XenForo Progressive Web App (PWA) Not Working

  • Thread starter 15Katey
  • Start date


May 10, 2021
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I thought I'd share my recent experience about setting up the Progressive Web App for my XenForo forum website. There's a page right in the administrative area (Setup > PWA Setup) that's dedicated to this feature. All I had to do was fill in the board short title, paths to the two icons, and check the box that states that the icons are maskable. I hit save and thought I was done.

XenForo says that it may take up to 24 hours for a site owner to see the small + or "Install" button appear in the address bar of Chrome. Well, I was super excited to see this show up, but it never did. I wanted three full days and still, no button. I didn't know what was wrong.

I looked around a bit online in search for the answer. I discovered that these types of web apps need to meet a few criteria. One of those criteria is that the website needs to be fast and load quicker than a set time. I checked my site on the PWA tester online and it failed. It said my site was too slow. Then, I tested my site on Google's speed tester, or page insights, web page. Again, those results weren't favorable as they said my site was slower than it should be. The culprits were the Google Adsense ads that I had on the page, so there was nothing I could do about the speed.

After scratching my head for a while, I tested and that site was way worse than mine was, so I gave up. I just thought that I wouldn't be able to use the web app for my site.

Then, just as luck would have it, I was browsing through my log file for the website in question and happened to land on the Google Images crawler attempting to crawl one of the icons I included on the setup page in the admin area. The status code read 404, which surprised me. Then, I smacked my forehead and realized my problem. My forum software is installed in the /forum/ directory, not the root directory. When I was typing in the path, I did that correctly, but when I was uploading the icon files, I placed them in the root directory. So when Google or Chrome or whomever came by to check on those icons, it showed that they weren't there because the path was broken. I fixed those paths and about five seconds later the install button appears. Perfect.

So the moral of this story is that your website doesn't necessarily need to meet the speed requirements stated out there. But the paths to the icons do need to be correct.