a screen full of code
a screen full of code

What Is Web Application Development and Why Is It Important?


Although websites and web applications seem to be the same, web application development differs significantly from website development.

Did you know that there are nearly two billion websites on the Internet? And while that is an insane number of websites, only 10-20% are active.

The natural next question to ask then is: why are so many websites inactive? Well, not all websites are created equal. What sets apart a successful website from a dud is web application.

Although websites and web applications seem to be the same, web application development differs significantly from website development.

If you need clarification about web application development and how it can impact your business, continue reading. We'll break it all down for you.

What Is a Web App?

A web application is a computer program that uses a web browser to perform a specific function. It's delivered to users' devices via the Internet. Because users access them over a network, web applications don't need to be downloaded.

Web applications are client-server programs, meaning they have a client-side and a server-side. The client enters data from the front end while the server, or back end, of the application stores and processes information. Common examples include:

  • Content management systems
  • Online forms
  • Shopping carts

Whereas a website provides visual and text content that users can see, web applications allow users to interact with data on the page. For instance, the visitor can click a button or submit a form and get a response.

While web applications are websites, they do much more. They help integrate a unique experience of native apps with easy access on any device.

There are three components to a web application. They are:

  • Application server: processes requests
  • Database: stores information
  • Web server: manages client requests

Types of Web Applications

App icons

There are two main types of web applications. They are static web applications and dynamic web applications.

Static web applications don't have any interaction between the user and the server. Examples of static web apps are a simple business website or someone's work portfolio. They display information but can't offer additional functions.

Conversely, dynamic web applications interact with the user and generate real-time data. These web applications have interactive elements and functions to engage users, making them more complex to build.

Facebook is an example of a dynamic web application. You can log in and communicate with other users in various ways. More examples include Netflix and HubSpot.

There are other types of web applications your business can create too. Some to consider include the following:

  • Animated web apps (Species in Pieces)
  • Content management systems (Joomla, WordPress)
  • E-commerce apps (Amazon, eBay, Walmart)
  • Multiple page apps (Google Docs, Trello)
  • Portal web apps (Coursera, Udemy)
  • Progressive web apps (Spotify, Starbucks)
  • Single-page apps (Gmail, PayPal, Pinterest)

Not sure which web application will work best for your business? A developer can assist you.

What Is Web Application Development?

Web app development is when you build or create an application that will live on web servers, as discussed.

Developers try to find a solution to a specific problem, then work to design a web application by choosing an appropriate development framework. The developer can test the solution and deploy the web app if it works as intended.

Follow these steps to help create a successful business application:

  • Create a strategy
  • Hire developers
  • Budget and plan
  • App creation
  • Marketing
  • Support and maintenance

Benefits of Custom Web Application Development

There are many benefits your business will realize after building a custom web application. Here are our top four.

Cross-Platform and Browser Compatibility

Because web applications are programmed to run on any operating system, they can adapt to different devices, such as:

  • Android
  • iOS and macOS
  • Windows

This means you don't have to worry about reformating the application for each operating system, saving time and money.

Additionally, web applications use an accessible URL, making them compatible with all browsers, including:

  • Bing
  • Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • Internet Explorer

Customer Loyalty

A busy coffee shop

Web applications help improve customer retention. Customers can accomplish tasks on your application at any time of day when it's most convenient for them.

You'll also communicate better with your customers and increase visibility on the Internet.

Plus, you can use data to provide precisely what customers want. Custom web application development helps improve brand awareness and communicate your brand ideology to customers. As a result, you'll have a competitive edge in your target market.

Improved Security

Cybersecurity continues to remain a top concern for businesses and consumers. In 2021, hackers profited $6 trillion from cyberheist operations! Thus, companies must offer a safe online environment where customers can make transactions.

Web apps use more robust security systems. However, web development services have a team of security professionals to monitor your application. This helps prepare your system for data breaches and natural disasters.

Further, web applications store information on a remote server, so should anything happen, you can securely log into your application and have your business up and running again in no time.

Reduced Costs

Web applications require less support and maintenance, and they have lower requirements on the end-user system. There are no hardware purchases or frequent device updates. You'll notice long-term savings from reduced operating costs when you use a web application to streamline business operations.

Additionally, since web applications only require one version to operate on all systems, it takes less time to develop. This is especially true compared with a mobile app.

Hire a Web App Developer

Previously, websites were a crucial tool all businesses needed to succeed. But today, what companies really need is a web application. It's the most critical tool in helping companies, and consumers connect with each other. With the benefits of building a custom web app, it's worth the investment.

At ThoughtLab, we can help with your web application development or anything else related to digital marketing you need assistance with. Contact us today to learn more about our services.