PWA Case Study

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Nikkei achieves a new level of quality and performance with their multi-page PWA

With a publishing history of more than 140 years, Nikkei is one of the most authoritative media businesses in Japan. Along with their print newspaper, they have over 450 million monthly visits to their digital properties. To provide a better user experience and accelerate their business on the web, Nikkei successfully launched a Progressive Web App (PWA) - - in November 2017. They’re now seeing amazing results from the new platform.

Business impact

2.3X organic traffic

58% faster more conversions (subscriptions)

49% more daily active users

2X page views per session

Performance gains

2X better Speed Index

75% faster loading with prefetch

14 seconds faster time-to-interactive

Business overview >>

Nikkei saw a rapid rise in mobile traffic to their legacy website as smartphones became the main point of entry to the web for many users. However, using Lighthouse, an auditing tool that scans a web page and gives recommendations on how to improve across multiple categories, they understood that their site wasn’t fully optimized for mobile across multiple areas and was very slow to load.
Their website was taking ~20 secs to become consistently interactive and averaged 10 seconds on the Speed Index. Knowing that 53% of mobile users will abandon an experience if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, Nikkei wanted to reduce their load time to provide a better experience and accelerate their business on the web.

The value of speed is indisputable, especially for financial news. We made speed one of our core metrics, and our customers have appreciated the change.
Taihei Shigemori, Manager, Digital Strategy

Nikkei achieved impressive performance gains. Their Lighthouse score soared from 23 to 82. Their time-to-interactive measurement improved by 14 seconds. Organic traffic, speed, conversion rate, and active daily users all rose as well.
The PWA is a multi-page app (MPA) that reduces front-end complexity, built with Vanilla JavaScript. Five core front-end engineers worked for a year to achieve this performance.

The Nikkei front-end engineers have proved that great UX brings good business performance. We’re fully invested in continuing our journey of bringing a new level of quality to the web.
Hiroyuki Higashi, Product Manager, Nikkei

Nikkei created and launched a Progressive Web App, using responsive design, vanilla JavaScript, and a multi-page architecture, they focused on building a delightful user experience. By adding a service worker, they were able to provide predictable performance, regardless of the network. This also ensures that top articles are always available and loaded almost immediately because they're stored using Cache Storage. They added a web app manifest, and together with their service worker this allows users to install the PWA, so it’s easily accessible. And to ensure performance was entirely within their control, they optimized their 3rd-party JavaScript.


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