Magento PWA Theme vs. Hyvä: Choosing the Right Frontend Approach

magento-pwa-theme-vs-hyva
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Selecting the best theme for your online store is a critical step in your website’s front-end development process. Different themes can completely transform the user experience – for better or for worse. Among the two solutions that Magento business owners vastly prefer are PWA and Hyvä.

Each of these front-end technologies has unique advantages that suit different audiences, needs, and types of e-commerce stores. In this article, we'll try to uncover the pros and cons of Hyvä and PWA as Magento front-end solutions, list the key differences between these themes, as well as provide pro tips on how to choose the best technology for your Magento.

What is Magento 2 PWA

A Magento 2 PWA theme is designed specifically for Magento 2 stores to provide a Progressive Web App experience, a type of web application that uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like experience to users. When opened on a mobile device, a Magento 2 PWA theme provides the same benefits as browsing in a native application and can be "installed" on a mobile device via the 'Add to Home Screen' button. When users open the website on a desktop device, the website looks standard.

Magento PWA themes can be created on the Magento PWA Studio and are automatically compatible with upcoming Magento 2 releases and the ecosystem of PWA extensions created by Magento vendors. Stores powered by PWA themes have a headless architecture, which separates the application’s front-end and back-end for more adaptability options, and use technologies like Angular, React, or Vue.js. Such websites are also typically fast-loading and can operate offline, providing a seamless experience to users with various internet connectivity conditions. 

The Pros of the Magento 2 PWA Theme

There are many benefits of a progressive web app template for Magento. Some of the primary features and advantages of choosing a PWA theme for Magento include the following:

Quick Loading: Magento PWA loads efficiently regardless of the stability of a user’s Internet connection.

Offline functionality: The Magento 2 PWA theme has offline capabilities and hence can operate without an online connection.

Security and speed of HTTPS: PWA themes are highly secure and run on an HTTPS protocol, which improves performance and speed.

Auto-updates: A PWA website updates in real-time, eliminating the need for frequent manual updates and installations for new PWA versions.

Cross-device compatibility: PWA themes are device-agnostic, allowing users to access the website from any operating system or device.

The last point requires some clarification. Magento 2 PWA themes provide an app-like experience and offer the same UX as an installable mobile application. Similarly to mobile apps, PWA templates can send push notifications, allowing an e-commerce business to reach out to customers and engage with previous buyers. And unlike mobile apps, PWAs can be identified by search engine crawlers, helping you to boost your search engine rankings.

Magento PWA  gives you the best of two worlds while also letting you reduce development costs. After all, rather than developing a website, an iOS app, and an Android app, you only need to build a single PWA interface that operates on any device. 

The Cons of the Magento 2 PWA Theme

While there are many advantages to choosing a PWA theme for your Magento store, there are also some downsides to consider before selecting this option over a Hyvä theme. Some downsides of a PWA theme include the following:

PWA themes have limited access to outdated browsers and are not compatible with certain older versions. Users trying to access a PWA website from an outdated browser will have limited accessibility. Magento PWA themes also have limited compatibility with iOS devices and can’t utilize all the functions of Apple devices like Bluetooth, Touch ID, and Face ID. Given that over one billion people use iOS devices, PWA themes can present a significant challenge for e-commerce store owners aiming to impress this user base.

What is Magento 2 Hyvä Theme

The Magento 2 Hyvä theme is an open-source front end that helps eliminate many existing issues and complexities of traditional Magento templates (including Luma). Hyvä is a collection of tools and theme templates compiled in a single front-end build for Magento 2.

The Hyvä theme creates a monolithic, fully responsive system that is accessible across different devices. It provides a lightweight and fast-loading alternative to standard Magento 2 themes while still relying on Magento’s PHP templating system. 

The Pros of the Magento 2 Hyvä Theme

The Magento 2 Hyvä theme is an excellent choice for many e-commerce businesses. While it’s powerful and feature-rich, Hyvä maintains a simple code, making it ideal for e-commerce store owners without much experience in coding for themes. 

Choosing a Hyvä theme can provide many other benefits for your business, including:

High performance: The Hyvä theme provides a high-performance level and is fast-loading on mobile and desktop devices.

Simple adoption: Hyvä is simple to adapt to and implement without rebuilding your entire website.

Developer-friendly: Hyvä improves the developer experience, providing a developer-friendly environment without a steep learning curve for developers, especially when debugging issues and navigating new features.

Cost-effective implementation: Because of its simple code, Hyvä reduces your development time and cost for implementing a new theme.

