Web App Development: Everything You Need to Know 🧑‍💻🧰

  • Engineering, Dev & IT
Contra Tips
· 7 min read

Master web app development to boost your business. Find out more about the types, advantages, and drawbacks in this detailed guide.

As a business owner, you likely know that a solid online presence is essential for success. But what if you could go beyond the basics and offer your customers a truly personalized, interactive, and dynamic experience? With web app development, you can do just that.

Here, we’ll demystify this game-changing concept, discuss the different types of apps and the pros and cons of developing your own, and look at how to leverage this concept to elevate your business. Plus, we’ll tell you how Contra can connect you with the perfect Independent to turn your web app dreams into reality.

What is web app development? 💻

Web app development is creating dynamic, data-driven application programs that run within a web browser, such as Google Chrome or Safari. Web apps enhance the interactivity and functionality of traditional websites, making them more engaging and user-friendly. They provide a seamless, interactive user experience by delivering content and features directly to the user's device through the internet.

Unlike traditional web development, which focuses on designing and building static websites, web app development gathers user data and channels that information into automation. 

For example, a basic website may simply display a restaurant's menu, while a web app may allow users to place orders, customize their meals, make reservations, and track their order progress in real-time. This enhanced functionality offers greater convenience for users and helps businesses streamline their operations, increasing customer satisfaction.

Here are a few popular web applications you’ve likely heard of or used before:

Mailchimp 🐒

More than a website, Mailchimp is a comprehensive online email marketing service. It empowers businesses to quickly and effectively design, distribute, and manage targeted email campaigns. It offers a simple user interface with features like customizable templates, advanced segmentation, and detailed analytics. This web app is great for helping businesses maximize their reach and engagement, as it also integrates with many third-party services. 

Notion 📓

Notion is an all-in-one workspace that meets the diverse needs of professionals worldwide. With features including note-taking, task management, project collaboration, and document creation, it’s a versatile, powerful tool for teams and individuals. It boasts an intuitive interface that allows users to optimize their organization and centralize daily work. This web app boosts productivity, fosters communication, and more. 

Trello ✏️

Trello is a visually driven project management tool that uses boards, lists, and cards to help teams streamline their workflow. This web app makes it easy to see which tasks are assigned and the progress on specific projects, and its flexible structure allows easy customization. Trello integrates well with numerous third-party apps, enhancing collaboration.

If you’re a business owner undertaking an information technology (IT) project, consider learning about web app development to help set yourself up for success. Web app development:

  • Gathers relevant client data. Creating a web app enables businesses to collect valuable customer information quickly and easily to help make informed decisions and tailor services to their customers’ needs.
  • Offers a smarter, more engaging user experience. Web app development creates a more attractive, personalized customer experience, setting businesses apart in the crowded market and fostering loyalty. 

Understanding web app development: pros + cons ⚖️

Like any technology, web apps have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. To make an informed decision about whether web app development is the right choice for your business, carefully examine these benefits and drawbacks:

Pros 👍

  • Highly portable. Any device with an internet connection and a web browser, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets, can access web apps.
  • Convenient. Users don’t need to download and install web apps, and their accessibility through web browsers makes them convenient to use — entry barriers disappear, and users get started.
  • Easier to develop. Because there is only one codebase, development processes are easier for web apps than native apps. 

Cons 👎

  • Reduced speed. Web apps are slower than mobile apps on iOS and Android because they rely on an internet connection instead of being hosted on a local web server. 
  • Limited functionality. Web apps aren’t native, which means they do not always collaborate well with devices’ hardware and operating systems because web apps are multi-platform, and system settings differ between devices. 
  • Harder to access. Most (if not all) web apps need the Internet to function. 

Types of web app development 🌐

For those exploring the world of web apps and their development, familiarize yourself with the different types. Each has unique characteristics and strengths that cater to various project requirements and user experiences. Here are three common types of web applications:

Multi-page applications (MPAs) ✅

These traditional applications have more than one page. Apps’ functionalities live on separate web pages, meaning a new page loads when a user clicks a link or button. Multi-page applications are ideal for marketplaces, eLearning sites, and similar platforms, and they’re a common choice for web app development. An excellent example is the popular e-commerce website Amazon. 

Single-page applications (SPAs) 🏢

These web apps load a single HTML page. They dynamically update content as users interact with the app, minimize page loading times and enhance the user experience. All the functionalities exist on a single page; examples include Gmail, Facebook, and Twitter. 

Progressive web applications (PWAs) 💡

PWAs offer the best of web and native apps. Progressive web apps include features of both types of apps — they work as web apps but offer offline accessibility and push notifications, which are characteristic of native apps. These apps aim to provide a near-native experience while keeping the benefits of web apps. A popular example is Starbucks.

Who develops web apps? 💥

A diverse range of professionals gets involved when it’s time to consider how to make a web app. It requires a combination of components, including front-end development, back-end development (this can help with your tech stack, too), user experience (UX) design, web design, and project management. Developers skilled in programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and various frameworks and libraries create the app’s structure and functionality. At the same time, UX designers craft user-friendly interfaces, ensuring seamless navigation and an enjoyable user experience. Project managers oversee and coordinate the entire process. 

How much does web app development cost? 🤑

The cost of developing a web app depends on what type of app you’re working on and its complexity and requirements. Considering certain factors when planning your web app development project will ensure you set aside an appropriate budget and pave the way for fewer surprises. 

Here are some elements that are likely to increase the overall cost:

  • Technologies used. The programming languages, frameworks, and web development tools you use can impact the cost of developing a web app. Advanced, cutting-edge technologies often require expert help that pushes the cost upward.
  • Project scope. The scale and complexity of your web app’s functionalities directly influence the cost. Larger projects with intricate features and designs are more expensive than their simpler counterparts.
  • Hiring choices. The difference between an in-house development team, agency, or freelancer affects costs too. Contra is the perfect platform for browsing and connecting with verified, high-quality Independents if you need assistance with your project. 

Find a web app developer with Contra ⚡ 

Explore web app development to boost your business’s online presence and offer engaging customer experiences! At Contra, we understand that finding the right developer or development company is crucial for your web app’s success, and that’s why we make it easy to find skilled Independents around the globe. Contra is a commission-free platform for connecting with verified professionals who can help bring your vision to life. Ready to build something extraordinary? Join today, and we’ll make it easy to get in touch with talented freelancers who can help you go far.

A Game Plan for Getting Clients 🔥

Working independently doesn’t mean searching endlessly for clients. Building a successful independent career requires a foundation of good clients, and marketing yourself online is the most effective way to do it.
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