Hyvä vs PWA – Which One to Choose?

Progressive Web Applications – one of the loudest trends today. Smooth user experience, better performance, and faster time to market are just a few of its benefits. However, it seems like a new alternative has arisen – Hyvä. It’s claimed to be a Magento 2 theme alternative by its creators.

But many potential and current clients ask us: which one should we choose for migration or creating a store from scratch? No wonder it’s a hard choice: both have plenty of benefits.

In this article, we’ll compare Hyvä vs. PWA and go through the following points:

  • what PWAs are
  • what Hyvä is
  • the capabilities both solutions offer
  • their strengths and weaknesses
  • which of them is a better match for your eCommerce business

What is PWA?

A PWA stands for Progressive Web App. It is a technology that effectively bridges the gap between mobile apps and websites, taking the best features from both technologies. PWAs are extended websites with app-like features and functionalities. They let your customers enjoy the same experience as browsing a native app. When opened in a desktop browser, a website looks as usual, but in the mobile version, it can be installed as an application. These apps boast speed and the ability to work offline on any operating system and platform.

Learn more about Magento Progressive Web Apps and its features from our blog post.

What is Hyvä?

Hyvä is a Magento theme. Its creators position the solution as a less complicated and time-saving alternative to traditional Magento 2. The main goal of Hyvä is to solve the most common problems of Magento’s core frontend – out-of-date technologies, poor performance, high development costs, and time to market.

Hyvä vs. PWA — Capabilities Overview

Hyvä was first introduced in June 2020. At the moment, there are around 600 Hyvä-based Magento 2 stores and this list keeps growing. They focus on expanding their community through documentation to help merchants adopt the technology and develop their eCommerce business.

The name “PWA” was coined back in 2015 by Alex Russel, Google Chrome developer, and Frances Berriman, designer. Since then the technology has been actively gaining popularity due to the capabilities it offers. Nowadays, it is trusted by some major eCommerce players like Adidas, Nike, LANCOME, Alibaba, Walmart, Flipkart, AliExpress, JUMIA, OLX, Starbucks, and many others.

As a storefront owner, you’ll want to compare Hyvä vs. PWA by a range of aspects such as functionality, scalability, performance, pricing, and more. Let’s see what each of the solutions is all about.

Core strengths

Hyvä Themes follows several principles.

  • Reduced complexity. Hyvä is feature-rich and powerful while remaining simple.
  • Improved performance. Performance is the key thing that Hyvä gets so much praised about, and it’s the theme’s key focus — to be fast.
  • Better developer experience. Hyvä offers a developer-friendly environment and has a small learning curve for developers. This enables faster time to market.
  • Enhanced development velocity. Because Hyvä is simple to use, the implementation and customization of Hyvä themes are rather fast.
  • Reduced dependencies. Hyvä aims to reduce dependencies on third-party libraries. By default, there are only two dependencies in Hyvä themes, namely TailwindCSS and Alpine.js.

Hyvä principles
PWA can boast a number of outstanding features:

  • App-like experience. In terms of usability, interaction, and navigation, PWAs offer the same user experience as native apps.
  • Reliable & speedful webpage loading. By default, PWAs have greater performance over native apps due to their lite nature.
  • Device agnosticism. PWAs work on any device and any operating system.
  • One codebase. There’s no need to develop and maintain a regular native mobile app for two different platforms – iOS and Android. You have one codebase for a website and two apps.
  • PWAs can be built on Magento PWA Studio, thus being more native to Magento thanks to a native web app. Besides, your PWA will be compatible with all the upcoming Magento 2 releases as well as with the entire ecosystem of PWA-ready extensions developed by different Magento vendors.
  • Top-notch security. PWAs use the HTTPS protocol, which eliminates the risks of various illegal activities like snooping, security breaches, content tampering, etc.
  • Ability to send push notifications. PWAs make it easier to reach out to current customers and re-engage with the past ones.
  • SEO-indexing. PWAs are identified by search engine crawlers letting you improve your rankings.

PWA core features

Performance

Website speed is critical for customers. According to Think with Google, 53% of users leave a website if a page loads longer than 3 seconds. Besides, a low page speed score negatively impacts your SEO since Google relies on performance when ranking sites.

Hyvä focuses on high performance and considers it to be its key benefit. Improved performance is achieved by relying on TailwindCSS and Alpine.js only. Due to this, all pages are loaded way faster and enable a smooth storefront experience even on mobile devices with low internet speed.