Minimum dependencies: The only third-party library dependencies in Hyvä themes are Alpine.js and TailwindCSS.

Highly customizable: Hyvä provides advanced development velocity, meaning customization and implementation for Hyvä themes are efficient and virtually effortless. Numerous extensions are made available for Hyvä to increase the scope of the theme's capabilities.

The Cons of the Magento 2 Hyvä Theme

While there are many benefits to choosing the Hyvä theme for your Magento 2 e-commerce store, there are some downsides to consider before selecting this option over a Magento 2 PWA theme. Before pursuing this Magento design template, consider the following:

The Differences Between a Magento PWA Theme and the Hyvä Theme

Selecting Magento themes can be challenging, especially when different Magento themes have unique features that benefit your e-commerce store differently. Before choosing a Magento website template, it’s important to understand the core differences between a Magento PWA theme and a Hyvä theme. Below are some of the primary differences between these Magento 2 templates:

Magento PWA vs. Hyvä: Costs

One of the main differences between these Magento designs is their cost. Hyvä licenses require a one-time payment of €1,000 – more than $1,100. However, you can purchase the Hyvä theme once and use it across multiple Magento 2 stores, making it a suitable solution for many businesses. If you’re running more than one store on Magento 2, Hyvä is an excellent choice. But while the initial license fee for the Hyvä theme is relatively affordable, it’s important to consider development costs, which fall between $5,000 and $20,000 This cost might be higher for complex, larger projects but can be reduced if the development is done by Hyvä partners.

PWA themes require a more significant investment. Small projects using a PWA theme cost between $3,000 and $35,000, while an advanced PWA theme requires between $35,000 and $70,000. However, it’s important to consider that developing a PWA theme gives you access to iOS and Android devices, so it's basically the same as investing in mobile app development.

While you might consider Magento 2 free themes and Magento community templates, a free Magento theme won’t offer the same results as Hyvä or PWA themes. So whether you invest in PWA or Hyvä, it's a solid and reasonable investment in the future of your business.

Magento PWA vs. Hyvä: Target Businesses

The second core difference between these Magento template themes is the target businesses each option caters to. The Hyvä theme targets small and medium-sized businesses, including merchants that are building their e-commerce store from scratch. Since Hyvä doesn’t require owners to reconstruct their websites completely, it is also ideal for businesses that prioritize time to market.

PWA themes are also suitable for small businesses and startups. However, they may be a better fit for e-commerce businesses with larger product catalogs and a significant mobile audience. Also, since PWA themes can perform offline or in areas with poor Internet connectivity, they’re suitable for businesses with a significantly rural audience.

Magento PWA vs. Hyvä: Functionality

PWA and Hyvä themes have different functionalities depending on which option you select. Hyvä has simple default functions because this theme is built for simplicity and minimalism. However, you can still extend your Hyvä theme’s functionality using third-party Hyvä-compatible extensions and modules.

PWAs provide more app-like functions than Hyvä and won’t require the installation of third-party extensions to offer push notifications, offline mode, and other core functionalities. However, if you end up wanting additional features, you'll need to leverage PWA add-ons. 

PWA

Hyvä Theme

Performance

Generally fast and smooth.

Offline capabilities.

Can help achieve <1 second load.

Requires internet connection.

User Experience

Seamless, app-like feel. 

Responsive across devices.

Improved UX but less app-like.

Responsive design.

Development Time

Longer development time. 

More complex setup.

Faster implementation.

Easier setup and customization.

Cost

Potentially higher cost.

(Small: $3,000 - $35,000

Advanced: $35,000 - $70,000)

Costly initial development.

Generally lower cost. (License: ~$1,000

Development: $5,000 - $20,000)

Cost-effective for standard needs.

Scalability

Scales well for larger stores.

Can handle high traffic.

Scalable but may have limitations.

SEO

May require additional efforts.

Indexing can be a challenge.

SEO-friendly with proper setup.

Extensions available.

Best fit for

Scaling e-commerce businesses.

Businesses with a rural audience.

Medium-sized businesses.

Ideal for a quick online store launch.


Explore PWA and Hyvä Themes and Extensions

By understanding the pros and cons of a PWA theme compared to a Hyvä theme, you can make an informed decision for your e-commerce business. Your Magento 2 store theme doesn’t have to stop once you install a theme and you can increase your store’s functionalities by exploring different PWA  add-ons and third-party extensions for Hyvä theme to enhance your online performance.

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