Web Apps, Progressive Web Apps, SEO and SEM, Business App Development, Android and iOS Apps

Difference Between Progressive & Responsive Web Apps

Dec 02, 2020

Prakunj Chaudhary
Software Developer

Smartphones have become an intrinsic part of our day-to-day lives. We might step out of our homes without a wallet but it seems impossible without our mobiles. After all, from booking a cab to ordering food and making payment, you can find everything there. But, just like how our dependency has increased, so needs unique and better mobile applications.

Today, we live in a world where businesses are all about creating an unmatched user experience. For instance, if a user is planning to buy shoes online and comes across your website that is slow, he wouldn’t bother to wait for a minute of loading time and rather switch to another high-performing website with a better user experience.

To serve this purpose, technologies have evolved drastically. From apps that could run only a specific device to those that are compatible with all, we have come a long way. So is the case with responsive and progressive web apps. Both have enjoyed a fair share of popularity, but for completely different reasons. However, with two such options on the list, it might be challenging if you’re planning to choose one for your business. To ease this struggle, we have drawn a comprehensive comparison between Progressive and Responsive web apps. Scroll down for all the details.

Progressive VS Responsive Web Apps: Which One Is Better For You?

Every app developer strives to deliver highly-functional & impressive apps for users. Below are some of the features that make up for it along with a detailed analysis of how progressive & responsive apps respond to each.

Speed: Progressive Web Apps (PWA) tend to win the battle when it comes to speed. While responsive apps, too, offer great speed, PWAs are a step ahead. This allows you to enhance the effectiveness of your mobile app as it loads faster on all devices. PWAs are compatible with old browsers which gives them an edge. It also imparts into them modern features like push notifications, offline support, native audio & video capturing features.

Work Offline: This feature allows users to access the app offline. Responsive apps, however, are not capable of working offline, while PWAs can store large data enabling use without the internet. This also helps in reducing the buffering time and has proven to be beneficial for global brands. For instance, ZEE 5, an online streaming platform, was able to bring down the app’s buffering time by a massive 50%, and also allowed users to surf through their catalogue on offline mode with PWA.

Cost Efficiency:Cost efficiency is another matter key to all business decisions. It’s always wise to assess if the investment you are making for app development is worth it. Responsive apps can adapt to different screen devices using single coding. This means that you only need to develop a responsive app once with one code, and thereafter, it’s on the mobile device to automatically present the website per its screen size. On the other hand, PWAs are to be developed using multiple languages like Javascript, HTML 5, or CSS, each for specific screens. As it detects the screen of the host device, it showcases the customized version of your website. Thus, the developer needs to develop different versions for different screen sizes which makes PWA expensive. Nonetheless, its other features like high speed, native-like experience, etc. make up for the added cost. Also, it flaunts a proven track record of improved ROI, especially in the case of Best Western River North Hotel where it resulted in a whopping 300% increase in revenues post switching to PWA.

User Experience: An impressive and friendly user experience is the key to success for businesses today. PWA tops the list when it comes to delivering quality UX. It makes your website look rich and exceptionally developed. Unlike native apps that can run only on a specific platform like iOS or Android, PWAs are compatible with multiple platforms yet deliver a native-like experience. It is excellent value for money. It bridges the gap between hybrid & native apps with suitability for multiple platforms and features like SMS/MMS capability, task scheduling, file access, offline storage, and location access. On the other hand, Responsive apps do have the ability to adapt to unique screen sizes of different devices, they lack the native-like experience which is a big drawback in today’s market where UX determines the buying decision of customers.

Accessibility: PWA can be easily saved on the device’s homepage ensuring easy accessibility as now users will not have to search for it in the browser every time. As the user clicks the app icon from their list of apps on the home screen, PWA launches full-screen. Its user interface refreshes at 60fps.

SEO and SEM: Creating a website is not enough. It needs SEO and SEM too so that the audience can discover it. Both Responsive and Progressive apps are suitable for SEO and SEM. They help you utilize keywords in website content and allow web crawling by search engines to increase visibility. All these factors play an important role in the ranking of your website on the search engine result page. One can also promote business via paid search engine marketing.


All these features that we have talked about in this blog post, like speed, SEO & SEM, User Experience, etc., are crucial to online businesses. While developing an eCommerce website, you must consider all these factors before coming to a decision. In the end, there’s no definite answer that could be suitable for everyone. It all depends on your business requirements. For instance, if you have a start-up project with limited funds, then you might have to think before investing a huge amount into app development. However, you should also think about the long term results as app development is not something you would want to undertake every then and now. Hope our today’s blog would have helped you understand the two technologies better and make the right decision.

Prakunj Chaudhary
Software Developer