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How to Create a Web Application: In-Depth Guide About Development Process

11 min read

Web application development presents a novel approach to work creating dynamic web pages.

As a modern approach to create efficient digital solutions, web applications today have become more interactive, engaging, and efficient.

The development scenario around these applications has been difficult to approach.

But with the introduction of today’s development frameworks creating a web application has become relatively easier and quicker.

This guide will focus on how to develop a web application.

Web applications have become so mainstream today that sometimes we fail to notice them.

This is because they are hosted over a web server and directed to the browser via the internet.

Hence, the development process of a web app is focused on creating interactions within the mobile browser.

In how to create a web app, we will learn about;

  • Advantages of web applications
  • Examples of web apps
  • What is not included in how to build a web app
  • Development process

Knowing the advantages and differences between web and native applications is essential in how to develop a web application successfully.

As they are based on the browser, you don’t have to worry about platform-specificity but more about the user interface.

Due to their wide applicability, use of different types of web applications are high in demand.

This sort of application development bodes well with every industry, including;

  • Education
  • eCommerce
  • Transportation
  • Media
  • Entertainment
  • Banking

And so on…

Ergo, the requirement of people who know how to create a web-based app effectively also increases. So, let’s see how to build a web app and understand its significant aspects strategically.

What is A Web Application?

Before we discuss how to build a web app, wouldn’t it be better to know what a web app is?

A web application is software developed with a specific set of technologies, and it works over the internet. It is an application you use on your mobile, tablet, desktop, or laptop without downloading anything.

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • CRUD

Types of web applications:

Type of web application  Common examples
  • Netlify
  • Siteleaf
  • Facebook
  • Spotify
  • AliExpress
  • Flipkart
Portal Web Apps
  • Santander Bank
  • USA.Gov.In
Content Management Systems
  • WordPress
  • Drupal
Progressive Web Apps
  • MakeMyTrip
  • Starbucks

PWAs also show the best performance metrics in comparison to other types of web applications. They are faster, more efficient, and provide an immersive user experience. In addition, they leverage the large ecosystem of technologies and APIs to enhance the user experience.

There is a frequent question on all the web forums about how to make the user experience smooth and flawless. It’s important to choose the right font to enhance the web app experience, for instance, Helvetica font, which is simple and attractive.

The web app development process involves using client-side and server-side programming to create a unified platform using shopping carts. The client and server-side portals communicate with each other via HTTPS requests.

In how to build a web app, you need to understand a few things.

  • Backend or server-side development

These are the systems that are meant to build and create the core infrastructure of the application. Backend development decides how the application will work.

  • Frontend or client-side development

By using the frontend technologies, we create the face of the application. In other words, we decide how it looks, feels, and engages.

  • DevOps programming

This is about hosting the web application. In how to create a web app, the hosting solutions are taken care of by a dedicated DevOps team or person.

Before you'll find out about how to create a web app learn what are they types of web apps are there

Advantages of Web Applications

Our visual experiences have been changing with time as web architecture is evolving. Therefore, keeping up with the web applications and their development technologies is imperative to create better-performing platforms.

From no downloading requirements to cost-efficiency and easy development, there are a wide array of web applications’ benefits.

  • Cross-Platform Compatibility

In how to develop a web app, you won’t have to select a platform to build the application. Web apps are compatible across different platforms relative to software.

The minimum requirement to run web-based software is a web browser. It can be anything from Safari to Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc.

Along with this, web applications also work on every operating system. So, it does not matter whether the users have Windows, Android, Linux, or macOS. A web application will run on every platform and browser seamlessly.

Embedded Linux services can be leveraged to extend the functionality of web applications across various platforms and browsers, including Windows, Android, Linux, and macOS.

  • Web Applications are More Secure

One thing you will particularly like in how to create a web application is the security level. Web applications are more secure than traditional downloadable software so you may need to use server-side scripts.

This is because they over HTTPS requests, which in itself is a good security practice. Also, when the users are interacting with a web application, their data is stored on the cloud server.

  • They Work Offline

While you find out how to build a web app, make sure to understand the role and execution of cache-first service workers.

This strategy allows your application to work offline, provided the user has loaded some information.

A Few Examples of Web Apps

Here are some working examples of web applications.

