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PWA vs AMP: What’s the Difference and is One Better than the Other?

Written by The Magna Technology Team on March 17, 2020

Almost everyone walking around your community these days owns a smartphone. Worldwide, there are 3.5 billion smartphone users, or roughly one out of every three people. It’s clear that the mobile web is catching up to how people consume content on their mobile devices, but we still have improvements to make.

Even with the rise in mobile-friendly websites, engagement is still low on these sites. One of the newer technologies that is attempting to solve this challenge is progressive web apps.

What are Progressive Web Apps?

Progressive web apps, or PWAs, are mobile website experiences intended to look, feel and function in the same way as a native mobile app. Except, of course, that you’re on the internet. You can use a PWA in your browser, just like you would do with any other mobile website. The difference is that you are prompted to install the web app on your device.

In order to be a PWA, the following criteria must be met:

  1. Reliability. The web app must load instantly regardless of the network you’re on.
  2. Fast. Web apps should be quick to respond to your interactions. They should offer smooth animations and scrolling.
  3. Engaging. It’s important that the web app feels natural on your device and offers an immersive experience.

How are PWAs Different from AMPs?

An accelerated mobile page, or AMP, is a mobile-friendly web page that loads instantly. It’s fast and smooth, providing a good user experience to web users. To make this happen, the coding is stripped down and only essential content is shown to you. On average, AMPs perform 4 times faster and use 10 times less data than regular web pages, making them a great option for creating a fast and optimized mobile experience.

What are the Similarities and Differences?

Both PWAs and AMPs display web pages on mobile devices and enhance the user experience. They also reduce page load time and are supported by Google. Otherwise, there aren’t many other similarities between the two.

In terms of differences, there are plenty.

  • Appearance. PWAs look and feel like mobile apps, whereas AMPs look identical to web pages.
  • Development. AMPs have stripped down code, so there’s nothing you have to do but remove unnecessary CSS and JS. For PWAs, the application code must be written from scratch.
  • User experience. PWAs offer a great user experience because they have all the features a mobile user needs: push notifications, home screen icons and no browser tabs. They are also fast loading and may be used offline. AMPs are just like web pages, except they load faster.
  • Performance. AMPs win in this favor because Google features fast pages, increasing your placement, traffic and click-through rate.
  • Summary

    As you can see, both PWAs and AMPs are powerful technologies that make the web faster, easier and more enjoyable for users. To learn more about these options and how they can improve your mobile user experience, contact Magna Technology today.

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