What Is a Web Application? What Business Must Know

 / January 03, 2020

Chances are that you did access a web application at least once ever since starting to use the Internet but never noticed it, and now you want to develop one for your own business but don’t know how and where to begin with. So, if this is a problem that might bother you, let us give you a quick introduction to web applications!

In this article, we will take you through 3 parts:

  • What is a web application?
  • How does a web app work?
  • Pros and cons of using a web application

What Is a Web Application?

A web application seems a bit similar to a website, nevertheless, the only thing they share in common is running on web browsers. Basically, a website merely shows and focuses on content such as images, texts, links, and most of the time, you can only go from this page to another without any other actions to do. A web application, on the other hand, offers you specific functions and features to interact with.

web application
Lumin – a web application developed by Designveloper

So, this blog is a website. Facebook.com is a web application (you can comment, like, or share posts, etc here). TheGuardian.com is a website. And Amazon.com is a web application (you can zoom in the photo, order items and make purchases here.

At the moment, a lot of desktop apps and software have their own web application version to optimize their user experience. For instance, you can easily access Slack on Chrome or Safari instead of downloading the whole 67-Mb package.

How Does a Web Application Work?

To imagine this easier, let me tell you a story.

One morning, John feels that he must go online and see if his favorite singer – Rihanna – has released a new album. So, he accesses Twitter searches the word “Rihanna” and reads all the tweets related to this singer. 

Basically, that’s how this web app works under the eyes of a user. However, let’s take a look at some technical details.

First, John accesses Twitter via his browser, it could be Safari, Chrome or whatever he prefers. This action triggers a request to the webserver over the Internet. 

web application

Then, the webserver forwards John’s request (in this case, it’s to access Twitter) to the webserver. And the web server will perform that task. 

After that, the web app will send the result back to the webserver.

The final step is that John’s requested information will ve delivered to his devices and appear on the screen.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Web Application to Assist Your Business

1. The 5 Advantages

1. Flexibility

Since a web application can run on various browsers, users don’t need to worry about compatibility. You can just open it on Chrome, Safari or Firefox, etc. and interact with that site without worrying if your current OS or device could handle this application. 

In short, it does not matter what your users are using, the web application is still operated well (of course if your web application is developed properly).

Recommended reading: Web Application Examples and Definition for Beginners

2. Save space on disks

It’s a fact that you don’t even need to install such software on your computer or phone thanks to the availability of the cloud. This way, users don’t need to waste any space on disks to perform activities that could easily be done on browsers.

web application

3. Does not need to be approved by app stores

As we have mentioned in Android App Development Guide: A Comprehensive Guide”, the submission stage takes a lot of time and is kind of complicated. As a publisher, you have to sign code on the AppStore and the Play Store, and follow their rules and regulars if your product is a mobile app. Nevertheless, when it comes to a web application, you can just publish it without any need for approval. 

4. Users can access such a product easier

Users can access such a product easier with web application
Users can access such a product easier with a web application

Another advantage of web applications is that your users can open your product anywhere, anytime. Thanks to this convenience, your potential customers won’t have to spend their precious time and effort to experience your products/services. 

At the same time, every user will be on the same page or more exactly, they will all use the newest version of your software and there is no need to download it.

5. Reduce cost

Cost is one of the most important factors that make businesses pour their little budget into developing a web application. With web apps, you don’t have to develop your software for various operating systems like macOS, Windows, or Linux. In other words, this is a one-for-all application. As a result, the development and debugging stage will not be a big issue.

web application

On the other hand, your design team doesn’t have to customize the UI design for each device, OS, etc. too.

The 3 Disadvantages

Along with all the good things, there are always some downsides. Businesses should consider these to decide if they should develop a web application.

1. Too dependent on the internet connection

Due to the fact that users must use a browser to access your product, connection loss will be a common issue for any web application.

web application
Image: LifeWire

However, don’t be so desperate since, at the moment, the amount of time people spend using the Internet is increasing rapidly. According to DataReportal, a person uses the Internet an average time of 6.5 hours/day.

2. Security

Cloud is a perfect place to host your web app, nevertheless, the risk of data breaching is increasing as well. According to edgescan, in 2018, there were 19% of the websites tested faced the vulnerabilities of being attacked. And this was the result of poor-quality coding. Furthermore, it was reported that the possibility of exposure to vulnerabilities would easily happen to 79% of web applications. This ratio increased from 70% in 2017. Such a bad piece of news.

However, approaches such as SSL enforcement could be your savior in this situation.

Recommended reading: Web Application Architecture: Types, Components, and Tools to Creates

3. Speed

Again, the cloud might be the reason here, because of it, your web application is likely to run slower than other types of applications that are hosted on a server locally. 

web application
Image: Speedify.

Apart from the cloud, this may happen due to the slow server and loading, low bandwidth, DNS issues, and network connectivity.

A Conclusion on Web Application Development

People at Designveloper hope that the article helps you understand the concept of web application development successfully. As always, don’t forget to follow our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

And in case you want to create a web app for your business, Designveloper might be the one! Our services range from web app development, mobile app development, and business consultant. Give us your idea and we will realize it for you!

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