Progressive web apps (also known as PWAs) represent a huge leap in website technology. Operating with behaviours similar to a mobile phone app, these represent the best of both worlds – discoverable through search and with no installation process, along with advanced functions typically reserved for native app experiences.
Progressive web apps are quite unlike regular websites, utilising dynamic content inside a static application shell to serve users with the latest information from a single point. This creates a number of SEO challenges when attempting to ensure on-page content is indexable in search engines.
Server-side rendering is one approach to tackling this issue. By rendering the complete page that end-users will see within the app ahead of time on the hosted server, complete with endpoint URLs, users agents can be served this static page and appropriately index it. As the experience matches that of the dynamic experience users would navigate to, it meets both user and crawler expectations. Of course, this is only one approach to managing a PWA, and it’s vital to start the conversation early around how to structure your PWA to best suit your business needs.
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