10 Ways Progressive Web Apps Will Replace Native Apps

Progressive web apps (PWAs) are poised to topple their native app, soon-to-be predecessors from their throne atop the best mobile app development strategies pyramid. In other words, move over native apps, your younger and better-looking sibling is taking over. That said, don’t start pulling your hair out if your business has already invested in the development of a native mobile app. Your money hasn’t gone to waste. There’s still significant value to gain from having a downloadable native app. Mobile apps, no matter the breed, are going to enter a hybrid period where consumers expect both a native app experience and a progressive web app.

The future beyond that period, however, points towards a PWA-dominated landscape. In this discussion, we’ll take a look at ten reasons why PWAs are better than native apps and create a better app-like experience for customers.

1. The World Is Increasingly Mobile

At first thought, this may seem like a win for the native app column, especially when you consider that 87% of an average user’s time on their mobile device is spent on native apps. But, we’re also hurtling towards app fatigue. App fatigue is caused by two things:
1. There are too many apps on the marketplace (over 1.5 million)
2. Most users have downloaded “enough” apps on their phone

As more and more people shifted to browsing and using their mobile devices, app developers slammed the marketplace with apps to meet this demand. Many users are reaching critical mass with the number of icons and apps that they’ll allow to populate their mobile devices’ home screens. Thus, it’s becoming incredibly difficult to convince customers to commit to downloading a new app and crowding their screens even more.

2. Search Algorithms Will Favor Mobile Soon

Towards the end of 2016, Google announced that it would shift its search engine indexing algorithms to mobile-first indexing. This change is predicted to occur in 2018 and will mean that Google will look for a company’s mobile website or experience before its desktop website. You’d be hard-pressed to find better evidence than that of a mobile future. For companies with PWAs, this change is huge because it means that your app-like experience will soon be discoverable by Google and other search engines. This is a luxury that even native apps won’t be able to compete with.

3. Fewer Clicks Means Easier Accessibility

Search engines are just one way for users to connect to your PWA. These web-based apps have always had a key benefit over native apps: accessibility. Think about how many steps are involved in downloading a native app to your mobile device. You have to access your device’s app market, search the app, download the app, accept permissions and so on. Each step is a chance that the would-be user decides it isn’t worth it. PWAs, on the other hand, are accessible the moment a user learns of its existence, by accessing the experience through a URL link.

4. Shareable

People like to share the latest “new” thing they’ve discovered, read about, bought, tasted, touched, etc. That’s why every social media platform ever to make it big has a share function and why there are options to share this blog post at the bottom of the page. People like to share apps too, but native apps’ lack of accessibility has made this difficult. You can’t just send someone a native app. You can only tell your closest friends to check it out; it is then on them to visit the app store and see for themselves what the app is all about.

PWAs are unique, compared to their native counterparts, because they can be accessed through a simple URL link. This means that sharing a PWA experience is as easy as linking someone to a news article.

5. Usable Across More Platforms

The other detriment to native apps’ shareability is that not all apps function across different platforms. If your friend has an Apple device and you a Samsung, there isn’t a guarantee that they can get the same apps that you love on your Android-powered device because the language on their Apple devices is different. Native apps get their name because they require a native programming language. This restricts the types of devices that can “read” and allow the app to run.

Progressive web apps are unique because they don’t require any download or programming language to read. It is all web-based. Thus, not only can you easily share a PWA experience, but there’s a much higher guarantee that the recipient will be able to access the app-like website.

6. Minimal Storage Required

PWAs don’t require any sort of download; a user can access the entire experience right in their mobile web browser. Part of the app fatigue that many mobile users are facing is lack of storage. Between the apps we download, pictures/videos we take, documents we save and every other item taking up residency inside our mobile devices, we’re creating storage needs faster than the newest models of smartphones can keep up with. If a potential user has to decide between downloading your app or keeping photo #3,047 of their cat and an auto-tuned version of Beyonce’s Single Ladies saved on their device, it isn’t going to be a hard decision for them.

