Gone are the days when websites were just plain pages with text and photos.
Nowadays, you can create entire functional applications on the web—everything from accounting platforms to project management tools.
Indeed, developing web apps has its advantages. For one, they’re easier to distribute since the user doesn’t need to install them. Plus, they’re trivial to troubleshoot and maintain.
If you’re interested in building your next web app, you first need to know which type you’ll create. Here are five you can choose from.
Table of Contents
Static web apps
A static web app is perhaps the simplest kind you can build. It’s composed of a web page with all the text, images, and assets built in.
When the user’s browser requests for a static webpage, it sends it as is. All the content is hard-coded in HTML and CSS, with no scripting or pre-processing that fills the page with dynamic content—hence the static category.
There are plenty of examples of single-page web apps, including Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail.
Think of how the UI of these apps works. You’ll notice that when you click on a folder in Google Drive, for example, only the main window updates to show the contents of that folder. The sidebar and top bars remain as is.
That’s a single-page web app in action.
The main advantage of an SPA is speed. That’s because the browser selectively loads only the items that need to change. Everything else is only loaded once, which is a more efficient approach.
Another good point of SPA is that the back end code is reusable. For example, you can run the same back end for a SPA and your mobile app since a SPA functions similarly to a mobile app front end.
Furthermore, SPA gives a more natural, native feel. It gives the impression that you’re using a live application instead of a dynamic website.
Plus, since everything is generated dynamically, search engines can’t crawl through it effectively and can thus hamper SEO.
Despite these shortcomings, a SPA can be highly effective for the right applications.
Multiple-page web apps
A multiple-page web app (MPA) is basically how a normal website works.
Here, every section of the web app is divided into individual pages. These are then loaded as necessary when the user requests them.
You can easily build a PWA with third-party tools such as Ionic and Vue.
The main advantage of a PWA is that it performs light years ahead of a typical web app. If you need this kind of responsiveness, then a PWA is the way to go.
Of course, the drawback is that a PWA inherits the same limitations as a mobile app. Chiefly, people need to install it first before they can use it. As such, it’s not as accessible as a traditional web app.
Want to learn more about web apps?
We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about web apps today. More importantly, we hope it helped you decide which type you’ll tackle in your next project.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
There are still plenty of decisions you’ll need to make before you start your project. Which tools will you use? How much budget should you allocate? What should your timeline look like?
Skilled in React Native, iOS and backend, Toni has a demonstrated knowledge of the information technology and services industry, with plenty of hands-on experience to back it up. He’s also an experienced Cloud engineer in Amazon Web Services (AWS), passionate about leveraging cloud technologies to improve the agility and efficiency of businesses.
One of Toni’s most special traits is his talent for online shopping. In fact, our delivery guy is convinced that ‘Toni Vujević’ is a pseudonym for all DECODErs.