Development

Your Complete Guide for Custom Web Application Development to Success

By Kim Thanh   |   October 15, 2020

“Web application” is one of the many novel terms that information technology advances have brought about. Most people would be confused when they first heard this term being mentioned. However, web apps are actually nothing alien at all. 

In fact, as time passed, web apps have been growing both in importance for businesses and popularity among the Internet users. You may even find it surprising just how much your daily working life is surrounded by an extensive array of web apps. Hence, more and more businesses have found web apps to be an attractive option to invest in. 

In this guide, we shall walk you through the characteristics of a web application, the implications that web apps may have for business operations as well as the different aspects regarding a successful custom web application development process.

What is a web app?

Before getting to know how to develop a web app, let’s first make sure that we are all on the same page when it comes to understanding the definition of a web application. 

As the name may have suggested, “web app” is a combination of the terms “website” and “application software”. Therefore, to define exactly what web app is, we shall revise the meaning of “website” and “application software”.

A website is a collection of static web pages that runs on web browsers. Users will be required to be connected to the Internet before they can get access to the websites.  

An application software is a program designed for a specific device such as desktop or mobile, with a view to execute certain tasks requested by the end users. It is required for applications to be installed on the respective devices before it can operate to deliver the intended purposes. 

As a fusion between “website” and “application software”, “web app” inherits several notable traits from both these digital products. Simply put, a web app is an application that performs tasks on a web browser. 

For your better and in-depth visualization on how web app differs, we have organized the key aspects of similarity and distinctiveness of the “website”, “web app” and “application software” in the following table:

 

Website

Web App

Application Software

Platform of operation

Web browser (i.e Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge)

Web browser (i.e Firefox, Chrome, Microsoft Edge)

Electronic device (i.e computer, mobile phone, laptop)

Internet connection requirement

Yes

Yes

Yes/No

User interaction

Limited, mostly involves navigation across web pages only

Diverse, depending on the purposes of the app

Diverse, depending on the purposes of the app

Place of data storage

On the hosting server(s)

On the hosting server(s)

On the device memory 

Installation requirement

No, accessed by entering URLs into the browser

No, accessed by entering URLs into the browser

Yes, installed from application stores (i.e Google Play Store, Apple App Store) 

Functions

Provide static information

Perform certain tasks

Perform certain tasks

Updates (from the users’ viewpoints) 

Automatic

Automatic

Manual 

Complexity and diversity in structure and functions

Low

Medium 

High

Examples 

Wikipedia.org, google.com or amazon.com 

Gmail, Google Docs, Trello 

Excel, Skype, Chrome

How can web apps benefit my business?

As we have discussed in the preceding section, web apps operate on web browsers just like websites. Therefore, users can get access to the web apps no matter what devices they have on hand without any limitations on the hardware specifications, provided that their devices are connected to the Internet.

Plus, for web apps, the barrier of installation faced by normal application software’s users is removed completely, enhancing the accessibility of web apps to another level. The lower efforts needed in accessing the web apps shall give Internet users a higher incentive to give them a try, generating a considerable volume of traffic for the apps.

As a result, web apps enable businesses to reach a wider target audience base residing on a variety of platforms, without having to develop different versions of the applications for a number of distinctive devices. 

Moreover, the code writing for web apps is generally simpler when compared to the code written for application software. This can be attributed to the fact that web apps do not require the extra effort from the company to make them compatible with a multitude of devices, which in turn saving a great amount of time and resources for developing other areas of the core business.  

Nevertheless, the necessity for certain digital products, be it a website, a web app or an application software, shall vary from company to company. It is true that the use of web apps can assist your business in expanding the scope with a modest sum of investment. However, the overall performance as well as the functionalities included in web apps obviously cannot be on par with that on the application software, considering the leaner structure and efforts in web application development projects.  

Therefore, it is always a wise decision to align the ultimate objectives of your businesses, the resources you have on hand and the return you would gain from a web application or any other digital product development project before making the final decision. 