If you want to “download” a PWA, you can save a URL shortcut to your home screen. This functions exactly like any other icon for an app does on your home screen. When pushed, it accesses your favorite mobile browser and brings you to the URL of the PWA. Storing a URL link requires much less space than downloading an entire native app.

7. Faster Load Times

Once a native app has been installed on a mobile device, and the user has successfully committed to the whole download process, the waiting still isn’t over. The load time of native apps can range, based on the app’s size and robustness. Yet, any wait is a long wait, especially for something that you’ve already waited for to access and download. Again, progressive web apps have the edge; they load in about the time it takes to load a webpage, which with an average Internet connection is just a moment or two. For businesses, this means customers never have to wait to access your app experience.

8. Faster To Develop

Not only are PWAs easier and faster to locate and load, but they are also quicker to make. This makes them exceptional for one-off campaigns, new product releases or any other occasion where you need to bring an app to market very quickly. However, this perk does hint at the downside of PWAs; they lack the performance and number of robust features that native apps are capable of. While PWAs are more straightforward to develop, part of their ease of development is because they can’t handle a lot of the harder-to-code features that native apps can leverage.

9. Cheaper To Make, Easier To Maintain

The speed and ease at which a PWA can be developed means cheaper costs. This is excellent news for smaller businesses that have been kept out of the mobile development game because of the costs of creating a native app. Progressive web apps are also easier to maintain for both users and developers. Users don’t have to repeatedly update their app in order to get the latest features; updates are immediately applied to the web-based experience the moment the developers publish them. The developers of PWAs experience far less time to produce each update or provide general maintenance to the app.

10. PWAs Still Deliver A Lot Of Value

As mentioned earlier, PWAs do lack in one major category: performance. Native apps are capable of doing more and offering more than progressive web apps. That said, don’t count the more nimble PWA out of the count for features. First, PWAs already provide a lot: push notifications, app-based loyalty programs, location-based services and messages, even interactive games and other media. Second, PWA’s are relatively new; there’s still significant developments underway and there’s plenty left to be discovered about the capabilities of web-based apps.

It isn’t hard to envision a future where the gap between PWAs and native apps, regarding performance, is much smaller than it is today. However, even if such a future is never actualized, most businesses can service all of their app needs inside a PWA environment.

Conclusions

If you’re a business that is looking to enter the mobile app space and you are trying to decide between developing a PWA or native apps, the answer is easy. PWAs have lots of value presently and far, far more to come in the future. Unless your app is going to house a lot of deep, sophisticated features, a native app simply isn’t worth it. Not only do they cost a lot of time and money to develop, but it is also becoming harder and harder to encourage downloads. As PWAs gain popularity, that difficulty is only going to rise. You can also easily develop and launch PWAs without coding with an app builder.

Simply put, PWAs are the next evolution of the app experience, and they will thrive where native apps have failed by being easier to access, share and produce, while still maintaining the same level of value that native app users have long enjoyed.

About Author:
Andrew Gazdecki is the founder and CEO of Bizness Apps, a company that helps small businesses build mobile solutions to compete with big brands. Their mobile app building platform makes it possible for everyone to create a mobile app for their business. When he isn’t helping small businesses, he is out surfing in the Pacific Ocean.

Smart Blogging Tips for Small Business Owners

Blogging is a great way to create content that will bring traffic to your website, and start selling online. As a small business, you’ve got a lot of competition out there. With these blogging tips though, you can stand out from the crowd and show your readers why they should buy with you.

Blog Regularly
The first thing you’ll need to do is decide how often you’re going to blog. Can you do it daily? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Now’s not the time to make lofty goals that you can’t possibly reach. Be honest with yourself about how much time you have to dedicate to this project of your business. If you can only blog once a month, stick to that goal. The key is to update regularly, so search engines can see you’re a current site and rank you accordingly and send potential customers to pages of your business’ blog. To do this you can create your blogging or content calendar and write down all the dates and ideas you have.

Get Those Backlinks
One of the best ways to get readers to find your business’ blog is to get backlinks. These are links on other sites that direct readers to your own blog. As well as helping you find readers that way, they also help your SEO as they show you’re a reputable site. One of the best ways to do this is to create your business’ page on different trusted directories. Also, to show that you’re an expert in your business niche you can guest blog on other websites. When you do this, you can provide a backlink in return on your site. Ensure you’re citing their site properly when you do so, so they get the benefit of it. Use a tool like Cite It In to help you do this and to cite references to stats and recearches.

