How to PWA-ify business apps built with Knack

Make installable PWAs with all your business or internal apps built on the Knack platform. Should you use Knack for your PWA? What PWA features is Knack compatible with? How long does it take to turn your Knack app into a PWA? These are some of the questions I'll be answering in this quickstart guide.

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Getting started with Knack & Progressier

  1. Illustration screenshot for Get your app URL

    1Get your app URL

    Sign in to the Knack Builder. go to Apps and select the one you want to turn into a PWA. Click on app and then copy the URL of the page you're on.

  2. Illustration screenshot for Create a Progressier account

    2Create a Progressier account

    Click on New PWA, choose Knack in the dropdown menu, and paste the URL you copied during the previous step. Then sign up for your Progressier account, and start your free 14-day trial.

  3. Illustration screenshot for Install your PWA

    3Install your PWA

    That's it! You now have a unique install link for your Knack PWA (example: Share it with your teammates to allow them to install your Knack app on their device as well.

Under the hood

Creating a PWA with Knack differs from building one with Bubble or using direct JavaScript. Given that Knack doesn't allow a direct method to place a service worker at the root of its domain (a crucial browser stipulation), Progressier offers a solution by encapsulating your Knack application with PWA features. The subsequent technicalities are seamlessly managed on your behalf. Specifically, Progressier designs an app manifest, a service worker, and icons, along with splash screens tailored for all iPhone and iPad dimensions. Furthermore, all necessary meta tags to ensure your PWA's cross-browser compatibility are added. Not to forget, Progressier also provisions a dedicated domain for your Knack PWA's installation and a distinct installation page.

Which PWA features does Knack support?

Android Installation

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

iOS Installation

Let users add your Knack 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

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

Chrome OS Installation

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

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 Knack PWA can be installed from your existing domain.

Web App Manifest

A web app manifest is a basic browser requirement for PWAs. Progressier outputs it automatically based on your preferences.

Service Worker

A service worker is the mechanism that browsers use to deliver push notifications. It can also intercept network requests and cache resources. With Knack, it's not possible to add a service worker to your PWA.

Cache Static Resources

With Knack, it's not possible to cache static resources. No service worker = no caching possible, unfortunately.

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 Knack.

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

This functionality lets you notify a particular user programmatically. Unfortunately, this feature is not currently supported by Knack.

Connect User Data

With Knack, 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

Let users know when they lose their Internet connection.

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

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

Programmatic PWA Creation

Progressier does not allow to create Knack apps dynamically.

Google Play & App Store Upload

With Knack, it's not possible to upload your app to Google Play or the App Store as PWA.

Why choose Knack and Progressier for your PWA?

Among the variety of no-code platforms we cater to, Knack stands out for its unrivaled user-friendliness. It's particularly adept for crafting internal applications. This is where Progressive Web Apps come into the picture, eliminating the need for navigating the complexities of Google Play and App Store listings, especially for such specialized tools.

Knack excels as a platform for business-centric PWAs, emphasizing data management and straightforwardness over intricate UI/UX designs. Thus, if your objective leans towards efficiency over aesthetics, a Knack PWA is your go-to. However, for more consumer-facing or popular applications, robust no-code builders like Bubble or Webflow might be more apt.

Since Knack primarily targets internal business tools, some inherent limitations when transitioning to Progressive Web Apps (like installing from an independent installation page rather than your domain) shouldn't pose significant concerns.

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