Getting Started


go-app is a package to build progressive web apps (PWA) with the Go programming language and WebAssembly.

You are about to learn how to get started with this package by building and running an app that displays Hello World.


Using this package requires a fully functional Go environment installed with Go 1.18 or greater.

Go installation can be checked with the following command in a terminal:

go version


Create a Go package for your PWA and change directory to the newly created location:

mkdir -p $GOPATH/src/
cd $GOPATH/src/

Then Initialize the go module and download the go-app package.

go mod init
go get -u


Here is the code used to create a progressive web app that displays a simple Hello World.

Hello component

package main

import (


// hello is a component that displays a simple "Hello World!". A component is a
// customizable, independent, and reusable UI element. It is created by
// embedding app.Compo into a struct.
type hello struct {

// The Render method is where the component appearance is defined. Here, a
// "Hello World!" is displayed as a heading.
func (h *hello) Render() app.UI {
	return app.H1().Text("Hello World!")


// The main function is the entry point where the app is configured and started.
// It is executed in 2 different environments: A client (the web browser) and a
// server.
func main() {
	// The first thing to do is to associate the hello component with a path.
	// This is done by calling the Route() function,  which tells go-app what
	// component to display for a given path, on both client and server-side.
	app.Route("/", &hello{})

	// Once the routes set up, the next thing to do is to either launch the app
	// or the server that serves the app.
	// When executed on the client-side, the RunWhenOnBrowser() function
	// launches the app,  starting a loop that listens for app events and
	// executes client instructions. Since it is a blocking call, the code below
	// it will never be executed.
	// When executed on the server-side, RunWhenOnBrowser() does nothing, which
	// lets room for server implementation without the need for precompiling
	// instructions.

	// Finally, launching the server that serves the app is done by using the Go
	// standard HTTP package.
	// The Handler is an HTTP handler that serves the client and all its
	// required resources to make it work into a web browser. Here it is
	// configured to handle requests with a path that starts with "/".
	http.Handle("/", &app.Handler{
		Name:        "Hello",
		Description: "An Hello World! example",

	if err := http.ListenAndServe(":8000", nil); err != nil {

Build and run

Running a progressive app with go-app requires 2 Go programs:

  • A client that runs in a web browser
  • A server that serves the client and its resources

At this point, the package has the following content:

├── go.mod
├── go.sum
└── main.go

0 directories, 4 files

Build the client

GOARCH=wasm GOOS=js go build -o web/app.wasm

Note that the build output is explicitly set to web/app.wasm. The reason why is that the Handler expects the client to be a static resource located at the /web/app.wasm path.

Build the server

go build

Run the app

Now the client and server built, the package has the following content:

├── go.mod
├── go.sum
├── hello
├── main.go
└── web
    └── app.wasm

1 directory, 6 files

The server is ran with the following command:


The app is now accessible from a web browser at http://localhost:8000.

Use a Makefile

The build process can be simplified by writing a makefile:

	GOARCH=wasm GOOS=js go build -o web/app.wasm
	go build

run: build

It can now be built and run with this single command:

make run