Living in a technological world means businesses must adapt to modern times. Part of this adaptation is through engaging in web application development.
However, creating a web application can be challenging. This article provides in-depth insight into web application development; it covers what web application development is, the key features needed for successful development, and how it can help your business.
What Is Web Application Development?
Web application development, or web app development, refers to the process of creating web-based applications that perform similarly to mobile applications. Web applications are interactive software pieces hosted on a web server. Unlike mobile apps, you can access them through a browser, such as Chrome or Firefox.
Web applications serve both the user and the development team. Users can access an application for a specific purpose, such as a social media application to connect with family. At the same time, the application gathers information and data for the development team to use to gain valuable insights into customers' interests and preferences.
To build a successful web application, your team needs a background in the following:
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Business logic
- Client-side programming
- Progressive web applications
- User experience (UX) and user interface (UI)
- Visual design
- Web animation
- Web servers
Web applications are sometimes confused with websites. However, the two have many differences. For example, web applications interact with the end user, while websites hold static content. The former also precompile information before deployment, whereas the latter requires no precompiled data. Moreover, web application functionality and integration are complicated, and website functionality and integration are simple.
Examples of web applications include shopping carts, spreadsheets, Google Docs, online forms, email programs, social media platforms, and streaming platforms.
Why Is Web App Development Needed?
Website application development allows companies and their software teams to plan, create, and deploy web applications, helping them stay modern and competitive. The other benefits it brings include the following:
- Customizable content: You can customize web application’s content easily between various devices. For example, you can make content respond differently on a mobile device or a computer. Customization enables a user-friendly interface and gives users access to information that can get altered depending on the device. Plus, it allows employees to work easily from a mobile setting.
- Better security & data protection: Data security is a growing concern. Luckily, with web applications, securing live data is a priority as the data gets collected in a single system or process instead of being spread across multiple systems. Web applications also provide an additional layer of security by removing the ability to access data and back-end servers. This added security measure ensures that servers are only accessed by those managing them.
- Decreased cost & resources: Web applications are simple to create and deploy, have an improved and simplified architecture, require less support and maintenance, and have lower end-user requirements. Thus, web applications come with a decreased cost for development and maintenance.
- Easy maintenance & upgrades: Deploying web applications is a simple process that only involves uploading the software to a host server. From there, you can roll out the upgrades from the host server across all devices instead of upgrading each separately.
- Improved accessibility & cross-platform capabilities: Web applications are more accessible than traditional software. The minimum requirement to run a web application is a browser. Whether you are on Windows, Mac OS, or Linux or use a smartphone, desktop, or tablet, you can run a web application as long as you have access to a browser.
- Increased scalability & flexibility: Web applications are easy to implement, scale, and grow. They are also flexible, meaning you can replace the servers without affecting the operating system and decrease the chances of downtime.
Key Features of Web Application Development
There are a few aspects to keep in mind during web platform development. These considerations will help build successful web applications that can grow your business.
Web-based applications are typically compatible with various platforms. You can build them to be progressive, use artificial intelligence and virtual reality, or even be serverless.
The one thing to remember is that no matter your route, compatibility between platforms and devices is a must. No two users are the same. Most will have different needs and devices. Catering to various devices and ensuring platform compatibility will ensure you reach wider audiences.
Web applications must have easy-to-use interfaces and tools that appeal to your target audience. Users don’t want to spend hours fiddling around with your application, trying to figure out how to use it. Complicated user interfaces can turn users away from your application, causing it to fail.
Therefore, ensure you offer your users a user-friendly interface and tools to help them find the information they need quickly and effortlessly. Don’t clutter the UI with unnecessary content and features. Stick with the basics.
When building web applications, aim for metric optimization. Keep track of numbers and analytics. Monitor and analyze app performance so you can make improvements where needed.
Three important metrics to pay attention to include the following:
- Largest contentful paint: The largest contentful paint (LCP) measures site loading performance. A good LCP is around 2.5 seconds before a web application begins loading.
- First input delay: First input delay (FID) measures interactivity. Aim for an FID of lower than 100 milliseconds.
- Cumulative layout shift: The cumulative layout shift (CLS) measures a web application’s visual stability and should equal 0.1 or less.
Web Application Development Process
Web applications can be simple, but they can also be complicated. When working with complex web applications, especially those you started from scratch, you can take the following steps to make the process smoother and more effective.
Solve User Issues
A good web application is creative and innovative while solving the specific needs of your target audience. In other words, your web application needs to solve a common issue shared between a group of individuals.
While creativity and innovation are crucial, they shouldn’t be your primary focus. Instead, focus on how your web application can improve your user’s daily life. Answering these questions may help you come up with the action plan:
- What will this app get used for?
- How will this app make life easier for the end user?
- What unique solutions does this app offer?
Complete Thorough Market Research
Design and development are vital steps to creating a solid web application. However, don’t neglect market research. Make sure to research your target audience thoroughly. Identify real problems, develop an actionable research plan, check in with real users, collect, analyze, and present your data, and implement the findings.
Streamlined the App & Make it User-Friendly
Successful web applications will streamline and grow your business. But how do you make a successful application?
You should first ensure your app is simple and user-friendly. Make an intuitive and visually appealing UI, include straightforward navigation, and ensure your web application features easy and simple installation and updates.
Create a Workflow & Design Your App
The next step is to create a workflow or roadmap. The roadmap makes it easy to follow a course of action and know what tasks to perform and when. Your roadmap should include the web application’s purpose and solution, functionality and features, and mockups.
Consider the time and specialized teams the application needs. Meet with a project manager and project teams to discuss project management, communication rules, and future work. Consider using an agile methodology, which requires projects to be designed and tested in increments or sprints.
Once you finish your roadmap, you can begin designing your application’s UI, database, and back-end and front-end development.
Begin Testing Your Application
Before you launch an application to the public, run testing. There are several types of software testing you can use to test your application, including:
- Accessibility testing
- Alpha testing
- Backward compatibility testing
- Beta testing
- Compatibility testing
- End-to-end testing
- Load testing
- Performance testing
- Recovery testing
- Security testing
- UI testing
- Unit testing
These tests ensure your native application is accessible, compatible with various devices, and secure. It also confirms that performance and recovery time is optimal.
Hire Web App Developers With Revelo
If you want to hire a web application developer to help with your web app programming project, Revelo can assist you. We are a talent marketplace with highly-skilled, top tech workers from Latin America, who are ready to connect with US-based companies. Our pre-vetted candidates are rigorously vetted for technical and soft skills, are English proficient, and experienced.
Revelo can also support you through negotiation, onboarding, and other demanding parts of the hiring process. Contact us to learn how Revelo can help you grow your developer team.