What Is Magento PWA Studio? – Full Explanation

what is magento pwa studio

“What is Magento PWA Studio?” If you’ve been doing e-commerce with Magento (now Adobe Commerce) and looking for a way to improve your site’s performance, you probably heard this term at least once. Magento first introduced its PWA Studio to integrate this modern-day technology into Magento-based websites in 2015. 

So it’s time to break down everything you should know about Magento PWA Studio and how it aids in enhancing your business.

What Is PWA?

PWA stands for Progressive Web Applications, the innovative web apps for the modern-day advanced experience. PWA’s competence is to bring the best out of native apps and websites, benefiting both businesses and end-users. Here’s an article you might want to check out if you want to know more about PWA for Magento specifically.

Core Features

Add to home screen

No installation and loading time is needed like a native app, with this cool feature, mobile users can have your brand icon on the home screen instantly after a few clicks. 

Now that customers are regularly reminded of your brand while using their mobile devices, they would feel harder to resist the temptation to shop online. 

Push notifications

native app, storefront components

This feature has long been a special weapon of native apps, the little pop-ups that remind, notify, and engage with end-users. Data shows that, on average, the opt-in rate for Android users is 81% and 51% for iOS.  

With progressive web apps, now e-commerce businesses can send private messages to customers and enjoy high traffic and conversion rates in return. 

Offline mode

Unlike other regular websites that go blank completely when the internet connection is lost, PWA allows users to revisit all of the pages they have loaded before. In this way, online shoppers won’t be interrupted in their search for desired items. 

Optimized loading speed

For first-time visitors to click a website link, it may take 1 to 2 secs to load. But from the second time revisiting the pages onward, the PWA will be loaded instantly, right after the users’ interaction. 

Many people now are used to social media with fast-moving content, which doesn’t tend to wait on virtue. 5 or 6 seconds might be too slow for the majority of them. 

What Is Magento 2 PWA Studio?

The Magento PWA Studio project is a set of developer tools that allow for the development, deployment, and maintenance of a PWA storefront on top of Magento 2.3 and above. It uses modern tools and libraries to create a build system and framework that adheres to the Magento principle of extensibility.

PWA Studio is a handy set of modern tools and libraries that let you build, set up, and test your Progressive Web Application storefront right on the Magento backend. 

You get 3 main parts with PWA Studio. First is the PWA build pack, which includes project setup tools, configuration management, and an extensibility framework. 

The second is custom React hooks and components. And finally is the Venia theme package. 

vue storefront, web apps, page builder

Advantages of Magento PWA Studio 

Magento 2 Compatibility

Magento PWA Studio supports Magento 2.3 and above. This is super beneficial for Magento stores since most of them now operate on Magento 2.

Also, the PWA Studio is from Adobe – Magento provider, meaning it’s built-in compliance with the code standard of Magento. This will help avoid any code conflict issues and let PWA run smoothly on top of Magento.

Easier integration into Magento

Everything from the application builder you get is configured and ready to use. Developers can stay ahead a couple of hours handling the application builder’s setup. 

Furthermore, developers can take out and only use parts of the PWA Studio for Magento. This gives flexibility as well as reduces the complexity of the PWA development.

Also, the PWA studio provides an extensive range of ready-made elements that can be used right away as they are. Yet, they are available for modification if necessary. 

Out-of-the-box Architecture and Framework Application

Accelerate the Progressive Web Applications building process with ease and high accuracy with PWA Studio’s out-of-the-box architecture. Apart from the installation and configuration that are open to working on it, no more change is needed as it is built as ready-to-use software.

You can take advantage of this resilient framework that has been tested rigorously by Magento to create your online store and start selling sooner. Or you can merge some custom solutions into this out-of-the-box software for an adaptable framework that best meets your expectations.

Fast Updating and Maintenance Process

Both the Magento version and PWA studio get updates simultaneously, so no effort is needed to learn the Magento updates to fix PWA operations like other PWA solutions accordingly. 

This would help the updating and maintenance process happen faster and with ease.

Disadvantages of Magento PWA Studio

Poor Design Interface

As you will see, the Venia storefront for mobile and desktop devices is quite tedious, sketchy, and unattractive. The overall layout, font, and the color combination might not meet your expectations. 

venia storefront, vue storefront, pwa storefront

Limited Features

Unfortunately, the Venia storefront doesn’t contain enough Magento core features, and it’s also not optimized for mobile, which is a bummer for the surging popularity of mobile usage nowadays.

Limited Compatibility with Extensions

As extensions or add-ons are from third-party developers, they might not be fully compatible with PWA studio as Magento frequently updates it. 

To fix this, you have to wait for the updated extensions released from those developers and then install them to continue using them.

The Abstractions And Complexibility

PWA Studio is built as the universally applicable solution in mind with the best effort possible from the Magento team. This means that there are more available codes than needed, so developers would have to exclude all the irrelevant parts of the apps to improve the page loading speed. 

