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.

Achievement-oriented

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).

The main web development technologies in  client-side web development are Hypertext Markup Language (HTML),  Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and JavaScript. Basically, HTML takes care  of how a browser displays content, CSS styles the content, and  JavaScript makes the web app interactive.

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.
  • Node.js

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 Architecture Diagram
Web Application Architecture Diagram

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.