Web Application Development: Process, Technologies, Lifecycle, Costs, and Samples
Jul 15, 2020
Have a question?
Modern users don’t have time to figure out software compatibility issues. Downloading tons of applications that take up most of their device storage is also not their favorite thing. So, what should businesses do to build web presence without sacrificing the user’s comfort?
The answer is simple and quite predictable—custom web applications. Such software solutions are cross-platform and operate regardless of the operating system or technical specifications. An evergreen browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, is enough to run a custom web application and utilize all its features.
If you have ever used Gmail, Instagram, or Google Docs, you know what these applications look like. They are simple, convenient, fast, and, most crucially, universal.
Want to make sure custom web applications development is the top choice for your business or app development company? Read our article on:
- What is a custom web application
- What are the business reasons for creating a web app
- Web application development process (requirement discovery, design and prototyping, custom web applications development, deployment, and maintenance)
- Overview of best web app technologies: architecture, server-side web application development languages, and frameworks
- Custom web application development cost
- Best examples of web apps and use cases
What is a Custom Web Application?
A custom web application is a software that requires only a web browser and an Internet connection to execute various tasks. Such programs don’t need installation, store data on a remote server, and are largely subscription-based. Web app development services are usually used for online banking, e-commerce, social networking, blogs, interactive games, content management systems, shopping cart applications, and other products.
The custom web applications development model benefits both business owners and consumers. Whereas users get quick access to the necessary functionality without the hassle of installation, businesses using web app development services can cut expenses, speed up the development process, and enjoy a range of other benefits detailed in the next section.
What are the Business Reasons for Custom Web Applications Development
Business owners do everything for a reason. Therefore, before creating a web app, you need to make sure that it’s the optimum choice that benefits your company. Here are some convincing reasons to invest in the web application development life cycle:
#1. Creating a web app is budget-friendly
Custom web application development costs are lower compared to native iOS and Android apps or pricey embedded software. Web app technologies allow for building cross-platform solutions that require only a browser and Internet connection to run. You don’t need to design separate solutions for each operating system and type of device, which significantly cuts expenses.
#2. Custom web applications are quick to deploy
Custom web application development services enable businesses to create a minimum viable product in the shortest amount of time. This may be critical if the project launch deadlines are very tight or you need to attract investors. By hiring a custom web application development company, you can speed up the deployment process even more.
#3. Creating a web app is more advantageous in terms of maintenance
Since web applications have fewer system requirements than native solutions and can be updated through a web server, they are also easier to manage.
#4. Custom web applications help to build an online presence
Users love web apps because of their simplicity and often favor them over native apps. Therefore, if you want to make your brand stand out online, custom web application development is just what you need. A quality shopping web app will promote your products much better than tons of digital ads.
#5. By creating web apps, businesses improve customer experience
Web applications contribute to the customer-first approach when the needs of users are put first. By creating web apps, you allow consumers to focus on reaching their goals instead of irritating them with lengthy installation or compatibility issues.
#6. Custom web application development services give a competitive edge
If your competitors still haven’t launched a web app or offer legacy software solutions, custom web application development is your chance to outpace them. Once consumers find out about a more convenient alternative, they are very likely to switch to your product.
Web Application Development Process
Web application development stages don’t differ much from other software development life cycle models. You also cannot omit or fast-forward the web application development life cycle since any sacrifices during the initial stages will undermine the final result. Hence, the standard web application development life cycle will consist of the following processes:
Requirement discovery. Once you have resolved to start creating a web app, ideally, you need to engage business analysts. They will analyze your commercial needs, research the relevant marketing niche, and bridge these findings with web application design and development. This business analysis helps to build a reliable custom web application development roadmap and ensures the final product will be in demand by users. In the event you decide to outsource app development, the research stage may be covered by a web application development outsourcing provider.
Design and prototyping. After the main requirements are clarified, your in-house team or the third-party app development company gets down to an MVP or prototype. This version will include the basic design and functionality. At this phase of the web application development, you will understand whether the custom web application development company is moving in the right direction, so you can launch initial testing and proceed with the new product announcement.
Custom web applications development and testing. This step is usually very time-consuming and can take years if the custom web application is complex and constantly being updated. Software developers and quality assurance specialists focus on application coding and testing, writing documentation, and preparing the product for the launch.
