Over the last several years, there has been a sea of articles and blogs written about the power and popularity of mobile apps and mobile-first websites. While it is true that mobile has overtaken desktop when it comes to online usage, web application development is still just as relevant as it always has been. It costs less, it takes less time, and might be exactly what you are looking for.

In this article, we will make our case for the relevance of web application development in 2018. With everyone focused on mobile app development and the latest IoT devices, by taking the less-travelled approach, you have the opportunity to create a product with a high ROI that performs equally as well.

With that said, let’s start from the beginning.

web application development

Web application development basics

First, let’s start with a definition of a web application: a web app is a client-server computer program in which the client runs in a web browser. Although this sounds similar to a simple website, web apps often have more capabilities and greater functionality than a typical website. Not only that, but some web apps can be designed to work even without an internet connection.

While this may be the first time you have seen the full definition of web application development, you have likely used one without even knowing. For instance, Starbucks runs a progressive web app for their online experience. Although, these web apps are often hard to distinguish for larger brands, since they are often better designed than a standard app.

The state of web development in 2018

As we mentioned earlier, with the majority of developers focused on mobile projects, web development has been put on the backburner and is often seen as an afterthought rather than a strategy in-and-of itself. However, with new technologies offering unique integrations with web applications, this is starting to change.

In fact, a Gartner report anticipates that 200 of the world’s largest companies will be developing an intelligent, AI driven web app within the next year. With lower barriers of entry, it won’t take long for developers to realize the potential of web applications and the exciting future they might contain.

Common concerns

Unfortunately, along with the pro-mobile articles you have likely seen, there has been a growing dismissal of web application development based on some common concerns about security, integration, and performance.

Before we move on to the benefits of web apps, we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge these concerns and do our best to quell any additional fears or apprehensions regarding web application development.

1. Reliance on home website for performance

The first common concern with web application development is the reliance on a home website for performance. For instance, if your website hasn’t been updated or revamped recently, it will likely not load pages quickly or function well in certain scenarios. This leads many to forgo building a web app, as it requires the additional work of fixing your website in the process.

However, if you are truly committed to web application development, it will be worth your time to focus on web development first, then integrate your web app into the existing site for a better user experience. This will not only benefit desktop users, but it will ensure that your web app works across all devices, a necessity in today’s marketplace.

2. Security

The other most common hesitation that developers have about web applications is the fact that since these apps are run online, they are seen as more susceptible to security threats. While this is true, almost all software projects experience the same drawback. The way to overcome this is simply to put a hyper-focus on securing your web application throughout development.

Best practices such as securing cookies, including multiple admin passwords, and using standard input validation are just a few ideas for ensuring the safety of not just your web app, but your users’ information. For a full breakdown, check out this helpful guide to dive deeper.

Benefits of web app development

Now, as you can see, there are some pretty reasonable concerns regarding the security and performance of web applications. That being said, without knowing what benefits web application development offers, it would be impossible to make an informed decision on whether it is the right choice for you.

In the spirit of this, let’s now take a look at the various benefits web apps provide and see why 2018 might be the best time to get started creating your own.

1. One app for multiple devices

With the push toward mobile, most companies have needed to reassess their online presence to make sure it matches up with current best practices. For some, this involves cross-platform mobile app development, meaning the need to build one app for multiple platforms. However, web application development already allows for users to utilize one app for multiple devices.

As technology progresses, keeping costs low and development down to a reasonable timeframe is something most developers strive for. Web application development can help in both of these areas, as building just one robust app that works across platforms takes significantly less time and effort than multiple apps for native development.  

2. Limited development

Next on the list of benefits, as we have mentioned already, is the limited nature of web application development. Although some might view the expediency of a project as being a downside, however, with how fast technology shifts, it can be beneficial to get to market faster, even if it means losing out on the benefits of a longer development.

For those interested in web application development, the Scrum development process is one way to improve both the speed and efficacy of your project. Not only does Scrum try to reduce time to market, but it also guides the development based on user stories. If you can create a superior product in less time, well, why wouldn’t you?

3. Lower costs

Finally, what matters more in a development project than the bottom line? Web application development’s last benefit that we will cover is lower costs across the board. Due to less requirements and a shorter development period, web apps have always been the less expensive option. Now that the capabilities of web apps are starting to compete with mobile, this only becomes an even greater benefit.

Our advice is to not simply let the money you save sit in the bank. In order to fully optimize your development, spend the leftover savings on better QA testing and UX design. By attacking the problem from all sides, you will be better equipped to launch your product and be successful moving forward.

Final thoughts

Although the world has moved toward mobile devices, web application development continues to have a place in the greater digital market. As businesses look for new avenues and approaches to the same old issues, web apps will continue to stand out as an undetected option that can make all the difference.

Whatever challenge you face, we hope that this article will have at the very least opened your eyes to the possibilities that are out there, including web application development.