Unlike the desktop programs on your computer or the mobile apps on your phone, web apps don’t have to be downloaded or installed but can be simply accessed on any internet-connected device.
As more advanced cousins of traditional, static webpages, web apps offer a range of benefits to businesses that enable them to enhance their online presence or streamline internal processes.
Let’s explore what key benefits web apps provide.
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The first advantage of developing a web app is that it usually costs less compared to creating a full-fledged desktop or mobile app.
Because, as we’ll see in the next section, a web app will work in any web browser and on any device with an internet connection without the need for specific programming for each different operating system.
Naturally, this reduces development costs.
Moreover, if developing dedicated mobile apps is something to consider later on, certain elements and functionalities developed for the web app can be reused, reducing the time and cost of developing these additional applications.
On the left, you can see the technical factors, such as what type of web app you want to create, its features, design, and integrations.
Generally, the more complex a web app will be, the more time, technical expertise, and advanced tools developers will need to create it, which increases development costs.
On the right, you can see another very important cost component, namely how your development team will be hired, what team members it’ll have, and where they’ll be located.
For example, if you’re unsure about your web app’s technical requirements, it may be the most cost-efficient approach to hire an app development company that will then assemble a dedicated team according to your project’s needs.
That way, you’re skipping the costs of establishing your own team and defining all the project requirements in advance.
Instead, you quickly get a more accurate estimate of your web app development requirements, timeline, and budget from experienced professionals.
Additionally, if you outsource your project to a remote team located in a country with affordable developer rates, like DECODE in Croatia, you can get the best mix of web app development expertise and cost-effectiveness.
In summary, web app development is generally a more cost-effective option than building mobile or desktop apps.
To further reduce costs, it’s essential to find the right balance between the app’s technical complexity and user appeal while considering the expertise and affordability of the development company.
As said, web apps are designed to work in any web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc.) and on any device (desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet) regardless of what operating system that device is using (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android).
This universality—or platform friendliness—reduces web app development costs, as developers don’t have to create separate versions for various platforms.
Likewise, users don’t need to download and install the app on their phone or computer, they just access it over the web and log in.
For example, let’s say a startup is developing a new fintech platform.
They need to ensure their platform is accessible to users on various devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets, and it should work seamlessly on different operating systems.
By choosing web app development, they create a single platform that can be accessed via web browsers on all devices, which saves them the time and cost of developing separate native apps for each platform.
Overall, this platform friendliness means a web app is more cost-efficient to develop and easier to use.
As we’ll see next, this principle also extends to other areas, such as app maintenance.
Ease of maintenance
Compared to their mobile and desktop counterparts, another distinct advantage of web apps is their maintenance.
This advantage stems from the centralized nature of web apps, meaning users are not required to regularly update the app for it to work properly.
Instead, when web app developers release updates, such as bug fixes, new features, or performance optimization patches, they are deployed on the server side.
Therefore, users don’t need to take any action—they see the new version the next time they load the app.
When their web app, such as Gmail, is constantly kept open, they might get a notification to simply refresh the page to get the update.
Although operating system providers and mobile app owners strive to ensure users experience no problems when updates are applied, unexpected compatibility issues are still relatively common.
Conversely, users will typically experience no such issues when a web app is updated, as its functioning does not depend on compatibility with a specific device or operating system.
In other words, all users need to access a web app’s new features and improvements is a stable internet connection.
This brings us to another advantage of web apps: global reach.
With a web app, your services are accessible to a global audience 24/7.
This means you can ensure that your users receive support whenever required, both in the form of video tutorials, Q&A, and instructions and as real-time support via a chatbot, email, or phone call (during business hours, naturally).
Another advantage is that your development team can roll out web app updates and improvements relatively quickly, allowing you to respond to user feedback and market changes.
All in all, the constant accessibility of web apps allows businesses to reach their users more effectively and cost-efficiently, without worrying about different operating systems and devices.
Naturally, ensuring the security of user data and sensitive information is a top priority for businesses in today’s digital landscape.
As opposed to dedicated mobile apps, web-based applications allow for centralized control over security measures, which means developers can promptly release security updates across all users, ensuring consistent protection from evolving threats.
Moreover, since a web app runs on the server(s), this means sensitive information remains hidden from the user’s device.
This offers inherent protection against data breaches on the client’s side.
In other words, if their phone is lost or stolen, they can just log into the web app on another device using their security credentials.
In addition to server-side security and consistent updates, web apps use secure communication protocols (e.g., Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, HTTPS) to encrypt data during transmission, making it difficult for malicious actors to intercept and exploit data.
Naturally, there’s a lot to consider when both web and mobile app data security is concerned.
For example, developers should adhere to secure coding standards and check code for vulnerabilities.
Likewise, the app maintenance team should perform regular security audits and penetration testing to identify and address potential weaknesses.
Of course, user data protection is a top priority, meaning your company (i.e., the web app owner) should implement strict user data protection policies, including data retention and deletion procedures.
It follows that the same confidential data safeguards should be applied by the company developing your web app.
Another component of web apps’ scalability is their modular design, i.e., their flexibility and manageability when implementing app changes, adding new features, and testing functionality.
For instance, a typical separation between the front-end (user interface) and back-end (server-side logic) architecture allows developers to adjust the web app’s functionality without disrupting the entire system.
In other words, app improvements and new functions can be tested separately, making it easier to maintain and enhance the app over time.
Overall, when flexible web app design and the convenience of scaling with cloud computing are combined, this gives web apps a distinct scalability advantage over traditional software systems and some specialized mobile apps.
Having covered the six key benefits of web app development, all that’s left is to remind you to choose your development provider carefully.
That way, you’ll be taking advantage of their expertise and experience, allowing you to create a web app that’s cost-effective, platform-friendly, and easily maintained.
At the same time, you’ll be ensuring that your app is constantly accessible, processed data is secure, and the entire system is easily scalable.
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.