

However, for the PWA theme that is independent of PWA Studio, merchants should be careful. There is a lot of conflict possibility now or in the future between the theme and (the latest) Magento versions. Additionally, it would be difficult to ensure the quality and stability of those themes.

This PWA Solution Is Suitable For:

Medium to large corporations are the best matches for this solution. International companies or those looking for chances to expand the market beyond the border should also consider this option.

Final Words

Each solution to develop Magento Progressive Web App has certain strengths and weaknesses. It lies in merchants finding which one best fits their business.

After deciding on the method, the next step is to find the PWA development company that has the experience, technical expertise, and customer-centric attitude.

Take this step seriously as the developers are the ones who determine whether the PWA transformation succeeds or not.

Hope that this post has helped firms understand PWA and how to develop PWA. If you have further questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section!