What is web application development?
To begin, let’s start by dissecting what is a web application. A web application is a computer program that uses web browsers and web technology to execute tasks over an Internet connection. A web application is basically a dynamic website combined with server-side programming to include functionalities such as user interaction, back-end database connection, and more.
Everyday examples of web applications include online banking, social networking, e-commerce, shopping cart applications, online polls, blogs, interactive games, and content management systems, to name a few.
The world of web applications is vast and diverse, which is why it is no wonder that a structured process to build one is necessary to ensure success. In this article, we are going to talk about the ins and outs of custom web application development and what it takes to drive this technology forward.
Typically, web applications are programmed by using a combination of server-side scripts and client-side scripts to respectively manage the storage and retrieval of information and present said information to users. Applications can be either dynamic or static, based on the amount of processing required at the server level.
Now that we have the concept of web applications clear and defined, let’s move onto the following: What is web application development? Web application development is nothing other than the process and set of practices to build a web application under a structured and regulated framework of tools and technologies that follow the product’s lifecycle from inception to the post-delivery stage.
You can think of the web application development process as the blueprint of the web application, where a comprehensive overview of what it is intended to do, its design, its functionalities, features, intended audience, and more, are outlined in detail to plan the scope of the development project.
The custom web application: the quintessential ingredient in modern businesses
Web applications are fundamental in modern business environments as they bring a number of benefits that help companies achieve goals faster and more effectively.
These benefits include:
- Ability to run web applications on multiple platforms, regardless of their operating system or device, as long as the browser is compatible.
- Users can access the same version of a web application, eliminating any compatibility issues.
- Custom web application development has scalability in mind when building an app, considering the future needs of a business to handle changing needs in a responsive development environment.
- Space is not a constraint as the web application is not installed on a computer’s hard drive.
- Custom apps help businesses embed as many security features as they require to strengthen the system.
- With subscription-based web applications, the risk of piracy is significantly reduced.
- Web applications are cost-effective as they require little support and maintenance.
On top of these benefits, we are going to focus on the features of branding and awareness, customer-first approach, and achievement-oriented strategy that web applications have the power to bring into any business environment.
Branding and awareness
Branding and awareness are fundamental to the success of any business that plans to become a recognizable enterprise. Branding a business means giving shape and form to the company’s identity via different marketing methods to promote products, services, culture, employees, and overall business.
Building brand awareness goes hand in hand with a comprehensive branding strategy that is designed to deliver an optimal experience for customers on various engagement levels to transform them into loyal brand advocates, which in turn, results in more profit.
In this generation of fast-moving technology and interconnectivity, branding and awareness are paired with a strong online presence that allows customers to easily recognize your business and brand. The ability of clients to recognize your brand is vital in the path to developing a well-cemented connection between your business and your customer. And websites and web apps are fantastic ways to accomplish this coveted goal.
Nowadays, web apps are an important keystone to an organization’s publicity and branding strategies as they are capable of transmitting a company’s branding throughout the design. Online branding in web apps can help deliver your business identity message as well as valuable content in an aesthetically-pleasing, effective fashion. Brands want to connect and engage with customers, and in the era of digital devices, it is only natural to design custom web applications that organically evolve around consumer behavior.
An effective web app can increase the chance to upsell a product or service by reaching a wider audience and spreading knowledge about a solution. An added bonus is the increased visibility of a company’s positioning in the industry, which adds to their popularity and improves lead generation.
Consumers expect brands to have a digital presence and actively seek out brands to connect, tilting the power balance from the brand and into the consumer’s hands. This major shift must be considered as businesses cultivate branding and awareness to enhance the digital customer experience.
Customer first approach
For a long time, the “customer is king” business mantra has been true for many businesses that build entire business models around customer satisfaction. By engaging in a customer-first approach, businesses put the needs and requirements of consumers above anything else and are oriented towards enhancing customer experiences via healthy client relationships that are personalized and come with top-notch customer support.
The customer-first approach sits well with businesses that are customer-oriented and that measure success levels based on customer satisfaction. More and more organizations are interested in engaging customers via web apps that are customer-facing and accessible across numerous devices.
