Magento 2 PWA App: Is It Worth It In 2022 And How Much Does One Cost?
Table of contents
- What Is A PWA?
- Introducing The Magento 2 PWA
- The Magento 2 PWA Architecture
- Benefits Of Magento PWA over Native Apps
- Types Of Magento PWA Implementations
- Which Implementation Is Best For You?
- Cost Of Magento PWA
- Initial Planning and Setup Cost (40 to 60 Hours)
- UI/UX Design Cost (400 to 650 Hours)
- PWA Development Stage (600 to 1500 hours)
- Deployment And Maintenance Stage Cost (150 to 300 hours)
- Summing It All Up
As a business owner utilizing software tools for your operations, you need the fastest, most customer friendly, and definitely the most cost-effective solutions at your disposal. A balance of all these is the most optimal, and when Magento app development is involved, you have two choices; you either choose a natively deployed application or opt for a progressive web app (PWA).
What is a Magento PWA, how does a Magento PWA compare to a native Magento app, and how much does it cost to develop a Magento PWA? Our write-up answers all these questions in full.
We present you with all you need to know about Magento PWA deployment, including additional information on the requirements to develop and maintain it, as well as some benefits your store derives from its use, among a lot of others. Let’s get right in.
What Is A PWA?
We’ll start with the basics. A progressive web application (PWA) is an application that uses web platform features to give users a mobile application experience. It is a website that acts like a mobile application in terms of design and responsiveness but uses web technologies like service workers, and web app manifests, among others.
Due to Google’s consideration of mobile-friendliness as a crucial search engine ranking factor, business owners like you decided to take it a step further and introduce a truly native mobile experience in the form of PWAs. Top e-commerce brands like AliExpress, Jumia, and Walmart utilize this technology to reap all the benefits mobile commerce (mCommerce) has to offer.
PWAs save users the stress of having to visit the official mobile app store for their specific operating system, download an application, and install it to start using your service. Customers simply have immediate access to your services over a web browser.
All these mean you get the intuitive user interface and experience of mobile apps combined with the search-engine discoverability and cross-platform accessibility of websites. What’s more? PWAs may also be deployed as single-page apps, helping to reduce the inter-reliance of your front-end and back-end while remaining as fast and reliable as you need them to be.
Introducing The Magento 2 PWA
Now, a Magento PWA isn’t hard to understand from these. Magento PWAs are simply progressive web apps that are developed through Magento’s dedicated PWA implementations. They are web-based Magento storefronts built and maintained through Magento 2.3 libraries, tools, frameworks, and other Magento solutions.
To put it in context, note that Magento is an open-source eCommerce platform. This means PWA development with the platform’s tools gives you access to an extensive and highly-customizable library of solutions for development and maintenance.
Moving further, unlike other Magento products based on PHP code, Magento PWAs are built using the React Js framework. They utilize the utter flexibility the library offers in terms of cross-platform compatibility, adaptability, UI designs, and performance enhancement, among others.
Other libraries used for PWA deployment are Vue.Js and Angular.Js. Although these two are open-source frameworks that offer you simplified development cycles and improved performance on your server side, the React.Js framework is the more popular and efficient choice for PWA development.
The Magento 2 PWA Architecture
Magento PWA features several components that contribute to its seamless deployment and maintenance. These components include
- Service Workers
- Application Programming Interface (API)
- Transport Layer Security (TLS)
- App Shell Architecture
The API allows you to manage communications between the back end and front end, while the TLS helps to secure communication between your client and server sides through encryption. This security is very important, given you are an eCommerce store intending to collect personal financial information like credit card details from customers to close sales.
The app shell architecture is simply the structure or “skeleton” into which your specific UI design elements are inserted. PWAs also implement pop-up functionality, allowing you to interact with overlaying content just like you would within native applications. The combination of all these then gives you some major benefits.
Benefits Of Magento PWA over Native Apps
The app shell architecture is created during a user’s session on the web app, cached through service workers, and supplied through the API when needed, resulting in rapid load times. This pre-existing structure is one of the few advantages native applications have over websites and PWAs bridge that gap.
Rather than having users install a separate application that they may not use frequently, you integrate your mobile app’s existence into web browsers. With this, they never cut access to your app by uninstalling it, as it is always available through any browser of their choice. One more addition to this is that with web browsers like Google Chrome, they may also add your app to their home screen and have the same level of access to it as native applications.
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You enjoy the same seamless UI/UX designs as native applications and even incorporate push notifications. Adding the reduced cost of a cross-platform deployment, PWAs allow you to save money while increasing mobile conversion, improving user-friendliness, optimizing search engines, and utilizing website-related metrics for web-app improvement.
Now, talking about web-app deployment with React.JS, there are three ways you may build and deploy your Magento PWA.
Types Of Magento PWA Implementations
To build a Magento PWA, you either write the whole code yourself using React.Js, make use of the Magento PWA Studio, or implement the use of third-party Magento PWA themes. Building a Magento PWA from scratch gives you the flexibility for customizations but requires you to hire the services of a React.Js developer with apt Magento PWA deployment skills.
