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Getting Started

Learn PWA

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are web application built and enhanced with modern APIs to deliver enhanced capabilities, reliability, and installability while reaching anyone, anywhere, on any device, all with a single codebase.

If you want to build a Progressive Web App, you may be wondering where to start, if it's possible to upgrade a website to a PWA without starting from scratch, or how to move from a platform-specific app to a PWA.

A PWA mainly consists of a Web App Manifest, a service worker and a script/module to register the service worker in the browser.

If you are new to Progressive Web Apps (PWA), we suggest read this guide before starting writing code: Learn PWA.

Service Worker

Service workers essentially act as proxy servers that sit between web applications, the browser, and the network (when available). They are intended, among other things, to enable the creation of effective offline experiences, intercept network requests and take appropriate action based on whether the network is available, and update assets residing on the server. They will also allow access to push notifications and background sync APIs.

A service worker is an event-driven worker registered against an origin and a path. It takes the form of a JavaScript file that can control the web-page/site that it is associated with, intercepting and modifying navigation and resource requests, and caching resources in a very granular fashion to give you complete control over how your app behaves in certain situations (the most obvious one being when the network is not available).

You can find more information about service workers in Service Worker API.

vite-plugin-pwa

vite-plugin-pwa will help you to add PWA, with almost zero configuration, to your existing applications. The plugin will add sensible built-in default configuration for common use cases.

The vite-plugin-pwa plugin will:

  • generate the Web App Manifest: using the manifest plugin option
  • configure the Web App Manifest on your application entry point: adding a link on the head on your entry point
  • generate the service worker: using the strategies plugin option (for more information read Service Worker Strategies section)
  • generate the script to register the service worker in the browser: using injectRegister plugin option (for more information read Register Service Worker section)

Installing vite-plugin-pwa

To install the vite-plugin-pwa plugin, just add it to your project as a dev dependency:

With YARN:

yarn add vite-plugin-pwa -D
yarn add vite-plugin-pwa -D

With NPM:

npm i vite-plugin-pwa -D
npm i vite-plugin-pwa -D

With PNPM:

pnpm i vite-plugin-pwa -D
pnpm i vite-plugin-pwa -D

Configuring vite-plugin-pwa

Edit your vite.config.js / vite.config.ts file and add the vite-plugin-pwa:

import { VitePWA } from 'vite-plugin-pwa'
export default defineConfig({
  plugins: [
    VitePWA({ registerType: 'autoUpdate' })
  ]
})
import { VitePWA } from 'vite-plugin-pwa'
export default defineConfig({
  plugins: [
    VitePWA({ registerType: 'autoUpdate' })
  ]
})

With this minimal configuration of the vite-plugin-pwa plugin, your application is now able to generate the Web App Manifest and inject it at the entry point, generate the service worker and register it in the browser.

You can find the full list of the vite-plugin-pwa plugin configuration options in the following client.d.ts.

WARNING

If you are NOT using vite-plugin-pwa version 0.12.2+, there is a bug handling injectRegister (the service worker generated will not include the code required to allow work with autoUpdate behavior).

If you're using a vite-plugin-pwa plugin version prior to 0.12.2, you can fix the bug using this plugin configuration:

import { VitePWA } from 'vite-plugin-pwa'
export default defineConfig({
  plugins: [
    VitePWA({
      registerType: 'autoUpdate',
      workbox: {
        clientsClaim: true,
        skipWaiting: true
      }
    })
  ]
})
import { VitePWA } from 'vite-plugin-pwa'
export default defineConfig({
  plugins: [
    VitePWA({
      registerType: 'autoUpdate',
      workbox: {
        clientsClaim: true,
        skipWaiting: true
      }
    })
  ]
})

If you want to check it in dev, add the devOptions option to the plugin configuration (you will have the Web App Manifest and the generated service worker):

import { VitePWA } from 'vite-plugin-pwa'
export default defineConfig({
  plugins: [
    VitePWA({ 
      registerType: 'autoUpdate',
      devOptions: {
        enabled: true
      }
    })
  ]
})
import { VitePWA } from 'vite-plugin-pwa'
export default defineConfig({
  plugins: [
    VitePWA({ 
      registerType: 'autoUpdate',
      devOptions: {
        enabled: true
      }
    })
  ]
})

If you build your application, the Web App Manifest will be generated and configured on the application entry point, the service worker will be also generated and the script/module to register it in the browser added.

INFO

vite-plugin-pwa plugin uses workbox-build node library to build the service worker, you can find more information in the Service Worker Strategies And Behaviors and Workbox sections.

Released under the MIT License.