Knowing these examples is helpful to understand how to create a comprehensive web app.

As an entrepreneur, tools like Google Docs or Google Sheets might be known to you.

Well, these are the best examples of web applications.

Other than this, MailChimp, the global email campaign creator and management platform, is also a web application.

The list of web applications that we interact with on a daily level is long.

Below are a few other platforms;

  • Notion
  • Airtable
  • Xero
  • Salesforce
  • Canva

All these platforms qualify as web applications.

Knowing these will certainly make understanding how to strategically develop a web application easier.

What Web App Development is Not?

Moving forward with how to develop a web application, we must differentiate between web and other forms of applications. Also, there is a fundamental difference between a website and a web application.

  • Web App vs. Website Development

To build a web application, you need to know how it differs from a website. Web application development is creating a platform for interaction purposes.

Website development focuses on creating a user-friendly and accessible read-only interface for the users.

With web app development, the programmers have to work on a wider scope of possibilities. This includes authentication, user interaction, and understanding the web application architecture.

  • Web App vs. Hybrid vs. Native Application Development

For how to create a web application, you need to use programming technologies like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5. The developers can also use web app development frameworks to develop applications.

In comparison, Native and Hybrid application development requires using an integrated development environment (IDE). Different types of platforms have separate IDEs.

With native application development, iOS and Android applications require different technologies.

  • iOS Application: These apps are built with Objective-C or Swift. Along with this, the IDE required here is Xcode.
  • Android Application: Android native applications are built with Java and Android Studio as its IDE.
Interested to find out how to build a web app? The first thing to understand is that web app isn't a website

How to Develop a Web Application?

Step 1. Idea Generation and Validation

Just like any new digital solution, the process of how to create a web app starts with an idea—an idea about the kind of application you want to build.

The right idea will certainly streamline how to efficiently build a web app process. But generating an idea may be the toughest part for some.

There is heavy competition in every industry, which makes finding a unique idea difficult.

To find a new idea, you can try a lot of things, including;

  • Identify a specific solution for a problem.
  • Check application stores and crawl them via different keywords.
  • Observe the people and the world around you.
  • Think about what you can do about the problems they are facing.
  • If possible, attend meetings, events, and hackathons.
  • Check the investor websites to find out what they are funding.
  • Watch startup idea shows like Shark Tank, Dragon’s Den, etc.

Once you have an idea, the real journey begins then and there.

After zeroing in on a few ideas, validate them. Validation will help you find out which idea will actually work. For validation, start getting the audience’s perspective.

You can leverage social media, your network, and forums for this. Platforms like Twitter, Reddit, will work well for this task.

Next, in how to develop a web application, find out if you can monetize your application. If yes, then decide the ways to earn money from it?

Do not always rely on advertisements as a strong money generation method. They only work when you have a large user base. Once the idea is final, start designing it.

There is a step-by-step view on how to create a web app from business perspective

Step 2. Work on the Design

Designing the interface is the second part of how to create a web app.

You must start by sketching the design. If you want to go old school, take a pen and paper to draw and sketch the interface.

Another way is to use the Sketch designing software for the same. Keep in mind that to run resource-consuming IDE, you will need to use a powerful laptop for web design with a bare minimum of 8 GB of RAM. However, to use Sketch, it will suffice to have 4 GB of RAM and a 1 GHz processor. Other options than Sketch include:

  • Balsamiq
  • Mockitt

While sketching the interface, take care of;

  • Moving from one screen to other
  • Elements of branding
  • Buttons, scrolls, transition windows
  • Forms
  • Social media icons
  • Other similar components

Moving ahead in how to easily develop a web application, create mockups and prototypes. Mockups and prototypes include all the visual elements.

Things like color, transitions, graphics, images, shapes, effects, etc., are added here. The goal is to create a working solution of your application without any coding.

Within these working interfaces, you must include the following processes;

  • Signing up by a user
  • Login sequence
  • Finding an item
  • Placing an order (if applicable)
  • Downloading stuff
  • Navigating through the application
  • Access the user profile and change settings
  • Making the payments
  • Logging out
  • Canceling subscriptions
UX/UI design part is another crucial point of how to build a web app

Step 3. Start the Development

Here comes the development part in how to build a web app. For this, divide the how to develop a web application process into three parts;

  • Identifying the Tech Stack
  • Work on Front-end Operations
  • Work on the Back-end Operations

Choosing the Tech Stack

Succeeding in how to build a web app depends on your tech stack.