Deployment. The development team optimizes the custom web application, configures the database, and releases the product. The launched version becomes available to all target users. After they try it, you’ll likely receive ample feedback on what is wrong and what can be improved. The software developers or your partner web application development outsourcing company will need to process this feedback in order to fix the bugs and implement the necessary changes.
Support and maintenance. Custom web applications development is an ongoing process. Even after creating a web app and successfully launching it, you will have to tinker with the software. Regular updates, code review, bug fixing will turn into everyday chores. If you lack internal resources to continuously maintain the product, use web application development outsourcing. A third-party custom web application development company can effectively handle such tasks, freeing you for core business processes.
You can download a PDF version of Web Application Development life cycle infographics here.
Overview of Best Web App Technologies: Architecture, Server-Side Web Application Development Languages, and Frameworks
Custom web applications development is a combination of server-side scripts that are necessary to store and retrieve information and client-side scripts that present this information to users. Picking a technology stack for web applications, you will need to decide on cloud app architecture, server-side technologies, and UI frameworks.
As for cloud app architecture development, the most popular solutions are server-side HTML, AJAX, and single-page application approaches. In the server-side HTML cloud app architecture, the server generates the content of the custom web application in the HTML format and sends it to the corresponding URL as a page. In the AJAX (JS generation widgets) web development model, the displayed page consists of widgets that function separately. The third option, single-page applications, enables applications to dynamically update the existing page without the need to load a whole new page. This makes the operation of a custom web application smoother and enables it to complete real-time interactions.
Once the in-house developers or outsource software development company approve the architecture model, the next step is server-side technologies. PHP, ASP.NET, Node.js, Java, and Ruby on Rails are the top picks for custom web applications development. To make the right choice creating a web app, consider different web app technologies, and evaluate their stability, market relevance, tech community, and estimated development cost, among other factors.
A framework for web UI development is another thing you will need to clarify before creating a web app. Although the market offers dozens of effective UI technologies, JS frameworks are the preferred options in the technology stack for web applications. Thus, you will most likely choose between React, Vue.js, and Angular frameworks.
Custom Web Application Development Cost
Let’s be honest. Getting a 100% estimation of the cost of custom web applications development is impossible. There is no universal model of a custom web application with the functionality that suits every business. Custom services are always about custom pricing. Yet to better understand how to calculate your budget and what to expect from web application design and development, you may consider the following pricing factors:
- Complexity and scope of the project. The price of custom web application development services depends on the type of app you need and its features
- Post-delivery and maintenance. You will have to constantly invest in the further support of the deployed application, so don’t forget to include this budget line in your cost projections.
- Web development tools and technologies. Some web application development languages and frameworks are more cost-effective than others. But remember that everything comes at its price.
- Talent pool. A typical custom web applications development team consists of a business analyst, project manager, UI/UX designer, backend developers, frontend developers, and QA engineers. The hourly rates of these specialists are a decisive factor in the total cost of custom web applications development.
- In-house or outsource app development. Custom web applications development in the US and Western Europe is pricier than in outsourcing software development destinations.
Best Examples of Web Apps and Use Cases
If you think you’ve never used web-based apps, these web application examples will prove you wrong. Some of the web application examples listed below have billions of users, and you may already be one of them.
|Google Docs||Service for creating, sharing, and collaborating on web documents|
|Pixlr||Professional photo-editing tool|
|Microsoft 365||Subscription-based service that provides access to all Microsoft’s tools and apps without installation|
|Trello||List-making application and online corkboard|
|Shopify||E-commerce service for online store creation and management|
|Netflix||Streaming platform with movies, TV shows, and series|
|Social network for photo and video sharing with 1 billion active users|
|Coursera||Global online learning platform with a large base of online courses|
|The most popular social media with over 2.6 billion users|
Leobit as a Top Custom Web Application Development Company
Web application development is one of the core services provided by Leobit. Our tech experts have created over 150 web and mobile applications following Agile Scrum and Waterfall approaches for maximum efficiency. A lawyer marketplace, a live sports video streaming service, a web CRM, and an interactive walking app are just a few examples of the web application projects we’ve launched.
As a custom web application development company, Leobit covers the entire web application development life cycle from the discovery phase to support and maintenance. You can either hire a dedicated team of tech specialists or opt for the team extension model to power your internal resources. For more information on the custom web application development services provided by Leobit, contact us or request a quote.