A Beginner’s Guide to Progressive Web Apps & the Frontend Web

18th Aug 2017
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If you're a beginner looking to hone your web development skills, this is just the article for you. For the uninitiated, a progressive web app uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like user experience on mobile web browsers. To put it simply, progressive web apps are the future. This is because these apps have the ability to push the mobile web forward, bring parity to native apps, and help mobile developers reach more users beyond the entrapments of app stores. Alongside, frontend web development targets the browser, putting your applications in front of the users, regardless of their device or operating system.

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Native app store applications do things like work offline, send push notifications, and load on the home screen. By comparison, mobile web apps that are accessed in a mobile browser traditionally haven't done those things. Progressive web apps bridge this gap with new design concepts, new web APIs, and new buzzwords. They bring features that are expected from native apps to the mobile browser experience in a way that uses standards-based technologies and runs in a secure container available to everyone on the web.

All in all, progressive web apps describe a collection of design concepts, technologies, and web APIs that work in tandem to provide an app-like experience on mobiles. Progressive web apps bring the mobile web closer to parity with installable app store applications through background worker functionality with Service Workers and faster load time with App Shells. They give web developers renewed belief that they too can build amazing mobile app experiences. So far, the mobile web has been a run-down experience, driving people to the app store for the real thing. Progressive web apps hope to change that.

Frontend web development is a combination of programming and layout that powers the interactions and visuals of the web. To put it simply, if a website were a house, frontend web development would be the stylish exterior that gives the house character.

How to distinguish between backend and frontend web development? Let's pretend a website is a car, for the sake of an example. Several things built inside the car help it run and speed up and down. While you can't see these things, they are still very important. This is backend development. On the other hand, items that you directly use in the car, like brake pedals and steering wheel, which make the car fun to drive and nice to look at fall under frontend development.

Frontend development has changed drastically in the last 10-15 years due to the explosive growth of JavaScript. Frontend development and website design go hand-in-hand as many frontend developers have UI/UX skills in their toolbox, which they use to enhance their development skills.

It's a great time to be a web developer. By becoming an expert in progressive web apps and frontend web development, you can work towards making the web better.

Read Also: Top web development agencies in India

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