- Faster Mobile Load Times (Expect the first time visiting the page)
- Can View Website Offline
- Need to visit pages online to view offline (download and store them)
- Contact forms did not work
- Lazy Loaded images did not display offline
- WooComermce Doesn’t Work 100%
The plugin was an install, upload some images and set your details and forget system. It did the rest. I tested it on my mobile browser (chrome), and was asked if I wanted to install the website as an app on my phone. I tapped yes and off it went, putting an icon on my home screen that when opened, loaded my website. So I disabled my internet and opened the app again, the website homepage loaded again! What did I expect… Testing website loading times on mobile dropped by half. It already had all the files on the phone and didn’t need to redownload them all again. Sweeet. Overall, I was impresssed with how simple it was to work.
Partly Downloaded Website
The downside was the app doesn’t download the whole website to your phone. Just the pages you visited while online. So technically, if I visited the whole site while online, I would have my website offline. But logically, you can’t do that. Above The Fold loading speeds would be very important for PWA’s first time loading. Loading longer than 5 seconds and you may lose your visitor.
Offline Data Submission
Lazy Loaded Images
Blogs, News, Articles. Currently, these are the best uses for PWA with WordPress. Afterall, WordPress did start as a blogging platform. Information database style websites (like Wiki) as you can keep coming back offline for the same information. The Pokedex is a great example of this. Education websites with lessons would be great as well. Website Tools like body fat calculators or financial calculators that require repeat uses. More pwa app ideas. HTML5 Games. They are heavy coded websites which if repeatedly played, could save your gamers some internet AND your web servers some load. There are heaps more ideas at PWA ROCKS. For the more tech-minded, Google has a 30min video about how they combined WordPress and PWA to get a fully functioning PWA blog working. (Note, iframes such as Youtube embeds require internet so they would not work offline).
There is a meta tag “preload” which allows you to load the second page in the background of the first page. The purpose would be to allow for a fast user experience IF you knew that the second page was going to be visited. The bad part is that loading the first page would take longer as it is loading two pages. It also uses a lot more internet for someone just visiting the first page (and ignoring the second page). With PWA, you could possibly do this with its settings (you can define pages to store).
For small businesses that use WordPress as a marketing service (an online businesses card), PWA’s would not be needed. Online shops at the moment could partly use PWA’s for browsing products but the checkout process would require them to be online. If you want to dive into the tech side of coding your own, Google has got you covered.