Web Application Development - What is it?
DateNov 17, 2021
I believe everyone knows what is web and what is an application. But does everyone really know what those two words combined mean? If you are one of the people who don’t know what a web application is, you are not certainly not the only one. But don’t worry, I created a simple beginner’s guide for you!
So what are web applications exactly and how do they differ from normal websites?
Websites contain mostly static content that is publicly accessible to the users while web applications are created with user interaction in mind. In a web application, the user can change the data, while on websites users can only view and read the content.
Web applications are more scalable, robust and reliable when compared to a website, and can be accessed from any browser.
Now that we covered the basics, let’s get a bit more in-depth.
Benefits of web applications
Still not sure whether the direction of creating a web application is the right step for you and your business? To help you make that important decision, I want to touch up on some benefits that web applications can bring to your business and maybe even help you bring your business to the next level. Web applications have become an integral part of many businesses and a way for them to reach out to their customers through any platform. But we shouldn’t forget other uses for web applications such as using them for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Workflow and Project management, Loyalty programs and more. But let’s circle back to the benefits which are:
If your users are accessing your page from various devices, with web applications it doesn’t really matter whether they are using laptops, tablets or smartphones – they will be able to access it. As long as your users have a stable internet connection they will be able to use the multi-platform page, with any operating system they have.
And most of the web applications are compatible with all browsers, so you don’t need to worry whether your user will be able to find you and interact with your business.
Offering your user a web application means they don’t have to download it in order to use it, meaning they won’t have to give up the space on their device. Maybe it is not something we often think about with our smartphones offering more and more storage each year but some users just prefer having less apps cluttering their screens and taking up the space.
This is not the only benefit of not needing to download it as once you release any updates the users won’t have to do it themselves but will be able to constantly use the web app with the latest updates.
Easier To Develop
For businesses that decide to create both a website and a mobile app, they will have to develop two different things, probably using more developers and more resources in order to do that. Plus if you decide to go native, and you wish to have your app on both Play Store and Apple App Store, you’ll need even more resources. Web applications solve those problems by having just one codebase to work with. Which brings us to the next point.
Cost And Time Effective
One of the most important benefits for many businesses is that creating a web application is much faster and cost effective than going native. For any business that wishes to hit the market quickest, this can be a great solution. Plus, not needing different developers for creating more platforms is much more budget friendly.
When updating your web application you only need to update the server(s) which makes the process easier and more efficient.
Types Of Web Applications
We have established why it may be beneficial for your business to invest in a web application. And now we can get through what types of web apps are there. Generally we divide them into static and dynamic. But within those two categories there are many more subtypes important to mention, and that I will briefly explain in this section. So let’s get started with what exactly static and dynamic web applications are.
The sole name of these web applications tell us that they are much less flexible than dynamic web applications. Their content is restricted and there is not much personalization on the app. They appear the same to the user as they are saved on the server. However, there are some benefits as they are very quick to develop, the cost of the development is low, they are easy to host and work well even on slower internet connection. Some examples of that would be the resumes, portfolios and landing pages for marketing.
Much more complex than the static page, dynamic web app is often a better fit for many businesses as it offer better personalization for their users and, therefore, make the user’s experience much better. They collect the data in real-time depending on the user’s requests.
Since we mentioned this, we can understand that dynamic web apps are much more complex to produce when compared to static web apps. This type of web applications use CMS (Content management system) to ensure that its content is constantly being updated and easy to access.
Choosing the technology for these kinds of applications can be a bit daunting as there are many to choose from – Node.js, HTML, jQuery, CSS, PHP, Perl, Python, etc. But that is where the development team you hire should come in and help. If you have a project in mind you can send us an inquiry here!
This is the type of application that you probably use in every-day life but you just don’t think of them in that way. What happens on single-page applications is that when it interacts with the user it doesn’t load the entire new page from the server but instead, it dynamically rewrites the current page. It doesn’t interrupt the user experience and it creates a feeling of using a desktop application.
EXAMPLES: Gmail, Airbnb, Netflix, Pinterest, Google Maps etc.
They are the perfect solution for any business that requires an application larger than a single-page application – due to the amount of content on the page. Often thought of as a traditional way of app development, it requests reloading each time we have a need to open a new page from the server in the browser. What makes this application often a better fit is that it is much more SEO friendly then its counterparts. For businesses thinking about scaling their business in the future it can also be a better option as Multi-page apps are more scalable and you can create unlimited pages within the already existing one.