Ready-made code solutions from PWA Studio can imply excessive complexity and apparent bugs, therefore time is requested to invest to untangle and clear up the misfit and complicated code structures. 

Requirements For Magento PWA Studio Installation

  1. Magento 2 backend: Without it, your Magento PWA storefront will be pointed to the default Magento 2 backend.
  2. NodeJS: Your Node version must be from 10.14.1 LTS and above. To check your existing one: node -v
  3. Yarn: Besides NodeJs, your Jarn version also needs to be at least 1.13.0. To check your current one: yarn -v
  4. Magento UPWARD Connector extension: This extension is used for routing requests to UPWARD-PHP.

5 Steps To Set Up Magento 2 PWA Studio

Step 1: Run the following commands to install the PWA Studio

into the directory where you want to install PWA Studio and run the command:

yarn create @magento/pwa

Then, you need to answer all the questions in the terminal as the following guide:

Magento PWA Studio terminal, storefront project, project dependencies
  • Project root directory (will be created if it does not exist): you have to enter your root directory’s name.
  • Short name of the project to put in the package.json “name” field: you must enter your PWA storefront project name.
  • Name of the author to put in the package.json “author” field: you need to enter the author information with the format: Author Name <author email>. For example: TigrenPWA <[email protected]>
  • Magento instance to use as a backend (will be added to ‘.env’ file): you should select Magento 2.3.3 with Venia sample data installed to include the sample data from the PWA Studio Venia theme. Also, your PWA storefront will be pointed to the default Magento backend on Cloud. However, it’s possible to point it back to your Magento backend later.
  • Braintree API token to use to communicate with your Braintree instance (will be added to ‘.env’ file): you need to press Enter.
  • NPM package management client to use: here you must select yarn.
  • Install package dependencies with yarn after creating the project: finally, you need to select Yes.

Step 2: Set up the development environment variables

If you want to change the development environment variables (e.g.: MAGENTO_BACKEND_URL, BRAINTREE_TOKEN/), you need to update your project’s .env file and alter the property values.



Step 3: Prepare PWA Studio build

Run the following commands in the PWA Studio root project directory:

yarn install

yarn build

Step 4: Install the Magento UPWARD Connector extension

The Magento 2 UPWARD connector is a module for routing requests to UPWARD-PHP. It will replace the default Magento front-end template with the powerful PWA Studio storefront.

You need to run the following commands in the Magento root project directory in order to install that module:

composer require magento/module-upward-connector

bin/magento s:up

bin/magento s:d:c

bin/magento s:s:d

Step 5: Configure the Magento UPWARD Connector module

You can easily configure the UPWARD Connector by following Magento’s tutorial.

Who Should Use The Magento PWA Studio?

Magento 2 PWA Studio Is GREAT For DEVELOPERS

To begin with, as an open-source project, Magento 2 PWA Studio is updated regularly. It does not depend on Magento releases and continually adds new features, reference theme enhancements, and quality improvements.

Hence, it can be said that Magento PWA Studio is the most reliable code source for developers who want to build Progressive Web Applications.

What is more, Magento PWA Studio goes with the proof-of-concept Venia Storefront that will replace the Magento 2 frontend and run on top of the Magento 2 backend.

The developers can easily set up and Venia PWA storefront to experience and make the changes they want.

Without a doubt, the developers should take advantage of free and qualified codes from Magento PWA Studio to create standard Progressive Web Applications.


Firstly, PWA integration is a complicated process that required strong technical knowledge.

Thus, if you are a business owner and want to build a PWA using Magento PWA Studio – without hiring developers, it is impossible.

Secondly, the Venia PWA theme only provides essential functions, which even lacks many features of the Magento default theme.

Therefore, it will take at least 3 to 4 months to add more basic features if you create a new PWA from PWA Studio tools.

Moreover, based on your particular requirements, it will require an extra up to 6 months to develop more custom features.

All things considered, if you are a developer, Magento 2 PWA Studio might be a wonderful source for you to learn and use for other purposes.

But if you are a store owner, selecting this set of tools to build your PWA might not be a wise move.

The reason is that what Magento PWA Studio offers at the moment is too basic. Assuming that there are 10 steps to convert your website to a PWA, using PWA Studio tools only helps you to complete the first step. And there is still a very long way ahead.

What Is A Better Solution Than PWA Studio?

Magento PWA themes based on PWA Studio

To handle the limitations of the Venia PWA, many development agencies introduced their PWA themes for Magento 2. Some of those themes are created based on Magento PWA Studio while others apply different technologies.

PWA themes can overcome the limitations of the original PWA Studio. These themes are premade templates built by Magento PWA development agencies by utilizing the PWA Studio tools.

These themes tend to have a more attractive PWA storefront than the default Venia design of the PWA Studio. Their prices range from $0 to $3,000, sufficient for all budget requirements. 

There are two main types of premade PWA themes – the ones based on Magento PWA Studio and those that are not. Because themes are third-party solutions, concerns appear around the compatibility level with Magento stores.