The Magento PWA Studio is Magento’s dedicated solution to developing, deploying, and maintaining your web-based application. It features a set of open-source front-end architectures, like ready-to-use service workers and web application builders, to mention a few. It is important to note that Magento PWA Studio is still in development and could be missing some important tools and features and may also have some bugs in its code. Third-Party themes help with these.
Third-party PWA themes are typically design themes accompanied by open-source toolkits and created by third-party developers. They are more or less the same as the Magento PWA Studio, but instead of deploying as a whole infrastructure, these themes are applied to existing stores making use of Magento 2.3 technology or later. Some examples of these include Scandi PWA, Tigren PWA, and SimiCart.
Which Implementation Is Best For You?
These three React.Js Magento implementations come with some advantages and downsides of their own. As said earlier, developing the React PWA code from scratch is great if you want to build a store with highly-customizable front-end elements and have total control over your PWA solution. However, it requires great React.Js skills, experience in Magento architectures, and high attention to library and device compatibility.
Both the Magento PWA Studio and third-party theme implementations are similar in their advantages and downsides. While you have ready-made components to easily deploy PWAs without any vast coding experience, customizability is greatly limited and you may end up with incomplete tools and features, errors and bugs, and slow or inefficient code that doesn’t fit your specific PWA deployment needs.
The choice between these three relies on your access to top-notch Magento React developers, your level of desire for customizability, and, of course, the quality of third-party solutions available to you. It is left to you to decide which offers you the most balance.
Cost Of Magento PWA
A Magento PWA will cost you between $35,000 and over $120,000, depending on the functionalities you wish to incorporate into your storefront. This cost is determined by a whole lot of other factors, including who you hire, how long the development process lasts, how advanced and customizable your web app is expected to be, and how much you expect to pay for maintenance.
For comparison, however, you should always expect the cost of a PWA to be lower than what is required to manage native apps. You only develop a web application with desktop and mobile responsiveness, rather than separately creating a website, Android application, and iOS application which have different processes for deployment and maintenance.
Now, we break down every stage of your PWA development process to determine the overall cost. We include the number of hours your developers or hired professionals spend on each and how much you pay per hour.
These stages include the initial planning and setup stage, UI/UX design stage, the main PWA development stage, and the deployment/maintenance stage. Each of these has a varying level of intensity and importance, and these affect the costs.
Initial Planning and Setup Cost (40 to 60 Hours)
The initial stage is where you determine how your web application helps to satisfy or facilitate your business strategies and other fundamental business needs. No matter the Agile project management framework you use, the initial planning stage is always important.
You determine your customer needs and how to satisfy them, talk with your technical team on all the crucial touch points you expect your web application to meet and come up with an overall plan or layout.
Although the length of this stage is determined by your specific business needs, we estimate this to last about 40 to 60 total hours. Once this is complete, you move to your UI/UX design phase.
UI/UX Design Cost (400 to 650 Hours)
The UI/UX design stage is where you start your major development processes, as you determine the best way your customers view and interact with every page or element within your progressive web app.
Some of the most important pages you design here include the home page, product category page, product landing page, cart viewing page, and, finally, your checkout page. You also create a page for your customer to manage an account and other pages like the about page and customer service page, among others.
The major pages require you to spend an average of 100 hours on each, while other pages require much lower obligations that could be summed up to cost you about 120 hours in total.
PWA Development Stage (600 to 1500 hours)
It’s time to bring your UI and UX designs to life. The software development stage is the most tedious and time-consuming of all, especially if you want to create a fully-custom Magento PWA store.
Magento ready-made PWA Studio components help you reduce the overall time spent on creating your PWA. The only option that may help you reduce your development time frame with a custom PWA is if your developers have similar codes from previous projects they have been on.
This stage involves planning and creating all the major and subsidiary pages. Due to how important they are, the homepage, product category page, product landing page, and checkout pages are expected to take the most time. Overall, you complete this stage after 600 to 1500 hours of work.
Deployment And Maintenance Stage Cost (150 to 300 hours)
This is when you finally launch the app and continuously monitor it for areas that need improvement and operational inputs. You also need to spend a lot of time at this stage to properly finalize your development and deployment processes to avoid releasing a web app with bugs or, worse, security loopholes.
The deployment stage is expected to last between 40 hours to 80 hours on its own, depending on how complex your PWA is. The maintenance stage, on the other hand, runs forever and connotes all the time required to make software updates to fix bugs, improve security, or scale the application.
To ensure you don’t spend a lot of time on PWA maintenance, make sure your deployment finalizing stage is as tight-knit as possible. So, what do all these add up to for you?
Summing It All Up
Your entire PWA development, deployment, and maintenance processes are expected to span over 1200 hours for basic PWAs with standard features and over 2500 hours for advanced PWAs with full, top-notch customized coding.
With professionals expected to charge between $25 per hour and $60 per hour, it all adds up to cost you $30,000 for a basic PWA, a median of $60,000 – $75,000 for moderately featured PWAs, and between $120,000 to $150,000 for an advanced PWA.
PWAs are the future of eCommerce and should be your go-to deployment option if you don’t want to be left behind. They offer the best of mobile applications in fast load times and the benefits of websites like cross-platform compatibility, ease of access, and SEO capabilities.
Depending on whether you want to build one from scratch using React.Js, utilize the Magento PWA Studio, or apply third-party themes, one would cost you between $30,000 to $150,000.