The Magento developers are excited about Progressive Web Applications (PWA) because they know that PWA is not a fad or a trend which would fade in a few years.
PWA actually sets the standard by which the mobile websites will be made in the time to come.
So, next time when you meet an “ill-informed,” “self-proclaimed” tech-savvy describing how PWA is close to the deathbed, tell him to take his unsolicited advice into his mouth and clear that “PWA is the benchmark for mobile web building, and the gap between PWA and normal website is as large as the gap between application and non-performant website.”
The concept of PWA should appeal if you are an e-commerce developer because it’s not a pathbreaking technology. Instead, it’s an improvisation of the subsisting technology which motivates you to decorate the storefront in a native-application style.
It basically handpicks all the mobile web problems such as lack of native app ecosystem, lazy page loading, data caching, and swings the magic wand for converting them into super-interactive mobile apps.
The philosophy of PWA
The term progressive with PWA has a philosophy attached to it. It’s progressive because it’s agnostic to whatever device you have, whatever browser you surf, whatever operating system you want to work with. It’s agnostic for developers because again— they can gel with the existing technology without having to learn new technology.
All you need is a device which supports the internet and Tadum!— dress your mobile application in the native apps’ attire.
From the users’ point of view, PWA is unobtrusive as they don’t have to download or install anything which compels them to scratch their heads, nor do they have to make use of any new technology or any new device to feel websites springing into life.
But what’s the fuss? Why can’t we run traditional mobile websites?
Google is setting up the timer for all us.
Google already rewards the mobile-friendly storefronts and penalizes the non-mobile store ambiance, and Progressive Web Applications meet every criterion of responsiveness.
Not to forget that Google has given birth to PWAs, they are the ones who are spearheading this movement, and it’s not rocket science that when Google puts so much effort to sprout out some technology, it will soon end up cooking and baking the same in the search algorithm.
Google will give you some time to paint your store in compliance with PWA techniques, and when the timer stops, Google will say, “Hey, your time is up. If your website isn’t meeting this level of mobile-friendliness, we will penalize your discovery on the engine.”
Although the concept of PWA has been in the market for around four years now, the majority of the large e-commerce platforms haven’t shown full-heart support to this.
Having Google’s timer at one end and lack of e-commerce platform which supports PWAs at the other end pushes us to the lingo.
So, if you are looking forward to designing your progressive store design, there’s a possibility that you wouldn’t get enough support from these platforms.
You will either have to work a lot by yourself or make use of third-party tools.
Magento— Breathing PWA life into your mobile website
The dilemma even amplifies when your favorite e-commerce developing platform, i.e., Nopcommerce or WooCommerce, doesn’t second with the fact that Google will soon fit PWA in its search algorithm.
Considering the problem to be malignant, Magento is working on “Magento Progressive Web Application Studio” or simply “Magento PWA Studio” which integrates several tools using APIs and promote relaxed development culture for progressive web apps.
If you have spent some front-end time with Magento, you will realize that it’s a touch slow, and going by the developer’s perspective; there’s no one who’d claim that it’s the fastest platform because caching up the content is one hell of a task.
There are umpteen number of sophisticated layers over each other which uses the myriad of technology to make Magento 2-based front-end work.
Here’s when Magento PWA studio sidelines all the complexities encircling Magento 2 while developing a front-end.
Magento 2 PWA studio empowers the developers to detach the front end entirely and use a modern stack of technology for building interactive, responsive and attractive front-look.
The reason why Magento has been traveling to its limit is to push all the developers to adapt PWA commerce. The Magento community has been unsatisfied with the kind of complexity they have to deal with the front-end; therefore, a touch of aggressiveness from Magento 2 PWA can bring in a new type of energy in the developers.
Ever since Magento world has on-boarded a new team, they have been pushy in injecting PWA concept through PWA studio, and this automatically resolves the performance issue with the existing Magento 2 web-building.
And here’s the barter.
Magento will gain back its glory by promoting PWA and user’s who have to do all the PWA-stuff by themselves will get giant platform support.
Magento PWA Studio— The compilation of Toolset
Magento PWA has a compilation of toolsets with which you can rip off the front-end and design it in the best possible way you want.
Magento 2 PWA allows the developers to make PWA using Venia Demo, which uses basic tools to build and maintain a Magento 2 website.
Magento Venia Demo eases the job for developers for previewing how the storefront would look after they hear the word go.
Although Venia demo motivates more stores to catch-up PWA, building a highly interactive PWA with such basic tools can be a tough task.
And here’s the beautiful catch. Instead of your theme getting driven by super-complicated PHP, CSS, PHTML, etc., your ambiance will be driven by PWA technology stack in the studio which you plug in and out for running your store.
The pool of tools— the components of PWA studio.
As mentioned— you can minimize the pain of developing a PWA commerce with the help of PWA tools, which the tech-freaks love to call “Magento PWA components.”
As a developer, you need them as these components absorb all your pain and make developing an exciting work.
Let’s look at three of the critical advanced Magento components which are making the PWA dream come true.
- Webpack: Webpack is basically the connector between all the modules which will be driving the application. It directly establishes a connection between service workers. In a layman term, you can call Webpack as the ultimate router which connects all the nodes or the applications which you will be using at one single point. With this, you can easily configure your file and launch it in two shakes.
