Difference Between AMP and PWA

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are scripts developed on open source platform to help websites load their content as fast as possible in mobile devices. They’re currently used by News websites to showcase their news and by eCommerce websites to provide their products in mobile SERPs. However, they put restrictions by stripping all irrelevant scripts and JavaScripts (JS) to save bandwidth and display only the content. Pages are statically sized and heavy elements like images, which are off-screen are not downloaded until user is able to view them. This reduces the page loading time sharply, but by removing such irrelevant scripts it deteriorates the user experience too. Which further results in causing a low engagement on the website, leading to a low conversion rate.

What is a Progressive Web App (PWA)?

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are Web Apps or a Website Page which provide the looks of a general Mobile Application. PWA help users to re-visit your website through features like Rich Offline Experiences, Periodic Background Syncs & Push Notifications. 

PWA can be used to fill the vast void spaces created with AMP results, if you’re seeking to reduce your webpages load time. Currently, these are only used by big enterprise level websites and companies.

Basically, if you study AMP vs PWA, you will notice PWAs have 3 features which make it different from AMPs-

PWAs operate quicker in comparison to AMPs.
Secondly, PWAs are reliable in providing all information to the user, which AMPs lack as they remove many scripts which you’ve added on your website to improve the conversion rate.
They provide a high engagement rate, which AMPs lack.
Here, we’re not declaring that PWA is good to use over AMP because these are just 3 advantages of PWA over AMP and AMP has also some benefits over PWA. To know what is the difference between AMP and PWA read below.

Difference Between AMP and PWA

By using AMP and PWA, you can bid goodbye to the high page load time and long waiting duration. You might show patience for loading sites on your desktop but on a mobile even three seconds would seem to be a long duration. Beyond three seconds, you refuse to wait and end up closing the tab to move on to your next URL or search. This behaviour accounts for 53% bounce rate on mobiles.

That’s where the features of these two applications/technologies, i.e. AMP and PWA, comes into play. They safeguard the mobile searches as well as the searchers. But, first, here’s a brief explanation for both the Google Features.

What are Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Pages?

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a feature developed on open source medium and approved by Google to improve page-loading performance of web pages. It generates an outstandingly fast browsing experience on mobiles.

AMP is simple as it contains 10 times less data than a usual website or app. It thus helps to get the informative content in front of users in the shortest possible time. It’s like you place your demand and the solution will be provided to you in a jiffy.

Benefits of AMP:

Pages are easily cached and instantly loaded.
Supports all existing formats of ads.
Enhances and deepens engagement factor.
The load time of a page reduces to less than 1 second, making the website 4 times faster.
Primarily, it was used for news articles and now it has expanded to other verticals of content.
Publishers of the website have full control over both the business and visual design.
How Google AMP Works?

AMP improves the page loading speed by excluding the unnecessary JavaScript, sizes the page elements statically and uses asynchronous loading. There is no need to redo or work on an entire site, you can target specific pages to improve their performances by focusing on web design AMP development.

Step 1: Create an AMP template for certain content type.

Step 2: Use a rel=’’amphtml” tag on the non-AMP version of the content (Make sure AMP version is accessible to search engines).

Step 3: AMP version directs to the non-AMP version with a canonical tag.

Read Also: Latest AMP News & Updates 2018

What are Progressive Web Apps (PWA)?

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) is the latest Google feature developed for the home screens of smartphones & other mobile devices with modern web technologies including App Shell model that provide features such as push notifications, offline web pages, and fast load timings. These are simple web pages with modern browsing features which makes these web pages to appear as a normal mobile application.

It has been noticed that if users arrive from home screen icon of a PWA, the conversion rate is more than 70%. Not only does it load pages faster, it also has 3 times lower data usage. Users who visit the website twice or more within 2 weeks span are suggested the option ‘add to home screen’. They just need one tap to add to home screen and one tap to open it.

PWA Characteristics:

These 9 characteristics comprehensively define PWA.

Progressive Enhancement for User Engagement
Responsive Web Design
Can also Work in an Offline Network
With App Shell Model, PWA looks like an Mobile App
Always get a Fresh Appearance with its Rich Offline Experiences, Periodic Background Syncs and Push Notifications
Always comes with an HTTPS certificate that Encrypts your Data between the Browser and the Web Server
PWAs are Search Engine Results (SERPs) Friendly
Re-Engagement at its Best! In PWA Re-engagement is a Nectar which becomes possible through its Push Notifications feature
Allow users to add Apps directly on their Home Screen without going to an App Store
Benefits of PWA:

Loads the pages faster.
Enhances the conversion rate.
Users can scroll 60 frames in one second.
Opens on full screen without any URL bar.
Engages the users with push notifications.
Allows smooth animations and navigations.
Users access website via Home screen icon on device.
Permits working even on weak internet connections.
These webpages are stored in cache with Application Shell and, thus loads them instantly in less than 5 seconds on repeat visits/re-visits.
How Progressive Web App (PWA) Works?

