Web Application Development: A Complete Guide
With the increasing use of the Internet, there has been a surge in web application development for over a few years. Web applications are proven to be the most efficient way to give better and more seamless experiences to customers across all web browsers, helping organizations to scale up their business performance more efficiently.
A lot of businesses find web applications easier and more convenient to use in the workspace and even employees feel comfortable working on them. If we talk about customer experience on mobile, it is continually changing and evolving, enforcing brands to improve and deliver experiences that meet customers’ needs.
In the remote work environment, the mobile experience seems no more important as many people had some bad experiences on their mobile devices and are found to be inconvenienced in engaging with the company. From small and medium-sized businesses to large enterprises, web applications are widely used to provide a better solution for everything you need.
Well, this article will cover a complete guide to web application development and what they are and how they are built, including their importance, advantages, and disadvantages for businesses.
Table of Contents:
- What is Web Application
- Web Applications Types
- Web Application Advantages and Disadvantages
- What is Web Application Development?
- Why is Web Application Development important?
- Process of Web Application Development
- Web App vs. Website
- Web app vs. Mobile apps
- Technology stacks for Web Application Development
- Cost of Web App Development
What Is Web Application?
Just like computer-based software programs that run locally on the operating system of devices, a web application- is a type of software application that runs on a web server. We often make use of browsers to access resources online, the process of accessing those resources is known as web applications. To make it simple, web application refers to any type of online service that can be accessed by multiple browsers over the Internet.
What is Web Application Development?
Web application development is defined as the process of utilizing both client-side and server-side programming to create a web application that can be accessed through a web browser. Web app development is the design and development of web-based projects that act like mobile applications.
Web app development involves a team of dedicated developers, UI/UX designers, QA testers, and business analysts to design and develop web applications following a meticulous web application development process.
Web Application Types
Basically, there are 3 primary forms of web app development that include client-side, server-side, and full-stack development. However, the types of web applications can be seen as below;
1. Client-Side Web Apps
The use of client-side web app building is fair when you don’t need to preserve user information for longer than a single session.
2. Server-Side Web Apps
Server-side web application refers to applications that are run on the server. Server-side web applications are often coded in several programming languages such as Python, Ruby, C#, PHP, and more based on expertise. The application runs on remote personal computers and can be discovered from anywhere.
The application will reload whenever any changes are made between sections, form submissions, and data updates. If the server is built just on the server-side, then all changes will be made on the server-side and a new HTML file will be created.
3. Single Page Apps
The Applications are created by using both the frontend and backend technology called single-page applications. They are considered more complex software that offers client-side and server-side and works without reloading the page in a browser.
4. E-commerce Apps
E-commerce apps are the best suited for businesses who want to sell or buy anything online. They can be a perfect choice as they help to facilitate the ordering and transaction process.
They involve more technical expertise with a great programming language to manage and maintain a large database from product inventory, customer orders, data, transactions, offers, etc.
5. Portal Web Apps
An application that enables users to log into a secure web app area from a homepage is referred to as a portal web application. Payment processes that are linked to the main landing page could be an example of portal web apps. The credit card company may require you to log into a web application where you select a credit card option to make your payment.
6. Progressive Web Apps
Progressive web apps (PWAs) are much more than simple web applications that work faster and deliver seamless user experiences. The latest web application development frameworks and technologies enable PWAs to combine the best features of both common web apps and native mobile applications.
Powered by AJAX, PWAs can be saved to your home screen without any download and accessed with just one click whenever you wish. They utilize web technologies, different APIs, and a huge ecosystem of plugins. Furthermore, progressive web apps work offline and can be accessed without an internet connection.
Web Application advantages and disadvantages
Let’s take a look at the top advantages of web applications.
Advantages of Web Apps
Web applications do not involve much cost and are highly cost-effective, which is one of the biggest advantages of using web applications for your business. All it requires developers to create links between the URL and the application, which is quite easier to do and doesn’t take much time thereby reducing the cost of development.
Further, they are easy to customize and can be easily customized by changing the application interface, which results in less usage of resources.
You don’t need to update web applications the way you used to update other kinds of applications. Web applications are directly linked to the website or URL that keep it updated to its latest version.
No Need to Download
Since users can interact with web applications directly through a web browser, they do not require any downloading of applications separately from Google Play and the Apple Play store. Web applications run on multiple platforms and can be accessed by different browsers without having any issues.
Web design services for a default web app are designed in a way that can be run on any operating system. Web application quickly adapts to different screen sizes for iOS, Android, and Windows as they are accessed via browsers.
Disadvantages of Web Application
Web applications require a well-established internet connection to browse the website and make the application run seamlessly. As web applications can not be accessed without the Internet and even with a slow internet connection.
As web applications are solely dependent on their web browser so in the case when the website fails to work or seems unresponsive, apps will stop working too. Furthermore, if your site faces any kind of issues, the app will also likely have trouble.
Web applications run pretty slowly compared to mobile applications that are hosted on a local server. The sizes of web applications tend to increase as they are directly linked to the browser. The speed of web applications also depends on the quality of the internet connection.
Web applications offer fewer security features compared to other common applications. Despite the fact they use SSL enforcement, they still found a lack of security against threats and some malicious attacks on important data.