Think About Length of Posts
There’s a lot of debate about the length of posts you write for your blog. Which is best? Shorter blogs are good as they condense a lot of information into a short space. This is perfect if you’re writing for people who are on mobile, as many of your readers will be. Longer posts, though, are better for going into more detail. And some topics need fewer words. Just keep an eye on your length with Easy word count as you write.

Write Quality Posts
Yes, that’s easier said than done. However, readers can tell if they’re reading a quality post within seconds. If they’re not, they’ll just click away. Ensure that you’re writing posts your readers can use. They should be informative and entertaining to them and give them something that they wouldn’t have had before visiting your blog.

Beware of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is becoming a big problem online these days. Even if you’re actively avoiding it, you can still be caught out. Search engines will rate you down if you’re found to be using other people’s work and passing it off as your own. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to run your writing through a plagiarism detector such as PlagScan or Academized before you publish it.

Watch Your Grammar
Good grammar is the basis of any good blog. Without it, your writing won’t look expert or professional, which is what you need. Even more, grammar mistakes can drive customers away from your business. That’s why you need to have a good handle on your grammar. Check your writing to see if there’s any grammatical mistake before you publish, and work on improving your weak points. Services like State Of Writing and Grammarix can help you improve your grammar, and the quality of your writing.

Become the Go to Blog in Your Area
Whatever your business blog is about, you should aim to become the go-to blog in your business niche. Are you selling children’s craft materials? Then you can be a blog full of ideas for school and at home crafts, updated with the seasons. You want people to come to your blog, as you’re the one with all the ideas and information that they need and the product. Think about what you can bring to your niche, and make yourself indispensable as a blog.

Proofread and Edit Every Time
Before you post anything to your blog, ensure that you’re proofreading and editing it before you do so. You may think you’ve written the piece well, but there’s sure to be a mistake or two that you won’t spot until you make the post live. As mentioned above, mistakes make you look unprofessional and that’s the last thing you want. Give yourself time to sit and proofread your writing, ideally at least 24 hours. This means you won’t be editing in a rush, where you might miss something. If you’re unable to edit yourself, services like Paper Fellows and Big Assignments can help.

These tips are all recommended by expert bloggers, so you should try them out for yourself. Getting started is easier than you’d think, and once you’re writing you’ll find that there are lots to say about your subject. Give your readers what they need and they’ll keep coming back for more.

5 ways to boost customer enjoyment with an online store

Venturing into e-commerce for the first time? You need to be putting your customers first – but with an online store, it involves some different techniques to physical retailers.

Here are just five ways to ensure your customers are enjoying your online store, spurring them to return in the future.

Have an engaging design

Potential customers won’t stick around for very long if your store’s design isn’t appealing. It’s important to consider the current trends of web design and where others in the market succeed in their appearance; flat design, minimalism and cleanliness are key when it comes to websites today, and it looks to stay that way for a significant amount of time.

Your products and services should do all the talking when it comes to your online store. A garish and ugly website that’s difficult to navigate will ensure the antithesis of success, and customers will almost certainly look elsewhere – to keep them around, your store’s design is almost certainly the most important factor.

Ensure your customer service is on top form

Once customers are convinced to buy from your store, you’ll want them to become regulars. To build those vital relationships with buyers, customer service is paramount. Be sure to give customers a way to get in touch if need be, and always follow through on promises, whether it be in regard to the quality of your product to delivery times and everything in between.

Phone calls are often said to be the most effective method of building relationships between buyers and companies, so if it’s feasible consider setting up a number for people to call. If not, emails are the next best option – so long as you’re communicating clearly and quickly with your customers, they’ll likely be willing to return.

Offer something different to the norm

“Niche marketing” should be your best friend when it comes to e-commerce. Don’t get it confused with a niche market, though. A niche market limits you severely as you won’t be catering to a large group of potential customers – there isn’t a massive demand with niche markets, due to a much smaller audience.

