Table of contents
- What is a web application?
- What are the benefits of web applications?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of web applications over other applications?
- What are the types of web apps?
The use of digital platforms have increased with the easy availability of Internet. Most of us spent our time on the internet using a mobile device or a desktop. We access websites, and web applications to perform functions like browsing for content, or anything. Have you ever thought how this is made easy for us?
What is a web application?
Web application is a software program that can be accessed through the web browser. It is stored in a web server from which the Internet users can access it via a browser interface. Some of the websites contain web applications. Websites which perform any specific function can be called as a web application.
Client-server module structure is used to program web apps. The client-server module structure is the structure in which the client or the user is offered services through an off-site server. The off-site server is mostly hosted by third parties. Some web applications can be accessed through specific browsers, but this is not the case for most of the web applications. Amazon and Facebook are some examples of web applications.
These web applications are very versatile and can be used for performing various functions for the users like online shopping, barcode scanning, document reading and many more. It is with this feature that it became easier for us to get our academics and professions going on during the pandemic when the real world was shut down.
What are the benefits of web applications?
Web applications for sure have made our life so easier. Now let us see the benefits we have been reaping with the web applications.
It helps to cut down cost for the business users and individuals using the low maintenance and requirement model of the users’ computers. The low maintenance and requirement is because of the fact that the processing procedures happen somewhere else, but the user can access it through their web browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and so on.
- It helps in reducing the online software piracy by employing software as a service (SaaS). The web applications are provided to the users on the basis of subscriptions. Cloud services are used for SaaS and need not be installed on the devices but can be accessed using the web browsers.
- It helps the users in saving space on their devices. Since the web applications are accessed using web browsers, the storage space in the users’ devices would not un out eliminating the need to uninstall and reinstall the applications when the shortage in space occurs.
- The compatibility of web apps are perfect with almost no problems. This is because of the fact that all the users access the same version regardless of the device they use.
- It can be run on multiple platforms if the browsers are compatible. This helps users to work together and collaborate while working on different devices.
- The updates that happen are automatic and need not be done manually like in mobile applications. This is because of the fact that the updates are done centrally to the version and not specific to a device.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of web applications over other applications?
Both the applications are similar internally and towards some extent. Let us scan through some of the advantages and disadvantages the users have to experience while they use web apps.
Advantages of web apps
Web application is a cheaper option in terms of cost. For creating and developing a web application, it does not take enough time, cost, or resources as that of mobile applications. Moreover, a single version is only needed to be developed to be able to support several operating systems, which is not the case when it comes to developing a mobile app. The cost of testing a web app in operating systems is zero. Businesses can utilize web apps as a cost effective method for their needs.
- There is no need for updating the web app frequently. Web applications which are linked to their respective websites get updated to the latest version when the websites are updated since the code is common for both. And because of this there is no need for updating web apps often. The users get the latest version whenever they access it through their web browsers.
- It is easier to customize web applications. The interface of web app can be altered easily which makes the customization process easier. This paves way for business operations to be done easily. Web apps are generally safe and secure and therefore is less likely to be hacked.
- You can use web apps without installing it on your device. Web apps can be accessed via web browser eliminating the need for downloading the app on your device. Users can interact with the web app directly through the browser and therefore there is no need for any download platform like Play Store.
- Web apps can be operated on many platforms. Web applications are developed in a manner where it can be operated using any operating system. Web apps have interfaces with various screen sizes which allows them to reach out to several platforms. The most important thing required for a web app is a web browser. If an operating system has a web browser, the web app can easily function on it.
Disadvantages of web apps
- The performance of a web application is slower when compared to other apps. This is because of the fact that the app size increases since it is directly linked to the web browser. Larger the web app, slower will be its performance.
- The security offered by web apps are considerably low. This happens because the web apps lack quality control system. To stop the data breach on web apps, SSL enforcements are employed. This can prevent it to some extent.
- Users are not aware of the availability of web apps. Web apps are not listed on any download platforms like App Store or Play Store and hence the users have no idea that they exist. It is difficult to find them, and awareness is to be done for the users to know about the web apps.
- Web applications have to face issues when the websites go down. Web apps are directly dependent on websites, so if the websites have to deal with issues on the web server, then the web app also will have the same problem. A good quality website is necessary for a well performing web app.
- The user have to be online to use the web app. The web app is accessed through the web browser and hence, internet is necessary to access it. Mobile apps can function without internet since it is installed on the mobile devices unlike web apps. For browsing and running a web application, internet connection is a must.
What are the types of web apps?
Static and dynamic web apps are the two types of web apps.
The advantages of static web apps is that it is easier to build and host such web apps, the developmental cost is low, easier to index in the search engines, and works easily with slow internet connection. Marketing landing pages, and digital resumes are examples of static web apps.
Dynamic web apps are web apps which are flexible and dynamic in nature. They have complex technologies behind their development. These apps are updated continuously for the users. There are many features available in this type of web apps. The admins of the web apps can change or update anything on the web apps using CMS. There are many programming languages which can be used for developing dynamic web apps like Node.js, Ruby on Rails, jQuery, and so on.
There are many subtypes of dynamic web apps. Let us go through some of the subtypes.
The single page applications are web apps having only one web page. The users of single page apps can interact with the page freely without any hindrance. The efficiency of these web apps are high since only smaller amount of data is required. The logical functions are done in the web browser itself instead of web servers and thereby increasing the speed of functionality.
The advantages of single page apps are that it is user-friendly, debugs easily, less complexities, and better caching. However, this type of web apps are incompetent when it comes to SEO rankings. PayPal, Pinterest, and Google Maps are examples of single page apps.
Multi-page apps and traditional web apps are similar in terms of functionality. Whenever a request is received from a user, a new web page is loaded to perform a certain action. The logical functions are taken care at the backend of these web apps. AJAX technology is used to nullify the harm caused by sudden change of web pages.
The advantages of multi-page web apps are that they are SEO friendly, can add unlimited pages in the existing app and have unlimited scalability. Web portals and online stores like Amazon are examples of this type of web apps.
Portal web apps
Portal web apps are web apps where the home page of the app displays various sections or categories, or hyperlinks to other landing pages. Chats, forums, emails, and user registration are other features which are most likely to be listed on the homepage of portal web apps. These types of web apps are employed by businesses who wants to customize their interface according to their target audience.
The advantages of portal web apps are that it provides enhanced interaction, better integration, omnichannel presence, and better customer retention. Some of the examples of portal web apps are Domino’s Pizza, and Allianz.
Progressive web apps
Progressive web apps are the web apps which have similar interface of mobile apps. This type of apps allow the users to access the complete information and also provide all the features on the web app. It is said that progressive web apps are a higher version of Single page apps. PWA were designed to enhance the speed and mobile adaptability of web apps.
The advantages of progressive web apps is that they are independent of app stores, operates offline, enhanced performance, no requirement for installation and updates, and access platform specific features.
E commerce web apps
E-commerce web apps are web apps that function as an online store. E-commerce web apps are complex as there arises a requirement to develop an app efficient to handle transactions and integrate different methods for payment. There are many features which are usually adapted to e-commerce web apps like adding new products, removing old products, and handling payments. An effective management panel is also required to take care of all these processes.
The advantages of e-commerce web apps are that it enhances brand recognition, boost conversation, increases engagement, smaller than mobile apps, and most importantly, it is cost effective. Noon, Flipkart, and Shein are some great examples of e-commerce web apps.
Hope you have an idea about web apps. Still confused? Feel free to comment below.
Also read about Mobile Applications.