However, there are some considerations associated with this aspect. The first one is that the Hyvä demo website was built to demonstrate lightning-speed performance. For that reason, it contains very basic functionality. For example, it has neither banner sliders nor sliders with products nor sophisticated styles. The product images they added to the demo site are lightweight and many product pages have just one image. For that reason, it has great page speed results. But with a more complicated eCommerce website, the performance score might be different. If you decide to migrate your store to Hyvä with all its extra features, consider this factor.

As to PWAs, they also boast of a high performance due to a number of reasons:

  • PWAs use the browser’s cache. Hence, you can prioritize resources to be rendered before they are used.
  • PWAs enable a more flexible caching of your files on client devices due to programmable caching. That means unique caching requirements can be easily handled. For instance, lazy loading of files that may be needed later in the session is possible. Web pages can also cache (non-static) API call responses during the session to reduce server load time.
  • PWAs use Service Workers. They are JavaScript files acting as proxies between browsers and servers. Service Workers enhance the overall user experience and boost page performance by performing a number of functions and providing offline access.

To prove PWA’s great performance, take a look at some noticeable results from famous brands that switched to PWA and won:

  • OLX increased page load speed by 23%
  • Lancôme decreased page load time by 84%
  • MakeMyTrip reduced page load time by 38%

The eCommerce websites mentioned above are not small ones. They have millions of users and no fewer products on their pages. It’s not that easy to optimize their speed, but PWA implementation helped them do that.

Functionality

In terms of functionality, Hyvä is quite simple. Hyvä’s basic functionality can be explained by the history of its development. Willem Wigman, its founder, built Hyvä to kick off an online shop for his wife. She specializes in jewelry collections with around 10-15 product items. So he aimed to create something extremely simple yet user-friendly. And he definitely achieved it.

The tendency for minimalism and complexity reduction turned into one of Hyvä’s core principles. While it can work perfectly for early-stage eCommerce businesses and small local shops, medium-sized and enterprise-level storefronts might crave for a bit more.

PWAs are capable of handling more functionality without sacrifices to website performance (if developed and configured correctly). Some of the features PWA offers are:

  • Offline mode to let customers browse product catalogs even with a poor Internet connection
  • Add-to-home-screen functionality to enable users install the PWA and access it easily
  • Push notifications to reach out to customers, engage with them, and retain them
  • Automatic updates to ensure all latest features are available with no need to refresh the app manually
  • and a lot more

Numerous studies confirm that consumers favor apps over responsive sites. Comscore claims 87% of the time is spent in apps by mobile users compared to only 13% devoted to web surfing. This can be explained by apps having simpler interfaces and offering better user engagement. From this perspective, PWAs’ app-like functionality is outstanding as it allows eCommerce businesses to reach a wider audience and provide it with an excellent customer experience.

Scalability

The market of Magento PWA-compatible extensions is actively growing since extension providers like Amasty start releasing PWA-ready extensions.

Hyvä does not work with third-party extensions out of the box. To customize your store, it offers the Hyvä Themes compatibility library to make the most commonly used extensions compatible.

Target businesses

Hyvä primarily targets small to medium-sized merchants starting from scratch. It’s a great option for them because the theme is designed to be faster and easier to use. It’s also developer-friendly. And the learning curve is minimal. All this results in lower development costs too.

Hyvä might not be the right choice for established enterprise-level storefronts as its compatibility with Adobe Commerce is not yet complete. The lack of compatible functionality may limit the capabilities of large eCommerce businesses. Even an upgrade of Hyvä Themes won’t be able to make things better. It will still require much time to add this functionality and make it fully compatible with Adobe Commerce from their end.

PWAs are suited for startups and small businesses with limited investment capabilities but we would also recommend it to more established eCommerce businesses with large product catalogs and vast mobile audiences. As PWAs perform with low Internet speed, they are ideal for businesses with target customers in rural belts and off-beat places with poor connectivity.

Feel like PWA is the right direction for your eCommerce business? The GoMage team is here to help you. Explore our PWA development services and get the storefront that will keep your customers coming back.

Migration and time to market

When it comes to time to market, consider two major factors: agency’s experience with a specific technology and a number of functionalities needed for the release. The technology itself speeds up the time to market but the factors above play the major role.

So, what case-studies show us about the time to market for both Hyvä and PWA? We’ve noticed that on average for Hyvä it’s within 4 to 6 months.