The right choice will lead to a successful product. Choosing an inappropriate tech stack will mount up the complexities. Depending on your awareness and knowledge, you have three options;

Method When to This
Hire a Company Hire a development partner to build your product, and they are responsible for everything.

This option is best for those unknown about the tech part of how to quickly build a web-based app.

By choosing a proven company, you only have to pay for the services and receive a finished product.

However, pay attention to the development process followed by your potential tech partner. Different companies follow varied development processes.

Ensure to enquire into their process and then move forward with the hiring part.

Use No-Code Tools This option is relevant if you are technically mature.

No-Code tools like Bubble or NoCode are great options to create your web app your way.

Using these tools does not imply that you don’t have to follow the other steps in how to create a business web app.

No-code tools help you create;

  • Prototypes
  • Launch the application
  • Make changes
  • Scale, when required

These platforms consolidate the entire application development environment in a single box.

Do What We Do At SpdLoad, we work with a potent development exercise.

When it comes to how to develop a business web application, we follow agile development practices.

These development practices redefine the entire structure of developing an app.

The process we follow for how to develop a web application is given below.

Frontend Development

Let’s try to understand how we create a web app with a case study.

We got a project to build a web application, NoticeSound. The idea was to create an app to predict the success of a song with the help of Artificial Intelligence and user interaction.

For how to build the front-end part of this web app, we need the right tools. For front-end development, we had the choice of;

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Ajax

In addition to this, there are web app development frameworks you can use as well.

These are;

  • React JS
  • Vue JS

The front-end application development frameworks have pre-coded modules and components. You can extract them and add them to the app.

These pre-coded modules are meant to save the time and cost of development. For NoticeSound, we worked with React JS and Laravel to build the front-end systems.

Backend Development

Back-end or server-side development in how to develop a web application is another pivotal stage.

The back-end operations decide how the app will work. Therefore, the programming languages meant for building the back-end components are required to build interactive components.

The languages that you can use in how to create the back-end operations of a web app include;

  • PHP
  • Python
  • Java
  • C#

In how to develop a business-oriented web application, you might also have to choose between;

  • Multi-page app
  • Single-page app

Similar to the front-end development frameworks, back-end development frameworks also exist.

The back-end development frameworks in how to create a web app include;

  • Laravel
  • Flask
  • Ruby on Rails

We can easily choose the right set of technologies after understanding the scope of the app.

Along with this, you need to look at the size and scale of the app before choosing the right technology.

To get the development process of web application off the ground you need to define tech stack to use

Moving forward in how to develop a web application, we are left with testing.

Step 4. Testing the Application

In how to develop a website-based application, testing is as much a part of the entire exercise as is designing and coding.

Just like every application, a web app must pass the six stages of testing.

Type of Test Importance
Functionality In this, you need to check;

  • Connectivity
  • Database connections
  • Links between the webpages
  • User information collection
  • Test the overall user experience

Mostly, this type of testing requires onboarding internal and external participants for an honest review.

Interface Here you check the interaction between the app server and web server.

Every aspect that communicates with the users needs testing.

Compatibility Testing the web app against different browsers and devices.
Performance Check the app performance under a heavy load.

Also, test the same with different internet speeds.

Security Test the app to find its weak points and vulnerabilities.

Once the testing is complete, the last step in how to create a web app is hosting and deploying.

Moving Forward

At the end of how to develop a business web application, don’t you think that it is nothing short of a comprehensive exercise?

However, the process of how to build a web app does not finish here.

In addition to knowing how to create a web application, you must also know the cost of building the same.

You can find a detailed guide here on how much does it cost to build a web app.

We have based our discussion on the premise that you have got an idea for an app.

After going through the process of how to develop a web application effectively, if you feel that the idea won’t work, don’t worry. We have a list of unique web app ideas that you can check out.

Let’s Turn Your Idea into a Web App

We design and develop web applications, that bring value to customers, and change the way people think and act. We'll be happy to develop your product too.

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