PWAMP - Combine technology for faster loading and improved user experience

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för programvaruteknik

Abstract: Progressive Web Applications are becoming more advanced and have increased user activity year after year, especially on mobile platforms. But still the standard of performance does not in most cases meet what we expect in relation to the time it takes to load these. Technologies are evolving as an attempt to change this, and one that has gained a lot of attention in recent years is Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). A technology that initially aimed at very simple content, but which has recently become more advanced but has its main focus on performance. An entire application does not need to be developed with this technology, but a noted method is to use it as an entry-point to another application as an attempt to reduce the initial load time for the user and enhance the experience in later navigations. This report investigates with an experiment how the AMP technology stands against another technology focused on speed, in this case the JavaScript framework Gatsby. This is done with the frameworks as a combination using AMP as an entry-point and also developed separately, all with enhanced Progressive Web App features. To make development easier and understand the difference of applications included in the study, a literature study was also done with focus on this aspect. At the point when the applications became published and available through Google search and measurements for the applications were made, it was discovered that their metrics load time, start render and speed index all had major performance improvements for the AMP applications on the first load with a mobile device utilizing Google cache CDN, but the effect was not as great on desktop. The implementation process differs some in the frameworks included, and turned out to be more restricted with AMP with the desired effect of increasing performance. While the second framework Gatsby is developed more flexible and could be seen as a more modern way of developing.  It shows a positive opportunity to combine technologies to serve content to a user faster on mobile devices, which could be an action to speed up the web and maintain the user experience.

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