Niche marketing, on the other hand, aims for a completely opposite effect. It’s all about finding your own space in a market that is perhaps oversaturated or tired, with the same products being recycled and churned out by every competitor. Offer something new, and customers will see you as an innovator, effectively drawing them towards you.

Make sure you’re on a reliable server

To avoid any periods of downtime or slow speeds on your online store, you need to ensure you’ve made the right choice in terms of servers. There’s two ways you can go – a shared server is the more affordable option for those on a budget, but when sharing with another domain you’re at more of a risk of being overloaded, leading to effective downtime which may drive customers to look elsewhere.

A dedicated server, albeit more expensive, is the more reliable option for stores seeking exponential growth. It’s likely you’re looking to expand and keep growing in terms of buyers, so this could be the right choice for you. There’s a wealth of potential hosting providers to help you with this process – make sure you’re choosing the right one for you.

Security is key for reliability

Establishing an online store isn’t without its risks. With the threat of security breaches so rife and real in e-commerce, it’s crucial you’re protecting both yourself and your customers.

With attacks such as SQL injections common on online stores, the risk of confidential details being exposed and your store facing major repercussions is simply too high to ignore. Ensure you have a good level of protection in place to avoid any detriment to your safety.

Do you have any more tips to boost customer enjoyment in e-commerce? Be sure to let us know in the comments below

Financial Tips To Help Lower Your Debt In Life For A Debt Free Future

Get Rid off Debt

We all need money for us to survive in everyday life. We work hard to earn a significant amount of money. Debt happens when we spend more than what we make. As one of the most common mistake that most people make, we need to learn and understand on how to spend our money wisely.

Are you drowning in debt? Do you want to know how to free yourself from it?

Debt could cause a lot of troubles in life. It could ruin marriages, tear the family apart and could also cause stress, frustration, depression, and anxiety. Act now and follow these financial tips to help lower your debt in life for a debt-free future.

Good Debt
You need to understand that life is better without debt, and having debt is not normal. However, not all debts as bad for there is a good one called leverage or good debt. This results from borrowing money to finance investment. A home mortgage falls into this category too since the value of the property increases as the lease lowers.

Advantages of Being Debt Free
Being free from debt has many advantages in life. One good advantage is that you don’t need to work as hard. You have the freedom to work less and spend more time with your family. If you have lots of debt, you need to work harder to pay off the monthly payments. With that, it makes you tired which means less time for loved ones and activities that you enjoy.
Another advantage of being debt free is you can retire young. You do not need to wait until you reach 60 or 65 and may have the opportunity for early retirement⎯meaning that you can enjoy life while you are still energetic.
So, are those enough reasons to convince you? Now, here are a couple of ideas on how you can be free of debt.

Change Everything
One of the first steps towards a debt-free life is to change, take full control of your finances and change the way you live your life. You need to accept the changes that will happen in your life. If you are used to living a luxurious life, then you need to start living a simple and happy life.

Set a Budget
You need to create a written monthly budget to know where your money is going. Identify what is truly necessary in life. Make sure to strictly stick to it, no matter what. Talk to your family members and ensure that you have their support as well⎯your budget not only applies to you but for the whole family. Improvements should be made to make it work.

Earn More Money
You can do this by looking for a new job that pays well, or consider getting a second job. You can also do both. Another option is asking your boss for overtime opportunities. If it isn’t available, try making money through other creative ways.
If you have skills in carpentry, use it to earn extra by asking friends or neighbors if they have something that needs to be fixed. It may be hard at first, but with determination, you can do it.

Avoid Debt Enabling Habits
If you want to be free of debt, you also need to change your debt enabling habits. What are those? Overeating can be a source of it. Smoking and drinking can also be a part of it. Partying or going out with friends every weekend can also be a factor. But how can they lead to having debt?

Overeating can lead to debt because you always go to restaurants or coffee shops without noticing the money you have spent on these. Even on smoking and drinking, if you will calculate the amount you have spent on these, maybe you will be surprised to know. This is the same with going out every weekend as well.

