Responsive web design vs Progressive Web Design
Responsive web design vs Progressive Web Design


Your consumers love convenience, which is why they prefer to do everything on their mobile phones. From shopping for their latest gadget to even studying for their upcoming exam. 

It’s pretty clear, the company that satiates this increased appetite for convenience is the ultimate winner.

One way to do it is through progressive websites! Yes, a change as simple as switching to progressive web apps can empower your business.  

But what are progressive web apps? And how are they better than the responsive web framework you are already using?

Bring forth all your questions, because Idea Usher experts are here with an answer to all of them. 

Let’s take them one at a time. 

What are Responsive Web Designs?

When people first got hooked to mobile phones, responsive web apps worked like magic. The businesses needed a stellar digital experience for the customer visiting their websites on mobile devices, and responsive web designs were the answer. 

Essentially, Responsive Web Designs are interactive websites that automatically adjust to the users’ preferences. Their design and development perfectly respond to their behavior and environment. So, whether they are using an iPad, an android, or any other device, the design will adjust to their screen and orientation to provide the best user experience. 

However, an inexplicable design wasn’t enough for long. Customers are becoming more demanding by the day. They need a website that knows what they need beforehand and works with them. 

That’s where the progressive websites come in. 

Progressive Web Apps: What is All the Buzz About?

In simple words, progressive websites are an intuitive, quick, and easy alternative to responsive web design. 

It is embraced by businesses as it offers advanced functionalities like offline support, push notification, and drives customer engagement like a native app. Even though it’s not really an app, but progressive app framework completely mimics the behavior of one. 

Owing to its incredible features, progressive web apps don’t only win the battle of responsive web design vs progressive web app. They also are a strong contender against native apps. Hence, more and more companies are making the switch. 

Moving forward, let’s discuss the differences between the two and understand which one is better and why. 



Responsive Web design vs Progressive Web App: What to Choose?  

Without knowing the difference between responsive web design vs progressive web app, you can’t possibly choose which one works best for you. 

Let’s dive in!

PWAs load much faster than RWDs

What is more annoying than a website that takes forever to load? By the time your website will load, your customer will change their mind. (they aren’t really known for their patience). Wondering what to do?

Progressive apps are the answer. They have a faster loading speed. Do you know what their secret is? We do! That’s why we are the best web developers.

PWAs use App Shells. So, when a user loads the website for the first time, the data gets cached once and for all. The next time the same user visits that website, it runs much faster. 

PWAs work offline

The best thing about PWAs that helps them stay ahead in the battle of progressive web vs responsive web apps is its offline mode. 

The app shells are at work here as well. After the data is cached once, it allows PWAs to work offline or in low connectivity situations as well.

RWDs are cheaper

Responsive web designs may not be as feature-rich as a progressive website but are cheaper. That’s one of the reasons why some new businesses start off with a responsive website design and move onto PWA later. 

All the advanced features and higher speed had to have some cost. 

Send push notifications with PWAs

As we stated earlier, PWAs beat both responsive websites and native apps. It sends push notifications to your customers and keeps them updated. 

So, customers can stay updated and get offers and discounts. All this, without even downloading an app that takes up their phone space. All they need is a website. Hence, increasing your customer retention and engagement.  

PWAs might steal your app traffic 

While a progressive website will ensure higher traffic on your website, it might lead to decreased app traffic. Owing to its app-like feature, PWAs often steal attention from your business app. Thanks to PWAs, the customers who would normally be downloading the app are visiting your progressive websites instead. 

The combination of RWDs and native app works best for both parties. 

We have presented, for you, arguments for and against both Responsive Web design vs Progressive Web App. Now, it’s upon you to choose what works well for your business. 



FeatureResponsive Web Design (RWD)Progressive Web App (PWA)
Loading SpeedRWDs load slower than PWAs, which can cause frustration for users who expect fast-loading websites.PWAs load much faster than RWDs, thanks to their use of App Shells that cache data and improve loading time.
App ShellsRWDs do not use App Shells, which are essentially pre-built templates that load important data faster.PWAs use App Shells that cache data and provide a more app-like experience, making them faster and more engaging.
Offline ModeRWDs do not work offline, which can be a disadvantage in areas with limited internet connectivity.PWAs work offline or in low connectivity situations thanks to their App Shells, providing a seamless user experience.
CostRWDs are cheaper than PWAs, making them a good option for new businesses that have budget constraints.PWAs are more expensive than RWDs because they offer more features and a better user experience.
Push NotificationsRWDs do not support push notifications, which can limit your ability to keep customers engaged and updated.PWAs support push notifications, allowing you to send updates and offers to customers without them having to download an app.
App TrafficRWDs do not impact app traffic, which can be an advantage if you want to maintain traffic to your business app.PWAs can steal app traffic because they provide an app-like experience, but they can also increase traffic to your website.
Combination with native appRWDs can work well with a native app to provide a more complete user experience.PWAs do not necessarily need to be combined with a native app but can be used as a standalone website to offer an app-like experience.



If you have an eCommerce business or thinking of building one, the next section might help you decide. 


Why is a Progressive Website for your eCommerce Business?

PWA's Are right for your Business

Between progressive enhancement and responsive web design, the eCommerce businesses are choosing to make the switch. Here’s why

Users can add them to their home screens

Users can easily add progressive websites to their home page using web APKs. This is the most powerful feature of PWAs. The users can have your app at reach without even having to visit the App Store

With this feature, the PWAs doesn’t only win in the battle of responsive web design vs progressive web app, but also against native apps. 

Offers the social login feature

The customer is the king, and the king demands convenience. 

Another powerful feature that progressive websites have to offer is social login ability. The onboarding process must be the easiest and super-quick. Progressive websites take good care of that by allowing the users to login directly via their Google or Facebook account. 

Allows shopping without the internet 

With PWAs you can truly be the epitome of engaging customer experience. You can reach them in ways you never thought possible. 

Your customer can browse products at your website even when they have poor or no internet connection. They will be able to access the basic functions of the shopping cart and view relevant content. 

A simplified payment process 

A simplified payment process is a treat for you and your customers. Seldom a lengthy payment process involving multiple verifications and a cumbersome process can be annoying. 

With a PWA, make use of APIs under the web payment standard. It simplifies the payment process for both, your vendor as well as the customer. 

Smart insights and analytics for your business 

You know how valuable analytics and customer usage insights are to your business growth. Fortunately, with progressive websites, you can use Google Analytics tools to get valuable insights into your business. 

Track who is visiting your website and what they are doing on it with ease. 


Are Progressive Web Apps Taking Over the Market?

There is no denying the fact that PWAs are winning the battle of responsive web design vs progressive web app. While the future of progressive web apps is bright, they are yet to completely take over the market.  

What we know for sure is: Transformation and adoption of the latest trends are vital for growth. And, Progressive Websites are the latest trend! So, move towards growth by developing a website that suits your customers’ needs in the best possible way. 

Are you thinking of creating a new website? Or, changing the current one to a progressive website? 

You are at the right place. 


Idea Usher has All the Answers

We are passionate about brewing the perfect digital solutions for your conventional problems. Our team of web developers go above and beyond to build you the best tech solutions

Let’s empower your business together! 

Contact us for more information and a free consultation session today!

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