Should invest in PWA website on Magento?

What is PWA website on Magento

Magento is a very powerful platform which supports a lot of functions. Building a simple Magento site however, takes at least $1500, not mentioned about $40/month you need to spend for hosting provider so it’s still not a good choice for retailers who just start business with mind-set: give it a try in ecommerce. Of course, with the advantage of easy customization and support a lot of available functions, Magento is an ideal choice for all retailers who want to pursue long-term strategy in ecommerce world. And once retailers decide to invest in Magento, I’ve recently confronted a lot of retailers who’re concerned about building not only a normal website but a PWA site to bring customers with better experience. However, is it worth the money they invest? Which stage should they invest in PWA? From scratch? Business runs stably? We can look at 3 following approaches to see if it’s worth investing in PWA.

What Does Progressive Web Apps (PWA) Development Mean? [Definition ...
Comparison of PWA with other approaches

Basically, 3 options for building a PWA site are:

1. Install Magento 2 PWA Extensions

Pros: The cost of Magento 2 PWA modules are very affordable (from $0.00 to $150). You can goes to Magento marketplace and there’re various options for you to choose from. Plus, it takes just a few hours to install those extensions on your site. By this approach, this extension merely helps you to load webview when your client access your website on different devices such as mobile phone, iPad or tablet. Therefore, if you installed different 3rd party extensions, you still can see them enabled and run in PWA view.

Cons: However, the weak point is very serious for many retailers as well. Because this approach is cheap, it is, of course, easily lose a lot of PWA advantages except for loading PWA interface or perform the “add-to-homescreen” and send push notifications. Specifically, most of the PWA extensions for Magento 2 are not able to deliver full features of Progressive Web App and even cannot perform fast page load speed, offline mode, and background synchronization.

2. Develop PWA from scratch

Pros: This approach is a more comprehensive solution compared to available Magento 2 PWA extensions when it can completely take advantage of all PWA features. It will replace your existing Magento storefront with PWA storefront that will be connected to your backend via API.

Cons: Magento 2 PWA Studio is just a set of tools to support you in PWA development. However, you still need to customize a lot of things. When you build PWA from scratch, there are immensely basic Magento default features you have to build on PWA. And if you use different extensions from 3rd parties here, you have to continue to customize to enable these functions on PWA.

Plus, this can cost you a lot time and money in building a totally new PWA site at the beginning

Basic PackageAdvanced PackageCustom-made Package
Total cost$3000 – $35.000$35.000 – $70.000$70.000+
Timeline~ 2 months~ 2 months~ 2 – 4 months
Cost of building PWA site
Source: Simicart

3. Convert Your Site To PWA Using Magento 2 PWA Theme

Pros: This seems to be the most potential solution to integrate PWA in Magento 2 website. By using PWA theme, you can take advantage of almost functionality in PWA, including : lightning load speed (on both desktop & mobile devices), shortcut on the home screen, splash page, fullscreen display, network independence, background sync, low data consumption, easy update, and so on. Plus, with this approach, you can save a lot of itme in building and developing your PWA site.

Cons: However, the deducting point is you still need to customize the PWA storefront according to your design.

So if you are a start-up business or want to provide customer with better experience on phone/portable devices without building app or investing heavily on full-fledged PWA, buying PWA extension might be the best choice.

If your business runs stably and you want to scale up quickly by dominating the customer experience on phone or portable devices (which are considered as the fastest growth channel customer use to check products), you definitely should invest in building a PWA from scratch.

Emmy Le
A tech-lover and a data-driven business consultant who deploys disruptive innovations to Magento retailers in Omnichannel Age

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