PWAs are web apps; the look and feel of which is just like native mobile apps for both iOS and Android. It leverages different features of a mobile device like camera and geolocation in the web apps.

Step 1: Install and register for a service worker separately and relate it with your app to make it a Progressive Web App.

Step 2: Take the support of Social Worker, which is a worker script written in JavaScript. It works independently behind the scenes to help PWA perform the activities. It caches pages and static elements and showcases those elements once a visitor opens the app.

Step 3: Use web push notifications to increase user engagement with your web apps.

Pros of AMP

Boosts the speed and lowers the load time of the website.
Affects Mobile SEO and improves keyword rankings in mobile devices.
Reduces Server load and improve its performance.
Supports ad facility.
It is suitable for publisher-based websites.
Cons of AMP

It cannot track the user activity on AMP pages.
It is not suitable for Ecommerce website.
It cannot enhance the search engine ranking.
It works only on the basis of cache.
Pros of PWA

No physical installation of app is required.
No need to visit App Store.
It gets updated automatically.
It is suitable for Ecommerce website.
Cons of PWA

It has platform limitations that lead to re-engagement issues.
Which is Better AMP or PWA?

It is important to know the difference between AMP and PWA, but you need to understand both go hand-to-hand. If you’re an “HTTPS” website owner, then you need the support of both the technologies to serve your visitors better, thus you need to study Google AMP vs PWA.

With AMP, users get access to content quickly while PWA improves user experience and keeps them engaged. To explain in simpler terms, AMP is the waiter responsible for serving the food quickly while PWA is the cook preparing dishes that look appealing and taste delicious. Both the new facilities PWA and AMP are added for website development.

The initial review may tell you that Progressive Web Apps are better than Accelerated Mobile Pages, but you should know that AMP cannot be ignored. This is because, there are hundreds of websites that users are visiting each day, and they store all apps all on their mobile phones. But they need websites to load faster and, that’s where the role of AMP comes into play. Almost 92% of users give up on a site if they find signing up difficult or lengthy. One tap sign in or auto sign in is possible with Credential Manager API (Application Programming Interface) and one tap check out is possible with Web Payments API.

PWA has become a necessity today. Standard progressive enhancement techniques will help PWAs to work across all modern browsers. So, a website will not have to pay for each browser and will see a huge improvement is terms of traffic, leads and conversions. PWA takes the support of https, which is a secure connection between site and users. Security is highly essential as it builds trust on the website, gives notifications if anyone has tampered with the pages and gives the leverage to hide the browsing behaviour. It even sends notifications when page is closed or if the internet is not working. One more major difference between AMP and PWA is this notification facility in PWA. It also secures the website from unwanted content, unwanted ads and viruses. Many new technologies are supported in https only. Research shows users spend 74% more time on PWAs and it helps to get 82% conversion rate in iOS and 104% in rest of the browsers. With the help of push notifications feature, users can be notified with specific information on time to time basis.

It has continuously been noticed that Google is giving extra preference to AMP. Recently, Google has come up with a new visual content “Snapchat-like Media Content”. This content format is based on AMP and is very much similar to stories feature of Snapchat. This new Google AMP initiative, named as “Stamp”, where ‘St’ stands for stories, is based on AMP for faster loading of pages.

Washington Post – an Ideal example of both AMP and PWA Adoption

Let’s take the example of Washington Post- a renowned news agency to see how they have improved their website and upgraded their user-experience with AMP and PWA combination. Initially, when they transformed their website into a responsive mobile site, their speed was 3500 ms. They then adopted AMP mechanism to reduce the page load time to 1200 ms and it was further reduced to 400 ms with AMP CDN technology. As a result, there is a huge difference in searches from 35% has reached 63% after adopting AMP. As a news delivery organization relying on third-party content submission, they then shifted to Washington Post PWA and Social Workers to reduce the site burden. With the PWA adoption their pages were updated as fast as possible allowing users to surf the website without any interruption.

AMP to PWA flow is a gradual procedure, websites first accept the AMP technology and then shift to PWA. Similarly, Washington Post article first came up in AMP carousel before registering in Service Worker. They started incorporating more navigation facilities in PWA for better user- experience with an aim to increasing users who accept this flow. So, they simplified the process by providing instant loading of pages on Washington Post domain. Once a user becomes a frequent visitor, they promptly show ‘add to home screen’ option. Once a user accepts it, it becomes a one tap experience.

Now, Google is paying attention towards turning the readers into paid traffic. Here the news publishers will not have to pay to advertisers for their news articles. From now on, Google will search for potential subscribers through AMP webpages, who are willing to pay for recent updates. No such initiatives have benefited Google while utilizing the PWA technology. Therefore, AMP is still the best option for Google.