Reimagining the Web: The Power of Progressive Web Apps

Published On

December 16, 2022

Thomas Trussle


Dive deep into the concept of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). We will covers key components, technicals and the benefits offered to businesses and users.


The digital landscape is ever-evolving, and one of the most exciting developments of recent years has been the advent of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). These modern web applications harness the power of web and mobile to offer a unique, blended user experience. So, let's delve into the world of PWAs and reimagine the potential of the web.

What is a Progressive Web App

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are web applications that use the latest web technologies like the MERN Stack, to provide an app-like experience. They are built using common web languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript but incorporate modern web APIs along with traditional progressive enhancement strategy to include a rich set of features.

At the heart of PWAs are two key components – service workers and the web app manifest file. Service workers are scripts that the browser runs in the background, separate from the web page, opening the door to features that don't need a web page or user interaction. On the other hand, the web app manifest is a simple JSON file that provides information about an application (such as its name, author, icon, and description) in a text file.

In comparison to traditional web applications and mobile apps, PWAs can work offline, load quickly, send push notifications, and be installed on the user's device, creating a user experience that feels seamless and integrated. Big names like Twitter, Uber, and Pinterest have already harnessed the power of PWAs to great success.

The Technical Side of PWAs

Building a PWA involves leveraging key components and technologies. One of the most commonly used technology stacks is the MERN stack - MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, and Node.js. We’ve covered the MERN Stack extensively in another article so we’ll just summarise briefly here.

MongoDB is a NoSQL database that stores data in flexible, JSON-like documents. It allows developers to store data in a way that's easy to work with and makes it a good fit for the data requirements of a PWA.

is a minimal and flexible Node.js web application framework, providing a robust set of features for building single-page, multi-page, and hybrid web applications.

is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces, primarily for single-page apps. It’s used for handling the view layer in web and mobile apps, thus facilitating the creation of reusable UI components.

is an open-source, cross-platform, JavaScript runtime environment that executes JavaScript code outside a web browser.

This stack contributes significantly to the robustness and efficiency of PWAs. For instance, you could use service workers, built with JavaScript, to cache new content and serve it offline. React.js could be used for creating the user interface, while Node.js and Express.js could be used for server-side rendering, thus improving the performance of your PWA.

Consider a typical PWA setup where you’d create a server in Node.js and Express.js which serves your static files and handles your API endpoints. When the client requests data, your server fetches it from MongoDB and sends it back to the client. The service worker, in the meantime, caches this data for offline use.

Architecture: MVC and Microservices

When planning a Progressive Web App (PWA), deciding on an architecture that suits your needs is crucial. Two common architectural patterns used in the development of web applications include Model-View-Controller (MVC) and Microservices.

MVC Architecture

MVC is a software design pattern that separates an application into three interconnected components:

  • The Model corresponds to all the data-related logic that a user can work with. This can represent either the data that is being transferred between the View and Controller components or any other business logic-related data.

  • The View represents the UI logic of the application. It presents the model's data to the user and also enables them to modify the data.

  • The Controller acts as an interface between the Model and the View components to process all the business logic and incoming requests. It manipulates the data using the Model and interacts with the Views to render the final output.

MVC architecture is known for its ability to provide efficient data management, ease of modification, and simultaneous development capability, making it a popular choice for web applications.

Microservices Architecture

On the other hand, Microservices is an architectural style that structures an application as a collection of small autonomous services, modelled around a business domain.

Each microservice runs a unique process and communicates with others through a well-defined, lightweight mechanism to serve a business goal. This results in a system that's easier to manage and evolve, often leading to a more agile and resilient architecture.

Microservices are particularly beneficial for large, complex applications that are developed and maintained by a team of developers. They allow for the continuous delivery/deployment of large, complex applications and enable an organisation to evolve its technology stack.

Both MVC and Microservices offer unique benefits and can significantly influence the success of your PWA. The choice between the two would largely depend on the specific requirements of your application, the team's expertise, and your business goals.

The Power of PWAs in the Business Realm

The application of PWAs isn't just a technical novelty; it's a business game-changer. Take, for example, Pinterest. Their PWA saw a 60% increase in core engagements and a 44% increase in user-generated ad revenue.

PWAs provide opportunities to improve customer engagement significantly. Their faster load times, coupled with the ability to work offline, offer a much better user experience than traditional apps. Additionally, the "add to home screen" feature means your app is always visible to the user, encouraging repeat use.

In e-commerce, PWAs have shown to increase conversions dramatically. AliExpress, for instance, saw a 104% increase in conversion rates for new users when they rolled out their PWA.

Overcoming Challenges with PWAs

Despite their advantages, building PWAs comes with its challenges. Ensuring a consistent experience across all browsers and managing offline data effectively can be complex. However, with best practices and continuous advancements in the PWA space, these challenges can be mitigated.

Future developments in PWAs point towards more streamlined experiences across all device types. Expect advancements in areas like offline data management, push notifications, and location services - all aimed at making PWAs more robust and user-friendly.


Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) truly mark the next leap in the evolution of digital platforms. They elegantly mesh the convenience of conventional web applications with the immersive experience of native mobile apps. By offering rapid loading times, offline functionality, and the ability to send push notifications, PWAs are increasingly redefining expectations of what a web application can do.

As we progress into an increasingly digital future, the importance of having an online presence that is not only functional but also user-friendly and engaging cannot be overstated. Progressive Web Apps are leading the way in this regard. By providing a superior user experience that engages users and fosters higher conversion rates, PWAs are a key tool for any business seeking to maximise their online potential.

Further Reading/Resources

For those keen on exploring further, there's an abundance of resources available to get you started with PWAs and the MERN stack:

  • MDN Web Docs: Progressive web apps
  • Google Developers: Your First Progressive Web App
  • MERN Stack Tutorial
  • Building a PWA using React

In the digital realm, there's always something new on the horizon, and right now, that 'something new' is the power of Progressive Web Apps.

Looking for a Team to Build Your Web App?

If this article has piqued your interest in Progressive Web Apps and you're considering building one, you're at the right place. At Blue Mandarin, we have a team of experienced developers who excel at creating bespoke web applications that meet your specific needs.

Our team is proficient in the latest technologies and frameworks, including MERN stack, and has substantial experience in building powerful, effective PWAs. We're ready to take your business to the next level.

Get in touch with us for a free consultation today. We'd be delighted to help you understand how a Progressive Web App could benefit your business and help map out the steps to make it a reality. Don't just adapt to the digital future - lead it, with a Progressive Web App from Blue Mandarin.