EXAMPLES: Amazon, eBay, Forbes etc.
Web Application Development Trends
Trends change very fast and oftentimes we see them come and go even in the world of technology. However, by following trends you could create a much better experience for your users as you are offering them the current best thing in the world of technology service. One thing to note is that current technology trends will probably soon become a norm that is expected to have on every web app there is, so why not immediately jump on the train and become a trend leader in your industry.
Progressive Web Apps
I thought a lot about whether I should put this under section “Types of web applications” or here in trends, and eventually decided to go with trends and here are my reasons for that. The reason for my hesitation was that they aren’t exactly the newest invention, but progressive web apps are (or will soon be) taking the throne from web applications. They are the best of both worlds — web and mobile applications. The simplest way to describe it is that it is a website that both acts and feels like an app. What is amazing about these types of applications is that users can actually install web apps to their mobile home screens, and not only that, but also receive push notifications and work on apps offline. This is a huge thing as we know that most users use their phone devices for most of their online needs and activities.
EXAMPLES: Starbucks, Uber, Pinterest etc.
For some time now we have seen the popularity growth of voice assistants on mobile devices and some home devices as well. And now they are occupying the world of web applications which is not unexpected as the number of users who use them daily are growing each year. The reason why it is so popular is because the learning curve for it is minimal as it is something we all (including the kids and eldery) know how to do – communication.
The place we see it mostly used today is in e-commerce businesses but the truth is that it can be applicable to other types of online businesses as well, so if you want your web application to be more easily found, optimize it for voice search as soon as you can.
Artificial Intelligence Chatbots
I can’t think of a better way to quickly improve your customer experience than by implementing AI chatbots into your website. And it is good to be aware that chatbots are becoming more and more sophisticated every year. By using machine learning, natural language processing, and information retrieval techniques, chatbots are starting to learn and match the behavior of users. You should think of them as your 24/7 assistants who can collect data, answer frequently asked questions, and solve other issues even when you and the rest of the employees are sleeping. This provides a much better and seamless digital experience with a web app.
In this section I want to share some projects we worked on more recently. Get inspiration or just take a look at what we worked on. If you decide that you want to work with us, here are some aspects our clients and partners singled out as primary reasons they chose us to ideate, design and develop custom websites for their businesses.
First one being that we always try to create cutting-edge projects. Our award-winning design and development teams create your website that has an amazing look & feel while being fast and responsive.
Secondly, we put conversion first. Created websites always place maximum focus on your main business goal, whether it’s awareness, product presentation, lead generation or sales.
And lastly the projects we work on are always user-oriented. All websites are based around the latest UX/UI methodologies to make sure that users can and want to perform actions specified by project goals.
So, without more introduction, let’s take a look at some web applications we created and published recently.
Our client needed a way to scale its subscription business in order to dramatically increase revenue. They needed a website that can welcome the constant growth of their subscribers, but at the same time showcase the high-quality and premium feeling of the brand. Since our client has a subscription-based business, the scope included both building and launching the new eCommerce website while at the same time planning and coordinating the migration of half a million users, their personal details, payment tokens, their subscriptions and their historical orders to the new stack.
For this project we went chunk by chunk, functionality by functionality and built and redefined different parts of the website while the product is live and working. This way, we upgraded our process, approach and the whole web without stopping our client from generating revenue and new customers.
Ljubicic Tennis Academy – Awwwards Winning Project
Ljubičić Tennis Academy offers internationally certified and tailor-made programs that will help tennis players reach the next level and focus on their game.
Our main task was to design and develop a full website that will provide future participants with all the important information and help them choose their program.
And we are very happy to say that this project won an Awwwards Site Of The Day award. We are glad to be awarded by Awwwards as they are globally recognized Website Awards that recognize and promote the talent and effort of the best developers, designers and web agencies in the world.
Check out the Dribbble shots we created for this project here!
EVERY PROJECT STARTS WITH AN IDEA
Web applications can definitely be a great solution for many businesses who want to attract more users and create a better user experience. Not only can web apps be a cost effective solution for some businesses but it can also be a good choice if you need to hit the market faster.