Designing a PWA with Bootstrap in 2024

What design principles should you follow for your PWA with Bootstrap? How can you add PWA features to your Bootstrap app without writing code? These are some of the questions I'll try to answer in this quickstart guide.

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Getting started with Bootstrap & Progressier

  1. Illustration screenshot for Sign up for Progressier

    1Sign up for Progressier

    Create a new PWA in Progressier, then choose JavaScript in the menu. Follow the instructions provided, which will walk you through the process of adding an app manifest andservice worker to your app (no code to write!).

  2. Illustration screenshot for Install your PWA

    2Install your PWA

    Progressier makes your Bootstrap app installable, automatically creates an installation page for your app, and gives you access to PWA promotion widgets.

  3. Illustration screenshot for Send push notifications

    3Send push notifications

    You'll also get access to a complete push notification solution, which lets you define when and how to prompt users to allow notifications, and then notify them manually (from our dashboard) or programmatically (from our API).

  4. Illustration screenshot for Design your Bootstrap PWA

    4Design your Bootstrap PWA

    Check out our PWA design guidelines for Bootstrap below to make your app look and feel more native.

Which PWA features does Bootstrap support?

Android Installation

Get your PWA installed on any Android smartphone or tablet, just like a native app.

iOS Installation

Progressier walks users through the process of installing your app on their iPad or iPhone.

Windows Installation

Your Bootstrap PWA is installable from Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge and can be added to a Desktop or Taskbar.

macOS Installation

Progressier helps users add your Bootstrap PWA to their Docks for quick access.

Chrome OS Installation

Let users add your PWA to their Chrome OS laptop.

Installation Page

Get a unique installation page for your app that promotes installation of your PWA and guides users with custom instructions for each platform.

Original Domain Installation

Your Bootstrap PWA can be installed from your existing domain.

Web App Manifest

Progressier generates a web app manifest for you based on your preferences automatically.

Service Worker

A service worker is JS file that runs separately from the main browser thread. It can intercept network requests (allowing to put resources in the cache or retrieve them from there) and deliver push notifications to someone even when they're not actively using your app. With Progressier, you can define these rules without having to write any code at all.

Cache Static Resources

Progressier lets you build caching strategies without writing code so you can easily cache resources and make them accessible offline.

100% Offline-Ready

If you have full control over all the resources required for your website to work, you can make your site work 100% offline in Progressier without writing a single line of code.

Push Campaigns

Send push notifications to up to 1,000,000 users in one go within the Progressier dashboard or via the API.

Personalized Notifications

Send notifications to any particular user manually or programmatically. All your need is their email, their user ID or any other information that identifies them in your system.

Connect User Data

Link user data like emails, names, status to push subscriptions, so you can easily notify someone from your product directly or from our dashboard.

In-App PWA Promotion

Everything you need to encourage users to install your app on their devices.

Offline Alerts

Display an in-app alert when users go offline.

Request Notifications After Installation

Automatically prompt users to authorize notifications after they've installed your PWA on their device.

Install & Push Analytics

See in real-time and track over time how users install your PWA and allow push notifications.

Programmatic PWA Creation

Create new Progressive Web Apps dynamically with our API on different domains or subdirectories.

Google Play & App Store Upload

Easily upload your app to Google Play or the App Store with our PWABuilder integration.

Why choose Bootstrap and Progressier for your PWA?

Progressier eases the integration of essential PWA features like installation, push notifications, and offline capabilities. In just a few minutes, you can augment your existing app with these capabilities, no coding required. Meanwhile, Bootstrap streamlines the creation of responsive, mobile-first designs, ensuring your app offers a native feel.

Mobile-first or Desktop-first: What's the approach?

The decision between mobile-first and desktop-first isn't always straightforward. The ideal approach hinges on your app's primary user base and its use-case scenarios. PWAs, also referred to as Universal Apps (a term I prefer), should offer a seamless experience across both mobile and desktop platforms.

It's essential to recognize that mobile-first and desktop-first aren't solely about resizing UI elements. Mobile interfaces often display singular interactive components due to limited screen space, whereas desktops present multiple interactive elements concurrently. A few comparative examples include:

Desktop dropdown menu becomes a mobile bottom drawer From a desktop dropdown menu to a mobile bottom drawer.

Desktop accordion items transform into a mobile full-screen component Desktop accordion sections transitioning to full-screen mobile components.

Desktop side panel adapts into a mobile search bar The evolution of a desktop side panel into a mobile search bar.

Bootstrap or Tailwind: Which for my PWA?

Both Bootstrap and Tailwind are commendable choices for PWA development. Tailwind, being lighter, ensures quicker load times, although it's younger and might not match Bootstrap's robustness. While Tailwind excels in creating adaptable UI components, Bootstrap emphasizes uniform, app-wide components. In essence, Tailwind suits app development, and Bootstrap is more aligned with website creation.

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