Native technology has always been found to be more beneficial than non-native ones. Web applications use non-native technologies, they often fail to communicate with all hardware and operating systems of specific devices used for.
Why is Web Application Development Important?
Web apps help to protect websites and software programs designed for a high level of security and more privacy. For businesses, it is essential to create an online presence for promoting their brand.
Web applications help businesses to interact with more customers and create their brand identity in the modern world. They create the best user experience and provide a better and more seamless experience across all devices including iOS, Android, Macs, Windows, etc.
No matter what industry you belong to, a web application can help reach your existing as well as new customers to your business more efficiently. Web app development helps you create the best web applications that meet your unique business needs and deliver outstanding experiences.
Process of Web Application Development
Idea & Concept
The very first step of web application development requires an in-depth understanding of ideas, web application requirements, market niche, and ultimately the goal of application development.
This is one of the most important processes of web application development where app designers craft aesthetically pleasing, visually appealing, and most interactive designs for applications. How you want your application to look mainly depends on design.
After designing the application, it comes to building web applications based on UI design and wireframes designed by designers. Web app development covers everything else from design implementation and feature addition to third-party API integrations.
After the design and development, this is the step where the application is tested to ensure its capabilities such as performance, security, and robustness. It covers multiple-testing phases including manual testing, automation testing, functional testing, unit testing, etc., to ensure applications run seamlessly without any technical issues.
This is the final phase of the web application development process which includes a detailed review of all the above steps to ensure everything is done carefully and once confirmed all set as desired, the application is launched and released to the app market.
Web App vs. Website
A web application is a type of software application that can be accessed from different web browsers. A website helps in attracting more customers to drive more business and build brand identity.
Web applications are designed to interact with end-users. The website has a single domain that includes interlinked web pages with static content. Web applications allow users to read the content and manipulate the data, while websites only allow users to read the content but can’t manipulate the data.
Google Apps, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc., are examples of web applications, while wikipedia.org, google.com, amazon.com, blogs, etc., are examples of a website.
Web app vs. Mobile apps
Mobile apps are designed for a specific platform like Android, iOS, Mac, or Windows and can only be accessed through a specific device or platform. In contrast, you can access web apps over the internet and browser and they will quickly adapt to different screen sizes of iOS, Android, Windows where they are used. Let’s take a look at the side-by-side comparison between web apps and mobile apps.
Difference Between Web Apps & Mobile Apps
- The web application doesn’t support complex functionalities, while the mobile app can support any complex functionalities due to its flexible interfaces.
- There’s no need to download the latest patches and updates in web applications as they are applied directly to the entire web applications, while in mobile applications, one must have to download the patches and security updates from Play Store.
- Developers don’t need to take care of the underlying platform for web applications, while mobile applications are platform-specific apps and require a detailed platform consideration.
- Web apps are easy to monetize while mobile apps are hard to monetize.
- Web apps don’t involve any downloading while mobile apps need to be downloaded for use.
Technology stacks for Web Application Development
When it comes to web application development, it often comes to a question of which technology is the best for building highly interactive web applications. Following are the most popular and widely used technologies for web application development.
There are two main categories of coding, scripting, and programming for creating Web Applications:
Client-Side Scripting / Coding
Client-Side Scripting refers to a code executed or interpreted by browsers. Client-Side Scripting can be viewed by any visitor on the site from View Source and view the source code.
Following is a list of some Client Side Scripting technologies used for web application development:
- HyperText Markup Language (HTML)
- Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
Server Side Scripting / Coding
Server Side Scripting is a type of code that is executed or interpreted by the webserver. Server Side Scripting can be accessed or viewed by any visitor on the site or the general public.
Following is a list of the most common Server Side Scripting technologies used for web app development:
- PHP, the most common Server Side Scripting language which is generally combined with MySQL database
- Zend Framework, an Object-Oriented Web Application Framework of PHP
- Ruby on Rails, a web application framework of Ruby programming language
- ColdFusion, a Web Application Framework by Adobe
- Python- a server-side, general-purpose, and high-level programming language
- ASP, a Microsoft Web Server (IIS) Scripting language
- ASP.NET, a Web Application Framework of Microsoft
Cost of Web App Development
The actual cost of web application development depends on multiple factors such as the number of features that you want to have in your application, app inherent complexity, any special web application requirements, and the location of the web application development company that you choose for web app development.
However, a simple web application with a basic interface and core functionality may cost somewhere between $5k to 15k. If you want to create a more professional web application with an advanced interface and special features and functionality, it may cost anywhere between $15k to $30k as it will involve a dedicated team of highly experienced developers and designers to build functionality-rich web applications as per your business requirements.
Remember, the actual cost can only be decided after the complete analysis of your business needs, application functionality, and complexity. So, the cost of web app development may decrease or increase depending on specific app requirements.
The popularity of web applications is increasing day by day and has become an ongoing trend of development in 2022. Many companies prefer to use web applications as they help them build a complete range of functionality, smooth interaction with customers, and superior performance with a seamless experience across all devices and multiple browsers. As a result, web applications are considered to be the next-gen solutions for organizations to interact with more customers and expand their businesses exponentially.