Not only do web apps offer an excellent wealth of knowledge, solutions, and interactive engagement, they are also capable of delivering push and pull notifications, location-based content, loyalty programs, analytics, deep links, and more, which, of course, are all centered around the customer.
In a customer-first approach, customer support is crucial to stay connected with consumers. Nowadays, it is very common for end users to think of online web support as their first option to reach a company or solve an issue. The barriers of location and other constraints are ripped apart by making it possible for clients to have a direct line of contact with a business organization and receive answers quickly and effectively.
Web applications that are designed with a customer-first approach typically offer constant, never-ending support that is easily accessible at any time of the day and from any part of the world.
All companies want to have a superior business standing in today’s highly competitive market. A well-designed web application can give businesses an edge in a sea of competitors who are cut-throat and relentless in their attempts to be number one.
Web applications can help your business reach that desired competitive edge by attracting users with an easy to use application that delivers solutions effortlessly to clients and potential leads.
Additionally, web applications give you the platform to reinvent and evolve your brand to include today’s latest trends and compete in modern online business marketplaces.
The cost of custom web app development
It would be pretty neat to give you a definite amount you can use as a measuring stick for custom web app development, but sadly, there is no clear-cut answer to how much it specifically costs to undertake a custom web application development project. Instead, we must take the ambiguous, sometimes treacherous road, of telling you: it depends. We know, you must think we’re taking the easy way out, but the truth of the matter is that there are a number of variables that come into play that can affect and tilt the entire balance of a custom web application development project.
As web applications become more essential to our daily existence, it is only natural that the price to build a custom web app increases exponentially. Not only do web apps serve a purpose or solve a problem, but they usually obtain results faster and more cost-effectively, which is why the IT industry has embraced their development as second-nature.
As previously mentioned, there are numerous factors that come into play when it comes to determining the exact price of custom web application development. At the heart of it, the cost is directly linked to the number of hours of effort put into a project, and multiplying that number by the assigned dollar amount for each hour of work. It sounds simple enough, but determining that assigned dollar rate is complex. These are a few of the most common factors that influence the cost of custom web app development:
- The complexity and size of the project.
- Post-delivery and maintenance expenses.
- Professional talent and development resources.
- Web application development tools and web development technologies used in the project.
- Vendor’s rank in the industry.
This list is not all-inclusive, as there are unique factors for each custom web application development project that must be considered when trying to price or estimate the costs of the work involved. Whether it is a basic, medium, or complex project, each has its key characteristics that can lower or raise the price of web app development.
Custom business application development
Just as with traditional desktop applications, custom business application development has multiple layers and levels of complexity to take into account before embarking on a project. These include development cycle times, business models, multi-disciplinary teams, business analysis, explicit requirements, maintenance, and more.
An important aspect of custom business application development is determining the right stack of web development technologies and web application development tools that meet functional requirements. The technology stack covers the two main sides of web development: the client-side (front-end) and the server-side (back-end).
For the server-side web development, some of the most popular programming languages and frameworks include:
- Ruby / Ruby on Rails.
- Python / Django.
- PHP / Laravel.
- Java / Spring.
The server-side technology stack also requires databases; some of the most common options include MySQL, MongoDB, etc. A caching system, such as Redis, is also needed to reduce the load on a database. Finally, web applications need a server, such as Apache or Nginx, to handle client requests.
Examples of web applications
As we previously mentioned, there are numerous examples of web applications embedded into our daily life such as online forms, shopping carts, word processors, spreadsheets, email programs, and more.
Very well-known examples of web applications include the popular Google Apps, Airbnb, Microsoft 365, Netflix, Trello, Shopify, Quora, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Coursera, and Facebook, to name only a few. Google Apps specifically, includes applications such as Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, online storage, and more.
Web Application Development services
As a proven web application development company, offers comprehensive web application development services in their portfolio. These web application development services include creating custom web applications that are built to order to meet the unique needs of each client.
This solution is the best fit for clients who want to create a web application from scratch, avoid project management risks, take advantage of a hand-over approach, and implement innovation to speed up development and/or integration of a project.