Using themes based on the PWA Studio would be more beneficial to abide by Magento standards. Plus, this also helps avoid possible conflicts with Magento extensions in case you’d want to integrate some of them into your Magento PWA store.

TigrenPWA Theme & Custom Development Service

magento open source, page builder

When it comes to Magento 2 PWA development, we also joined in the race. As one of the leading Magento PWA development agencies, here at Tigren, we always aim to help our clients create high-performing e-commerce websites. With our deep understanding of PWA development and dedicated time for research, we can proudly acclaim that our TigrenPWA theme is a booming solution yet cost-friendly for your profitable online business.

Compared with developing a PWA with the PWA Studio from scratch, using our theme will not only help you save a significant amount of time but also achieve much better quality.

PWA Theme Design

It’s clear that Venia PWA only focuses on its mobile design. On the desktop, the theme looks like a “zoomed-in version” of the mobile interface. Consequently, we guess that none of the stores can accept and apply this design to their PWAs without remarkable modifications.

On the contrary, TigrenPWA is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. It looks like a normal e-commerce website when being presented on large screens but shows an app-like interface on tablets or smartphones.

When it comes to meeting businesses’ profitable goals, our PWA theme for Magento 2 owns a design that hardly any theme can surpass. The color palette, font, banner, and logo setting layout all contributed to an aesthetic and harmonious looking to the eyes. 

Not only so, but the practical side of TigrenPWA design is also what makes it most valuable. We strictly follow the five key principles: consistency, simplicity, readability, mobile responsiveness, and ease of navigation. 

No matter what you sell, cosmetics, technologies, or hardware, you would be able to find just the right match among various trendy designs currently. 

In order to create an optimal experience on mobile, our Magento PWA premium theme also provides a unique design just for mobile with more app-like looking through bottom navigation. 

On the desktop:

venia pwa demo, web apps

On the mobile device:

venia storefront, native app

Built-in features

As you might know, Venia PWA provides just a few essential e-commerce functions. Compared to Magento default themes (with basic features only), Venia has already shown its weaknesses.

In comparison, TigrenPWA brings to the table sufficient Magento default functions, plus a wide range of advanced ones to meet all the expectations of e-businesses.

Knowing that features by default are never enough, our TigrenPWA offers you more built-in features to strengthen your Magento site performance:

  • Live chat
  • Quick view
  • Fastly CDN
  • One-step checkout
  • Selective items to checkout
  • Cookie compliance
  • Sticky header

Those are only some features that are integrated into the theme. For the best experience, check out our demo here

Frequently Asked Questions Relating to Magento PWA Studio

  1. Should I wait for the finished development of Magento PWA Studio?

Although Studio is an unfinished project by Magento, they update this toolset and the Magento platform every 3 months. Besides, Studio has provided you with the basic needs for deployment and maintenance so that you can make any needed modifications. 

  1. Can I install extensions for the deficiencies in Magento PWA Studio?

Yes, extensions from outsider developers will bring additional highly useful features that PWA Studio doesn’t provide. They are easy and quick to install low cost, and handy. But be aware that they can sometimes be unstable with the overall performance due to certain incompatibilities. 

  1. Can I upgrade to PWA technology with PWA Studio in Magento 1?

Unfortunately, no, PWA Studio only supports Magento version 2.3 and above. Since Magento 1 will be outdated and Magento will soon stop supporting it, you can consider migration from Magento 1 to 2. However, several PWA theme providers are out there selling Magento 1 solutions. 

  1. Does Magento PWA Studio improve SEO?

PWA can help increase SEO rankings by improving user experience on the site with the lightning loading speed, re-engaging with customers through push notifications, and uninterrupted access even when connection loss,… Search engines like Google highly regard all these factors.

5. Which payment methods does Magento PWA Studio support?

PWA Studio supports the Braintree payment method within Venia storefront operation. Depending on particular needs, developers can use the available payment method implementation solutions for their PWA storefront projects.  


Progressive Web App is a promising technology of the modern-day that will soon be the basic requirement for website development. Magento had stepped ahead of the game by providing a handy and valuable set of developer tools when they first realized the potential of PWA. 

Knowing how to take advantage of PWA Studio will benefit your Magento-based website. Ensuring high compatibility is the basic requirement for consistently high performance. 

Along with the core functionalities of Magento and Progressive Web App, and more, if you choose the Magento PWA theme based on PWA Studio like TigrenPWA, it will be an actual Kickstarter when entering the online business world.

The TigrenPWA theme is an extensive version of the Venia PWA demo. On the one hand, it is still based on the solid foundation and strict standards of Magento PWA Studio. On the other hand, it is integrated with both Magento core features and extended ones.

Therefore, if you choose the TigrenPWA theme for your project, you have passed at least five first “steps”. The remaining “steps” is to customize our theme design and functions to totally meet your requests.

If you are interested in TigrenPWA, just drop us a line for more detailed information!

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