There are a lot of reasons for Magento store owners to convert their e-commerce websites to Progressive Web Apps. For example, they are looking for an alternative for native apps development or just simply want to enhance the user experience for mobile users. Regardless of different motivations, the cost of developing a Magento 2 Progressive Web App is often one of the first concerns of the merchants. Will it be cheaper than building traditional Magento mobile apps? How much does it cost to hire Magento 2 PWA developers? You will find the answers in this article.
There are 3 popular solutions to build Magento 2 Progressive Web App, with different amounts of investment…
1/ Magento 2 PWA Extensions:
You can easily find a lot of Magento 2 PWA modules just by browsing on popular search engines. There are both free and paid PWA extensions from different providers (e.g.: Tigren, Webkul, Setubridge, Codecanyon, MageCube, Cedcommerce, Emipro,…) for you to choose from.
In general, the cost of those extensions is less than $100. If you don’t know how to install the module yourself, it’s optional to buy installation service, starting from $49.
As you can see, the cost of integrating PWA for Magento 2 website by applying an extension is very cheap. However, this solution is not highly recommended for 3 main reasons:
- All of the available Magento 2 PWA extensions are not able to provide all features that we expect from a PWA. Some of them even can only “mimic” the flow of Magento 2 Progressive Web App by showing the add-to-home-screen popup and then creating a shortcut on the mobile home screen, that’s all. Also, other important functions of PWA such as fullscreen mode, push notifications, offline mode, background sync,… do not work.
- Those Magento PWA modules use old technologies that ignore the new concept of the “PWA storefront” that Magento introduced:
“It is made up of an application shell that exists in the browser and a middle tier service layer that sits between the shell and a headless Magento backend.
Unlike a Magento theme, a storefront application does not inherit from a parent theme. Instead, the application is composed of React modules that provide the different pieces of functionality.
Therefore, you cannot have a fast storefront like Venia PWA storefront demo and other PWA’s powerful features by simply installing the modules.”
2/ Magento 2 PWA Studio:
The second solution for building your Magento 2 Progressive Web App is using Magento PWA Studio – a suite of useful tools for PWA storefront development. The thing is that those tools can help you to build a PWA in its most basic form (check Venia PWA demo for more details).
There are a wide range of core features in a normal Magento website that can be missed, which means that you will have a lot of things to do if you want to replace your Magento frontend with the new PWA storefront.
Moreover, the Magento 2 PWA Studio does not support you in developing the API to connect the new storefront with your Magento backend, and it might take a significant amount of time for API development.
As a result, it might take at least 6 months to build your PWA from scratch with the help of PWA Studio tools.
Assumed that you had to hire Magento PWA developers to build your PWA, the more time it takes, the greater the amount of money you had to pay. How much are you willing to pay for 6 months of your Progressive Web App development? I’m afraid that your investment could not be small…
3/ Magento 2 PWA Theme:
The last solution for integrating PWA in Magento 2 that seems to be the most potential is using Magento 2 PWA Theme. Some PWA solution providers developed ready-built PWA themes for Magento 2 website, which are still based on Magento 2 PWA Studio but delivering more integral outcomes. These themes often consist of both PWA storefront (with almost all of Magento 2 core features) and standard API to connect that storefront with Magento backend.
Owing to that, you will save a tremendous amount of time and effort for developing a PWA by applying the ready-made PWA themes in comparison with using the basic Magento PWA Studio tools.
It’s worth noting you still need to customize the PWA storefront to look like your current website design and update the base API for your extensions or custom functions.
Besides, when it comes to Magento 2 PWA solution provider who offers the ready-made theme, Tigren is on top of the list. By using their provided PWA theme, you can not only enhance the experience for mobile users but also improve the UX for desktop users. (Try the Magento 2 PWA theme demo by Tigren here).
Below is a Youtube video that compares the differences between Tigren’s PWA theme and Magento Venia PWA theme:
Although the cost of converting your website to Magento 2 Progressive Web App by this solution highly depends on the level of customization, in most cases, it will be lower than the cost of developing a native app or a hybrid app. You should contact the solution provider to get an exact estimate.
So, which Magento 2 Progressive Web App integration solution that you prefer?
Undoubtedly, Magento PWAs can bring about huge benefits when blurring the lines between the websites and traditional mobile apps with engaging app-like experiences for online shoppers. Notwithstanding, the merchants must find a balance between the cost of developing a PWA and what they will get to decide whether PWA integration is the right strategy. From my perspective, going for Magento 2 Progressive Web App solution with the base theme might be worth your investment most, what do you think?