Creating a PWA with Webflow

In this quickstart guide, I'm going to tell you everything there is to know about turning your Webflow app into an installable PWA with push notifications — including what the limitations are.

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Getting started with Webflow & Progressier

  1. Illustration screenshot for Connect your Webflow domain

    1Connect your Webflow domain

    Open your Webflow Dashboard and go to the Settings of the app you want to make a PWA. Navigate to Hosting > Custom Domains. There, you'll have to follow Webflow's instructions to connect your domain (if you haven't yet).

  2. Illustration screenshot for Allow embedding

    2Allow embedding

    Still in your Webflow dashboard, once your domain is connected, scroll to Hosting > Advanced Publishing Options and make sure Use Secure Frame Headers is off (it should be off by default).

  3. Illustration screenshot for Sign up to Progressier

    3Sign up to Progressier

    Create a New PWA, choose Webflow in the dropdown menu when prompted to select a development platform. Then sign up for an account, and activate your free 14-day trial.

  4. Illustration screenshot for Upload a logo

    4Upload a logo

    Upload the logo of your app. Progressier takes care of resizing it and creating all necessary assets, including your splash screens, app manifest and service worker.

  5. Illustration screenshot for Get your install link

    5Get your install link

    Progressier provides you with a link to a unique installation page that looks like this: Share it with your users or customers so they can install your app.

Under the hood

Webflow works a bit differently from most other no-code app builders. The difference with say, Bubble, is that Webflow does not allow you to directly add a service worker to the root of your domain. So with Webflow, instead of directly making your domain installable, we create a wrapper around your app that contains the entire installation and push functionality.

Which PWA features does Webflow support?

Android Installation

Your Webflow PWA is installable on Android tablets or smartphones in a click.

iOS Installation

Let users add your Webflow PWA to their home screen with our custom iOS install prompt.

Windows Installation

Your PWA can be installed from Chrome and Edge to your users' Desktop and/or Taskbar.

macOS Installation

Get your app installed on macOS from Chrome — Progressier walks users through installing your PWA to their Docks.

Chrome OS Installation

Progressier is also a great solution to get your app installed on Chrome OS.

Installation Page

An app-store like installation experience for your PWA — without the hassle of managing Google Play/App Store listings.

Original Domain Installation

Due to the limitations of the platform, it's not possible to install your app as PWA from your own domain. Progressier provides an alternative custom domain for installation purposes that looks like

Web App Manifest

Progressier builds a PWA manifest with your preferences set in the dashboard, with toggles and inputs instead of lines of code

Service Worker

A service worker is a file that continues running in the browser even after the web page that has registered it has closed. For a domain to be a PWA, it must have a service worker hosted at the root. Unfortunately, Webflow does not support adding a service worker to your domain.

Cache Static Resources

This platform doesn't provide an option to modify the service worker file, so it's not possible to cache static resources.

100% Offline-Ready

Without full server-side control over the resources, it's not usually possible to make a site work offline entirely with a no-code app builder like Webflow.

Push Campaigns

Notify all your users of news in your app with our dashboard and/or API. Progressier manages all user push subscriptions for you.

Personalized Notifications

Other app builders allow you to send notifications to a particular user. It's not currently possible with this platform.

Connect User Data

With Webflow, it's not currently possible to sync your user data (e.g. emails, names or account types). Bubble is the best no-code option for that.

In-App PWA Promotion

A set of tools that allow you to promote installation of your PWA within the body of your app, including custom install buttons and floating action buttons.

Offline Alerts

In-app alerts displayed when users lose network connectivity. Not available with Webflow.

Request Notifications After Installation

Prompt users to allow push notifications right after they have installed your app. Less intrusive = better conversion rate.

Install & Push Analytics

Progressier tracks installs of your Webflow PWA over time. Also tracks push subscriptions.

Programmatic PWA Creation

Create Webflow PWAs programmatically with our API.

Google Play & App Store Upload

Since Webflow doesn't allow their users to install PWAs from their own domain, it's not possible to make it available through Google Play or the App Store as a PWA.

Why choose Webflow and Progressier for your PWA?

Forefront of No-code Platforms

Webflow stands tall as a premier player in the no-code app builder sphere, boasting a noteworthy investment of over $120 million and a valuation of $4 billion. Its versatility facilitates the crafting of aesthetically appealing apps.

Freedom to Export Code

Distinguishing itself from many competitors, Webflow offers the capability to export the code. This means you can design in Webflow and opt for alternate hosting solutions. Opting for custom hosting can simplify the PWA transition. A significant challenge with Webflow regarding PWAs is its limitation on adding a service worker at the domain root, a crucial requirement.

Navigating Webflow's PWA Limitations

At Progressier, we address this by introducing a tailored domain resembling and a distinct installation page akin to Just share the installation link with your audience. Upon installation, they essentially engage with our bespoke domain. This domain then either embeds or encapsulates your Webflow application.

Minimal Maintenance

As a tool for Webflow-based PWAs, Progressier stands out (although, I admit, I might be partial!). The setup is efficient with zero hassles on your end. As browsers evolve and introduce fresh PWA features, we seamlessly integrate these across all Progressier-utilized apps. Additionally, Progressier is equipped with a push notification system, empowering you to connect directly with your user base.

Scenarios to Reconsider Webflow & Progressier

The Imperative of Offline Functionality

If crafting an app with impeccable offline performance is your goal, Webflow might not be the best fit. Webflow's server dispatches Cache-Control and Access-Control-Allow-Origin headers when providing your app resources. Though this is a common practice, it restricts the back-end flexibility essential for leveraging a service worker to cache every resource without confronting CORS obstacles.

When Your Aim is Merely a Website

Progressier, and PWAs in general, are tailored more towards web apps than mere websites. While converting a website into a PWA isn't impossible, the value addition for both the owner and the users might be minimal. Plus, given that Progressier comes with a price tag, the benefits might not outweigh the costs.

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