Progressive Web Apps Vs. Responsive Web Apps

We are entirely dependent on our mobile phones to get things done, from shopping to booking movie tickets to looking out for nearby cafes. This is because of the convenience and ease that mobile phones have created in our lives. Mobile driven websites are chosen and preferred over traditional websites. Every e-commerce website and business is on mobile today. So what are the different options to go mobile. Let’s discuss.

Every technology has its pros and cons. It’s up to the clients, what they are looking for in their businesses. Progressive Web App and RWA are quite similar by nature, RWA is designed with a web technology stack like JavaScript, Ruby, HTML, CSS, etc., and operates through a browser. It offers many native-device features and functionalities like Progressive web applications. On the other hand, developers use JavaScript, HTML, and CSS to build progressive web apps.

So if you are getting confused between PWA and Responsive Web, then you are on the right page. This article can make things simpler. This article can give you crystal clear knowledge about the differences between PWA vs. RWA.

What Is Progressive Web Application (PWA)?

Progressive web application is more of an application than a website. PWA is a website that looks and feels like a native mobile app. PWA do not need independent downloads from the Play Store or App Store and run perfectly well in the browser. PWAs are intended to eradicate various problems that range from sluggish networks to restrictive data or total lack of connectivity. To provide an engaging, reliable and quick user experience, websites that meet all the requirements of a PWA would typically leverage the latest web technologies. One of the examples of this is the social media websites such as Gmail or Instagram. Whenever you log onto these websites, you encounter an in-app like experience offering you all the features that an installed application would have provided.

What Is Responsive Web Application (RWA)?

Responsive web application refers to creating a website that can be accessed from both desktop and mobile interface. RWA is a comprehensive and holistic approach to crafting different user experiences for different devices.

Users expect the best experience on your websites irrespective of the devices and the networks they use.

To stay in the game for long, meeting the expectations of the users becomes crucial. This is where responsive web application designs come into play.

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Examples Of Progressive And Responsive Web Apps

Wired, an information provider and a unanimously used platform is one of the best examples of a Responsive Web App. Wired prioritizes content in all channels, ensuring users can easily access the data and the articles they want. For instance, if we compare the smartphone edition with the desktop and the tablet edition, the former is dramatically condensed to dazzle the user. It takes advantage of the restricted space to show the “Top Stories” before anything else. Similarly, they have included other features that add up to provide an outstanding user experience irrespective of the device you are using the platform on. Overall, Wired’s smooth navigation and simple social buttons make sharing articles and information super easy.

Examples Of Progressive And Responsive Web Apps

Fig: Wired examples of progressive and responsive web apps

Pinterest, a platform that allows you to discover new trends and information is a famous PWA example. From articles to images to videos to GIFs, Pinterest has everything to offer. Back in time, when Pinterest used to provide a slow website experience, they decided to create a PWA. Only 1% of their total user pool has migrated to iOS and Android signups and software install. It was noticed that visitors spend more time on the PWA than the mobile website. A sudden steep was noticed in the performance metrics. This shift not just increased Pinterest’s user experience, but it also accelerated its ad revenues.
Examples Of Progressive And Responsive Web Apps

Fig: Pinterest examples of progressive and responsive web apps

Pros And Cons Of PWAs

Pros And Cons Of PWAs

Fig: Pros and cons of PWAs

Pros And Cons Of RWAs

Pros And Cons Of RWAsFig: Pros and cons of RWAs

Advantages Of PWA Over RWA

Tabular Comparison Between PWA And RWA

Push NotificationsAs soon as you open the PWA, the user is prompted to enable the push notifications they receive. Just like in an application, each push notification is unique to the users.On the contrary, RWA does not provide the user with the convenience to subscribe and get notifications.
AdoptiveThe responsive design of PWA is efficient and capable to run on any device.In the case of RWA, you need to develop separate code for various devices and platforms making it expensive and tricky.
Add To Home ScreenWith just the home screen icon, PWAs will live directly on the phone screen with the tap-able icon giving it the look and feel of a native app.The convenience of adding the app to the home screen is absent in RWAs.
ConvenienceIn continuation to the above point, PWAs are more convenient than RWAs as they exit just like a native app with all back-end framework features making the website very appealing.This is one of the main reasons as to why people prefer PWAs over RWAs. RWAs lack the features and connectivity criteria, compromising the user experience.
High Loading SpeedAnother unbeatable advantage that PWAs provided over RWAs is their amazing speed. The mechanism and the usage of ‘App Shell’ makes the process faster and gives the feeling of using a real application.RWAs do not use ‘App Shell’ which makes the loading and running of data on mobile phones a longer and tiring process.

6 Steps To Choose Technology Stack For Web Application

Why Mindbowser For Web app development?

As a prominent web development company, our experience makes us an ideal partner for both startups and enterprises. Our in-house project managers, developers, and designers confidently deliver all types of web application projects on time. Here are more reasons to hire us;

Fig: Reason to choose Mindbowser for web app development



Final Thoughts

Responsive web design vs. progressive web app is a perpetual debate. Almost all user-centric and e-commerce websites and companies are adopting PWAs and RWAs. To reach up to the side that wins this debate is difficult. Just like the two sides of a coin, both these technologies have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Both the technologies have the dynamic characters you need to figure out which technology will work best for you and your customers.

Content Team

This blog is from Mindbowser‘s content team – a group of individuals coming together to create pieces that you may like. If you have feedback, please drop us a message on

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