DEV Community

Rei Allen Ramos
Rei Allen Ramos

Posted on

PWA vs a progressive web app: what's the difference?

You know how sometimes the English language can be vague with wording and phrases? This is one of those times. I know that the acronym PWA stands for Progressive Web App but is there a difference when saying

  1. an app is a PWA, and
  2. that a web app is progressive

or none at all? HELP!

Discussion (1)

Collapse
iamschulz profile image
I am Schulz

I guess you mean "Progressive Enhancement" with "Progressive". That describes that the used technologies in a website stack on top of each other with increasing complexity, as opposed to relying on a complex technology building everything else.
As an example: A react app is rendered with javascript. If the JS fails, nothing renders at all. The app isn't progressively enhanced, because it relies on JS.
A website using a traditional html/css/js stack always displays content, even if the css and js fail. It enhances progressively with complexity.

A Progressive Web App is a term coined for a website that is progressively enhanced, uses a service worker and is offline-capable.