Publishing Your App as a PWA

What is a PWA?

A PWA, or a Progressive Web App, is a native app-like user experience to cross-platform web applications.

Draftbit apps can be published as a PWA directly from within the Builder. By default, your PWA is published to GitHub Pages for free.

Why Publish as a PWA?

Easily distributed
Publishing as a PWA allows you to distribute your app without having to go through the app store approval process. Since you access a PWA with a link, it can also be easily shared amongst users.

No installation required
Users can bookmark the URL of a PWA and revisit it freely.

Easily discoverable
PWAs are included in web search results and are SEO friendly which can help increase your app's visibility.

PWAs require HTTPS which provides a secure environment for users to enter personal information and payment details.

What is the difference between PWA and native iOS or Android?

Native apps have access to more features than PWAs. Things like geofencing, interacting with other apps, and accessing Bluetooth features can be done in native apps but not PWAs.

PWAs are faster and more reliable than a mobile site, but native apps will provide the best overall experience since they are integrated with the phone's operating system.

How to Publish a PWA

To publish your app as a PWA, click the purple Publish button at the top bar of the builder, and then click Publish Build to start the build process.


App Publishing Status

To publish your app it needs to be set from Draft to Live. See more in Intro to Publishing

This process will take a few minutes. Once your app has finished deploying, you'll receive an email and the URL will be shown in the Publishing menu under the Progressive Web App section.

All PWAs that are published through the Builder use the domain.


If you would like to deploy your PWA yourself to a service like Netlify, you can export your code and self-publish (see below)

How to use your PWA app

Once the app build is successful, you can view your project at the unique URL provided to you in the Publish window. You can share this URL with anyone. Anyone with the URL is able to access your PWA—there is no need to publish a PWA in an App Store.

If you would like to setup the PWA on your own domain, contact our support channels and we'll help you out.

PWA Build Failure

If the build process fails, you will receive an email informing you of the failure with further instructions.

Update your PWA Build

If you make changes to your app, you can update your build at any time by opening the Publish dialog and repeating the Publish steps.

Manually publish your PWA

If you would like to deploy your PWA yourself to a service like Netlify, you can export your app's code and self-publish.

Refer to the Exporting Your Project docs to learn about exporting your code and running it locally.

Refer to the Expo docs on publishing websites to learn about creating a PWA build of your app.