If you are drowning in debt, all of these should be stopped. Stay at home and cook food for you and your family. Limit alcohol consumption, which is not only good for the body but your pocket too. Instead of going out every weekend, stay at home and spend more quality time with family.

To be debt free, there are lots of sacrifices that need to be done. You need to take action about it before it consumes you. You’ll need to be responsible with your finances⎯acting like your own mobile bookkeeper. I know it’s not easy, but I know you can do it.

Irena Mckenzie
Irena Mckenzie is a Castle Hill local and is a very experienced local, mobile bookkeeper and successful small business owner. She has many years’ experience in all facets of bookkeeping and office work. She has run various small businesses for many years and understands exactly what it takes to get a small business up and running at full speed.

5 Tips for Small Business Web Designing

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For a small business, your website is a significant part of your brand and plays a big role in your online marketing efforts.

Visitors to your website come searching for something and you need to give them the answers they seek while using your website to sell your product or services. You need to be the solution that they seek.

If your website is not optimally designed, you can easily lose thousands of potential customers that you could easily have gotten from a website that is functioning at optimal quality.

The following tips will help you avoid common mistakes so that your business can grow even faster.

Focus on your target audience

We all understand the importance of meeting deadlines and keeping up with timelines, however, when it comes to website design, you need to place more importance on researching your target customers and understanding your market niche. Your website should be built using this understanding of your target demographics as its core concept.
The little things matter. Researching your target demographic makes you know which is more important, focusing on a mobile optimized website, or targeting a faster loading desktop website. The font styles, sizes and the layout of your website should be designed in a way that is sure to appeal to your target audience. Finding out the part of your website your visitors are more likely to visit and the other subtleties of your website can be incorporated into your web design if you prioritise targeting your specific audience when designing your website.

Flashy or busy website?

Too many times, small businesses seem to think that the flashier, the better. The truth is if your website is designed to be too flashy or too busy it will come across as unprofessional. About 12% of visitors leave a website as soon as they notice flashy content.
Your website should be optimised for efficiency so that your visitors can find what they are looking for as soon as they get to your website.
Also, flashy and busy websites have longer loading times and are not optimised for mobile viewing. These can negatively affect your organic search ranking

Call to action

The call to action is a very subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) psychological nudge that tells your potential customers what to do next. 80% of B2B websites missed out on a customer transaction because they didn’t put a call to action. If you want them to sign up for a service, or subscribe, or buy, then you need to include a very distinctive call to action telling them what to do next.
There should be a collaboration between your website content and your call to action. While your website tells your visitors what you offer, the call to action tells them what to do to get it.

Inaccurate pay for web design services

Whether you hire professional web design services or you decide to go the DIY route, you stand the risk of paying wrongly for the services. Even when you understand that an online presence gives you access to a wider audience, and that a professional web design company can help your online brand a great deal, you may be tempted to go for the big names in web design only.

A big brand may often be an indication of quality and experience (but not always), but how certain are you that the ‘big’ web developer’s services are designed for the intricacies of marketing for small businesses, particularly start-ups with a limited marketing budget?
The trick is to stick to your marketing budget, but do enough research when searching for a web design company so that you get the best value for your money.

Outdated design and inaccurate information on your website
Visitors to your website come because they expect to get the most recent information about your product, services and your business. In a survey, 94% of website visitors said they distrusted a website because the website looked and felt outdated.

Some small businesses forget to maintain and update their website content to reflect the current state of their business and lose potential customers as a result of this oversight.
Try to update your website frequently and if you have a blog, then updating your blog at least once a week allows your website to remain SEO-relevant as well as contain enough information to keep your customers engaged.

Trying to be all-inclusive in your marketing approach and website design
You have to remember that your business has a niche and using an unfocused website design means that you are spreading your resources thinly.
Your website will be much harder to design and end up being a nightmare if you try to accommodate every type of visitor. This is a very inefficient marketing approach.
Try to design your web site for your target audience, that way you have fewer concepts to focus on. This will improve the efficiency of your website and make it easier to have that professional look that every business dreams of, but only a few achieve.

These tips cover a majority of the common pitfalls that businesses come across when designing their website.