For PWAs, the time to market ranges between 2 to 6 months on average, depending on the complexity of a project. For instance, 2 to 3 months for a simple PWA content-based with the database backend; 3 to 6 months for a complex PWA with backend admin panel, social media features, logins, in-app purchases, and favorites; over 6 months for a very complex PWA with lots of integrations, tricky functionality, dedicated analytics, visualization patterns, trading options, etc.

The GoMage team created a PWA for GoodCook in under five months. Initially, it was a WordPress recipe blog. But now they deliver a rethought customer experience offering people to browse recipes and immediately add all the equipment they need for it to the shopping cart.

Pricing

The Hyvä license fee is a one-time payment of €1,000. The merchant can use a product in a single instant of Magento 2. That means if you are running multiple stores on Magento 2, you will still require only one license. With a Hyvä license, you get access to the whole ecosystem: a Slack space, documentation, GitLab sources, compatibility modules, and support.

In general, the price for Hyvä development is estimated to be €5,000-25,000 for less complex projects. The price tag for more complex projects will be higher.

PWA development from scratch starts at around $50,000 for a small project. On average, the cost of a PWA can come close to $60,000-$70,000. But remember you get a website and two apps with their development. With no need to create separate codes for Android and iOS, let alone maintaining and updating those.

You can significantly cut development costs by using ready-made PWA products. To give you an example, our GoMage PWA Storefront already offers lots of out-of-the-box features on top of Magento PWA Studio as well as multiple ready-to-go integrations. This way, you'll be able to reduce the starting cost to around $25,000.

Pool of experts

No matter what you choose — Hyvä or PWA — you’ll need to find a development agency. So let’s compare the solutions in terms of this aspect.

If you opt for Hyvä, you’ll need to find experts familiar with the technology behind it. Hyvä is growing a partner network around itself. There are some service providers offering migration to Hyvä. However, the list of agencies offering Hyvä-related services is smaller compared to the list of Magento providers. Currently, there are around 100 companies worldwide that offer Hyvä development services. Some countries likeFinland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Australia, Latvia, and Croatia have only one Hyvä development company each. Such countries as the US, The UK, Germany, and the Netherlands offer the largest pool of Hyvä experts.

On the other hand, since Hyvä uses TailwindCSS and Alpine.js, developers familiar with those can help you on your way to migrating to Hyvä.

The market of PWA development counts for 1,500 companies globally. Given that the technology has been around since 2015, there are multiple real-life successful cases of PWA implementation.

To get great results that can help you achieve 2x, 5x, or even 10x revenue, find a good PWA development team. We always recommend having a quick chat if a PWA solution is for you. For over 10 years, we make it work for Magento Storefront owners, like you. Get a free consultation on PWA today.

Hyvä vs. PWA: What to choose for your business?

So which one will be a better choice for you? There’s no silver bullet for any merchant. You need to rely on your specific business needs and what you’re focused on. Hyvä aims at speed and minimal code. That means having a lean and high-performance website.

In the meantime, PWAs were designed to offer an app-like experience. Both options can deliver stable and fast sites and excellent user experiences. However, they require a different approach, skillset, and budgets. They also have a different time to market.

To put it short, Hyvä is a good fit for small stores and eCommerce businesses starting from scratch. If you have an established eCommerce business, are planning to grow rapidly, have a huge product catalog, need customizations, and have a vast mobile audience, then you should opt for PWA.

Hyvä vs. PWA

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hyvä?

Hyvä is a Magento theme. Its creators position the solution as a less complicated and time-saving alternative to traditional Magento 2. The main goal of Hyvä is to solve the most common problems of Magento’s core frontend – out-of-date technologies, poor performance, high development costs, and time to market.

What is PWA?

PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) are extended websites with app-like features and functionalities. They let your customers enjoy the same experience like browsing a native app. When opened in a desktop browser, a website looks as usual, but in the mobile version, it turns into an application.

What to choose: Hyvä or PWA?

Hyvä is a good fit for small stores and eCommerce businesses starting from scratch. If you have an established eCommerce business, are planning to grow rapidly, have a huge product catalog, need customizations, and have a vast mobile audience, then you should definitely opt for PWA.

Can you upload a PWA to App Store and Google Play?

Yes, you can upload a PWA to both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store with no need to develop a native app from scratch.

Are Magento extensions compatible with PWA?

If a PWA storefront is built on Magento PWA Studio, there are modules compatible with such storefronts. GoMage PWA Storefront is built on Magento PWA Studio, so our clients won’t have problems with finding compatible extensions or creating ones.

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