In the case that you have made up your mind on getting a web application for your business, but have yet to have a comprehensive visualization of the whole process, read on to the next section to learn more.

What is the process of web application development from start to finish?

For businesses that are planning to have their web app constructed by a web application development company, or any aspiring start-up wanting to develop the web apps on their own, it is crucial to comprehend the full process of development before getting down to work. Unclear understanding on the flow of the process can result in poor planning and insufficient performance tracking, eventually affecting the final quality of the web app as well as wasting the time and resources invested.

Typically, the whole process of a web development project undergoes 5 stages, with the average duration ranges from 4 – 6 months, depending on the human and capital resources available.  

1. Ideation and requirement outline establishment

Every successful product development process begins with establishing a good idea, and web apps are no exception. A good idea is a relevant and feasible idea. To be more specific, the idea should offer a solution that can answer the existing problems of potential customers. Meanwhile, the technologies required to execute such ideas should not be out of the businesses’ league. 

It is suggested that businesses should conduct a thorough analysis on the target market and competitors to reaffirm if the idea is actually feasible. After all, without concrete proof, every idea is just simply an assumption, and assumption tends to carry a lot of risks in the business context. 

With the validated idea in place, the next step is to define the goals and objectives for the web application development project. The requirement assessment allows businesses to better understand the complexity of the project and to delegate resources accordingly. Requirements also act as the benchmarks for companies to see if the final results have met the preset standards or not. 

In case you need help getting settled on the right idea, check out our Digital Consultancy and Professional Services and we shall guide you through the whole process from brainstorming to idea validation and even the development should you want us to. 

2. Design

It is crucial to develop a sketch of how the web apps look and feel prior to the technical development. The act of designing the rough structure and layout of the web app can help businesses avoid many bottlenecks in the later stages. 

The structure sketch doesn’t have to be over complicated. It is enough as long as the sketch can present a clear understanding on what elements exist on the app screens, the flow that users flow from one page to another, the general interactions on each page, etc. 

This is also the phase where you design the visual look of your web app so as to be appealing to potential users and can reflect the nature of your business at the same time.

Once the overall structure has been established, businesses should have a prototype developed to have a better sense on how the final app will function. An early prototype will also provide the chances for the companies to discover and make amendments to any lacking point from the early stages.   

3. Technical development

The technical phase of web application development involves the combination of front-end and back-end technologies. Before getting right into coding web apps, it is advised that businesses should spend the time to choose what technology stacks to be employed in the web application project, since there are actually quite a few programming languages and frameworks that can be utilized in web app creation, and certain technologies have their own strengths and weaknesses in the development process. 

For your reference, some programming technologies that may be involved in web application development include:

  • Client-side programming for developing the front-end of the web app: HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • Server-side programming for developing the back-end of the web app: PHP, ASP.NET, Ruby, Java or Python, etc. 

Database for data storage purpose: My SQL or MongoDB

Once the decision on the technology stacks has been made, the technical part will then be taken over by the web developers, who will proceed to coding your idea and visualization into reality.

4.  Testing

Testing ensures that the web app once launched to the market will operate as intended. Normally, testing should be done on 3 aspects: the functionality, the usability and the overall performance of the web app.  

There is one important note on testing for every web application development project team: “Never leave testing until the last minute.” In particular, the testing stage must be conducted in tandem with the development stage. 

Ideally, the tests to be implemented on the web apps should be written prior to the onset of the coding tasks, so that once the technical phase begins, every finished portion can be assessed for bugs and addressed as soon as possible. In this way, the risks of the web apps running into major malfunction are kept to the minimum, avoiding undesirable scenarios of the web app breaking down right before the launching date. 

Should you be in need of having the quality of your future web app checked, consider implementing our Testing Services for an overall seamless performance.

5. Deployment & Post-deployment maintenance 

After the web app has passed through the final tests and is considered to be bug-free, businesses can start launching their web apps to the market and running campaigns to attract potential users as well as making the web apps more visible and searchable on the online service. 

