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Gasket Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) have several real advantages which warrant enabling PWA features via Gasket for web apps.

Table of Contents:


Several elements make a progressive web app as seen from the PWA Checklist. At a high level, we will need to be able to:

Gasket provides plugins to make enabling these features a breeze. These plugins can easily be installed by using the PWA Preset.

The specific plugins include:

Utilizing these will allow apps to:

  • Load much faster, especially for repeat sessions.
  • Prompt to install or add Home Screen.
    • More integrated experience for customers.
    • Web app behaves and feels native.
  • Work offline
    • Allows users to continue work when reception is spotty.
  • Support push notifications

Let's now look into how to use these plugins.

Service Worker

Service workers (SW) are scripts that run separate from the main web page and enable progressive web app features such as precaching, push notifications, and background syncing.


With this plugin enabled, your app will automatically be serving a service worker! By default, it will be served at /sw.js, but this is adjustable via config options. The defaults options for this plugin should be sufficient. However, they are tunable as needed for your app under serviceWorker in the gasket.config.js file. Be sure to see the service worker plugin docs for more details on setup and config.

The service worker script is composed using the composeServiceWorker lifecycle which plugins and apps can hook into, and add to the script by concatenating inline script text or content from a loaded file.

Once such plugin that composes service worker scripts, and that handles much of what you would commonly want for a PWA, is the Workbox plugin.


With precaching, an app's pages, chunks, and assets are downloaded and stored on the device, before they are actually needed. This happens asynchronously and results in a faster experience. Additionally, other files can be cached with on-demand runtime strategies, such as cacheFirst, or networkFirst. In additional to speed, precaching unlocks the ability for apps to have offline support for availability.


This plugin provides precaching as well as runtime caching, by implementing service worker configuration using Workbox. Workbox is a library that bakes in a set of best practices and removes the boilerplate every developer writes when working with service workers. With this plugin enabled, your app will begin serving the workbox libraries and compose the service worker script for it. You can add custom workbox config to under workbox.config in the gasket.config.js file. Be sure to see the workbox plugin docs for more details on setup and config.

When a request is made to your for the service worker script, this plugin will execute a workbox lifecycle which plugins and the app can hook into which allows them to add to the workbox config. The workbox-plugin with then take that config, and use it to generate the service worker script.

For example, when using @gasket/plugin-nextjs, the next build files and static assets will be added to the workbox config and automatically ready for precaching.


The web app manifest is a simple JSON file that tells the browser about your web application and how it should behave when 'installed' on the user's mobile device or desktop. This allows your application to take full advantage of being a Progressive Web App.


This plugin adds support for a custom manifest.json to be provided for your app. To configure what is in the manifest, you can set this under manifest in the gasket.config.js. Be sure to see the manifest plugin docs for more details on setup and config.

In addition to static manifest config as mentioned, a manifest lifecycle is available for plugins and apps to hook, to adjust the manifest on a per-request basis.


This is an example gasket.config.js with the minimal require setup to configure your app to be a Progressive Web App!

// gasket.config.js
module.exports = {
plugins: {
presets: ['@gasket/nextjs'],
add: ['@gasket/service-worker', '@gasket/workbox', '@gasket/manifest']
manifest: {
name: 'My Full App Name',
short_name: 'App Name',
icons: [
type: 'image/png',
src: '/static/icons/my-icon-192.png',
sizes: '192x192'
type: 'image/png',
src: '/static/icons/my-icon-512.png',
sizes: '512x512'

From here, you can add additional Workbox caching rules for apis or services your app utilizes, and add support for push notifications or any other service worker features.