The Footy Tipster is now a progressive web app

Sounds a bit technical, eh? And it is, but I’m going to explain why it matters, how it helps you, and when it’s most effective.

For the sake of brevity we’re going to say PWA instead of progressive web app from now on. So what is a PWA?

A PWA is a website that behaves a bit more like an app from an app store than a regular website. It can be installed to your phone or tablet’s home screen, it can to some extent work offline, and it is usually a lot faster than the same site as a non-PWA.

Home screen installation

If you use Chrome, Samsung Internet or Opera on an Android device you will be asked if you want to add The Footy Tipster to your home screen when you visit thefootytipster.com. It will look something like this:

The prompt to add to home screen on Chrome Android

The prompt to add to home screen on Chrome Android

If you press the blue Add to Home Screen button our logo will appear on your home screen and you can press it to open the website, without having to go to your browser and type thefootytipster.com (Safari on the iPhone and iPad also has an add to home screen interface, but it is a manual process and Safari does not yet recognise PWAs).

Offline websites

Adding us to your home screen with one touch is nice, but the real magic happens behind the scenes when the website gives itself some offline capabilities.

Firstly, anything that is used on all or most pages is stored in your browser so the website doesn’t have to keep asking for it online. Stuff like images, fonts and style information.

As you move around the website any page you visit is also stored. So if your signal drops, or you have to switch on airplane mode, or you’re on wifi that can’t be resuscitated, any page you’ve already visited will work.

That’s worth repeating. Any page you’ve already visited will work offline, just like a regular app.

There are other benefits. As I’ve already mentioned it’s faster. You spend less time waiting for the website to finish loading, instead you do what you came for without any frustration. A PWA also saves you money on your data plan, so don’t be afraid to look up the latest tips when you’re out and about; we are easy on your wallet!

What about the progressive part?

The P in PWA is there because they use a technique called progressive enhancement. Even though the technology powering a PWA is cutting edge, we don’t leave anyone behind.

The Footy Tipster works, and works well on less capable browsers like Opera Mini and Safari, and older browsers such as Internet Explorer 8. We make the core functionality of reading tips, becoming a member, taking part in in-play betting, and of course reading this blog post available to everyone who has an internet connection and a web browser.

More advanced functionality is progressively layered on top of that core, all the way up to the code that makes us a PWA.

The future

There is more we can do with PWA technology and we hope to bring it to you in the not too distant future.

We want to make more of the site work offline, even the forms. We also hope to implement a system that will send you a notification every time we post a new set of tips or a blog post if you opt in to it. We promise not to spam you!

We really hope you are seeing the benefits of The Footy Tipster being a PWA and if you have any thoughts, questions or opinions we’d love to hear them in the comments below.

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