Take a look at our Digital Marketing Services to see how we can help you in driving traffic for your aspiring web app project. 

And as you may have guessed, the job does not stop here.  

To sustain the growth and evolution of a web app, it is required that frequent monitoring is conducted to scan for problems that may hinder the user experience and have it fixed at the earliest notice. 

Moreover, through the performance analysis and user feedback, businesses shall have a clearer picture on the performance of the web apps and can subsequently improve accordingly, showing their commitment towards the digital product and captivating the loyalty of the users as a result, ensuring the long-term success for the project. 

Who is involved in a web application development project?

In accordance to the aforementioned process, an ideal team for a web app development project generally includes the following 5 roles: 

Project manager: The project manager is the leader of the team. He is responsible for following all processes within the entire project, coordinating the performance of different roles in the team and making decisions to direct the development team on the right track. 

Product owner: The product owner manages all aspects of the product from the beginning to the end. He keeps track of the web app condition to ensure that the app meets the required target at every stage. He is also responsible for making sure that the returns that businesses can exploit from the web apps are maximized. 

UI/UX designers: The UI/UX designers are the ones who bring the business ideas into the initial tangible form of the web apps. 

  • To be more specific, the UI designers create the static graphic design that front-end web developers will then base on to code into a functioning user interface.
  • On the other hand, UX designers take on the jobs of devising a smooth navigation flow connecting the different parts of the web apps and ensuring that the flow is in harmony with the expected users’ behaviors. A logical flow of navigation shall streamline the experience of users on the web app, further enhancing their overall satisfaction. 

Web developers: 

  • Front-end web developers: as mentioned above, the front-end developers shall transform the visual design into a functioning and appealing user interface for your web app. 
  • Back-end web developers: the back-end developers have the responsibility of coding the underlying structure of the web app that interacts with the database on the servers. They shall take steps to make sure that data transmission from the server-side to the client-side of the web app is secure and stable, ensuring a seamless performance for final users.   

The collaboration between the designers and developers should be nurtured to ensure a smooth transition from visualizing to coding. Conflicts happen in between the two phases are bound to have a negative effect on your web app. 

Quality assurance and testing specialists: Responsible for writing tests and implementing the tests to review and ensure the quality of the web apps. 

Note that this is just an ideal team for such a project. It is still possible to rely on only the developers for the core development. However, that will place a greater burden on their workload and responsibility, and there is a high chance that the final web apps shall not be as satisfactory as the outcomes produced with the coordination of a team of different specialists. 

In the case that you have trouble augmenting a competent team to translate your new web app idea into reality, we can assist you in finding the right partners who can understand your business and shall support your aspiration from the inside. Visit our Digital Managed Services for more information. 

Conclusion

To sum up, “web app” is a digital product that inherits its traits from both “website” and “application software”. The incorporation of web apps into your businesses shall further leverage the establishment of the business’ online identity, thanks to their ability to reach a larger audience base at a lower cost. 

To develop a successful web app, it is suggested that you have a concrete understanding on how the web app aligns with your business objectives, plus a comprehensive overview of the whole web application development process for a through planning. On top of that, a complete team with proven competencies also plays a major role in bringing your web app idea into life. 

Another thing to note is that your web app development project shall benefit greatly from the assistance of a reputable custom software development company. The input from experts is extremely valuable in that it prevents your project from getting sidetracked during the development process while guaranteeing the higher success rate for the end result. 

Since its establishment, fram^ – a leading software development company in Vietnam,  has accumulated 7 years of experience in creating web applications for leading brands from a range of different industries. Get in touch with us for web design and development services that are solely dedicated to your business!

 

Get in touch!

Whether you have any questions or want to explore how we can help you, connect with us now or drop us a visit and enjoy a cup of Vietnamese espresso.


By filling in the form, you agree to our Privacy Policy, including our cookie use.