- GraphQL: GraphQL is an entity on its own, which is a part of Magento 2.3 for enhancing the performance. It is going to change the way Magento displays the content of the user. It helps in passing the REST API calls. Usually, when you need a product or catalog list from the database, you use the in-built Magento’s product display query for fetching the data from the backend. Since Magento is a headless system, it relies on API calls which, in furtherance, lets you access the database or query of the database. The positive part of calling the API is that Magento can be driven entirely headless, i.e., your front-end could belong to anything— maybe WordPress Application or Blogger’s application or any custom application. So, as long as you have the access of API, you can hit the API buzzer and let it interact with the database for pulling the data out for you. However, the problem with REST API call is that it extracts the unnecessary data. For example, if you are looking to pull out the name of the product, the REST API call pulls off the entire product data, which is too heavy and makes your page load lethargic. With the help of GraphQL, you can instruct the database to have a specific set of information. Instead of retrieving the entire product data in case of page refresh, you can specify the name, product, etc. leaving aside the other non-essential data. It, by the smartest standards, reduces the page load time, thereby lightening up the speed of your page. We aren’t resting REST API forever; it’ll still be in use for crud and messier application; however, GraphQL will solely be used for presenting your optimal content.
Why does Magento PWA Studio Matter?
Well, the question sounds legit— why should anyone care for Magento PWA studio existence?
Looking into Magento’s history, you can say that its tech-stack is pretty static and didn’t leap bounds in terms of advancement as it should.
Once the team had made their opinions, they would stick to it— like forever.
They had a prototype for a good number of years for Magento 1, and long after prototype, the paradigm shifted to jQuery. Now when we have made way for Magento 2, a whole lot of developers are learning Knockout j/s; howbeit, not every developer would like to learn it not because it’s complicated or a corrupt system but it isn’t a part of the modern tech-stack family.
- What does it mean for the developers?
Every developer wants to interact with the tools which help them use the modern tech-stack without having to learn Magento Knockout j/s.
So, if you have been working on Veu.js, you can have a Veu application using Magento PWA studio, or if you know Angular.js, you can build an angular application on Magento without giving Knockout j/s any time.
To put it more straightforwardly, you can use your repertoire for knocking-out the compulsion to get accustomed to Knockout.js and use the same skill sets which you used in the non-Magento platform.
With PWA studio, everything is going to go, and you can master PWA building on Magento 2 without investing a lot of time and effort.
- What does it mean for the agencies?
There’s a dramatic turn of events for the agencies because, with PWA studios, they will no longer have to rely or onboard Magento experts and developers.
If you are a veteran front-end developer but have no friendly-experience with Magento platform, you can still work as an expert, and agencies can still hire you over Magento developers.
So, if an agency comes across a brilliant react-developer, they wouldn’t have to kill their time in getting the fitting candidate for the desired designation, and more importantly, they will stash up boatloads of dollar bills without having to transit them to some other technology.
The people who are brilliant in one front can remain brilliant without having to feel the pressure of transition or resistance to change.
- What does it mean for the users?
We have set the expectations of users way too high with native applications.
They expect you to be as fast as any native application because we have served them “the feeling of healthy and faster apps,” and by meeting their expectations, we can convert more users, get a higher turnover, and retain them.
As Magento PWA floors performant system for the users, they will have everything they want, and you will have everything you want from them.
Magento PWA builder— viewing long term trajectory
Developers are really moody.
They appreciate ‘A’ today; they despise ‘A’ tomorrow.
They will put all their energies in building an e-commerce storefront on some platforms and may switch the track in the next one or two years.
So, at times, they will get moments to move on with something else, and when it suits their agenda, they switch the tracks leaving behind the store owners.
For store-owners, whatever choices they make, they have to think for the time-limit of 5 to 10 years, and within that trajectory, they may not have the developers to maintain their storefront.
For example, you can build Vue Storefront with massive energy today as it’s beautifully supported for PWAs now, but there’s no guarantee that it will be fully supported in the coming years.
So, the concept of headless Magento front-end may provoke many thoughts; however, there’s this support problem which might appear in four or five years.
And the worst is yet to come. When you reach an agency for managing and maintaining your store, the agencies might say “it’s all gibberish, we don’t even know what’s it.”
The obvious benefit of building your PWA commerce through Magento is that Magento is going to stay.
Magento will comply with the system, and support it for as good as forever; and with Magento PWA studio, you can get your storefront knowing you can look up to some Skydaddy forever.
Yes, you will get fantastic storefronts with Veu and it's like, but when you run short of the developer as “a merchant,” you will have to figure out the bug, or find what’s wrong with the code and dig out the problem before you get your store healed-up.
Although non-Magento Storefronts sound fascinating and are excellent in designing complex projects, we will have to take them like hard water in the glass— they sometimes work, they sometimes don’t.
Looking for PWA guidance?
As Magento compiles efficient tools for you to get started with the progressive web app. right from this moment, you wouldn’t want to miss out with super-charged up mobile applications.
With right PWA guidance from AureateLabs— the PWA connoisseur, you can churn life into your web application and get a nose ahead of your competitors.